Drumlin Farm 2017 Resolution Guide

Photo by Ian MacLellelan

Photo by Ian MacLellelan

Happy New Year from all of us at Drumlin Farm! With the holidays behind us, our staff is ready and eager to get back into the swing of things! Keep an eye out for our spring and summer programs coming your way (Teaser: concerts, yoga, and all of your favorites!).

In the meantime…

Did you make a few resolutions? We have some programs that might help:

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“I want to cook more at home.”

Winter Fermentation
Sourdough Bread Making
Fermented Beverages: Kombucha, Shrubs, and More

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“I’d love to spend more quality time with my kids/grandkids.”

Kids in the Kitchen
Winter Farm Family
Winter Wonders: Red Barn

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“I want to learn a new skill.”

Wonders of Wool: Needle Felting
Backyard Chickens
Beekeeping for Beginners

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Photo by Darcy Duke

“I want to work off those holiday cookies while also learning about nature.”

Naturalist Walk
In Search of Winter Raptors: Field Trip
Alaska Birding Trips

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“I just want to eat, drink, and be merry!”

Stew and Brew
Sausage Making and Beer Tasting with Aeronaut Brewing Co.

5 Gift Ideas for Locavores

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With just about one week left before gift-giving time, we have a handful of items that just about any locavore would love.

1. Drumlin Farm CSA Share
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has been around for a few decades and has become one of the most convenient ways to get locally grown produce directly from the farmer. This might be the best way to ensure that your locavore pal (or you!) will have fresh, sustainably grown, local produce throughout the summer.

If the full Drumlin Farm Summer CSA share is overwhelming, we have new options! Our Spring Share is only four weeks long, and our Every-Other-Week Share is ideal for smaller households. Tip: Split your full share with a family member, friend, or neighbor!

2. How-to Workshops
Do you have a budding locavore itching to learn how to cook and bake using local ingredients? We offer a root-veggie class, fermentation class, sourdough breadmaking class, and even a cooking class for kids.

With all of our classes and workshops, we do more than just cook! We use Drumlin Farm produce, and oftentimes go outside to harvest veggies from our fields.

3. Food. And Beer.
If your locavore friend isn’t the hands-on type, we have something for them, too. How about an evening of hearty stews and locally crafted beer? At Stew and Brew on February 3, all you have to do is show up, eat, and drink.

For those looking for just a smidge of a hands-on experience, there’s our sausagemaking and beer tasting workshop in March. Enough said.

Tip: Make a personalized gift certificate like this one and stick it in an envelope!

4. Mass Audubon Membership
Maybe your locavore friend already has a CSA membership closer to their home. Or maybe they’ve already mastered their culinary skills. By gifting them with a Mass Audubon membership, you’re directly funding our farm and nature programs (including our CSA!)

Take a look at the perks of being a Mass Audubon member.

5. Mass Audubon Gift Card
Still don’t know what to get the locavore in your life? You can never go wrong with a gift card (and talk about portable). Stop by our admissions window during regular business hours to grab however many you need and load them up!

Best of all: You can apply the gift card to anything related to Mass Audubon, whether it’s a program, summer camp tuition, or a treat at the Audubon Shop.

Happy Holidays!

Embrace Winter with These Upcoming Drumlin Farm Programs

chickensDecember crept up on us, didn’t it? Seems like only yesterday our staff was closing another successful summer camp season and the fields were at their most fruitful.

Now we’re busy preparing for what we hope will be our most exciting year yet! Our staff is hard at work creating new workshops, programs, and community events for the spring and summer of 2017. We can’t wait to share them with you!

In the meantime, to get you in the holiday spirit, here are our upcoming winter programs:

Saturday, December 3

Teen Birders: Bird Anatomy | Teens | 9 am
In this science-based discovery class, we’ll dissect birds that we have collected on our state salvage permit and learn about their anatomy. Make new bird educational kits while learning a bit about preserving and taxidermy.

