The Riverbend Farm Project

Keeping busy — and planning ahead — at the farm!

While the gardens lay dormant during the winter months, the participants in the Riverbend Farm Project at Owen’s Farm in Hopkinton are keeping very busy! When visiting the farm one afternoon in early February, we found everyone in the farm kitchen, working around the table together at various tasks.

Some folks were felting soap, a process that utilizes raw wool (called “roving”) from the farm’s sheep, and soap, also made at the farm, to create a natural “soapy washcloth” that is an excellent exfoliate. Plans are in the works to begin offering farm project products like this for sale next spring and summer. We’ll keep you posted!

One person was spinning raw wool into yarn using a drop spindle. The yarn can be spun thick or thin, plyed or unplyed, and can later be dyed or left natural. The yarn may be sold later as is, or used for future knitting or weaving projects at the farm.

Other participants were looking through seed catalogues, taking notes, and planning the coming year’s vegetable garden. The Riverbend Farm Project recently received grants from the Oleanna Jameson Trust and Citizen’s Bank to support the project and erect a small greenhouse near the large garden area next to the farmhouse. It was very evident that all project participants were excited about what the greenhouse will enable them to do over the coming weeks and months. It is hoped that the greenhouse will be ready for occupancy by early March.

“I know it’s only February,” said one participant, “but looking through these seed catalogues makes me feel the warmer days approaching.” The plan is to select and purchase the seeds for next year’s garden over the next few weeks, plant and tend those seeds in the greenhouse during March and April, and then transplant the young plants to the garden sometime in May.
“It’s all about learning the steps — and the work — that make positive things happen,” said Emily Cook, a Riverbend Case Manager, and director of the Riverbend Farm Project. “I am watching people really grow and bloom here.”

For more information about the Riverbend Farm Project, and how you could get involved in supporting it, contact our Development office at development@ riverbendcmhc.org or call 603-226-7510. You can also make a online contribution to support the program at www.riverbendcmhc.org.