Reviews for: Homecoming Farm
Mouthwatering, Eye-Opening, Invigorating, and Inspiring!
By: Janet Barnhart (Jan 4, 2013)
By joining Homecoming Farm, I found not only superb locally grown organic vegetables and herbs, but an oasis of beauty, fellowship, and learning. As a newbie, I immediately felt welcome. My family noticed the great difference between Homecoming veggies and everything else. I could not believe their enthusiasm for salads and vegetable dishes prepared from the freshly-harvested produce, seasoned with fresh herbs from the beautifully-tended herb gardens. During the season, our table is often graced with colorful farm-grown flowers, too, which are planted to help attract bees and butterflies to the fields (who knew?). Those who guide Homecoming Farm do so lovingly and expertly. I marvel at how efficient, orderly, and well-planned the facilities and activities are at all times. The passionate commitment to organic farming is clear. It has been a great pleasure as well as an inspiration to get to know other members -- people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life, with many talents and much wisdom to share. When I step onto Homecoming Farm, I am reminded of the cycle of life and how beautiful it can be. Lots of nourishment here!
Local Harvest at its Best!
By: Debbie (Jan 2, 2013)
We have been members for years and we keep coming back! The selection and the quality of the produce cannot be beat!. Each year, in addition to the old standbys, we are introduced to new varieties. The management of the farm is always open to new ideas. Suggestions are well received. We learned to appreciate new vegetables and recipes, and ideas and tips are eagerly shared.
The Farm is truly a collaborative effort with the work and harvest divided equally. There is also charitable component, with a portion donated to vetted soup kitchens/charitable organizations.
What cannot be quantified is the spirit and personality of all who donate their time and talents. Everyone is made to feel welcome and there is a genuine feeling of warmth and hospitality as soon as you step on the grounds. It's the perfect combination of camaraderie and expertise. It's been a wonderful experience.
THE MAGIC OF HOMECOMING FARM
By: Steve Berlin (Jan 1, 2013)
I've been a member for five years and it has been a joy to participate and see the garden grow and expand in such a very beautiful and natural and way year after year. The farm allows for a wide variety of experiences, at many levels, and goes way beyond just getting good healthy vegetables and flowers. The garden provides a setting where people can learn to, through experience, move with the Creative Process of life and experience the sacred rhythms of the Earth through preparing the soil, planting, thinning, weeding, watering, harvesting, and doing this in agreemnt with people from all walks of life. There really is a lovely feeling of community, being with others who love the Earth and have a consciousness of being a good steward over the land and the critters who all play a part in this amazing outworking. It's always fun to come and stretch your muscles, and find your own space, which is always different each time you come. Sometimes you work by yourself in a very quiet & meditative way, contemplating whatever you need to think about, and at other times, your working with any number of people talking & sharing about each other's lives, current events, whatever, building fellowship & community. As far as the Educational aspect, I always enjoy showing up and finding that some church or school group of children or young adults have come to see, participate, and learn about what we and nature do as a team. They always leave with smiles on their faces and some vegies or flowers to take home. A very fullfilling aspect of our efforts is donating a percentage of the food that is grown to various soup kitchens in order to feed the hungry. It's good to share the bounty of our work with those further afield who are in need. So, if your ever in the area, feel free to come on by and meet the gang and see the land. They're both beatiful! :O)
By: Natalia de Cuba Romero (Apr 6, 2010)
I live in an extended family - grandparents, me and my almost-three-year-old son. This will be our seventh season with Sophia Garden. It has nurtured our family in so many ways, from working together on the land, learning about compost and soil, cooking together, discovering new vegetables and making new friends. Now my son is learning to dig for worms and rake out beds and plant seeds...it is truly a wonderful experience for the whole family (and of course a virtuous earth-loving activity too!) Oh yeah, and the freshness of the produce and the savings over grocery store organics is amazing....
Sophia Garden CSA
By: Judith Ryan (Mar 8, 2010)
I had belonged to Sophia Gardens several years ago, and for various reasons I needed to discontinue my membership. I did stay connected to the farm community and one day during a visit I was drawn to the garlic. Rows and rows of beautiful, aromatic garlic. Lucky for me there were a few farm shares left, and I rejoined the next day.
