We had a nice site visit recently to Aurelia’s Garden in Wayland, one of our newest grant partners.
They are an all-volunteer, nonprofit micro-farm founded in 2020 to address food insecurity by providing fresh, nutritious organic produce to local food pantries.
They farm on two local sites which have been loaned to them. The first is a 1.5 acre plot in Wayland where last year (after a late start) they grew 2,000 pounds of produce and distributed it in collaboration with Open Table in Maynard. (Their produce was distributed at Open Table’s mobile market in Hudson and used for their prepared meals.) The second location is in partnership with the Medway Community Farm which has donated a 1,500 square foot plot where Aurelia’s Garden grew 750 pounds of vegetables for the Medway Village Church Food Pantry and Family Shelter, which houses 6-12 people; and the Medway Food Pantry. In 2021, they hope to harvest 12,500 pounds of produce.
They follow an “agroecological” approach to farming, a method that goes beyond organic and sustainable farming by focusing on soil and environmental regeneration. The strategy ensures that the farm functions not only as a part of the ecosystem but enhances the environment as well.
This year, their second growing season, is going well. To date, they estimate having harvested 6,000 pounds of produce — tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, onions, garlic, corn, radishes and a wide, eclectic variety of herbs — and note that there’s still a long harvest season ahead.
The four founders and other volunteers certainly know their stuff. Most are Master Gardeners. We were amazed at their ingenuity in addressing the many challenges that pop up every day from invasive species to aphids to snakes and more. They are a hearty crew who love working in the field and enjoy the camaraderie of gardening together, especially for a good cause.
They have a wish list of garden tools they need and are happy to take any hand-me-downs off your hands. See the list here.