Upcoming Educational Events at the Farm

Upcoming Events at Boulder Knoll Community Farm!

Free events and workshops at a local farm and natural area.
All activities take place outdoors. Please dress appropriately!

2-4pm, Saturday, May 26th
Immersive Nature Walk (All are welcome)

We’ll start with a “Sit Spot” where we’ll begin to learn about and embody a “sense of place”, inviting native wildlife to join us, followed by a stroll around Boulder Knoll Community Farm and learn about the ecosystems on the farm.  Bring your imagination and be prepared to share interpretations, questions, and personal interests regarding our great communal venture.  Free event but please RSVP!

1-3pm, Sunday, May 27th
Organic Vegetable Gardening for Beginners (All are welcome)

Memorial Day Weekend is the usual date when for warm season crop seedlings become available. Come by the farm on Saturday for a workshop on how to get started. You’ll participate in hands-on demonstrations and have a chance to ask your questions! We’ll talk about site preparation, sun and water factors, soil structure and health, and plant selection. Free event but please RSVP!

5:30-7:30pm, Wednesday, May 30th
Edible Wild Plant Walk (All are welcome)

Bill Duesing, (Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association – CT NOFA) will lead this workshop and share how the Native peoples of America thrived on wild food stocks for hundreds of years. Many of the plants we consider weeds are actually delicious and healthy foods. We’ll walk around the farm and into the forest to explore what kinds of wild foods occur where and how to eat them. Bring an open palate, we will be taste testing! Bill will also share the mission and history of CT NOFA as well as review the Farmer’s Pledge, which Boulder Knoll Community Farm adheres to.  (Rain date 5/31) Free event but please RSVP!

CANCELED 5:30-7:30pm, Wednesday, June 6th
Introduction to Soils (All are welcome)


Building on Organic Gardening for Beginners, join us as we plunge into the earth for a look at soil ecology, decomposition and soil makeup! Using maps that indicate Boulder Knoll’s soil types, we’ll dig soil pits at different locations, compare their composition, and talk about how forests and farmers use different techniques for building soil. Free event but please RSVP!

5:30-7:30pm, Wednesday, June 13th
Introduction to Composting (All are welcome)

Building on Organic Gardening for Beginners and as part of our “Springing into Nature” series, join us as we learn about composting.  Composting is the controlled biological decomposition of organic matter.  Compost creates humus which is then used as a soil conditioner.  In our case, we’ll review the use of yard and kitchen waste to create a beneficial soil additive while at the same time, reducing materials that end up in our municipal waste streams. Free event but please RSVP!

1-3pm, Saturday, June 23rd
Introduction to Permaculture: Ethics & Principles (All are welcome)

Permaculture is a design science based on observations of nature, and is focused on taking challenges and transforming them into intelligent and learning based solutions.  Considering that mankind is nature, rather than something separate, and considering just how far we go, and how hard we work to control nature, Permaculture is a thoughtful process which aims to reintegrate natural thinking and ecological design back into our being using a practical set of ethics and principles. Free event but please RSVP!

Upcoming workshops and educational opportunities: TBA

  • Build a Water Catchment System (Rain barrel/Cistern)
  • Build a Bat Box
  • Worms eat my garbage!  A workshop on Vermicomposting
  • Edible Landscaping
  • Forest Gardening
  • Fermentation
  • Canning and Preservation
  • Growing Mushrooms at Home
  • Permaculture Mapping & Design

RSVP FOR ALL EVENTS TO EDUCATOR@BOULDERKNOLLFARM.COM

Park in open lot next to the farm.  We gather in the white hoop house.
We look forward to seeing you!

Long road from farm to fork worsens outbreaks

This is why building a local foods infrastructure is so important! If we eat food that’s in season from a farm in our community, these risks are so much smaller.

Outbreaks of listeria and other serious illnesses linked to tainted food are becoming more common, partly because much of what we eat takes a long and winding road from farm to fork.

Read more at http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_759890.html#ixzz1Zgla6apc

Farm Reunion and Membership Dinner

Farm Reunion Potluck Dinner +
Annual Meeting

Join us for a potluck farm celebration on Sunday, October 2nd from 4 to 7 pm.

Festive food, including cheese from Caseus Fromagerie and Bistro, and a silent auction will be set up in Bob Giddings’ barn, next door to the farm. We’re planning for live music and/or a dance on the second floor. Sound like fun? Put it on your calendar, plan a yummy dish, and bring an empty stomach and any libations you may desire.

We’ll also be officially selecting our new Friends of Boulder Knoll board for next year.

It’s our last fundraiser for the season; we’re suggesting a donation of $20/adult and $5 for kids over 5 yo. All who are part of our farm community in any way are welcome regardless of ability to make a donation.

RSVP

Let us know if you are coming and if you have guests.

Support Friends of Boulder Knoll

 

Friend,

With your help, we can build on our spectacular year of successful farming and environmental education at Boulder Knoll. Let’s look at what we have achieved this year and some future directions.

