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What’s Cooking Over at The Community Farm?

From Kriss Westland

The Holliston Community Farm located on Rogers Road is evolving into a valuable community resource since the property was acquired in 2014. The Holliston Community Farm Advisory Committee was created in 2016 to oversee the property and guide the development of the property into an agricultural and educational asset. To that end and through the generosity of businesses in our community, there is now a functional septic system for the house on the property, a 100-foot greenhouse to facilitate educational and agricultural activities, a barn that has been repaired to withstand the weather, a community honeybee apiary, garden plots, and other improvements to the field. The Holliston Community Farm Advisory Committee is actively seeking other funding options to continue the evolution of the Farm.

The potential of this property has been recognized outside of our community, with special thanks to Dr. Lisa Brown, where we currently have two graduate students from Simmons College, Ashlyn Rhyne and Sarah Jones, who are in the Nutritional Program and dedicating their semester to writing a grant proposal for a commercial kitchen at the Farm. There are few commercial kitchen resources available for rental to the Metrowest community, and this would be a valuable asset. A commercial kitchen at the Farm could be used for entrepreneurial endeavors in food products on a larger scale than can be done from one’s home. Holliston is an agricultural community with many small farms in the vicinity that could benefit from a commercial kitchen to strengthen the value of their goods. A commercial kitchen could also be used for classes on nutrition.

Please take a moment to complete the survey so that we may gather feedback on ways a commercial kitchen might be useful and know the type of equipment that would be in demand. To participate in this survey, please use the following link:

https://simmons.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6rFIM6EwABd0WA5?Q_DL=0esuhjxBNSvAj2Z_6rFIM6EwABd0WA5_MLRP_9KyaFhWDPFTwSe9&Q_CHL=email

We believe that the presence of the Community Farm has grown significantly over the past year. We have partnered with Parks and Recreation by offering classes at the Farm to educate youth on farming. A composting workshop at the Farm was well received, and we plan to do more. There have been several fundraising events such as the Easter Egg Hunt and Haunted Walks (cancelled for 2019 due to EEE threat). The soil in the field is improving by planting cover crops and supplementing the soil with manure, thanks to contributions from Willow Rise Farm and Tim Drake. A Girl Scout troop has submitted a project for a pollinator hotel at the Farm and a complementary one on the Rail Trail.

Repair of the house continues through the generosity of a local contractor. Mark Dellicker is currently undertaking the large project of repairing the foundation wall of the house and installing a handicap-accessible door on the main floor of the house, for the cost of materials only that are funded by the Friends of the Community Farm. Providing public access to the house will move us closer to using the house for functions and enable the addition of a commercial kitchen. This is the season of Thanksgiving, and the Holliston Community Farm Advisory Committee would like to thank all who have contributed to the growth of the Community Farm thus far: Rodenhiser Septic Services, Chipman Electric, Civilized Solutions, Dellicker Construction, the Downtown Marigold Project, American Legion, the Lions Club, the Newcomers Club, and Willow Rise Farm, as well as many dedicated volunteers and donors!

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