Letter from the President

President David Alperovitz sharing ideas with Farm Manager Pete Lowy and Board Member John Mendelson at the annual meeting last March. Through teamwork, many of those aspirations have happened!

President David Alperovitz sharing ideas with Farm Manager Pete Lowy and Board Member John Mendelson at the annual meeting last March. Through teamwork, many of those aspirations have happened!

When I reflect on my time at Codman Farm over the past year, it is with great pride and excitement. My family moved to Lincoln eight years ago, and Codman Farm quickly became a wonderful entrée to Lincoln, a place where we formed new friendships and new connections. Codman was, and continues to be, a “community” farm above everything else, and I feel so very grateful to be part of this community.

The Farm is a rich landscape of innovation, agriculture, and community. This past year we have seen new investment in equipment, a volunteer-driven haying crew, improved efficiency in all of our operations. We have many exciting projects in the works for 2019 from solar power, to improved infrastructure to more community and education focused events.

On a more personal note, the “greening” of Codman, has become of fervent interest to me -- specifically our move to harness the sun’s energy for use in our operations. This past year we purchased and installed 2 solar thermal arrays on the farm. With this project my enthusiasm now dovetails with pride in knowing that the roughly 300,000 eggs collected annually are now washed with water heated by the sun.

In 2019, we plan to bring solar photovoltaic to the farm to offset the increased electric use associated with our current expanded farm operations. My pride and excitement are reflected in the parallel missions of the farm and my own personal values of preserving the earth, and making the land accessible for the community in posterity.

Please come by the Farm, and please support our Annual Appeal as we continue to reinvigorate OUR Community Farm.

David Alperovitz, President

Farm Staff
Farm Manager Pete Lowy
Asst. Farm Manager Jared Martin
Bookkeeper Deb Rosson

Board of Directors
David Alperovitz, President
Nancy Fleming, Vice President
Ginger Reiner, Treasurer
Jeff Patterson, Clerk
George Travis, AgCom Co-Chair
Fan Watkinson, AgCom Co-Chair
Carol Card
Carol Carmody
Juliana Delahunty
Lis Herbert
John Mendelson
DJ Mitchell
Tina Murdough
Toni O’Connor
Drew Shilling

Volunteer Appreciation Brunch

Volunteers enjoying brunch and conversation, featuring all things Codman.

Volunteers enjoying brunch and conversation, featuring all things Codman.

Each year, at the end of the farming season, the Board of Directors hosts a Volunteer Appreciation Brunch to celebrate the growing number of much appreciated volunteers who support our small, two-to-three-person staff.

Over one hundred individual volunteers help by collecting and washing eggs, catching chickens ready for harvest, tending the Pick-Your-Own flower garden and restocking the Farm Store. Other activities include collecting maple sap, clearing rock walls, mowing and cutting firewood. Volunteers also support our community education programs and events including the Farmer’s Helper classes, school visits and volunteering, Codman Camp Out, Club Codman, Harvest Feast and Fair and our Fourth of July float (best in show this year!)

During the brunch, farm manager Pete Lowy spoke, “We know that so many people’s lives are busy and filled with family, work, school and other community activities. We always appreciate the time folks spend on the farm helping out, whether it’s just an hour or two a week or full days. I am personally grateful because 1) I love seeing friendly faces around the farm and 2) your contributions really are valued as we have so much to do and our small staff cannot possible keep the farm going. Thanks for coming, contributing, working so hard and for being such good friends of the farm.” Pete then highlighted the individual contributions of so many caring, hard working volunteers.

If you are interested in getting involved, fill out our volunteer form on this website. We would love to see you around the farm.

Three cheers for the volunteer organizers for the volunteer brunch!

Three cheers for the volunteer organizers for the volunteer brunch!

Vision 2020 Capital Campaign

A drawing of the Codman barns and courtyard as envisioned by the Capital Campaign.

A drawing of the Codman barns and courtyard as envisioned by the Capital Campaign.

The Board of Directors has launched a new Capital Campaign called “Vision 2020: Preserving our Past While Planning for our Future”. While Farm Manager, Pete Lowy, has done a miraculous job of stabilizing and growing our farming operations since his arrival in 2016, we now look to revitalize our aging infrastructure, and address safety, efficiency and green energy interests. We aim to build our community and educational programs as we create a thoughtful, conservation landscape for all to enjoy.

Our Campaign goal is $350,000, and we are well on our way with over $185,000 already committed! As part of this commitment, two lucky couples were the winners of our Bruce Springsteen ticket auction that raised over $11,000 for our Capital Campaign. Thanks to a generous donor that arranged for the premier seats and to Chris & Pat Burns and Bruce & Debbie Strock for bidding on the once-in-a-lifetime tickets.

In the Field

Andy Stevenson and Bob Robichaud tag teamed to get the hay cut and baled on a hot summer day.

