Category Archives: Events

5 Fall Farm Experiences You Won’t Want to Miss

Getting Here

208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA

By Train: We’re a short walk from the Lincoln MBTA train station on the Fitchburg line. Follow the town trails from the station to the farm, and stop for pizza or a coffee on your way back! Take advantage of the $10 weekend MBTA pass for a weekend beyond-your-backyard adventure.

By Bike/Walking Trail: Lincoln boasts a fabulous network of walking and biking trails that run through the town’s beautiful sights and vistas, connecting greenways and natural areas. What’s better–Drumlin Farm is conveniently located along the paths on Lincoln and Codman Road. Get your steps in for the day by walking in, or park your bike at our bike rack.

By Car: Take advantage of the 4 newly installed electric vehicle charging stations in the parking lot. Charge your car while exploring the property and return to a full battery at the end of the visit.

1. Exploring by Hayride

There’s no better way to cover the trails and explore the farm loop than by sitting on a hay bale, traveling by tractor hayride. With the sun shining down and the crisp autumn air around you, this fall-classic is a nostalgic thrill you can’t find everywhere. Grab your tickets at admissions, hop aboard outside of the Red Barn, and enjoy! Hayrides run on Saturday and Sunday until Thanksgiving weekend.

2. Shopping the Farmstand

Crisp leafy greens, squashes and gourds, and a variety of seasonal fall-favorites can be found at the farmstand by admissions. Drumlin Farm-raised meats, yarn made from our sheep’s fleece, honey from hives on site, and eggs from our chickens can also be purchased. Take a little farm home with you by making delicious fall recipes using local, sustainable ingredients!

3. Witnessing the Changing Season

What makes a wildlife sanctuary unique from other outdoor trails you might visit? Our property is managed with wildlife and habitat health in mind, which makes trail explorations teem with natural encounters. Watch and listen for migrating fall birds in the meadows and forests and catch glimpses of scampering critters beefing up before the winter. Perhaps you’ll see our resident family of wild turkeys that roam the property, or take a walk up the drumlin–one of the highest point in the greater Boston area–where you can take in a beautiful vista and see the outline of Mount Wachusett, over 30 miles away, on a clear day.

4. Visiting Native Wildlife & Livestock

Meet the animals that make up our New England landscapes and history! Sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, and cows teach visitors about the ins and outs of farming and our historic connection to these important animals. Bird Hill (hosting owls, hawks, pheasants, and more) and the New England Wildlife Exhibit (with rabbits, snakes, foxes, and more) feature our animal ambassadors that teach us about native animals and their role in creating healthy ecosystems in Massachusetts.

5. Dropping-in for Interactive Activities

You could meet a raptor, mammal, or reptile; see a pony grooming demonstration; feel real pelts and furs; and more at our drop-in activities, included with the price of admission. Teacher Naturalists stationed around the farm engage visitors in hands-on learning opportunities to answer all your farm and nature questions and introduce you to a side of nature you may not have seen. Drop-in activities take place at 10:00 am, 11:30 am, and 2:30 pm on weekends.

Bonus: Tales of the Night, Our Spookiest Farm Festivity

If you want a classic fall experience, there’s really nothing quite like a spooky adventure through the farm and a haunted hayride. If you’re free Friday or Saturday, October 25 and 26, plan a night at our annual special event, Tales of the Night. Travel through candle-lit paths and jack-o-lanterns, meet animals and story book characters, and try some witches brew and ghoulish treats! Tickets sell out for this popular event, so early registration is recommended.

Springing Ahead: 5 Signs of Spring on the Farm

Daylight Savings Time arrived on the second morning of our annual Sap-to-Syrup Farmer’s Breakfast. Hearty pancakes topped with real maple syrup alongside Drumlin Farm’s roasted potatoes and sausage were enjoyed in sunny, snowy, and muddy weather throughout the weekend. Thanks to our volunteers, staff, and sponsors that helped make this event possible, including our premiere event sponsor Whole Foods (Sudbury), as well as PEAK Event Services, Karma Coffee (Sudbury), Market Basket (Waltham), Roche Brothers (Sudbury), Donelan’s Supermarket (Lincoln), Stop & Shop (Wayland). Now that we’ve explored and shared the joys of maple sugaring, a traditional end of winter crop, we’re looking forward to the rest of what New England Spring has in store…

