Taking the reins (an introduction)

I’m Jane Hammer, and I’ll be managing Shared Harvest Winter CSA this year. I’m taking the reins from Gretta Anderson who organized and managed Shared Harvest since 2007. Gretta and I have worked together in various capacities to support small local farms since the days we were both on the board of directors of Waltham Fields Community Farm.  It’s great to be joining with her again, and I hope to gracefully continue the valuable service and connections she has created with Shared Harvest.

I’ve been involved in CSA farms and local food now for 17 years.  Both of my brothers and several of my friends are growers involved in organically-managed CSA farms in this region.  I feel very fortunate to have so much access to healthy, delicious, thoughtfully produced food and am excited to share this with more people through Shared Harvest.

As mom of a busy family with 3 sons, I’ve made time to bring my family to participate in and actively support local farms.  I’m a member of the Lexington Community Farm Coalition, which you may know has been leading the effort to save the working farm land at Busa Farm in East Lexington and transition it to a community farm operation.  In my neighborhood here in Arlington Heights (on the Lexington and Winchester borders), we are lucky to be able to walk to both Busa Farm and to the Wright-Locke Farm in Winchester.  I’ve had the privilege of learning about the workings and history of a real New England family farm from Dennis Busa, who’s been farming his family land since he learned to walk.  At Wright-Locke, I’ve enjoyed picking organic raspberries and watching a community farm emerge as the fruit of our labor to save the farmland there. Also in my neighborhood, folks have joined together to form the Whipple Hill Food Preservation and Exchange Meetup to share sourcing, preparation and preservation of locally grown food–things like picking cabbage and making lacto-fermented sauerkraut together, exchanging homemade tomato paste or bread for homemade yogurt, seed and transplant swapping, etc.  It’s been a wonderful way to find new creativity in managing the harvest and learning to enjoy food that’s delicious and makes you feel good in so many ways.