Andy Stevenson and Bob Robichaud tag teamed to get the hay cut and baled on a hot summer day.

Haying Crew

This year, our merry band of haying volunteers cut and wrapped over 200 round bales of hay from the many fields around town that we maintain. The round bales of hay weigh over 500 pounds apiece, and will sustain our cattle through the winter. Check out the mound of “marshmallows” between the pigs in the front pasture and the main barn. You can’t miss them!

Chicken and Cows on Mt. Misery Field and more

If you happened to walk over to Mt. Misery fields this season, you may have seen an unfamiliar sight – our Red Devon cattle munching on lush pasture! Thanks to three years of our meat chickens fertilizing the fields, we now have more grass than we know what to do with! So, for the first time in recent memory, we moved some of our cattle to this lush field where the cows had unlimited fresh pasture and lots of visitors. It was a win-win-win with fresh grass for grazing, added manure for field fertility and pastoral scenery for neighbors and visitors.

Cattle also grazed in fields on Page Road and near Donelan’s by the train tracks while pigs foraged on pasture on Old Sudbury Road, Silver Hill Road and Codman Road. Laying hens and turkeys grazed the fields on both sides of Codman Road.

During winter, cattle, laying hens and piglets are back in the barn yard area.

Aerial view of meat birds marching across Mt. Misery in 12 shelters (with grass already growing again in the upper left area) while Devon cattle graze in the near bye pie shaped parcels, piece by piece with shade always available in the island woodland at the center bottom..

Aerial view of meat birds marching across Mt. Misery in 12 shelters (with grass already growing again in the upper left area) while Devon cattle graze in the near bye pie shaped parcels, piece by piece with shade always available in the island woodland at the center bottom..

Meet Mustache

Mustache was fortunate to have DJ Mitchell coordinate bottle feedings twice a day for four months. It takes time to be a mama cow!

Mustache was fortunate to have DJ Mitchell coordinate bottle feedings twice a day for four months. It takes time to be a mama cow!

This spring and early summer, Codman Farm was fortunate to have eight new baby calves born on the farm. One of these births was a set of twins, which is a very unusual event as less than half of one percent of births result in twins. As is often the case with twin births, the mother cow rejected one of the calves and would not allow him to nurse. The calf quickly became weak and the farm staff realized the calf would need to be bottle fed in order to survive. Board member, DJ Mitchell and her two daughters took the reigns of the situation and recruited many friends throughout town to help bottle feed the new born calf, soon to be named, Mustache.

From July – October, volunteers arrived in the morning, and again in the evening to bottle-feed this growing, healthy calf. When school started in September, the call went out for more volunteers – thus, bringing in more passionate caregivers. All in all, about 20 people helped to sustain a young orphan calf. It was a remarkable summer for everyone involved, and a vivid reminder of how much Codman Farm really is a community farm!

Summer is here..and the critters are grazing!

Main fields at the home farm

Main fields at the home farm

Time is flying and summer is officially here with the 4th of July weekend just around the corner. Things are in full swing at the farm with critters in many fields around town, several chicken harvests under our belts, fresh eggs everywhere, and even a few fresh greens in the farm store.

We continue to have many projects lined up to further improve the farm and continue to make Codman a beautiful and productive farm for folks to visit and enjoy.

In the coming weeks we will be profiling a different topic...this week...COWS!  Read on!

Cows at Farm Meadow

farmmeadow

Did you know that Codman Farm manages a twenty acre field just over the railroad tracks from Codman Estate?  We do!  For many years the farm has used this field for hay but in 2017 we worked with the town Conservation Department and local bird advocates to transition the use of this field from hay to grazing.  We set up almost twenty thousand linear feet of electric fencing and transformed the field into a oblong donut of separate paddocks sorrounding a large 5.5 acre protected area for grassland birds to safely nest. 

Map of paddocks for rotational grazing

Map of paddocks for rotational grazing

The concept, which is now working beautifully, was to respect the habitat needed for the migrating birds but to also allow the farm to have more land to graze our cattle on.  Keep in mind there is no power or water in this field so we had to create systems to manage the cattle in this remote field and then maintain these systems to ensure the plan would work...and it is!  

Red Devon beef cattle grazing in Farm Meadow field, Lincoln, MA

Red Devon beef cattle grazing in Farm Meadow field, Lincoln, MA

We miss Beth

April 17, 2017

Beth

As seen in the Lincoln Squirrel...

Beth Taylor, president of the Codman Community Farms board of directors, died peacefully at home in Lincoln the early evening on April 10, 2017, in the arms of her husband, Tim Barclay. She was 87 years old.

Beth was born in Richmond, Va., and graduated from Wellesley College in 1951. After graduation, she went to England, where she taught at Little Gaddesden School in Hertfordshire, what we would call an elementary school, and in 1960 became assistant principal for three years in the principal’s absence. Returning summers to the States, she got a master’s in education from Harvard in 1953.

