This terrific article was written by James Kennedy, Cape Ann Waldorf School Newsletter editor and Moraine Farm CSA shareholder.
Record numbers came out on a beautiful day for this year’s Moraine Farm Festival. The third annual campus-wide open house had drawn 290 visitors even before the day was over, many out to explore unseen parts of this beautiful property that extends well beyond our school.
At CAWS, a steady stream of hungry trekkers purchased homemade cider, vegetable soup, honey-wheat “huck-a-buck” bread and apple crisp, all in support of the third grade farm trip and the eighth grade’s end-of-year trip. The cider apples were gathered by students at Ms. Miles’ house, while third-grade dad and professional cook (at Green Meadows Farm) Emanuel Besana was responsible for this year’s yummy soup (with Moraine Farm CSA veggies)! Thanks to third-grade moms for cooking the bread and eighth grade parents for the apple crisp and pie.
Mrs. Hiselman, Mr. Yoors, and the rest of the faculty showed off our beautiful school to lots of families, while children came in to knead bread dough in the kindergarten and play outside on David’s Court and the playgrounds. “I left the new cabin open and families were able to play ball and try out some of our fun equipment,” Mr. Yoors said. “It really was a wonderful day.”
Down the carriage road, at Project Adventure, the catwalk was opened high under the tree canopy and a constant line of visitors took the challenge. “We had to have someone on belay straight through from morning until we closed in the afternoon,” PA’s director of development, Beth Norris told the Newsletter.
Over at the Red Barn, a colorful vegetable stand showcased the day’s harvest from the Trustees of Reservations Moraine Farm CSA (see photos next page). Visitors tried out the bicycle wheel cider press, visited the Yoors’ goats, sat up on tractors old and new, bought candles, built bee houses with kindergarten teacher Mary Mansur, and heard fourth grade teacher Aria Nevin tell the story of Ratatosk the Squirrel, who lived more than 100 years ago and watched as these new human creatures worked in the fields and played among the new buildings and carriage ways.
Also in the barn, photos of Moraine Farm “then and now” gave a feel for how the property has changed over the last 100 years. And later in the day, Olmstead expert Alan Banks answered questions about the importance of the great landscape designer’s Moraine Farm masterpiece.
Thanks to the Essex County Greenbelt, one of the local land conservation groups helping to oversee the wider Moraine Farm property, many families made their way around the land by checking off finds on their “Moraine Farm Bingo” sheets!(photo below) Some found all 15 sites – from our Waldorf School play areas to the tea house, sunken garden, red barn and beyond — though nine was enough to win the prize. And sometimes just one find was all it took to make a young person’s day. “I found the spider web thingy!” a six-year-old yelled after glancing up high at the red barn’s beautifully arched window. “Look up there!”
The day also included a cooking demonstration, historic walking tour, a mini-farmers market, and an educational walk to find edible weeds. Eighth grade teacher Anna Scalera joined the walk along with fifth grade teacher Rebecca Rugo. Mrs. Rugo is currently in a botany block with her students. She said the edible plants walk was excellent and that she will use some of what she learned while traversing Moraine Farm with her students later in the week.
Moraine Farm Festival visitors left a fun filled day knowing a little bit more than they did when they arrived. Many also left with a piece of Moraine Farm. Literally. The prize for those who finished the bingo scavenger hunt was a squash or gourd from the Moraine Farm CSA.