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Holly Hill Farm

By Lori Rohleder

Holly Hill Organic Farm, located on Jerusalem Road in Cohasset, is truly one of my favorite places on the South Shore. This working farm not only produces healthy and beautiful food, it also exemplifies the principles of sustainable agriculture and sound forest management. Although “eat locally” and “know your farmer” are current catch phrases, visitors to Holly Hill Farm have been able to do both for years.

Although this is really the “fine print”, here is the scoop on how the Farm operates. Holly Hill Farm is the actual farm. Owned by the White family, the five active acres are operated by farmers. They tend to all of the details of growing and selling the organic vegetables, herbs and flowers. The Friends of Holly Hill Farm is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization that uses both the five acres of growing fields, as well as the additional 125 acres of woods, fields, ponds and salt marshes as their outdoor classroom. If you join the Farm [hint, hint], you'll be supporting the education mission of the Friends. All School, Scout, group and public programs are organized through the Friends. Both the Farm and the Friends utilize volunteers, so if you have time and an interest, there is probably a place for you. The Farm tends to rely on a team of regular volunteers who assist with harvesting, cleaning and readying the produce for market. Volunteers for the Friends help out leading tours and working with school groups. Training is provided.

Folks of all ages can enjoy the Farm. Our children have been to Holly Hill with school and Scouts, they have participated in courses and camps, we've brought them to buy produces at the Farm Stand and we have hiked trails. They have composted at school and helped out with the community and summer gardens. I have taken a stab at volunteering, enjoyed classes, learned to compost [our worm bin worked great over the winter and was quite the conversation piece!], tried edible plants, hiked trails and met some really interesting people. In addition to participating in activities, our family has also gained many intangible benefits from our time at the Farm - our son would probably not enjoy eating a bag of arugula as a snack had it not been for our repeated trips to the Farm Stand for veggies. I know our children would not enjoy munching on clover when we stroll the trails if Farmer Jon had not enthusiastically shared this 'tip' with them. I can be quite sure that my child would never have told me how much fun he had cleaning out the hen house and collecting eggs had he not attend camp! And my husband and I would not have had the opportunity to enjoy having our son and his new friends serve us a meal that they had prepared had he not completed the Young Farmers Program. Having the chance to be around and learn from Hannah, Ben and Jonny is an opportunity not to be missed. Our middle-schooler, who participated in the Young Farmer's Program last year [and looks forward to the program again this summer] shares these comments: "the farm is just amazing; they grow really good food; it's actually fun to harvest crops; and the farmers all love their jobs".

Although you can zip in, purchase food at the farm stand and zip back out, Holly Hill Farm invites everyone to slow down, learn more about where our food comes from and explore new foods. So, stop by, shop the farmer's market, take a class, bring a youth or Scout group, encourage your school to plan a field trip or start a school garden...and become a member.

www.hollyhillfarm.org

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