Tuesday, December 6

How Plants Get Around | Adults | 12:30 pm
Discover the many ways ferns, other herbaceous plants, and trees use wind, water, animals, and other partners to disperse their seed and fruit.

Wednesday, December 14

Eat Your Roots | Adults| 5:30 pm
Winter CSA shares are filled with hearty veggies! Need some inspiration? We’ll cook (and eat) our way through new and creative recipes focused on squash, root vegetables, and winter greens.

Saturday, December 17

Naturalist Walk | Adults | 1 pm
These excursions will focus on observing, exploring, and appreciating the world around us. Registration is not required to attend.

Afternoon Chores and More | Ages 4–12 | 3:30 pm
It’s chore time! We will feed chickens and collect eggs, then bring hay to the sheep, goats, and cows. Then we’ll treat ourselves to a farm-fresh snack.

For all of our upcoming programs, visit massaudubon.org/drumlinprograms.

Drumlin Farm Friday to Friday: October 21–28

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Fall at the farm is in full swing! The maple trees have fiery hues and our lambs are looking extra fluffy. Our staff is busy preparing the farmyard for our annual Tales of the Night special event—try to spot something spooky as you walk around the farm!

We hope you can visit the farm in the next few weeks before all the leaves disappear and make way for snow.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Friday, October 21

Teen Night at Drumlin Farm | Teens | 7 pm
Explore Drumlin Farm’s trails by moonlight, stargaze at the top of the drumlin, and listen for owls and night creatures. Learn about natural history, play games, listen to music, and bring a snack to share by the fireside.

Saturday, September 22

Food Day | All ages | 10 am
Join us for a day of tasty fun as we join the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources in celebrating our own statewide Food Day!

Teen Birders: Owls at Drumlin | Teens| 3:30 pm
Visit the resident owls at Drumlin Farm! As evening approaches, learn about the tiny (and adorable), elusive northern saw-whet owl and participate in a banding demonstration.

Tuesday, October 25

Owl-o-ween | Ages 0–8 w/Adult | 3:30 pm
Have you ever wanted to be an owl and stay up all night? After visiting an owl, we’ll create owl masks and prowl about! Whooo’s ready for Owl-o-ween?

Thursday and Friday, October 27 and 28

SPECIAL EVENT: Tales of the Night | All ages
Put on your favorite costume, grab a flashlight, and join us for the silliest, spookiest, and most family-friendly Halloween tradition! At Tales of the Night, you are sure to find seasonal excitement for everyone.

 

For all of our upcoming programs, visit massaudubon.org/drumlinprograms.

Meet the Staff: Lead Naturalist Tia Pinney

How many bee hives does Drumlin Farm have? Which species of New England wildlife live here? Where can I see wild edible plants?

Meet Tia Pinney, Drumlin Farm Lead Naturalist, who, more often than not, will have the answer to your Drumlin Farm question.

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“So much happens here at Drumlin Farm,” says Tia, a biologist who grew up on a dairy farm in Connecticut.

Tia not only leads programs like cheese making, birding trips, and nature walks, but she also serves as our ecological management coordinator, stewarding the health of the sanctuary and its habitats through sustainable practices. Since 1994, when she first started working at the farm, Tia has overseen efforts to maintain New England’s wildlife on our 206-acre property, managing staff and volunteers in planting projects and citizen science.

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Perhaps the most exciting part of Tia’s job is developing and teaching professional development for school teachers to integrate new science standards into their curricula with emphasis on authentic nature-based field work.

“To engage students with science is fascinating,” she says. “This curriculum really gets students to think. Teachers are taking students outdoors and they’re doing real science!”

Do you want to ask Tia a question? Here are all of her upcoming programs.

5 Ways to Experience Fall at Drumlin Farm

Happy first day of fall! We apologize to summer-lovers, but here at the farm, fall is one of our favorite seasons. Maple trees throughout the farmyard are already starting to turn, farmers are harvesting pumpkins, and fall migrants are making their way through New England.