In 1964, Beth became the head of the elementary school in Grantchester, just outside of Cambridge, England. She was the first American to be the head of a British public school. Beth transformed this village school into an open classroom school. Grade levels were combined, many lessons were project-based, there was an emphasis on art and outdoor activities, but all within strictly set expectations and rules.

The student body was a mix of professors’ children from Cambridge, including children of Nobel laureates and local Grantchester village children, some of whom had never even been outside the village. Grantchester School became famous as a model of open classroom education and was visited by educators from all over England and other countries, including the U.S.

While in England, Beth met Leonard Lerman, a molecular biologist. They were married in Richmond, Va., but later divorced.

Beth’s passionate interest in children and education continued when she returned to the States in 1973. Over the next 30 years, she taught teachers at Peabody College in Nashville, Tenn., Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y., and Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass. In addition to teaching education, she trained Head Start teachers, worked on programs for children with learning problems, and conducted state, city, town, and school surveys and evaluations of classroom education, including recommendations. In 1997 Beth co-founded the Mission Hill School, a K-6 school, in Roxbury, where she taught for six years.

A lover of travel, and nature, Beth went on a cruise on the Nile River all the way up to the Blue Nile and back, spending time in Cairo. On another trip, she went hiking in the Northwest.

At any gathering, Beth always talked to everyone and remembered their names and faces thenceforth. She would ask people how they were, their children and boy or girl friends or spouses and their children, and what school or college, and “how is your mother?”—everyone by name. Beth also loved music; she liked to sing, although she was not able to carry a tune. A keen equestrian, she won a ribbon as a child and continued riding into the ’80s. Mephisto and Nikki, two Weimaraners, very intelligent and loving dogs, were her successive companions after her divorce.

Beth met Tim in 1967 when he was on sabbatical with his family from the Commonwealth School in Boston. Tim volunteer-taught at Grantchester School two days a week. In 1970, before becoming head of Cambridge Friends School, he went back for a month in the summer to get a further grounding in elementary open-class education. Over the following years, they saw each other only once at a party, where they sat and talked the entire evening. Then in 2003, a mutual friend alerted both that they were now unattached.  Tim said, “It was like a dove falling from the sky!” Beth said, “It was like flying to heaven!” Beth and Tm were married on January 24, 2004 and celebrated the wedding with a barn dance at the Codman Community Farms barn in August. The rest is history—14 beautiful years.

Travels together included several trips to England and the Continent, and in 2014 a walk in the Footsteps of St. James: El Camino de Santiago, led by their close friend Mary Gaylord, head of the Spanish Literature Department at Harvard.

Upon moving to Lincoln in 1982, Beth quickly became involved in Codman Community Farms, a nonprofit working farm, serving on the board of directors for three different terms, presently as president of the board. She was also in charge of the Pick-Your-Own Garden and on the Agricultural Committee.  At the farm and in the town, she shared her enthusiasm for local and sustainable agriculture.

Beth is survived by her husband of 14 years, Tim Barclay; three stepchildren from her first marriage (Averil, Lisa, and Alex Lerman), four children of her husband (Bill, Mary, David and Jeanne), her brother David Taylor, two nieces (Ann Atwill and Bette Tedford), seven Lerman family step-grandchildren (Rushi, Sam, Sarah, Yinshi, Abe, Dania and Ben), and five Barclay family grandchildren (Will, Zoe, Chris, Alex and Chris).

Beth will be remembered for her strong passions, consideration of others, commitment to social justice, and indomitable energy. a celebration of her life will be held at the Codman Community Farms Barn, 58 Codman Rd., Lincoln on Wednesday, May 3 from 6–10 p.m. with food and music. May 3 is Beth’s birthday and also the anniversary of when Beth and Tim re-met.  Donations in Beth’s honor can be made to the Codman Community Farms, which she loved deeply, to help support planting and upkeep of flower gardens around the main barn and milk house/office.

Arrangements are under the care of the Dee Funeral Home of Concord. To share a remembrance or to send a condolence in Beth’s online guestbook, please click here.

Annual Meeting Generates Enthusiasm

On Thursday, March 9, Codman Farm members and supporters gathered at the Pierce House for the Annual Members Meeting.

President Beth Taylor thanked retiring board members Andy Stevenson, Chandler Fritz and Erica Mason and welcomed new board members Carol Carmody, Nancy Fleming and Ginger Reiner. Treasurer Chris Fasciano remarked on the much stronger financial position of the farm and gave a humorous and heartfelt tribute to Andy Stevenson for his dedication as board member and President.

Farm Manager Pete Lowy introduced new Assistant Farm Manager, Jeremy Aines, expressed his appreciation for this supportive community and shared his plans for the 2017 season. His presentation can be seen by clicking the image below.

Everyone left the meeting filled with delicious Codman Farm-raised food and excitement about rolling out the 2017 farm programs and community events.