1. Spring Lambs & Kids

One of the many special things that makes Drumlin Farm a unique experience is our resident livestock. If you’ve visited recently, you were probably met by the very pregnant sheep and goats still in their thick winter coats. With spring comes the arrival of the newborn lambs and kids, and watching them walk, hop, and play is one of our favorite cornerstone spring activities. Such a favorite that we’ll be celebrating all things fiber and sheep related at Woolapalooza, our annual farm, food, and fiber festival. Visit on March 30th for sheep shearing, sheep dog herding demonstrations, local wool vendors, and a chance to visit the new spring babies!

2. April Vacation Week

February Vacation Week had us looking into the science of snow and winter, but it’s warming up in April! During one day or full week sessions the week of April 15-19, children will explore the thawing ponds for amphibians, take care of the wildlife, prepare and plant the garden, and meet in the kitchen to whip up some tasty treats. April Vacation on Drumlin Farm is always alive with the sounds of laughter and amazement at the new lessons we find.

3. Leafy Spring Vegetables

The spring growing season begins with crispy leafy greens. Bursting with an array of tender head lettuces, herbs, scallions, and salad radishes, we’re excited to start making fresh salad every week. Our spring CSA program allows you to share in the bounty of harvest, and you can pick up Drumlin Farm grown vegetables every week for your own kitchen. As the fields warm, shares will fill out with the first of the season’s carrots, sweet salad turnips, and (weather permitting) sugar snap peas, strawberries, and beets. Taste the difference between store-bought and farm-grown for yourself!

4. The Start of Spring Series Programs

Pencil in Drumlin Farm to your weekly schedule with the arrival of spring Child, Adult/Child Pair, and Family Series programs so you can visit the farm every week! You can spend time with your children in a social, educational environment and explore our habitats and wildlife together with programs like Farm Family, Family Explorations, and Old MacDrumlin’s Farm (families with children ages 2-6). Learn first-hand about “where does my food come from” and experience the farm-to-table process in Drumlin Cooks (ages 9-12), Kids in the Kitchen (ages 6-9), and Cooking Together (families with children ages 3-5).

5. The Return of Vernal Pools & Amphibians

Vernal pools are temporary bodies of water in our forests filled by melting snow and spring rain. Within these muddy, murky waters live a world of life including tadpoles, fairy shrimp, and dragonfly larva that will metamorphose into adults before the pools dry up. Come see for yourself in Polliwogs & Frogs (families with children age 2), Tadpoles & Toads (families with children ages 3-5), and Afternoon Kids Club (ages 4-6).

A Note from Renata Pomponi, Sanctuary Director

The daily news doesn’t often focus on science, but for a day or two last November, scientific exploration took over the headlines as the InSight Lander arrived on Mars. The first mission designed to probe the interior of another planet, InSight traveled more than 300 million miles over seven months. Watching the livestream of those final moments, my family and I found ourselves cheering along with the engineers in the control room as they celebrated their success.

This type of “Big Science” victory is one that my kids and I will remember for a lifetime. But just as important are the “small science” moments that happen every day: a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis or a snowflake crystalizing on a mitten. When we stop to look, we start to wonder. That wonder can begin as a sense of amazement at the “magic” of nature, especially in our youngest visitors, but it can lead to more when presented as a question: I wonder how that caterpillar transformed into an entirely different creature? I wonder why that snowflake formed so differently from the one next to it?

Major scientific breakthroughs may occur only a few times in our lives, but the natural world offers up daily opportunities for us to question, to think, and to learn. What’s more, having a formal scientific degree or engineering background isn’t a prerequisite, only your own curiosity. You don’t even have to know the “right” answer to your or your child’s question; their asking is the most important part. We hope that the inquiries that start here at Drumlin Farm, whether you experience them on your own or alongside our educators, will bring discovery and delight, along with inspiration for all of us to become strong environmental stewards.

