By Francie Lin, GFN Writer-in-Residence I think everyone would rather forget the early pandemic days…
Things are busy and growing on our land, no more so than at Sawmill Herb Farm and Crimson & Clover Farm. These two farms lease community farmland from Grow Food Northampton beginning in 2013 and 2011 respectively. Read on for details on what’s new at each farm and how you can enjoy their beautiful food and medicine.
In 2013, Sawmill Farm leased 1.5 acres near the Grow Food Northampton Organic Community Garden and grew greens and herbs.The farm has since expanded to 3.5 acres and shifted its focus exclusively to medicinal and culinary herbs. A 130-share herb CSA makes Sawmill unique, but farmer Susan Pincus and crew also dry and sell a variety of herbs for tea and offer an Apothecary Share for those wanting small-batch herbal products. Starting in 2015, the farm started offering a half-price farm share for low-income community members, with Grow Food Northampton paying the other half. Sawmill also hosts a series of workshops and an herbal apprenticeship at the farm. In addition to growing over 100 varieties of herbs, Susan also serves on the board of Grow Food Northampton. Through Sawmill’s educational programs and partnerships, they aim to strengthen community awareness of medicinal herbs as a component of holistic health and bring the deep wisdom of nature connection into the community one seed at a time.
Earlier this month a team from Regenerative Design Group in Greenfield helped to plant 300 elderberry shrubs in Sawmill’s field along the Mill River. This is a grant-funded project to trial best establishment and management methods for productive buffers in flood prone agriculture lands.
Sawmill Herb Farm Happenings:
Fresh Culinary and Medicinal Herb CSA Shares are available
Plant Sale! Herb and vegetable nursery plants are on sale now, with pickup later this spring.
Summer Apothecary Shares are on sale now.
Sawmill has a bunch of workshops planned for the season, including a once a month apprenticeship at the farm taught by herbalist Vanessa Chakour of Sacred Warrior.
Crimson & Clover Farm is Grow Food Northampton’s “anchor” CSA farm since 2011, with a 99-year lease on 40 acres of the Northampton Community Farm and a shorter-term lease on another 15 acres. Crimson & Clover Farm uses sustainable growing practices that build the health of soils and land over the long term. Most of their food is distributed using the Community Supported Agriculture model, with shares available at the farm and in the Boston area. They also supply much of the food distributed through our Neighborhood Markets. They welcome and encourage community involvement and offer a family friendly on farm experience.
Crimson & Clover has some exciting new things happening on the farm this year including a better maintained pick-your-own garden, increased pick-your-own and share room offerings, cleaner vegetables (with the help of their new rinse conveyor!) and a nicely smoothed out driveway! Things are moving fast at the farm, the Farm Store opens this week on Wednesday, May 1. Meanwhile, they have been busy with plowing, cleaning, farm beautification, and greenhouse seedlings. So far they’ve plowed 6 acres for early season plantings of lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, salad greens, kale, chard, onions, scallions, carrots, beets, fennel, potatoes and of course strawberries!
Crimson & Clover Farm Happenings:
2019 CSA Season begins Tuesday June 11th
2019 SNAP Share (combining Grow Food Northampton subsidy and MA Healthy Incentives Program to make shares affordable)
Farm Store (plant starts, farm produce, local fruits and vegetables, and meat, dairy, and more from other local producers)
215 Spring Street Florence MA
Hours: Tuesday through Friday: 12-7, Saturdays 9-2