In 2008 we began growing produce in 5 garden sites located in private yards in the Needham area. We wanted to grow local, healthy food for our community and we wanted to encourage others to do the same. However, the lack of undeveloped, reasonably priced land in the Boston suburbs forced us to think of a different way to farm. We were inspired by the victory gardens of WWII and felt that many market gardens might be the most practical way to bring a new “farm” to the suburbs.
Over the years, garden sites and rented fields came and went and we rented barn space and greenhouse space from other local farms. In 2016 we scaled back the number of sites we used, so we could search for a long term home for our farm.
Beginning in 2017, we are moving our entire operation to a single site. After several seasons of farm hunting, we have finally found a long term home for our farm, and it will allow us to grow in all kinds of new ways! We are pleased to announce that we are leasing a portion of historic Mainstone Farm in Wayland, MA.
We will have a farm stand with our own vegetables, flowers, herbs, and seedlings, Mainstone's pasture raised beef, and some other great offerings from our neighboring farms. Over the coming seasons, we will be building our very own greenhouses and high tunnels to start our seedlings on site and to grow vegetables right through the winter. We'll be planting crops for future Pick Your Own offerings. We'll be able to put in demonstration gardens and ultimately host classes, workshops and farm visits so we can continue our mission of supporting people as they grow their own food. And, we'll be doing it all on one of the most beautiful farms in Massachusetts.
We grow all our crops without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, although we have not applied for organic certification. We have the soil tested before we plant, to make sure the soil is healthy, uncontaminated, and suitable for growing food without synthetic inputs. We strive to develop sustainable, low input systems for all our operations. Organic certification is a multi-year process, and has been made more complicated by our changing sites. Certification is something we may pursue in the future. For the moment, we are "all natural."
We are committed to educating people about farming and gardening. We hope to inspire people to think about where their food comes from and to try growing some of their own. Even a tiny garden can grow a lot of food!
Kate Canney and Jude Zmolek own The Neighborhood Farm. Kate started The Neighborhood Farm in 2008. She was trained in sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and education. She is also obsessed with heirloom tomatoes and can't stop trying new varieies. Jude started farming in 2009 and quickly began growing dozens of heirloom garlics and an assortment of the hottest peppers in the world. Between them, they select a huge variety of unusual produce to grow each year.