Wishing you a year of small-science wonders,

Renata Pomponi
Drumlin Farm Sanctuary Director

April-September 2019 Program & Events

Our new programs and events catalog for April-September 2019 has arrived, filled with new programs to get you and your family and friends outside exploring. Highlights include:

May-be Our Favorite Month!

Drumlin Farm in May is filled with blooming flowers, warmer weather, and the laughs of visiting school children. If you’re looking for ways to get out of the house and reconnect with the outdoors after a long winter, you’ve come to the right place! We’re looking forward to…

  1. Camp Registration – The end of school is fast approaching! Summer Camp is great for keeping kids physically active while learning in the off season, and having fun outdoors! Check out our offsite camps in Sudbury where kids can explore Assabet River ecology by canoe and learn classic camp activities like archery.

    Campers exploring Assabet River by canoe

  2. Spring CSA Beginning – Wednesday, May 16th marks the first day for Spring CSA Pick Ups 12-6 pm. Shareholders will receive tender greens, head lettuces, herbs, scallions, salad radishes, carrots, sweet salad turnips, and (weather permitting) sugar snap peas, strawberries, and beets along with tips, recipes, and updates from our farmers themselves. A limited number of shareholder spots are still available, so if you’re interested and haven’t registered yet, you can do so today.

    Picking crops during the first week of last year’s Spring CSA.

  3. Author Event: Do Doodlebugs Doodle? by Corinne Demas & Artemis Roehrig – On Saturday, May 5th at 10:30 am, this mother-daughter author team will be at the Audubon Shop signing copies of their two humorous question and answer books about insects, Do Doodlebugs Doodle? and Does A Fiddler Crab Fiddle? Afterwards, we’ll enjoy visitor education insect programs at 11:30 and 12:30 to get hands on with the lessons learned in this story.
  4. Union Square Farmer’s Market – Drumlin Farm will be at the outdoor Union Square Farmer’s Market starting Saturday, May 12. Stop by any time between 9 am and 1 pm to say hello! We’ll have farm-fresh veggies and viola plants for sale.
  5. Bird-a-Thon – It’s time to reclaim our winning title at this year’s statewide Bird-a-thon! Bird-a-thon, Mass Audubon’s largest fundraiser, brings together supporters from across the state to raise essential funds for nature conservation, education, and advocacy while competing in an exciting birding competition. Adults can join the Drumlin Farm team and participate at  Mount Auburn Cemetery and Teens Birders can join in the fun at Drumlin Farm!

    Wilson’s Warbler ©Rosemary Mosco

  6. Hidden Treasures Program sponsored by the National Heritage – Join a Drumlin Farm Teacher Naturalist Saturday, May 19th 10:0-11:30 am to learn about why habitats are so important to local animals. Meet a couple of our resident songbirds then take a walk out to our fields to discover what Drumlin is doing to manage our habitats for farming as well as native animals.

    Learn about the conservation work behind managing habitats for bobolinks and farmers. ©Phil Doyle

  7. Programs for Adults and Families – As always, Drumlin Farm is jam packed with special programming for adults, children, and families. Little ones can learn about tadpoles, pigs, bugs, and more while adults can take one of our many birding programs or take a tasty nature walk learning about edible plants. The opportunities to engage with the outdoor world are always new and eye-opening. 

Spring has Sprung: What to do in April

Knock on wood, but we think it’s safe to say no more nor-easters for this season. Celebrate the warmer weather with some good ole fashion time outdoors. April at Drumlin Farm is filled with excited newborns to visit, special events, engaging programs, and more.

