Northshore Magazine

Northshore June/July 2023

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 41 of 139

NORTHSHOREMAG.COM 40 JUNE + JULY 2023 L I V E + P L AY CONTACT can be hard to find and costly to acquire. The chance to work land at New Entry, therefore, helps eliminate a major obstacle new growers often face. "They're not going out and searching for land and building up their infrastructure," Hashley says. "They can really get started from scratch without a huge up-front investment." New Entry provides participating farm businesses—13 last year, nine this year— with a range of equipment and facilities including tools, deer fencing, greenhouses for starting seeds, access to irrigation and electricity, storage space, and produce washing stations. Farm manager Leah Jurman offers expertise and practical assistance to participating farmers. "She's a priceless resource," Aldrich says. "She's an incredible fountain of farming knowledge and wisdom." Also located at the Beverly farm is the food hub, which acts as a middleman between new farmers and customers looking for more produce than a small start-up could guarantee. The system allows buyers to get fresh, local produce while giving young businesses a steady stream of revenue during the often-uncertain early days of operations. The food hub aggregates products from participating growers and sells it through a CSA subscription program and to area school districts. It also runs a food access program that partners with nonprofits and donors to provide free or discounted produce to seniors and organizations feeding low-income communities. Moving forward, New Entry has plans for new facilities, including a climate-friendly greenhouse warmed using the heat trapped in the earth. Hashley is also hoping to develop a coalition of mobile farmers markets to support their work bringing locally grown food to people with less access to local produce. There also plans in the works to develop a certificate program in sustainable food production with a local community college. But whatever New Entry plans, the importance of local food will be at the heart of every choice. "We need more people to be growing food and producing locally and stewarding our land," Hashley says. Top, A field of zinnias at New Entry's Incubator Farm are grown by flower farmer Lauren Barnhill of Sunspell Flora; Bottom, The Tufts University Pollinator Initiative explores native insects on a pollinator safari at New Entry. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF NEW ENTRY SUSTAINABLE FARMING PROJECT

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