(photos by Alexandra Roberts)
The last farm we worked at before we moved to Vermont was located just outside of Boston. We were hired at Siena Farms to start their livestock program. We started them off with every farm's favorite non-vegetable; the chicken.
Aside from the eggs, Siena Farms is a vegetable farm with nearly 50 acres in production. They sell to many fine restaurants in Boston, at the farmer's market in Copley square, and at their new farm store in the South End. In addition they run a CSA with options to get their veggies delivered all year round. Quite the feat in an icy New England winter.
Until this summer, Siena Farms has leased all but 10 of the 50 acres they farm. Leasing farmland can be wonderful because often, you can negotiate a very low price on your lease. The landowner gets their money's worth in the tax break for having their land in agricultural use. Leasing also carries with it the obvious downsides of un-ownership. The life of the lease may be tenuous, or you aren't able to build agricultural buildings on the leased land, or the landowner tries to micromanage.
This past summer Siena Farms was presented the opportunity to purchase 26 of the 50 acres they lease, and they took it. They have been preparing to buy this property for several years now and they are looking for a little extra help to make this purchase truly viable for the farm.
On September 21st they will be hosting a Farm-Raiser in their greenhouse, along with cocktails in the field and live music. Photos above are from last year's practice dinner. The meal will be cooked by two of Boston's finest chefs, Ana Sortun and Barbara Lynch. At $1000 a plate, tickets are not cheap, but for a farm that does a phenomenal job at supplying fresh veg to Boston, it is certainly a worthy cause. If you know of anyone with deep pockets and a passion for local food. Ticket sales for the feast end tomorrow. They are on sale here.
Also, I love their idea of glass atop pallets atop cinder blocks for dinner tables.