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NewFarm: An Invitation to Embrace Sustainability
Cape Cod's first organic indoor/outdoor garden and micro-farm supply store
by Lindsay Cook
For as long as I can remember I have witnessed a growing disconnect with community, with nature, and with the production of our food.
We live in a time when the home-cooked meal eaten around the kitchen table is losing ground to fast food in the car; a time when our children are spending less time outside and more time in front of televisions and computer screens; a time when we are connecting on Facebook, but not connecting in reality.
Years ago, I decided that I wanted my life's work to be devoted to mending this disconnect. I wanted to provide a place for people to get together, share ideas, inspire one another, and support each other.
But that wasn't all. I wanted people to take this knowledge and inspiration home with them and use it to fuel their own projects that would help them produce food and connect with nature… locally, organically, sustainably.
The only question left in my mind was how, exactly, I was going to do this.
Over the years, my dreams and ideas have been shaped by countless people, including some you may be familiar with: Barbara Kingsolver, E.O. Wilson, Richard Louv, Michael Pollan… the list goes on.
Through their voices, I heard undeniable arguments about the results of our disconnect with the natural world, with food production, and with each other… increasing rates of depression; myriad diet-related health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity; and a failing agricultural system that encourages the use of genetically modified crops and chemical pesticides while making it virtually impossible for our small family farms to eke out a living.
However, this isn't all I heard, I also heard optimism; the certainty that things could change; that the power of change rested right at our fingertips, we just had to reach out and grasp it.
Energized with a dose of blind faith and an added touch of stubbornness, I launched onto the path less traveled as I picked up my shovel for the first time and broke ground on what would be my first garden; as I carried a small brown box home from the feed store listening to the peeps of my first flock of chickens; as I took on one project after another, recognizing that the only way one fails is by refusing to try.
And now, years later, I am finally ready to answer my own question of how to help reverse the growing disconnect with nature that I have witnessed. On March 1st, with the help of my husband, I opened a little store named NewFarm.
NewFarm is Cape Cod's first organic indoor/outdoor garden and micro-farm supply store, although our tagline "animal.vegetable.community." better expresses our mission.
At NewFarm you can get all of the supplies, information, and inspiration you need to start producing your own food at home; from a project as small as a table top herb garden, to a "micro-farm" complete with hydroponic gardens indoors, organic vegetable gardens outdoors, and a flock of backyard chickens.
NewFarm is not for large-scale farmers (although they are welcome). It is not for people with picture-perfect gardens (although they are welcome too).
It is for people like you. People who may or may not know anything about gardening, or chickens, or what "hydroponics" even means. None of that is important.
What is important is giving yourself the opportunity to be inspired and to reconnect with the natural world.
When you step outside to plan your garden your senses will come alive with the smell of moist earth; the songs of the chickadees in the trees; the feel of the sun warming your skin. It is then that you will realize that the tomatoes are only an added benefit.
And when your garden does produce food, because it will, (I promise) you will be much more likely to make something delicious with it, to sit down at the table, and to share it with your friends and family. Because when you are growing your own food it just tastes better.
Lindsay with her family at the Love Local Festival Photograph by Anthony Esposito
At NewFarm, my goal is to develop a close-knit community of people who share the beliefs that sunshine, soil, and fresh air are good for the soul; that food is healthier and tastes better if you produce it yourself; and that you can do a lot with a little if you put your mind to it.
Love to Garden?
Cape Cod's indoor/outdoor garden
Specializing in organic garden supply,
791 Route 28, Harwich Port, MA
So stop by the store, browse the "Ideas Bar" for your next project, check out what other Cape Cod gardeners and micro-farmers are up to on the "Backyard Farmer's Discussion Board", attend one of our workshops… get inspired, get confident, get ready to have some fun, and then get outside.
Your garden is waiting.
Farm photographs by Lindsay Cook
Lindsay Cook was born and raised in Massachusetts. She attended UMASS Amherst and completed a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy at Johns Hopkins University.
Since moving with her family to Cape Cod she has worked for the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, the National Park Service on the Cape Cod National Seashore, and the Cape Cod Conservation District.
Lindsay lives on a micro-farm with her husband and two children, eleven chickens, two quail, cat, and three dogs.