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In 2007, I (and many, many other people) enjoyed reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, about her family’s year-long quest to eat only locally produced food. Barbara Kingsolver is an amazing writer (I’ve particularly enjoyed Flight Behavior, which sounds the alarm about climate change, the existential problem of our times, and The Bean Trees, which deals with issues of immigration and legality that are as relevant today as when the book was published in 1988), and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was a revelation for me about the importance of reducing one’s carbon footprint by eating as close to home as possible. One of the ways to accomplish this is to look for local farmers markets and, perhaps even better, support your local farms directly! 

Our local farm is the Natick Community Organic Farm, and it truly is a community oriented place. It is open to the public from sunrise to sunset with no admissions fee. Children and adults can visit to see a working farm and better understand how natural food and products are made, including community events such as maple tapping and sheep shearing. Locals can also sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) of vegetables/flowers and meat, as well as order Thanksgiving turkeys. And the farm offers educational programs for kids of all ages to explore the outdoors, learn farming skills, and take care of animals!

Our family went for a visit one Sunday morning and enjoyed seeing the animals and walking through the fields and greenhouses of vegetables and flowers. Our favorite animals were probably the super fat and happy male breeding rabbits, who seemed to do nothing but sprawl in their burrows, munching on fennel and basking in the sun, but the baby sheep were adorable too! Our two boys were rapt when the two massive pigs came out of their shady house to roll around in the mud and eat their kale. Just when I thought to congratulate myself on a successful nature appreciation trip, one of my children said, “Mmmmm. Let’s buy some pork sausage.” 

Well, in all honesty, pork sausage sounded good to us too! We bought a pound of breakfast pork sausage at the honor-system farm stand and took it home, making an absolutely delicious pork sausage casserole for dinner.

Thank you, Natick Community Organic Farm, for making the world a better place!