Although I currently split my annual share with another member, each week I am happy to take home a bounty of delicious, healthy, organic vegetables for my family. Shares include, but are not limited to, eggplant, greens (chinese, kale, beet, swiss chard), greens beans, squash (green, yellow and butternut), and the occasional surprise of flowers from the garden, or one very special time, buffalo mozzarella cheese! Oh, my! We also had a very tasty supply of tomatoes (beefsteak, plum, cherry, and heirloom). You never would have known there was a tomato blight last summer.
Sophia Garden is truly supported by its community. Members are required to participate in farm activities; planting, tilling, harvesting, etc. If not for you, the Garden does provide the choice to pay a nominal fee to opt out of working the farm. Its my feeling that most members do not choose this option. I enjoy being a farmer if only for a couple of hours a week, and each time I participate in the farm I learn something new. The farm community is further enhanced with Winter Solstice and Fall Equinox festivals, and, an annual dinner dance fundraiser.
Sophia Garden is located on the beautiful and serene grounds of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Dominic. Embedded with the history of the Sisters, the grounds themselves have a very interesting story that is available on the internet and worth reading! For me the grounds provide tranquillity, stillness, and beauty like no other place.
By: Kyle Bluth (Feb 20, 2010)
I was asked to volunteer at Sophia Garden one Saturday morning and I was open to a new experience, yet not exactly sure what to expect in the week that led up to my day on the farm. Aside from my early childhood experiences in a garden we had in my backyard, I knew nothing of actual farming. I admit, my thumb isn├ó┬?┬?t quite green at all, more like a very faded green turning yellow at best, but my hopes were that I could somehow provide some kind of help without obstructing progress.
I got to the farm on an overcast morning last spring, the fronts of my shoes gathering moisture as I walked through short blades of grass in a field covered with dew. Introductions came about, followed by smiles and the shaking of hands, all of us hoping for the rain to hold off.
The smell of cool earth was all around and as we walked closer to the large sections with dark, rich soil, ready to be prepped and planted, it became evident that maybe I needed this more than they needed me. Birds fluttered around in pairs and as I plucked my hands into the dirt it just felt simple and clean, like I was returning home after a long journey. What I never expected was the sense of closeness drawing me to the land in ways I cannot explain. It was as if I had gone back in time to something simpler, something speaking to my core, where all the problems of everyday life, bills and office work and the stresses that come in this fast paced world, at least for this moment didn├ó┬?┬?t have any importance.
I was taught how to line up rows and manipulate the land, coaxing it to produce crops and impact what was to come about for the weeks and months ahead. There was something rewarding about volunteering your time to help others that made you feel in sync with people. It may be that it was all for a good cause and philanthropy for others, but being there, working with the land and the nicest of people, offered so much more than that. For me it was an escape and a time to get both figuratively and literally grounded again, a time to clear the mind and forget about the troubles and pressure, a time to find therapy by getting dirt under your fingernails, which was better than any spa or movie or dinner out with close friends. Just you and taking a step back, like when you were a kid and all the senses of touch and smell were in total control, allowing the intellect to be less important.
For me, that's how it was.
A CSA with a connection to people--not just to your food
By: Daniel Bornstein (Feb 6, 2010)
Sophia Garden truly embodies the community value of the local food movement.
As part of my high school's research program, I wanted to conduct an agriculture study. Sophia Garden allowed me to use a portion of its land for my research, as long as I was willing to prepare the soil for seeding myself and leave the land in good condition for future farming.
My experiment at Sophia Garden really taught me how important local agriculture is: there is a connection between food and its consumers.
I truly felt part of the Sophia Garden community this fall when I presented my research project to its members at the farm's annual potluck luncheon. I had a chance to meet shareholders, and I explained how my research is applicable to international agriculture. My hope is that Sophia Garden considers the merits of intercropping in its future seasons.
My family will be joining Sophia Garden this year, in large part because of the tremendous support I felt in doing my research there.
At Sophia Garden, you will feel a connection not only to your food but also to a social community.
Garden with Spirit
By: caroline sawyer (Feb 1, 2010)
All gardens/ farms make us feel the interrelationship of humanity with the natural world. Sophia has made me conscious of that interrelationship in a unique way; moreover, it has provided me a sense of steps I can take to grow in peace with my consumption patterns and the impact my life makes on the Earth and its creatures.
I joined Sophia last year, because it offered the opportunity to put my hands in the soil. That I did, and loved the weeding and transplanting. Moreover, I met interesting people to share ideas and joy with. And the produce? Absolutely delicious! Sophia has heritage; a unique place in the surrounding community, it is incredibly beautiful, and it offers more learning than I could have dreamt of.