Newton and Needham are two towns in the MetroWest Boston area that operate community farms which are closely tied to their school systems. Browsing for homes in Newton MA and homes in Needham MA will not leave you questioning the future quality of your child’s education. MetroWest Boston has long tempted home-buyers with some of the best schools in Massachusetts, which fairly recently have become supplemented by the “outdoor classrooms” that are a part of their community farms.
The Needham Community Farm was organized by the town to carry out a mission of providing hands-on environmental education for elementary school students, with a focus on teaching organic farming methods and sustainable living practices. As an “outdoor classroom” in front of the Newman Elementary School, the farm helps the Needham school system incorporate environmental education and sustainability into everyday curriculum. Students grow seedlings in the classroom and then plant in the garden, participating in the entire crop cultivating process. Along with accomplishing educational goals, the farm has been so successful that it has been able to donate fresh produce to a local food pantry. The farm’s committee is in the process of securing another plot of land to be used as a community garden for all residents, with bigger plans for teaching sustainability through water collection, composting, solar greenhouses, and classes for adults.
Perhaps Needham is modeling its new community garden on its neighboring Newton Community Farm. Families, and couples planning to start a family, have long been drawn to real estate in Newton MA because of the town’s top-quality public schools. The Newton Community Farm is another benefit of relocating to Newton MA. Residents can assist farm staff in performing daily farming operations which are always sustainable in nature. The farm also runs classes and workshops for all ages such as “All You Ever Wanted to Know about Apples,” as well as special youth programs, and a school outreach program where groups are invited to visit the farm for hands-on learning. While the farm sells its produce to the public, a portion of each harvest is donated to a local food pantry.