Friday, September 20, 2013

Wright-Locke Farm: Our Own Organic Working Farm in Winchester, MA

Quite a crew of people out picking on Tuesday morning.  ©2013BDG

Wright-Locke Farm is a working farm that grows vegetables and fruit, raises egg-laying chickens, raises sheep, keeps bees, teaches kids and adults, and provides a wonderful space to explore, have parties and get involved.  All of this within our town of Winchester, just 13 miles from busy Boston.  We are so lucky that the housing development fell through several years ago and a group of passionate people were able to save this historic farm.  Very few farms like this exist so close to any big city with land values increasing so drastically in recent decades.

Chickens out at their second home as the coop is getting cleaned.  I
didn't say all the jobs on the farm are glamorous. ©2013 BDG

The success of this farm comes from the collective expertise of local residents who manage most aspects of the farm operation.  An Executive Director, Farmer and Education Coordinator are a few positions at the farm, but most of the work is performed by volunteers from the community.

This past week they held their 3rd Annual Harvest Dinner where they enjoyed produce from the farm and other local venues.  I wrote an article for the Winchester Star covering the event and, with over 80 people in attendance, it was a roaring success -- continuing to reinforce the town's support of this amazing and historic resource.

Big line at the farmstand.  ©2013 BDG

I hope my local readers find a chance to drop by and meet some of the people and see what is going on during the day or weekend.  Right now is a great time as raspberries are ripe and you can come and pick your own.  I spent a few minutes last week with a bucket and camera around my neck picking a few berries.  I didn't have to move to pick several handfuls of raspberries, that I must confess never made it to the home after I paid for them.

Raspberry picking and farmstand hours are on their site, if you scroll through the images on the homepage you will see a button for more information on both.

Picking Hours:

-Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - 9am-noon
-Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm-4pm
-Closed Monday

The lambs lazing in the shade of their portable cover.
They have to be moved regularly as they graze the
grass so heavily.  ©2013 BDG

After picking, I had to go down and visit the young lambs that I help corral earlier in the season.  They are a tremendous hit with the kids that visit the farm.  While I was talking with the Chef at the Harvest Dinner, I learned that he is hoping to have a workshop where he will show people how they butcher a lamb.  Apparently, this has made some people around the farm queasy, but why do we need to hide our connection to our food.  I think it will be fascinating and look forward to the event.

This week there is a stargazing event with telescopes, and in the coming weeks there are workshops on beekeeping and raising chickens.  Over the past year I have spoken with Archie McIntyre(Executive Director), Sally Quinn (Education Director), Rebekah Carter(Education Coordinator) and many others on a number of occasions, and they all have such a passion for the farm and are looking for people and families who want to come and get involved.

Kids have named the laying chickens. ©2013 BDG

Just recently they announced an initiative to raise $4 million to purchase some adjoining land from the town and make improvements on some existing structures.  The support has been amazing with two people each offering $1 million in challenge grants, but they need a lot more support to reach their goals.

Please come by and visit (78 Ridge St at High St), buy some fresh eggs or bring the family to pick some raspberries.  It is a great place to let the kids run free and enjoy a resource we are lucky to have in our town, and with the weather getting nice come and hike some of the trails on the farm.  Ask about opportunities to get involved, there is plenty of work for individuals and families, and what better way to show your children the source of their food.

Very active beehive mean lots of honey. ©2013 BDG

I have seen it on the farm and in working with Vittorio Ettore at his Seed to Plate Garden, when you have children harvest their own food, they will try anything.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like such a great place Reed. Though I would have liked to see a selfie of you with the tell-tale raspberry stains around the mouth!