  1. Spring Optics Sale – Now through April 8th, the Audubon Shop has binoculars, spotting scopes, and tripods on sale to get you ready for birding season. Treat yourself or a loved one to some new gear!
  2. Visitor Education Day: All About Birds – Have you ever visited Drumlin Farm on a Visitor Education Day? We’ll have a number of special activities taking place at the farm, all included in the price of admission! On Saturday, April 7th, it’ll be “All About Birds” with live birds to meet, bird banding demonstrations, and a take home bird craft.
  3. Spring CSA Sign Up – Produce grown right here in Boyce Field will start becoming available  in May when our Spring CSA starts. Register for your share now so you can enjoy the fresh, delicious produce through June.
  4. Sign up for Summer Camp – Get summer plans checked off of your to-do list and sign up now for Drumlin Farm camp! Our Farm Mania week makes a great first introduction to camp life for preschoolers and rising kindergarteners, or kids of any age who love farm animals. Spots are still available in our mini camps at Assabet River and Wolbach Farm as well.
  5. City Nature Challenge – They say Boston is the City of Champions, and now there’s another chance for YOU to help prove it! From April 27–30, be a part of team Boston in the worldwide City Nature Challenge (CNC)! The CNC is an international citizen science project with cities worldwide competing to explore and record all kinds of plants, animals, fungi, and even microorganisms in their area using the iNaturalist app. Accepting submissions anywhere within the I-495 corridor, Drumlin Farm is the perfect place to explore and log sightings.
  6. Froggy Night Walk – The frogs are awake and talking! Learn more about these ribbet-ing amphibians and the springtime chorus they proclaim at our family Froggy Night Walk on April 6th from 7-8:30 pm.
  7. Sorting Out the Songbirds – Want to perfect your songbird identification skills? Join us for a lecture and field trip focusing specifically on songbird identification and familiarity. After these programs, your enjoyment of these melodic birds will be enriched even further with your newfound knowledge and understanding.
  8. Intermediate Beekeeping – Intermediate Beekeeping starts Tuesday, April 24th. Lead by Massachusetts Beekeepers Association’s Beekeeper of the Year Mel Gadd, these classes will cover swarm management, splits, overwintering hives, pest and disease treatment and prevention, and other tricks of the trade. 
  9. Author Talk: Robert Thorson: The Guide to Walden Pond. Walden Pond, located just a few minutes from Drumlin Farm, is beloved for its natural beauty which inspired the famous naturalist, Henry David Thoreau. Join us for a talk and book signing by Robert Thorson, author of The Guide to Walden Pond, the first guide to this cherished natural and literary landmark.
  10. Small Scale Agriculture: Spring is Here – If you have your own home garden, this class is perfect to take it to the next level and get the most out of your personal crop. We will cover all the basics of getting your garden started. Learn about creating a working compost system, preparing a garden bed, planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, dividing herbs, pruning blueberries, raspberries and fruit trees, and choosing cover crops.

Woolapalooza: Everyone’s Favorite Fiber Festival

This past weekend we enjoyed another successful celebration of sheep and their wooly contributions to the way we live. Woolapalooza, Drumlin Farm’s annual springtime festival, connects our visitors to the Sheep-to-Sweater story through live demonstrations, hands-on activities, and visits to our resident sheep.

At the Crossroads Barn, visitors got to witness live sheep shearing done by our season’s expert Kevin Ford.

Sharpening the shearing scissors

It’s sometimes hard to tell where the sheep ends and it’s thick wool coat begins, but this ain’t Kevin’s first sheep haircut.

On the Sheep-to-Sweater Interpretative Trail, families followed along a trail of tables set up with different interactive aspects of wool processing.

Getting a closer look at the wool carders.

This hand-cranked carding machine turns larger clumps of wool into smooth fibers ready for spinning.

The first of many foot-powered spinning wheels shows how piles of wool are spun into yarn.

Visitors were invited to explore our regular exhibits, making their way through the Farm Loop with other crafts and vendor tables set up, and a chili lunch at the Farm Life Center.

Hand made yarns for sale, continuing to be made while you browse.

Thank you to all of our volunteers, vendors, and sponsors Iggy’s Bread, Whole Foods Sudbury, Black Earth Compost, and Verrill Farm, for their help in creating another fun filled day! See you at Woolapalooza 2019!

Another Delicious Pancake Breakfast

This past weekend we enjoyed fluffy pancakes, fresh Drumlin Farm sausage and potatoes, and real maple syrup at our annual Farmer’s Breakfast. Visitors were able to learn about the “sap-to-syrup” journey that starts with tapping a maple tree….

Our sugarbush has a few of our resident sugar maple trees tapped and collecting sap, which later becomes the Drumlin Farm syrup you can buy at our admissions window. The drip is slow and the mapling season is short, but the product is sweet!