This year’s accomplishments include:

  • 16+ weeks of fresh vegetables each week to 50 CSA shareholders
  • Donating produce every week to local soup kitchens
  • Obtaining a $26K grant from the Cheshire Nursery School
  • Hiring Julia Meurice, our new environmental educator
  • At least 20 environmental programs and events involving more than 190 people (50+ youth!) demonstrating the vast educational richness the Farm has to offer
  • Involvement from many local organizations in Farm activities
  • With help from the Town of Cheshire, restoring a reliable water supply to the farm
  • Two very successful fundraisers: Delightful Day at the Farm and the 3rd Annual CommunityTag Sale

Next year we seek to:

  • Purchase new/used farming equipment
  • Expand our infrastructure, improve our soil
  • Further involve the community with the nature of the Farm
  • Find new ways to provide healthy food to those less fortunate

Can you help us achieve these goals? Please become a supporting member today.

As a special thank you for your support, the members of the Friends of Boulder Knoll are offered the first opportunity to sign up for shares in the CSA, before shares are offered to the wider community. CSA shares sold out in less than four weeks this year, and the demand is tremendous.

Support Friends of Boulder Knoll by becoming a member for the coming year (Oct 2011-Sept 2012).

Send us your thoughts, ideas, and dreams for the Farm through our website. Then, come to the Farm, see what we have built together, and help us keep it growing.

Sincerely,

The Friends of Boulder Knoll Board

 

Upcoming Events at Boulder Knoll

You’re invited to attend these upcoming educational workshops and events at Boulder Knoll Community Farm:

Planting Anne’s Garden
Friday June 24th 4-6pm

Join us in honoring the life of Anne Giddings, wife of Friends of Boulder Knoll Board President Bob Giddings, by planting a memorial garden on the farm. We will be planting an array of annuals and perennials and will follow a collaborative design that will greet every future visitor to the farm. Light refreshments, gloves and tools provided.

Exploring Ecosystems on the Farm Part II
Tuesday June 28th 4-6pm

Farm Educator Julia will lead a hike around the Boulder Knoll property, through forests, fields and wetlands. In this guided interpretation, we will examine what has changed in nature since our spring walk and examine unique landscape features, plants, trees, wildlife, and folklore. Please wear long pants and be prepared for uneven ground!

Beyond the Basics: Organic Gardening
Tuesday July 5th 4-6pm

Already begun a garden? Want to take it to the next level? Farmer Brenda will lead this workshop in going beyond the basics of organic gardening. Using examples from the farm and drawing on Brenda’s years of hands-on experience in the field, we’ll cover many aspects of farming. Participants are encouraged to come with questions!

Whats Buggin’ You?
Saturday July 16th 10-12am

The CT Agricultural Experiment Station’s Kim Stoner will lead this morning workshop on insect ecology. Dr. Stoner, an expert in local pollinators and entomology, will help us discover different insects, their relationships to plants and their purpose on the farm.

Friend or Foe? Invasive Plants and You
Saturday July 23rd 9-11am

Join horticulturist and invasive plant expert Rose Hiskes of the CT Agriculture Experiment Station in understanding the plants that are threatening our native ecosystems. Brief lecture followed by a walk around Boulder Knoll farm and forest in search of invasive plants.

Events are free and open to the public. Bring your enthusiasm and dress for the outdoors!

 

Educational Workshop in the News

Patch.com writes about our “Patterns in Nature” workshop, part of our “Springing into Nature” educational series. We hope you can join us at one of our upcoming events!

The farming season is well underway at Boulder Knoll Community Farm. Along the rows of vegetables and herbs, participants in Saturday’s “Patterns in Nature” workshop looked for examples of shapes and lines in the plants.

Environmental Educator Julia Meurice explained how patterns such as concentric circles, spirals and hexagons can be found throughout nature; in water ripples, star galaxies and beehives, respectively.

The two-hour long workshop also included a study of items collected by Meurice for their intricate patterns; rocks, a butterfly wing and even a snake skin (hexagons). Participants then used that insight to create pattens on paper.

 

Boulder Knoll Gets New Five-Year Lease

The Cheshire Herald writes about our new five-year lease for the Boulder Knoll Farm property! The new lease will allow us to pursue great new opportunities and expand our efforts!

The Friends of Boulder Knoll has used some acreage on the farm to build a community garden, and has harvested vegetables the last two seasons. The Town initially approved a one year lease, then changed it to a three-year rolling lease for the Friends, extending it one year every spring.

However, a request was made by current Friends of Boulder Knoll President Bob Giddings to extend the lease to five years. Giddings explained the extension would help in two ways. First, the Friends of Boulder Knoll would like to plant perennial crops, such as raspberries and blueberries, but to justify those plantings “a longer look forward is needed,” he wrote in a letter to the Town Council. Secondly, a longer lease term will help the group secure grant money from organizations like the United States Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Services.

“It is much easier to obtain grants if you have an established track record, which we now have, and a good prospect for long-term stability, which the lease term extension would help provide,” Giddings told the Council.

Councilman James Sima explained that the amended lease will allow the group to obtain more funding and a new clause was added to protect the Town. The new provision added is a surrender clause that would be invoked at the termination of the lease. The clause states that the lessee, the Friends of Boulder Knoll, would need to leave the property in good condition and cannot remove any plantings on the property.