With so much going on this time of year, it can be tough to figure out the best way to take advantage of the precious weeks ahead!

Here are a few ways you can experience fall at the farm:

1. Explore Drumlin Farm Behind the Scenes

What happens to our ecosystem during the fall? What are the links between building rich soil and eating well? How can you hone your farm-to-table chef skills? Maybe your kids are thinking about ways they can give back through a 4-H program.

Sign up for our upcoming series programs to experience what farm life is all about!

2. Feast on Wood-Fired Pizza

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The best of our early fall harvest in the form of snacks, drinks, salads, pizza, and dessert. Need we say more?

3. Take a Walk Outside with Baby

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If you love talking walks with your little one, this program is for you. Explore our trails with your baby snuggled up against you as you learn about New England wildlife.

4. Sip Spider Cider

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What’s spider cider? Find out at Tales of the Night on October 27 and 28!

5. Explore the Farm at Night

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Warning: Teens only! Teen Night gives nature-lovers the chance to stargaze with unobstructed views on our drumlin, gobble up s’mores, and play music by the fireside.

Drumlin Farm Friday to Friday: September 9–23

Fall is fast approaching. We’re already noticing some leaves turning, and baby snapping turtles are making their way to our ponds. With the end of summer comes the start of school, and the urge to get outdoors and enjoy the cooler air and brilliant fall hues.

Here’s how you can soak up the new season:

Wednesday, September 14

Parents Outdoors! | Adult+Backpack Baby | 9:30 am
Get outside with your child and connect with other like-minded parents. We will walk and talk and learn about the world we live in and how truly fascinating it is.

Thursday, September 15

Fall Hawk Migration: Lecture| Adult | 7 pm
Hawks provide a number of identification challenges. Luckily, we can use general shape and behavior to categorize types of hawks. Field trip to follow on Saturday, September 17.

Friday, September 16

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Kimchi at Home | Ages 12+ | 7 pm
Learn how Asian communities preserve their food using salt, garlic, and spices, sample our Drumlin Farm kimchi, and take home your own fermented project to carry you through the winter months.

Saturday, September 17

Fall Hawk Migration: Field Trip | Adult | 8 am
We’ll travel to the hawk watch on 2290-ft Pack Monadnock in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Thursday lecture recommended.

Teen Birders: Hawk Watch Birding Weekend | Teens | 9 am
We’ll head to Mt. Watatic in New Hampshire for a hike and hawk watch, then head to Wildwood for a canoe trip, birding, dinner, and smore’s. On Sunday, we’ll drive to Pack Monadnock for a hawk watch with New Hampshire Audubon.

Naturalist Walk | Adult | 1 pm
These excursions will focus on observing, exploring, and appreciating the world around us. Email tpinney@massaudubon.org to be added to the mailing list and receive details on each walk!

Sunday, September 18

Sunday Morning Birds at Drumlin | Adult | 8 am
Drumlin Farm has a great variety of habitats and gets a mix of migrants and residents every fall. These walks are ideal for beginning birders.

Thursday, September 22

Thursday Morning Bird Walk | Adult | 7:30 am
Join us as we explore Drumlin Farm and other local hotspots in search of fall migrants.

Friday, September 23

Apple Honey Harvest | Family | 3:30 pm
Visit the bees and taste delicious honey-and-apple combinations! We’ll share stories and songs, then finish the afternoon with apple crafts.

Teen Night at Drumlin Farm | Teen | 7 pm
Explore Drumlin Farm’s trails by moonlight, stargaze at the top of the drumlin, and listen for owls and night creatures. Learn about natural history, play games, listen to music, and bring a snack to share by the fireside.

For all of our upcoming programs, visit massaudubon.org/drumlinprograms.

Summer Crops Update: August 30

Crops Updates are written by Drumlin Farm Crops Manager Matt Celona

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Mighty Crops
It’s surprising that any plants are thriving under these hot and dry conditions. But the soil retains some moisture, and we’ve had a great melon and tomato season. We are reaching the end of our sweet corn harvest. We have white corn available at the stand today and perhaps for a few days more. We’re also beginning to harvest our last watermelon variety of the season—little baby flower. It’s red-fleshed and meant to be small or personal-sized. You can find a bunch at the farm stand.

