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Goodbye, Thank you, and Passing the Baton

Posted 12/17/2016 9:03pm by Marcia Coakley.

As we reach the end of the CSA and the growing season we also reach completion for our 2016 Farm Manager, Kevin Overshiner. 


Winter Wheat at light speed in honor of Rogue One

From Kevin's December Newsletter: "I am proud of what we were able to do with our hard working crew and the tools we had to get the job done. In the midst of this wacky season we managed to build a 2,500 square foot greenhouse, a new farm stand, a walk in cooler (almost done...), we bought a new tractor, etc. It's been a productive capital building year for the farm.

I was wary of how I would manage without Brittany to run the show, as you may know
she left MCF at the end of last season after a successful but tumultuous run as the founding farmer. She had a monumental undertaking to start this farm on a shoe-string, while also building education programming and manufacturing the farm's image. She's taught me most of what I know about what we do, and maybe more importantly, about how to work hard. I am grateful for her support and mentorship, which has allowed me to run the farm in her absence. 

The new 26' x 96' High Tunnel for Extended Season Greens Production

MCF has grown up a lot since Brittany first started growing vegetables on these bare hay-fields in 2010. She did much of what we now use machinery for by hand, and without the infrastructure or land base we have now. She started with $5,000 of donated input and grew the organization to an annual budget of about $200,000 in just 5 years, while never running a deficit. Not bad. We owe a lot to her hard work and dedication to build the farm to the point where it can be passed on to a new wave of folks willing to take the baton.

         
The New Farm Stand at 50 Winthrop Street (rear) 

Since she first broke ground, with her help we've managed to secure a lease at two additional fields, growing the acreage from 1.5 to 6 acres, grown the CSA from 100 to more than 250 families, established a relationship with Restaurant 45 on their weekly specials menu, reestablished the Medway Farmer's Market, donated $5000 of vegetables annually to the Medway Food Pantry, built or acquired all the farm infrastructure you've seen, and grown a lot of vegetables for us to munch on.


  The New Walk in Cooler Under Construction 

I will be leaving MCF at the end of December to join Brittany at Upswing Farm in Ashland, near the Ashland State Park. Though I have enjoyed piggy-backing on her success here at MCF, I feel I have ensured that MCF will be stable for the future, and it is time for me to commit to our family farm and ensure that we have a place in the community for a long time to come. We have a baby due in January and will be undertaking a daring attempt to preserve farmland that was previously destined for development at a price tag of $2.5 million. Woof.

We will be working closely with conservation groups and the towns of Ashland and Holliston (the property bridges both towns) to preserve the farmland originally cultivated by Charlie Nickerson of Out Post Farm, who still lives on site. The current owners of Out Post Farm chose to move to a different field down the street, so the fields were opened up to Brit. If you'd like to learn a little more about the farm, and keep in touch with us farmers, you can find us at Upswing Farm, or follow us on Facebook, and on Instagram @upswingfarm.

I wish MCF lots of luck in its future. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the community and build a vegetable farm with Brittany. Thank you to all those who lent a hand or support along the way, you are appreciated and not forgotten. Remember to always support your local farms, they are an important cornerstone of the local economy, and their strength benefits us all. There are a lot of folks who live out here, so having more farms is a good thing, the saturation point is a long way away!"

– Kevin Overshiner

                                       So long folks!

 


 

Katie Bekel, Assistant Farm Manager of 2016 Takes the Helm for 2017 as the Incoming MCF Farm Manager 

Katie has a year of experience here at MCF and has worked on a number of other farms in the area: with Waltham Fields, Canaan Farm, Groundwork Lawrence, the Food Project, and Lindentree Farm. She is enthusiastic about taking on the Manager role, hard working, and invested in the community.

If you haven't already met her, make it a point to stop by the farm next season and give her a thumbs up and show of support. No matter how much infrastructure a farm has, it's never an easy job. Good Luck, Katie Bekel!

You can contact Katie at katie.bekel@medwaycommunityfarm.org with any questions.

A Special Thank You to our Most Steadfast Volunteers 

Katie managed the volunteer activity here at the farm this year and we take a moment to thank those volunteers who donated 10+ hours of their time to the farm in 2016.

Especial thanks to Jeanne Raffa, Nancy Ross, Lori Franzen, Maria Kempner, Sam Herren, Kelly Sabini, and Jenny Mendez-Isenburg. I hope we didn't forget anyone! 
 
And thank you to everyone else who has contributed their time and efforts (in the dirt and elsewhere), in the farm stand, at events, at the schools and with our education programming at the farm, too. We can't do it without you. And thank you, too, for sharing the good word about us to your friends, and beyond. There are still folks in town who don't yet know about Medway Community Farm. Spread the news!

Annual Appeal

If you haven't yet made a final 2016 tax-deductible contribution to the Medway Community Farm Annual Appeal now is a wonderful time to make a huge difference in our farm and community's future.

"As our growing season comes to a close at Medway Community Farm, we’re sharing a few stories of farm and mission success to and through this year. Through your generosity, our mission continues to grow and our community continues to thrive. There is perhaps no better illustration of our remarkable success than the story of Mrs. Nash and her fourth-grade class..." Read More



                                    Or Donate Now

More to Come in 2017 

Keep in touch to learn more about what's to come with education programming, community events, and more in 2017.
As always, thank you for your support.

                               Happy Holidays!
      We look forward to sharing the 2017 season with you.


                             www.medwaycommunityfarm.org

 


 

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