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An Introduction to The Weir River Farm

By Meghan Connolly

If you have traveled through Hingham then you have likely seen the Big Red Barn just over the river and past the stone bridge off of Route 228. You may drive by in a flash on your way in your busy day and barely notice how the farm announces the seasons. In the fall, the trees surrounding the barn are a Crayola box of colors. In the winter you can see the giant wreath spreading the joy of the holidays. This time of the year, spring, is one of my favorite times of the year. The giant Magnolia tree has just bloomed. The precious pale pink blossoms are a fleeting reminder of just how precious the new life of spring is.

These are the things that you notice when you spend time in a place like the Weir River Farm. This property is one of over 100 special places in Massachusetts that is owned and cared for by The Trustees of Reservations. A renowned artist named Polly Thayer Starr gave the farm to The Trustees and it was opened to the public in 2000. Polly spent her childhood summering here and her daughters did the same. Polly’s gift has now allowed an entire new generation of children and families to have the same opportunity.

In the ten years since this 75 acre farm opened to the public, we have literally been "growing" by leaps and bounds. In the beginning, much of our livestock was donated and in need of a home. These animals were the perfect fit to start reconnecting people to the rich agricultural history of Hingham. These animals were the catalyst to attract people to visit our property and to start attending our educational programs.

Since then a number of things have changed. We are now selecting breeds of livestock that work in harmony with our landscape and our overall goals. We raise Belted Galloway cattle, you may have seen these "oreo cookie cows" in the upper pasture as you drive or walk Turkey Hill Lane. These cattle are raised on grass and are utilized for their beef. Grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fats and higher in omega three fatty acids which are essential to proper brain function. In addition to being better for your body, local meat is better for the earth since it doesn’t have to be shipped across the country to get to you dinner table.

We also raise Tamworth pork and unlike most factory farms that house their pigs in pens barely big enough for them to turn around, our pigs roam. Their home is in the woods where they can explore, eat the underbrush and use their snouts to turn the earth. The things that pigs were meant to do! We also sell eggs from our chickens that live in our mobile chicken tractor. Our mobile coop is literally moved around the farm to allow the chickens new grass, bugs and space to explore. These eggs are available every day in the fridge in our classroom fridge so drive up the driveway to the red barn and sample them for yourself.

Another exciting addition to the farm has been evolving over the past few summers. We are now growing produce in the old hayfields on Turkey Hill Lane. Last year we started growing vegetables to sell to people through the farmer’s market and pick your own hours. Although it was very cool to have delicious produce to eat, the really amazing thing that grew from this garden was a sense of community. People came to help with all aspects of the garden. Scout troops, families and local businesses came out to pick rocks, plant seeds, weed and get the word out to everyone. This year we are putting up a new greenhouse and are going to be expanding the size and scope of the produce that is grown.

One thing that hasn’t changed is why we do what we do. Our staff, although small, is dedicated to preserving the character of this beautiful place. Our hope is that we can provide a spot for your family to connect to healthy food, connect to the earth and connect to each other. We invite you to be a part of what we do.

You can support us by:

  • Becoming a member of The Trustees of Reservations (www.thetrustees.org).
  • Hiking the trails that surround the property. They are open every day from sunrise to sunset and offer the perfect vantage point to view our livestock or see our staff hard at work.
  • Attending one of our seasonal events or educational programs for children or adults. Consult this website for upcoming event information.
  • Buying our farm fresh products.
  • Volunteering your time.

For more information, call us at 781-740-7233. You can also join our mailing list for updates by emailing us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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