The Greenhouse
During last Friday’s quick shower of .15 inches, we sheltered in the greenhouse and seeded the next round of lettuce while waiting it out. Lettuce and bok choi are the only crops we’re still starting in the greenhouse at this point in the season. The greenhouse is now primarily a place of storage for winter squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Feel free to step inside and take a look during your next visit.

Keeping Up with Demand
Mid-August through September is the busiest time at Union Square Farmers Market. People are back from vacation and eager to buy all the summer favorites. Each Saturday, we mount an intricate and large display under three tents, including a whole table devoted to cut flowers. Farmers Sarah, Jessica, Katie, Cara, and Erin have been doing a great job keeping up with long lines of customers on some scorching days on the pavement in the city. Thanks to you all and to the market volunteers for doing such a good job representing the farm and Mass Audubon!

See you in the field,
Your Farmers

Summer Crops Update: August 16

Crops Updates are provided by Drumlin Farm Crops Manager Matt Celona.

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We Got Rain. We Need More.
We did get about one inch of rain on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Many crops look revived and happy. However, it’s a good bet that the warm weather will last, since the outlook is for 90s continuing into next week and beyond. That’s not good news for the farmers or the crops. According to Weather Underground, Lincoln received 16 inches below the precipitation average in 2015. To date in 2016, we are 19 inches below average! This drought is at least two years in the making.

How Are the Crops Doing?
The young bean plants that we watered through the driest stretch are now mature and looking good. The second round of eggplant is fairing much better than the first. These are perfect for grilling whole or sautéing. Our last round of sweet corn is beginning to mature, while storage beets, rutabaga, turnips, and radish have finally germinated. Unfortunately, it looks like the seedings of storage carrots are not going to come up. We’re in uncharted territory with the emergency carrot seedings that we tried over the following weeks —we hope that we can still get a good harvest out of these, but it’ll depend on how mild the fall is.

We’re going to have to take very good care of all fall crops in order to maximize yields from plants that are already stressed by the heat and lack of water. We’re hoeing and fertilizing storage crops, stringing the second succession of tomatoes, and preparing fields for fall cover-cropping.

Many Thanks to Our Volunteers and Workers
This morning, teacher-naturalist Sally Farrow brought a group of Lowell City Corps youth to help us harvest onions. The kids apply to the city for summer employment in environmental work, and thanks to Sally’s relationship with Lowell schools, they have come here for the past two years. Additionally, volunteers Anne and Sheila removed crab grass from the Brussels sprouts patch—not an easy job even when the weather is nice!

Last Friday, we said goodbye to fieldworker Maggie as she returns to Colby for her senior year. Thanks, Maggie, and all of our volunteers for your good work and positive energy!

See you in the field,
Your Farmers

Drumlin Farm Friday to Friday: August 19–26

Upcoming programs at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Can you believe that summer is almost over? With only one session left of Drumlin Farm Camp, it’s time for all of us here to take a break before the fall programs start.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan ahead! Take a look at all of our programs  at the farm (and some out-of-state birding trips!).

Here’s what’s coming up:

Friday, August 19

Friday Evening Hayride and Campfire | All ages | 6 pm
Take a ride in our hay wagon while watching for birds flying at dusk and evening fireflies.  We’ll  stop at our campfire for stories, s’mores, and a special nighttime visitor.

Saturday, August 20

Naturalist Walk | Adults | 1 pm
These excursions focus on observing, exploring, and appreciating the world around us. Each walk will focus on one area or habitat as we build our understanding of ecological communities. Pre-registration is not available. Meet us at the Nature Center!

Friday, August 26

Fermentation 101 | Adults | 7 pm
Join us for a visually, aromatically, and gastronomically exciting event exploring all things fermentation.