Local, organic agriculture. Environmental education.

Tractors, Woods and a Detour, Oh My

Composting 1 HHSIt was a delightful chore to keep flicking the windshield wiper as I drove from the Farm to a school. The rain was pretty consistent and delightful! The car was filled with compost bins to construct at the Old Colony Montessori school. The class is collecting their vegetable and fruit scraps in hopes of making compost to enrich their garden.  All gardens benefit from natural fertilizer, and at Holly Hill Farm and at over 30 school gardens on the South Shore, we are trying to make organic fertilizer.

fall compostingThe natural, nutrient-rich compost is a wonderful lesson to teach and an integral part of organic growing. Compost also lends itself to sustainable agricultural practices. In addition, once the compost is made, with help from the worms and thousands of micro-organisms, then one can put the compost right into the garden or spread on the farm field.

The compost is also terrific for retaining water. The water can come in the form of all too rare of late rain from the skies or water from the well, which is pumped into a tank, brought to the field and pumped through the hose to the crops who need it most. The farmers at Holly Hill are verse in this practice and also making compost to spread on the fields this fall, so future autumnal rains can be retained.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe John Deere tractor, one of the five vintage, working tractors has a front end loader for the compost turning. The John Deere and its mates will be featured and discussed at our first ever Tractor Day at the Farm on October 15.

Any visitor to the Farm on that day or another will have an innate chance to see compost in action, not just at the compost area below the greenhouses, by Peck’s Meadow, but also on a daily basis in the woods. The fallen leaves on the forest floor will also turn to a nutrient-rich humus which in turn feeds the growing trees, shrubs and saplings that thrive and compete in the woods year-round.

dtw-2015Come run or walk in the 9th annual Discover the Woods Day 5k and 1 mile run/walk at the Farm on October 1. You wil see the compost all around you. There are 25 marked and cleared trails in the 130 acres of woods that beg to be visited by we two-legged humans and four-legged living beings.

farm stand open signAll the while, one may wonder how to get to this destination Farm, set amongst the large homes on Jerusalem Road. The temporary detour ought not to be a deterrent. The town is mending the causeway by the Inner Little Harbor. So the jaunt is a bit tricky. From the Common and Town Green, where vegetables are sold on Thursday afternoons, you can travel down Beach Street to Atlantic Ave and north to Nichols Road, so as to access Jerusalem.

“Next year in Jerusalem” is a mantra repeated by those who seek triumph, salvation, peace and joy. But this year, and these coming months, please travel to Holly Hill Farm on Jerusalem Road. Come rain or sun, with windshield wipers or on your bicycle, the Farm is a nice, important place to travel from and travel to. The Farm is open, the farmers are busy, the teachers are educating, and the woods are lovely, dark and deep, and always working, to make compost and for the opportunity to grow.

© 2016, Jon Belber. All rights reserved. Friends of Holly Hill Farm

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