The tapping involves drilling a hole into the trunk of the tree, which visitors were able to try for themselves at the Pond House.

The sap collected from the trees is actually 97% water. The water gets boiled out in our evaporator and among the sweet smelling steam you can find the beginnings of maple syrup.

At this stage, visitors were able to enjoy samplings of the “maple tea” that is made; not as thick as maple syrup, but still delicious.

For those of us that didn’t grow up on maple farms, this process is eye opening and a definite photo-opp to take advantage of.

Outside the Nature Center, we prepared the perfect syrup soaker – fresh pancakes!

Inside, we warmed up with pancakes with real maple syrup, Drumlin Farm sausage and roasted potatoes, and coffee. This hearty breakfast was perfect for the brisk, sunny winter days we had.

With a little luck, our raffle winners were also able to take home a pancake basket prize!

Thank you to all of our volunteers that helped with preparing, serving, and cleaning, as well as our sponsors this year: Karma Coffee, PEAK Event Services, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods (Sudbury), Donelan’s, and Sudbury Farms. See you next year!

Missed the Pancake Breakfast? Can’t get enough of Drumlin Farm? Browse our other upcoming programs and events in our program catalog.

2018 New Year’s Resolution: Be a Nature Hero

Start 2018 with a resolution that is achievable and benefits yourself and the environment – resolve to be a nature hero! Nature heroes are people who, in big and small ways, make a lasting, positive impact on the natural world. They don’t wear capes and fly, but instead work on making the world a better place by taking responsibility for their actions. As we look to the new year ahead, you’ll find there are many ways you can do your part and join the mighty Mass Audubon nature heroes:

  1. Ride your bike or walk to close locations instead of driving. Added bonus if this helps you meet a health related resolution!
  2. Conserve water by taking shorter showers.
  3. Only run the laundry or dishwasher when the load is full to conserve water.
  4. Use a reusable water bottle. Save money and plastic by not having to buy plastic water bottles frequently. Switching to a reusable thermos will also reduce your waste and save money from your morning caffeine fix.
  5. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store and decline bags when you’re not buying much and don’t need one.
  6. Conserve water by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
  7. Take the bus or train instead of driving to work.
  8. Turn off the lights when you’ll be out of the room for more than 15 minutes.
  9. Look into reusable energy options for your heating and electric bills.
  10. Switch to LED light bulbs.
  11. Unplug chargers when not using them to reduce phantom energy. Even better, unplug entirely and charge your phone with a solar powered phone charger.
  12. Buy local produce. When buying local, the energy it takes to transport food is minimized and food waste is reduced. Drumlin Farm produce is grown using a number of sustainable practices including compost use and focusing on soil health.
  13. Reduce your meat intake to one meal a day, or once a week.
  14. Recycle glass, cans, and plastic whenever you can.
  15. Pick up and throw away any trash that you come across outside.

Can you think of any other achievable nature-based resolutions you can make? More often than not, the driving force behind making these changes comes from within. In 2018, try to get outside more and really engage with the natural elements – resolve to hike more, take a camping trip, or pick up birding. Learn how to forage in the forest, track animals, or ID plants and wildlife. The natural stress relievers of the great outdoors and physical activity of exploration will spark the craving to continue. You’ll start to walk through a simple woods and notice the landscape is not just a blur of green, but each tree, shrub, and sprout has a distinct signature that sets them apart. Inspiration and motivation to make big and small changes will blossom and a nature hero will grow.

From all of us at Drumlin Farm, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year and look forward to a positive 2018!

Drumlin in December

Amidst the colder days and business of the holidays, it’s important to take time out to enjoy the season. Here are some of our favorite activities to do at Drumlin Farm in December.

1. December Naturalist Walk – Learn about the habitats, wildlife, and plant life of the sanctuary through a naturalist’s eyes. There’s no better way to appreciate the start of the winter season than by exploring the property on a Naturalist Walk with Education Coordinator Tia Pinney.

