On Earth Day 1970, a vigorous group of Weston residents responded to an article Bill McEllwain – the original founder of Green Power – had written in the Town Crier. The group, including Bill, gathered on a pine knoll, next to an idle field left with weeds and rotting cabbage. Bill proposed to utilize suburban land and volunteer labor to grow food for the inner city, and the Green Power idea was born. As the land was being cultivated and produce was delivered to city programs, (for $1 a crate at the time) a group of urban activists were spreading love and making connections between gardening, food, and community. The visions created on this day continue to shape our organization and remind us of the importance in growing & giving. We hope you enjoy this Earth Day and all its importance around the world, while also taking some time to remember what it means right here, thinking small.
HAPPY 51st BIRTHDAY, GREEN POWER
& EARTH DAY!
The Green Power program provides teens with the opportunity to grow food, care for animals, mentor younger children, volunteer in the community, cook fresh food, work hard and have fun! Green Power takes place every summer for kids in 6th – 8th grade, but what they learn stays with them forever.
Green Power Then
Take a peek into our history through this beautiful, pictorial presentation of Land’s Sake & Green Power from previous years. A big thank you to Cathy Daley & Fred Wiss for providing this video — which had been previously created for the 30 year anniversary — and it all still rings true today!
Green Power Now
The ideals of Green Power may have been laid out 51 years ago, but we are still carrying them out today! Our Green Power summer program is an active way for the kids to connect with the land, and each other, while learning values of stewardship and community service.
REMEMBERING THE FORCE BEHIND GREEN POWER
To Tell a story, you have to start from the beginning, at the roots; from there we fully understand that what we are doing now has grown from what was done before us. There are many people over the years who have played a role in the evolution of Land’s Sake & Green Power, and Bill McElwain is remembered as the force behind Green Power, legacy of Land’s Sake, and the visionary of our mission to connect with the land.
EARTH DAY & RECYCLING IN WESTON
These days, we all recycle! It is such common practice, receptacles are everywhere, concerts, sporting events and in homes, we are shocked when it isn’t an option. But the world was not always like this, it took years to get here, and some major moves for recycling came from right here in Weston! Thanks to the efforts of local residents like Alan Orth, and of course Bill, Recycling became a reality and into the facilities we know and use today!
The journey of Land’s Sake has had many twists and turns. The Case Estates was a beloved place long before we had anything to do it: the Crown Jewel of Weston’s open space. See the full history of Land’s Sake, stemming all the way back to 1863, in the graphic below.
The Case Estates
Marion Roby Case founded Hillcrest Gardens in 1909 on land she had acquired adjacent to her father’s estate. At 45 years young, her gardens and summer school flourished through 1942, an inspiring run of thirty-four seasons. At its height, Hillcrest Gardens grew 40 acres of orchard fruits, grapes, vegetables and flowers by the latest methods of the day, selling the produce in Weston and surrounding towns.
Every summer, ten to twenty teenage boys mostly from Weston, were provided with jobs here which gave them an education in horticulture and the natural sciences. There were lectures and field trips, uniforms, prizes & songs, (reminiscent of what Green Power looks like today). The garden ran at a loss, but Miss Case subsidized the operation for its entire existence because she believed in its importance. She was an aristocrat who found her life’s work, “fulfilling the old-time spirit of noblesse oblige”, as she put it. This instruction for the sons of Weston’s working class in gardening and instilling an appreciation of nature, led many of them to careers working for the land from nurserymen to planners.
Land’s Sake is connected to the Case Estate land in many ways, Doug Henderson (our first Board President 1980-1990) had a brother who was a Hillcrest Boy. It is only fitting that we follow in the footsteps laid out, and we will have carried on Miss Case’s legacy, but re-emerged into community consciousness the deeper meaning of common land.
The Case Land, reference from “Reclaiming the Commons” –Brian Donahue
Did You Know?
In 1895, Weston had 104 general farms, 13 dairy farms, 4 egg and poultry farms, 4 market gardens, and 3 florists!
We have had the same phone number since 1980! Call us anytime: 781-893-1162.
Rumour has it, Bill McElwain buried a time capsule about 51 years ago! (someday we’ll dig it up and share what we find!)
Green Power Memories
THE GOOD OLE DAYS, BY HEATHER
Your favorite Farmstand Manager, Heather, shares her thoughts on what has made Land’s Sake so magical. Heather recalls stories and insights through all the unique community members she’s become friends with these past years.
An important part about history is to keep talking about it and keep it alive today. We at Land’s Sake take pride in the passing of the torch through generations, and in some households, many family members young and old, have a story about the farm. Many Weston families have been involved in Land’s Sake in some way or another, and to this day we employ kids and grandkids of some of the founders who were here in the beginning. Liam Donahue, son of Brian & Faith is on our farm crew this season. Margaret Wiss, (daughter of Cathy Daley & Fred Wiss), Eliza Brady, (daughter of Bill Brady & Susan Luchetti) & Hannah Frankel (Granddaughter of Anne Wolfe) are all employees at our beloved farm stand!
One family, the Hutchinsons, have been long time Weston residents, and have been in pretty much every facet the farm has to offer! See Emily’s story below, of her experience raising a family involved in the farm, and working on it herself!
“Dave and I were too old to be involved at the beginning of Green Power – we graduated from the high school in 1966 – and too busy with our small kids to take part in the beginning years of Land’s Sake. When the kids started middle school in the late ’80’s, Dave began helping out with the driving for the maple syrup program and for field trips. All four kids did the syrup program as well as Green Power. It was great to have a summer camp sort of thing right here in town, close enough for them to ride their bikes to. We loved getting to know all the farmers, and to see the changes and improvements as the years went by. The older boys stayed on during some of their college years, sometimes at work clearing trails, sometimes helping with the Green Power program.
I started out doing a bunch of berry picking in the late ’90’s and early 2000’s, and joined the first CSA’s — I think we picked our own veggies then. Once the CSA morphed into its current form, I started as a work share and have loved doing that for the past dozen or more years. It’s a dream job: outdoors, working with the young farm crew one morning a week, getting to know each one of them, being paid in delicious fresh veggies. That’s a perfect combination for old folks like me: exercise, friendship with young folks, and good food.”
We at Land’s Sake love and appreciate all the Hutchinson family has done for the farm. Thank you!
PLASTIC BOTTLE RECYCLING CRAFTS
Help save the planet by recycling your plastic bottles into crafts. Let your child jet off to an imaginary land with a rocket fueled jet pack, create a silly faced planter for your front porch, or turn your water bottles into beautiful wind spirals!
Download the instructions for these inventive projects by clicking here.
MAKE YOUR OWN TIMELINE
Connect with your family members and see how far back you can go. Add aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, and see how big your tree can grow! Download here.
Go outside and draw a picture of something natural: a tree, a bird, some spring flowers, etc. OR use this tree to recreate your favorite Land’s Sake memory. Send us a photo of your drawings to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will feature them in a future post!