Farming is “in”

One of our Board members, Alyson Muzila, forwarded this linkto me – please read. It’s about the growth of farms and farm businesses in MA since 2002, according to USDA Ag Census info. Land’s Sake is pretty much surfing a good wave of interest in local farm-direct food.

Read on, thanks…

Let the Maple Season Begin

The Maple Season has begun! We tapped about 400 trees on Saturday and luckily we had the Green Power kids scheduled to help us on Monday. The warm daytime weather got the sap flowing and we collected about 150 gallons. Get ready for Maple Syrup!

It's fun to collect sap!

It's fun to collect sap!

Splitting Season Begins

We got the firewood splitting season started today with Weston High’s National Honor Society. A few good volunteers came out with me to enjoy the fine air of winter and the particular thrill of sending a maul through a chunk of wood. I was able to give them a good demonstration, wasn’t too rusty, and got a few rounds split relatively straightforwardly. Then the newbies picked up the mauls and had at it. I was impressed. We got some good work done. Thanks to Teddy Pendergast (in the bright hat) for organizing.

We’ll be having volunteer opportunities to help us split wood starting next Saturday January 17th. Starting at 9am. Send dave@landssake.org a message if you want to participate. Thanks!

A good team

A good team

Getting Things Done

It was a gorgeous end of the year moving tables and junk at the farm. We’d gotten those two first storms the previous weekend and had been pretty well packed in for the Christmas week. This morning, Dave and I were going to make our foray into the town forest to begin our firewood harvesting operation.

The sun was so bright, and it had been warm for a couple days, and now the farm had lost its blanket. All the odd bits were somewhat conspicuous. We had arrived to just check in on our equipment situation, maybe even get the winch hooked up to the old John Deere. Maybe we would get it up to the woods for a morning work out.

Dave was cool with this plan. I was saying maybe because I know things change a lot, flex off the plan, respond to conditions. I’m used to that. So when we figured we needed to take a couple of machines in for a check-up, we knew we probably wouldn’t be terribly efficient in the woods. Previously, we had done an inventory of the stacked wood, unstacked split wood, unsplit rounds and the unbucked logs waiting to be bucked, split and stacked. There were a lot of phases of the operation to attend to still.

I decided to scrap that daunting plan and look at those loose ends at the farm. “Dave, let’s do that training exercise right now, here instead of up in the woods.” He was cool with that too. So we did some practicing on saw technique on a couple downed trees on the farm. Dave was wanting to brush up on his plunge cut skills. And so, we stuck around at the farm, it was good. Moved a bunch of stuff around to consolidate tables, wagons, and other pieces.

Enjoyed the sunshine, the vistas at the farm, and that “Getting things done” feeling.

New Website is Now Up!

Hi Everyone,
Check out our new website: www.landssake.org.

Thanks to Alicia Pritt who designed the whole thing, and Dave Sonnenberg for doing the technical wizardry. Thanks also to John Marchiony for his editing help.

I am really glad it is up and I hope you enjoy it. Please let us know if there is anything that you think could be improved by emailing webmaster@landssake.org.

Holiday Party Fun

As you enter the Burnes’ Barn, you are forced to engage the space of the structure not only by the looming catwalks grazing your head and the thrusting chimney craning your neck, but also by the persistent texture of bric-a-brac and books lining all surfaces.

Last evening the whirling panoply of 19th-centuryism artefacts was echoed by the dozens of six-year olds frolicking at half-height, wooly heads passing under the adults’ patting palms, shrieks in the corners and on the cantilevered connecting passages above.

It was a festive time.

One of the guests, Tom Chalmers, an architect and farmer, told me he once studied under the MIT dons who designed the Barn in the 70’s as a temple to anti-monumentalism where every passage and staircase, to me like some M.C. Escher painting, embraces you to the place. There are no rooms, just morphing space, somewhat delineated by furniture or a mirror on a wall. Carol Burnes, the matron of the hall, has enriched the place with decades of her delicate collections of antiques and art.

Something about the space and sense of place, uniqueness essentially, echoes in the work of Land’s Sake that drew us together. The crowd was mostly our dedicated board, and our dedicated staff, and a few special friends of the farm. We all participate in Land’s Sake because we are enthusiastic about engaging with a place.

We work and love and revel in the bounty of the land – not just the empty canvas of a big barn type of landscape, but the designed, adorned and utilized landscape of the suburban ecology. We delight in the texture of the land around not just because it is beautiful – of course it is. Not just because it has the beating germ of nature and all the golden ratios unfolding. Not just because it causes us to smile inexplicably.

We delight in the landscape because of its benefits, its accumulated stories, and the sharing of that which creates a community of known members. Our work, our shared stewardship of the Land’s Sake Farm and our associated parcels, is that most ancient source of kindreding.

It was wonderful last night to see so many of the long-time and deep-hearted supporters of Land’s Sake come together for a lingering meal and many good handshakes and cheek-kisses. It was wonderful to be such a part of an authentic community.