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The Trustees of Reservations

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pakeen Farm in Canton: CSAs on CR-protected farms!

Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an economic model that brings customers to local farms, as shareholders of a growing season's crops, who receive a weekly share of fresh, healthy, organically grown produce.  This innovative model not only breathes new life into the economic health and viability of farms, but the health of  local customers connected to fresh, local food.  What's more, in the age of development pressure and sprawl, a successful CSA helps keep land in agriculture, and maintains the traditional scenic landscape of Massachusetts.  As you may already know, The Trustees of Reservations runs CSAs at several farm-oriented Reservations: brand NEW for this 2013 season is the CSA at Moose Hill Farm in Sharon!! Our other four -  Powisset Farm CSA in Dover with an expanded scope in 2013!! ; one of New England's largest CSAs at Appleton Farms in Ipswich & Hamilton; beautiful Moraine Farm in Beverly; and at Weir River Farm in Hingham.

In addition, we are thrilled that our Conservation Restrictions (CRs) permanently protect five private farms running CSA programs from Boston (yes, within the city limits) and Metro Boston to the Pioneer Valley.  Last year we shared three of these farms on this blog - Tangerini's Spring Street Farm in Millis (blog post link); Warner Farm with its famous Mike's Maze in Sunderland (blog post link); and Alprilla Farm in Essex (blog post link).  This year, Pakeen Farm in Canton gets the spotlight, and you can look forward to reading about Boston's last working farm soon as well!

The colorful spread of Summer's harvest at the Pakeen Farm CSA.  (Photo Credit - Pakeen Farm)

Pakeen FarmCanton, MA - 117 acres of farm, woodlands, and wetlands, protected forever by a 1994 Conservation Restriction to The Trustees of Reservations.

Crop fields on Elm Street in Canton, at Pakeen Farm!
Since the 19th century, the Lyman family has tilled the soil and pastured animals at Pakeen Farm, on Elm Street in Canton, watched over by the Great Blue Hill, long before the modern hum and hurry of nearby Interstate 93 and Route 128.  Before the Lymans, this beautiful land perched above Ponkapoag Brook had been farmed since the 17th century.  In today's world, a 117-acre farm in a major metropolitan area is a place to celebrate, for the beauty and tradition it signifies when so many others have been lost - and with the hope that the CSA model can help our remaining local farms stay viable!  Jane Lyman Bihldorff and her son Dave are the fourth and fifth generation of the Lyman family to keep Pakeen Farm.  It was Jane who wisely worked with The Trustees of Reservations to ensure the land's permanent protection in the early 1990s, right around the corner from our very own Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate.  Jane diversified the farm's business initiatives to include Christmas tree sales in 2002, and with Dave's return home, they began a CSA program in 2009.

Fertile soil produces some beautiful vegetables!
Now in its fifth year, they hope to grow to 150 CSA shareholders.  Dave and his crew grow tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, kale, sweet corn, blackberries, rhubarb, flowers, garlic, and other crops on several acres at the farm.  A unique partnership with three Vermont farmers enables Pakeen Farm to supply an amazingly diverse array of fresh produce in season, and organic fresh salad greens, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, green beans, and summer squash are just a few of the delicious vegetables made available through this partnership.

Bright and nutritious chard!
Want to help their CSA grow and contribute to keeping agriculture alive in Canton?  Dave, Jane, and the rest of the farm crew are eager to meet (and feed!) their fellow community members in and around Canton!  Pakeen Farm offers flexible options for CSA shares, and you can buy a Full Season, or a Summer or Fall Share, at two sizes - "Single" ($22/week) or "Family" ($32/week).  Click here for more information on joining! 

Bulls add to the Pakeen Farm scenery on our most recent CR Program visit!

Be sure to come by Pakeen in the Autumn as well, to pick up some festive Halloween pumpkins, and in December for a Christmas Tree grown on site!  Now is a great time of year to think about joining a CSA, when the air is warming up, and the earth is stirring into life.  At The Trustees, we love our roles both as farmers with our own CSA offerings, and as land conservation partners who protect places like Pakeen Farm forever.  We love nothing more than to see these farms thrive with their own agricultural ventures and CSAs!  

In several years, these trees will be ready for holiday festivities!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

CR Properties with public access - Estabrook Woods part 2 - trails in Carlisle, MA!

As promised, to follow up on our February 25 post on Punkatasset and Estabrook Woods, this post will link to trail maps of the Estabrook Woods on the Carlisle side of the town lines.  There are four main public access points to Estabrook in Carlisle, entering the Estabrook Woods by way of land protected under Trustees' conservation restrictions - over 600 acres of which buffer the Harvard-owned Estabrook Woods in Concord and Carlisle, as shown below.  Together, these 1,200 acres of woodland make up the largest contiguous undeveloped forest tract in the metro Boston area! 


If you wish to fully "through-hike" the Estabrook Woods north to south, you will find the northernmost trailhead at the Davis Conservation Corridor, a Town of Carlisle property under Trustees CR, on Bedford Rd (Route 225) across from Brook Street.  Parking is tight, but you can pull to the side of Brook St in order to fit a car. 

Second, and perhaps easiest, is to park at the Malcolm Preserve on Stearns Street (see map just above, picture below), and walk down Two Rod Road from there.  The historic and narrow Two Rod Road corridor is protected by CR, and the history of its name explained in an earlier post

The Malcolm Preserve is co-owned and managed by The Trustees and the Carlisle Conservation Foundation.
Looking down Two Rod Road from the Stearns Street entrance by the Malcolm Preserve.

Third is at the Sachs Greenway trail, located at the end of Baldwin Road.  Keep an eye out for turtles, wood frogs, and salamanders, as you pass by a vernal pool and an old stone slab crossing through lovely wetlands, before hooking up onto Two Rod Road.

"C" for Concord and Carlisle both, trailside at the Estabrook Road town line!
Fourth, and finally, you can find a trailhead at Estabrook Road, at its northern end where it emerges in Carlisle (or dead-ends, depending on your perspective!) next to Kibby Place, right by the Carlisle and Concord town line! 

Click here for the most detailed overall map of all the Carlisle trails protected by Trustees of Reservations' CRs! 

Friday, March 8, 2013

40 acres added to East Over Reservation, Rochester and Marion

East Over Farm (Photo by Tom Kates)
Wandering the paths of the East Over Reservation in Rochester, you might forget you’re only a stone’s throw from the urban environments of nearby cities like New Bedford and Fall River. Meandering through the tall grass, along the stone walls and past the bird boxes and one-time pastures, you’re transported not only far from the city but also far back in time. Back to a simpler time, when this land was pasture and farmland, when agriculture was a principal way of life. This seventy-five acre landscape is a hidden jewel and a quintessential example of the kind of property The Trustees of Reservations protects across Massachusetts. Now, additional pristine land, adjacent to East Over, have been added, making even more of the rural landscape safe from future development.

Carr Family Bogs addition to East Over Reservation
The Carr Family Bogs, in Rochester and neighboring Marion, was once slated for purchase by the The Trustees, an option that ran out in 2010. The following year, they utility company NStar approached The Trustees about a land protection project somewhere in Plymouth County. For the utility company, it would fulfill a mitigation requirement related to a development project. For The Trustees, it was an opportunity to make sure that even more of the historically and ecologically important land in Rochester and Marion remains protected forever. Trustees staff members were able to facilitate a conversation between NStar and the landowner, with the two parties coming to terms on an agreement in February of 2012. Subsequently, The Trustees were granted 4.2 acres in Marion and 36.7 acres in Rochester, adding to the ever growing total acres of land under protection in the heavily developed southeastern region of the state.