Being the very fortunate stewards of a legacy that was built in Hopkinton in the 1970’s by our founders Bill and Rose Abbott we are constantly in awe of how much we have grown since their simple backyard operation began. We like to think that they would be impressed with how we have organized and expanded over the years and by the large numbers of volunteers that we engage annually. Going from small groups of neighborhood teenagers helping us grow to the over 10,000 community members that visit our farms annually has been no easy feat.
It can be said that we are continuing to grow from our roots and that is why we are highlighting a great group from Hopkinton that has come out to continue the tradition of helping our neighbors in need. The Hopkinton High EXCEL Program under the direction of Katie Hibbert and Tami Magnuson has found the farm to be a great resource for engaging the individuals attending their program. This vocational based program for 18-22 year olds is designed to allow their participants to develop life skills, job placement skills and to spend time socializing within their community. In addition the leaders of the program and the families involved are always focused on providing experiences for them to give back, learn more about their surrounding community and to get outdoors for some exercise. Katie and Tami have even added an element of their programming that revolves around food and preparing easily replicated recipes that introduce more vegetables in order to encourage a healthier diet. That makes a volunteer visit to our farm even more meaningful by combining farming and nutrition.
We always look forward to our Hopkinton EXCEL volunteers arriving for their weekly visits, both during the school season and for a portion of the summer months. Over the past couple of years we have been able to engage them in every facet of our work. Whether it is early spring planting, weeding plants or harvesting, washing and packaging they have done it all. They are always willing to try new things and are quite adept at navigating through the farm tasks that they are given. With that we want to thank the entire Hopkinton EXCEL team for choosing CHP as a place to contribute and give back to the community. Their selfless volunteering over the last couple of years has been a part of the key to our successfully continuing the tradition of growing fresh and healthy produce for donation to those in our community experiencing food insecurity.