Farmland Preservation

Our farmland preservation work includes Waltham Fields Community Farm which consists of seven acres of land at the former UMass Field Station in Waltham, three acres of land at the Lyman Estate, and four acres of privately held land in Weston, Massachusetts. In 2014, we partnered with the Lexington Community Farm Coalition to run the farm operation and manage the farm stand for the new Lexington Community Farm, on land purchase from a family in 2009 by the Town of Lexington and recently designated for continued agricultural production. We are also currently helping with efforts to revitalize the UMass-owned site, which serves as our base of operations, as a Center for Urban Sustainability.

photo - rows of cabbage, onions, and other veggies fill the farm's fields.

photo by Kendra Michaud

Waltham Fields Community Farm

Waltham Fields Community Farm (WFCF) is a successful model of community farm management. Leasing seven acres on what is commonly known as the UMass Field Station in Waltham, Massachusetts and three acres at the nearby Lyman Estate, CFO operates and manages a vegetable, flower, and herb farm using organic principles. The seven-acre farm site is situated within a larger parcel of 56-acres that has a rich and fascinating history that informs its current use. In 1921, a prominent Waltham philanthropist and dairy farmer, Cornelia Warren, specified in her will that the property be used for agricultural and educational purposes. Subsequently, the site was conveyed to the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts). From that time to the present, the property has hosted numerous agricultural and educational programs. The reclamation and transformation of dormant fields once used for scientific crop research into a productive urban farm restores the land to its historical roots as a working farm.

Consistent with our mission, Waltham Fields Community Farm has integrated charitable and educational programs within the community farm model. The development of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program lends yet another dimension to the project, enhancing the economic viability of the farm while providing shareholders opportunities to participate in our charitable, educational and land preservation projects. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement, one that strengthens community bonds as shareholders become members invested in the mission.

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