By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer
Southborough – Rolling pastures, friendly goats, and even friendlier staff await your children this summer at the Chestnut Hill Farm, located off Route 30 in Southborough.
Desiree Roberson-DuBois is the Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) manager.
“A farm is an easy avenue to get kids fully engaged, mentally and physically,” she said. “It’s always exciting here.”
“Our children’s programs offer unique opportunities to engage in agricultural [events] and with livestock. Children can cuddle a goat, watch chickens chase bugs, and pick a fresh strawberry.”
Since 2010, the Trustees of the Reservation, a land-conservation nonprofit, has managed this jewel, with great care. Maintaining this environment is the work of Robertson-DuBois; Assistant CSA Manager Cole Trager; Senior Farm Assistant & Assistant Farm Educator Kirsten Kampmeier; Engagement Site Manager Kira LaFosse-Baker; and volunteers.
This year, 12 acres of land will be actively farmed, generating enough produce for the 300-plus CSA shareholders and the public at large, as well as generous donations to the Southborough Food Pantry.
The price of the market-style CSA shares is the same as last year: $650 for a full share, and $450 for a half.
A meat CSA is also offered as a cooperative endeavor with other Trustees of the Reservation farms.
There are abundant opportunities for children and their caregivers at the farm this summer.
Early Birds Bird Walks: Mondays, May 15, June 5, and June 19
6:30-7:30 a.m. Members and kids under five: free; non-members: $5
Kampmeier has already catalogued 33 species of birds at the farm. About leading the bird walks, she said, “We never know which species we will see, which makes it even more exciting.”
Meet the Farmer: Saturdays, June 3, July 8, Aug. 5, Sept. 2
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. | Members and kids under five: free; non-members: $5
The first Saturday of each month, adults and children are welcome to meet the Chestnut Hill farmers. Programs include: Kids and Kids – Baby Goat Cuddle Party (June 3); We Love Bugs, Beneficial Insect Exploration (July 8); TBA (Aug. 5), and Tomato Fete (Sept. 2).
Chestnut Hill’s Preschool Farm Explorers: 4-week series, Wednesdays in June
9:30-10:30 a.m. Member: $60; non-member: $75 (price per child for full series)
From the barnyards to the gardens, little farmers and their caregivers will follow the cycles of seeds to sprouts, chicks to eggs, plot to plate, and waste to compost.
Chestnut Hill’s Father’s Day Bluegrass BBQ: Sunday, June 18
1-4 p.m. Members: $36/adult, $12/kids; non-members: $45/adult, $15/kids
Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy a summer evening of food and music.
Friday Farm Dinners: Fridays July 7, Aug. 4, Sept. 8
6:30-8:30 p.m. Members: $36/adult, $12/kids; non-members: $45/adult, $15/kids
Experience truly unique farm-to-table dinners made with the best ingredients available from Chestnut Hill and other local farms.
The farm stand is open for CSA share pickups and the general public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 2-6 p.m. It’s also open for sales on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To sign up for a CSA share or for more information about the Chestnut Hill Farm, or to learn about scheduled and additional events, http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/csa/chestnut-hill-farm-csa/.