I have long contended that the Natick Organic Farm is one of the gems of Natick. First, they offer an opportunity that is rare these days: the chance to see a working farm, including animals, any day, for free.Yup. You can just wander in for a few minutes or an hour and check out the bunnies, chickens, sheeps, goats, pigs and cows. My kids love it and I love that it is so low-mainteance. It is a lovely open space that can be explored in all seasons.
They also offer classes for adults and children ranging from cheese-making to being a "little farmer." While my sons haven't yet tried out a class, many friends have complimented the staff on helping children to learn about farm life and the animals.
We have also attended two different festivals at the farm. A few weeks ago we went to the "Maple Magic Day." It consisted of two parts. You could head to the neighboring elementary school for all you could eat pancakes with maple syrup direct from the farm. I am a bit of a pancake snob these days, but thought they were excellent.
The secret ingrdient? Buckwheat flour! The price (which went directly to the farm), included milk from Crescent Ridge dairy, hot chocolate and coffee and applesauce. It included entertainment from local musicians and education from different organizations who promoted everything from "Freecycling" to beekeeping.
As a history teacher I was just as entranced with the maple syrup tour at the farm. Our tour guide showed us maple trees and explained how they were tapped. My sons loved tasting the sap directly from the tree.
Other volunteers then showed and taught us about how maple syrup was created by the Native tribes who lived in the area, as well as the colonists. It was a wonderful opportunity to give kids a chance to see how directly food can be created.
We also attended last year's Spring Spectacular. At this event, which is also a fund raiser, you pay to enter, and then pay for tickets to do different craft projects.
The price did add up, but I believe that supporting a place we go so often is worth it. In addition, the craft projects were fun for the kids and offered me a chance to learn about, for example, what to do with leftover seeds. (Answer? Make collages.)
I highly recommend both events...with this caveat. The parking situation is pretty bad. In fact, some people spent quite a while waiting in their cars to both park and to exit. So, my typical recommendation: get there EARLY and park as close as you can to the exit. Alternatively, shuttle/carpool with a few friends.
Finally, if you can't get to the farm, you can also enjoy produce grown at the farm. Just head to the Natick Farmer's Market for some delicious organic produce.
This year's Spring Spectacular takes place on Saturday, May 15 from 10 to 3, rain or shine. Just click here for more details.
To learn more about the farm, click here. You can find links to more information about classes, events, etc.
Finally, for another write up (and a lead to a great blog), check out Dadventures in Beantown's write up of the same day.