Have you or someone you know always wanted to volunteer with CHP? Do you have skills that are not quite a good fit for our Volunteer Farming Program? We have a new way to get involved that might just be right up your alley. We are assembling a group of specialized volunteers that would be willing to support our farm team in the more complex challenges of the farm. This team will operate from February through November on Tuesday mornings to help us drive our mission further, operate our farms more smoothly and support our farm staff throughout the year. Support needs will include pruning of hedge rows and fruit bushes, brush clearing, basic carpentry, property improvements and both pre and post season field preparations. This team will work together to complete projects and help us to clear up a backlog of outstanding needs.
If you’re a recent retiree looking to put your hands to work for a good cause, or someone looking to get outside in the natural environment a few hours a week working with like minded folk towards a goal, this could be your calling. We will work throughout the seasons and sometimes in adverse weather conditions (this is New England after all). We practice safe work standards on all of our properties so a little equipment knowledge would be helpful but we are willing to teach new skills. This volunteer role could involve utilizing analog hand tools, power tools, chainsaws, mowers and weed whackers.
If you are interested in learning more we will have a brief informational session on Tuesday, March 5th here at 37 Wheeler Road, North Grafton. For more information feel free to call (774)551-6544 or email our volunteer team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Winter Fest at www.harvardlions.org.
And just like that, seasons begin to change. While several more weeks of winter are undoubtedly before us, here at the Brigham Hill Community Farm the seasonal shift has already begun. It feels like just yesterday we were cleaning up supplies, winterizing equipment, and hunkering down for cold weather; now we’re dusting those supplies off and taking stock of what we need for a rocking year of veggie-growing! It’s true, our first seeds of the 2019 season will be planted in just 2 weeks’ time. And while those tiny seedlings will need several weeks yet of care and warmth, we will see the makings of a vibrant community farm begin to take shape before long.
This coming year we plan to build on successes of previous seasons. Focusing on the vegetable varieties which prove to be staples for the families that we serve helps to maximize the impact of these foods in our community. Where appropriate, we’ll be trying out some new methods and varieties here and there to ensure that we’re always improving and getting better at meeting our mission. We’re particularly excited to include kale along with increased crops of fresh lettuce, roots, and leeks into our crop plan this year.
Another great addition to the 2019 season is the arrival of our new farm coordinator, Amanda Carrier. Having contributed a great deal to our farm team in 2018 as a seasonal farm assistant, Amanda brings a background in environmental science and community agriculture. Amanda has worked in a number of agricultural capacities across New England. She served most recently as the Garden Program Manager at Worcester State University as both farmer and educator, working closely alongside volunteers and students, cultivating a love for sustainable food gardening. We pretty stoked to have Amanda as a full-time part of our farm team this season and we’re convinced that you will be too.
Here’s to a season of full harvest baskets and full bellies!
Robert Paulsen, SVP, Senior Loan Officer at UniBank, has recently joined Community Harvest Project’s Board of Directors as Treasurer. Paulsen has a strong financial background from working over thirty-two years in finance and operations at several organizations including Middlesex Savings Bank, Country Bank, TD BankNorth among others. CHP is excited to welcome him aboard not only for his financial expertise but also his extensive nonprofit experience and involvement in many Worcester area organizations including: the Chamber of Commerce, Alternatives, Inc., Mohegan Boy Scouts, The Seven Hills Foundation, the Worcester Historical Museum, the Worcester Economic Club, and many other local civic organizations.
Paulsen brings strong leadership skills and enjoys the challenge of working in a creative team environment. “I look forward to joining the Board of the Community Harvard Project. I have the utmost respect for what this organization does in the community: providing good produce to the local food banks and growing much of the food using volunteers. My own experience volunteering at the farm in Grafton, as a team building exercise with fellow employees at UniBank, really gave me a greater appreciation of what is done at the farm on a daily basis, which I thought was pretty amazing.” Paulsen lives with his family in Rutland, MA.
Our first classes of the year were all about easy and satiating snacks. We made these crunchy chickpeas, which can be easily customized with your favorite spice blend. Let us know what flavor you make!
Our March classes are finally tackling a much requested topic: TACOS! Our Broccoli Head Chefs will be making every part of the taco: tortillas, filling, and salsa. Celery Sous Chefs will be starting with the basics and just making filling and salsa.
Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)
Taco Time – Tuesday, March 12th, 2019, 4-6pm
Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)
Taco Time – Monday, March 25th, 2019, 4-5pm
Taco Time – Thursday, March 28th, 2019, 4:30-5:30pm
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 to 4 teaspoons spices or finely chopped herbs, such as chili powder, curry powder, cumin, smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme, etc (see options below)
- ½ teaspoon dill
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- A few grinds of black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
- Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Open the cans of chickpeas and pour the chickpeas into a strainer in the sink. Rinse thoroughly under running water.
- Dry the chickpeas. Pat the chickpeas very dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towels. They should look matte and feel dry to the touch; if you have time, leave them to air-dry for a few minutes. Remove any chickpea skins that come off while drying, but otherwise don’t worry about them.
- Toss the chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and your chosen spices. Spread the chickpeas out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the chickpeas for 20 to 30 minutes. A few chickpeas may pop – that’s normal. The chickpeas are done when golden and slightly darkened, dry and crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle. For extra crispy chickpeas: turn the oven off when they are done but leave the chickpeas in the oven as it cools.