Photo Credit: Ian MacLellan

2. You Can’t Catch Me, I’m the Gingerbread Man! – Get in the delicious holiday spirit and spend time with family during our Gingerbread Man program. Here, you’ll design and decorate your very own gingerbread man and hear about his exciting adventures escaping from cow, pig, goat, and cat. We’ll wrap up by paying a visit to his friends on the farm and enjoying the delicious treat.

3. Holiday Shopping at the Audubon Shop – Pick up a gift for everyone on your list! The Audubon Shop has beautiful holiday cards, home decor, children’s toys, and quirky accessories for everyone – birder or not! Alternatively, you can get some shopping done from the comfort of your home through the Online Audubon Shop. The Audubon Shop will be open every day of December, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, except for Sunday December 24 when we close at 2:00 pm, and Monday December 25 when we will be closed all day.

4. Ode to Evergreens – Traditional Christmas trees tend to be evergreen conifers such as spruce, pine, or fir. Drumlin Farm is host to a number of different species of evergreens; practice your tree ID skills by taking a walk around the property and try to identify as many as you can.

5. Taking Photos – Drumlin Farm offers many picturesque scenes perfect for taking holiday card photos. There are also many opportunities to practice your nature photography and hone your skills adjusting to winter lighting.

6. Wildlife Winter Adaptations – Did you know red foxes use their bushy tails to cover sensitive areas, like their nose and eyes, from the cold in the winter? Visit the farm animals on site and wildlife in our New England Wildlife Explorations exhibit to see and learn different animals’  methods for adapting to the winter cold.

Photo Credit: Henrietta Yelleoktouse

7. Winter Birding – The sanctuary hosts a wide variety of birds year-round. In addition to our on site animal ambassadors, you can bird around the sanctuary for winter wings and submit your findings to Mass Audubon’s eBird page. You can also print out this checklist to keep track of what you find while walking around!

There’s Still Time: Moon Over Drumlin Live Raffle

Mountain top yoga? A pro photography lesson? A trip to Iceland? What’s your Drumlin dream? Tickets to this year’s Moon Over Drumlin gala auction are sold out, but you can still have a chance to win! Buy your raffle tickets or put in a proxy bid before it’s too late to enter to win some truly fabulous prizes, including everything from cooking and yoga classes to weekend getaways and globe-trotting trips.

Here are a few our favorite prizes to get your mouth watering and your travel bug itching for an adventure.

Buy raffle tickets or put in a proxy auction bid today >

Mountaintop Yoga and Wine Retreat at Drumlin

This evening for 12 begins with a nature walk around the sanctuary, leading to an hour-long sunset yoga practice at the top of the drumlin, led by Laura Loewy, founder of Backcountry Yoga. Afterward, adjourn to a fireside wine and cheese reception, hosted by Sanctuary Director Renata Pomponi.

 

 

Private Paradise in Portugal

Relax for a week at Casa da Figueira, a private seaside villa in Algarve, Portugal. This traditional Portuguese villa has ample room for eight adults and is well-suited for children and families. The villa is just five minutes’ walk to the beach, cliffs, and excellent restaurants. Numerous golf courses and wineries are within an hour’s drive.

 

 

Private Drumlin Soirée

Have the sanctuary all to yourself—and 20 friends—for an evening farm and  food extravaganza! Harvest seasonal veggies from our farm fields, then return to our kitchen to create pizzas that feature your harvest. After dinner, enjoy s’mores and a campfire performance by singer-songwriter Katrin Roush. This one-of-kind celebration can be customized for families with children, workplace outings, or groups of friends of any age!

 

Seafood Lover’s Cooking Class and Dinner Party

Svenfish founder Sven Olson—Drumlin Farm’s charismatic Farm Stand seafood supplier—invites you to an evening of cooking and dining! Sven will demonstrate cooking techniques and prepare a multi-course tasting menu (at his own home, or at yours) that includes locally-sourced seafood and seasonal Drumlin Farm produce. Your dinner for 8 will be accompanied by wine pairings and tasting notes from Eric Broege and Carolyn Kemp of Vintages in Concord, MA.

 

Don’t delay any longer! Enter your proxy bid or purchase raffle tickets for these fabulous prizes and many others today.