Monthly Archives: November 2008

New Entry Graduate starts Independent Enterprise

Lydia Sisson, a 2008 graduate of the Business Planning Course at New Entry, has secured some land in N. Reading to start her business, Luna Farm. Lydia’s agricultural experience started as an undergraduate at Vassar College, where she volunteered on a local farm and was subsequently hired to work in their CSA program. Upon graduation, Lydia worked for United Teen Equality Center (UTEC) in Lowell, as a mentor in the “Fresh Roots” program, where youth learned about growing, cooking, and selling food. For the last year now, Lydia has been the Farm Education Coordinator and Seasonal Agricultural Intern for Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton, MA. At Green Meadows, Lydia was teaching classes to adults and children as well as assisting with vegetable production and animal husbandry for their 370-share Community Supported Agriculture program.

Luna Farm, in North Reading, Massachusetts, is a diversified vegetable farm on five acres of land. The mission of Luna Farm is to provide the community with fresh produce grown with sustainable and organic techniques and farming practices that enrich the soil and the fertility of the land. Luna Farm strives to create equal access to healthy food for the entire community.
Luna Farm is a CSA and she is taking orders now for the 2009 season for delivery to N. Reading and Davis Sq in Somerville, MA.
Here are the details:
Lydia Sisson
Luna Farm
P.O. Box 1863
Lowell, MA
Congratulations and Best Wishes, Lydia!

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Middlesex Community College Day of Service

On Friday, October 17, 100 Middlesex Community College students helped clean up New Entry’s leased farmland for their Day of Service. From 9:30am to 12:30pm, these students mobilized to clear up bushes, winterize the hoop house, trim the fields, clean out the sheds, collect field supplies, clean up the Pick Your Own Garden, and ready the shade shelter area for winter. Yeah, you would need 100 volunteers to help you do all those things in 3 hours too!
With 50 young volunteers mobilizing at Smith Farm and 50 at Richardson’s, much was accomplished to have the fields ready for when Spring comes around. Many thanks to MCC for your community service and enthusiasm–we could not have done all of this without your help!

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Farm Business Course in Session

The Farm Business Course is in session! This is a 6 week course where students learn the business-side of running a small farm business – from creating a business plan, learning crop management, troubleshooting, and marketing. This course is offered twice a year, one starting in October and the next in January.
The Fall ’08 cohort is made up of students from all age ranges and represent seven different countries. McKenzie Boekholder, New Entry Technical Assistant Coordinator and course instructor says, “this class represents the most diverse group so far in terms of ethnicity, experiential background, and age. I really look forward to teaching this class and seeing the end result, which will be 17 very different business plans.”
This 6-week course is offered twice every year, beginning in October (evenings) and again in January (mornings). Fees range from $50 to $150, depending upon income. The course covers:
* Business plan and budget development
* Identification of market demand
* Crop planning.
* Promotion of farm products
* Evaluation of the materials, equipment, and additional resources needed to run a successful farming business
Tufts Agriculture, Food, and Environment students–second year Abby Randall and first year Chelsea Bardot-Lewis, also assist with the course.
Does this sound like something you’re interested in? If so, sign up for the Explorer Farm Course, by emailing Matthew Himmel at
Also, to learn more about the Farm Planning Business course, click here.
To learn more about the training farm, click here.

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New Entry wins Harry Chapin Award!

It’s hard to believe it’s already November. The first semester at the Friedman School is already getting ready to wind down and meanwhile New Entry has been movin’ and shakin’.
New Entry was very excited to be a 2008 recipient of the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award. This award gives a cash grant to “outstanding grassroots organizations in the United States that have moved beyond charity to creating change in their communities. Organizations selected as Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award winners are judged outstanding for their innovative and creative approaches to fighting domestic hunger and poverty by empowering people and building self-reliance.”
This award is offered in conjunction with World Hunger Year and the Harry Chapin Foundation.
Congratulations to the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and keep up the good work!

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