New Family Gardening Classes
at the Needham Community Farm!
The Needham Community Farm (NCF) just celebrated its 10th anniversary, but many Needham residents don’t know about this great non-profit. The NCF has three intertwined missions: to educate about sustainable growing and nutrition; to provide food to those in our community who experience food insecurity; and to build community through volunteerism. Visitors to the Newman School may have noticed the NCF’s pilot garden site next to the Needham History Center, but the primary garden site is off the beaten path at the former Nike Site, adjacent to Ridge Hill Reservation, and next to the Needham Dog Park.
For most of the 10 years, the produce grown at the farm has been donated to the Food Pantry at the Needham Community Council. A few years ago, distribution hours were added at the Needham Housing Authority sites. Last summer the farm began to offer subscriptions for weekly farm share distributions (CSA) during the growing season.
The NCF has always held gardening classes. Typically, a student signs up for a full bed or half bed, and it’s theirs to farm for the season. The instructor provides lessons in layout, planting, pest control, and other sustainable gardening practices. This year, in conjunction with Parent Talk, NCF is offering new Family Classes with a different model, suitable for small children. The class members will all share several beds. At each class the activities will depend on where we are in the growing season, whether it’s planting peas, weeding, pulling carrots, or picking tomatoes.
Families can sign up for classes to be held on Wednesday afternoons or Saturday mornings. Each class is one hour long. Three sessions are offered: Spring (9 weeks), Summer (9 weeks), and Fall (8 weeks). For more details, costs, and registration, please go to the NCF website at www.needhamfarm.org/family-garden-class
Author: Jane Evans, Needham Community Farm Board Member