New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (New Entry), a farmer training, incubator farm, and food access program at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, has taken residence at the historic Moraine Farm at 773 Cabot St. in Beverly after signing a 10-year-lease with the Trustees of Reservations. To mark the occasion, New Entry will hold its annual Open Farm Tour Day from 10-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, with a Farmers Market, children’s activities, music, harvest samplings, and a showcase of sustainable farming methods.
The public will have the chance to stroll the working fields of the incubator farms, hear farmers’ stories, and sample the bounty of fresh farm food being produced at New Entry. There will be guided tours of the farm and Food Hub operations as well as the new farmer training center. The New Entry farming demonstration plot will also be open for viewing, offering a showcase of vegetable plantings and sustainable farming methods, which just received its USDA organic farm certification. Farmers will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the various aspects of beginner farmer training and all things related to healthy farm cultivation.
New Entry is dedicated to improving our local and regional food systems by training the next generation of farmers to produce food that is sustainable, nutritious, and culturally-preferred, while making this food accessible to individuals regardless of age, mobility, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. In doing this work, the organization provides critical training, career development, and economic opportunity to new farmers.
In 1998, New Entry was launched by Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in order to develop a cost-effective strategy to integrate recent immigrants and refugees with farming backgrounds into Massachusetts agriculture. In 2007, New Entry conducted a broad environmental analysis of the burgeoning food movement and expanded its target audience to beginning farmers of all backgrounds with a desire to grow food to create a resilient local food economy.
The initiative was developed as a broad partnership and since its inception, New Entry has fostered collaborative partnerships with farm organizations, community groups and academic institutions to expand our capacity to address a broad range of issues related to beginning farming. New Entry has expanded its programs over the years to a point where today we serve local, statewide, and national audiences through comprehensive farmer training and technical assistance, land access, and direct market support programs; facilitation of collaborative partnerships; and national technical assistance and resource sharing with other beginning farmer organizations across the country.
As a result, lives have changed as people connect to the land and produce culturally preferred food important to their communities and their health; more regional farmland has been maintained in sustainable, active agricultural production; the agricultural community has welcomed diverse members of society into the farming sector; partnerships between service providers have strengthened; and economically diverse communities have greater access to locally grown food.
Since 2011, New Entry has expanded its training and technical assistance programs to include classroom, hands-on, and distance learning educational opportunities in both vegetable and livestock production. It has established and expanded marketing options for new farmers via its multi-producer Food Hub, which serves consumers across all economic levels, including those who could otherwise not afford fresh produce. New Entry has engaged communities across Massachusetts in assessing and making farmland available to new producers. It also coordinates a statewide network of farm service providers and created an active referral network.
The 180-acre Moraine Farm was originally designed in 1880 and has been described as the finest existing example of renowned land architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s approach to planning a country estate. It was a testing ground for ideas he would later execute on a grander scale at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and at Brooklyn's Prospect Park. He created lawns, hedges, rustic stone walls and a magnificent meadow that incorporated his signature layout of grouping structures by function and incorporating the natural landscape. The farm took its name from a low ridge of glacial debris, called a moraine, which Olmsted used to provide an elevated vantage point for the paths and carriage drives that looped through 75 acres of coniferous forest, passed lake and meadow views, and climbed to an overlook on the edge of the 40-acre farm.