Community Programs

Community Programs

NCOF’s hands-on, farm-based programs offer countless opportunities for individuals and families to learn about agriculture and to explore our natural world.

All our programs are grounded in the seasons and fully utilize our real working farm as a welcoming place of learning, discovery, and wonder.

Important Notes! 

Program Information:

Go to the bottom of this page for must read Program Information on clothing, food, water, first aid, Covid-19 and behavior policies, and more.

Member Savings:

Current NCOF Members at the Crofter level ($125) and above automatically save 20% at check out. Join & Save.

  • All NCOF Community Programs take place outdoors.
  • Refunds: NCOF does not offer refunds after the stated deadline. See below.

Fall: September 10, 2021
Winter Mini Session 1: November 26, 2021
Winter Mini Session 2: January 21, 2022
Spring: March 11, 2022
February Vacation: February 14, 2022
April Vacation: April 11, 2022

Pro-rated refunds will be applied if registering for a program after the program start date.

  • Programs are “drop-off” (except where noted) and children must be potty-trained for all “drop-off” programs
  • No program days: See below
  • No masks required outdoors (only indoors)
  • Weather: Programs follow the Natick Public Schools weather policy. If NPS cancels school due to snow or extreme weather, NCOF programs will be canceled as well. If NPS has a delayed opening, morning NCOF programs will be canceled, while afternoon programs will run. More info here.
FALL

Program Dates: September 13 – November 19, 2021

Registration Opens: Closed

No programs: 9/16, 10/11, 11/11

Special Notes:

Outdoor Explore & Play Together we’ll visit the animals, sing songs, and hear a story! This is a wonderful introduction-to-NCOF program for our youngest farmers and their families.

Ages 1.5-3 with Caregiver
Days: Select M, T, W or Th
Time: 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Animal Hoppin’ on the Farm Series Each week we’ll visit a different farm animal, and go hoppin’, cluckin’, oinkin’ or  baahin’ as we make our way around the farm. We’ll talk about what makes each animal unique and how we take care of them, then we’ll finish up with an animal-themed craft. No programs on 9/16, 10/11, or 11/11.

Ages 3-5
Days: W
Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Fridays on the Farm Come down to the farm and help our farmers wake up and check on the animals. Together we’ll feed and water the animals, then spend some time in free-play in the woods.

Ages 3-5
Days: F
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Little Hands in the Soil | no winter session Even folks with little fingers can help tend our gardens! This program engages our youngest farmers in hands-on activities and crafts.

Ages 3-5
Days:
Time:

Farm Sprouts A wonderful chance for three- to five-year olds to explore the farm through daily animal interactions and visits to the fields and the forest. Our farm educators will structure the day and lead games and short lessons designed to engage children’s senses and introduce them to the wonders of the farm. Participants will have plenty of time for free-play in their very own space and for their imaginations to flourish. Please note that all children must be fully potty-trained by the start of this program in order to participate. 

Ages 3-5
Days: T and/or Th
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Chore Time (ages 4-6) no winter session  Come down to the farm and help our farmers wake up and check on the animals. Together we’ll feed and water them and do fun things like collect the chickens’ eggs.

Ages 4-6
Days:
Time:

Farm Learning Workshop  (ages 7-12) Here’s a chance to take a deeper dive into a variety of farm topics week by week. Each week will explore a different facet of farming in an age-appropriate way, such as taking care of livestock, composting, gardening, or working with wood. 

Ages 7-12
Days: W
Time: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Afterschool Farmers | pick up at Memorial School available Youth in grades K-4 dive headfirst into our everyday, hands-on outdoor seasonal farm work and chores. Join us and have some fun using your body and your problem-solving skills outdoors after a long school day! NCOF staff are available to pick up and walk over Memorial School students at 3:16 dismissal. Please email our programming staff to request this.

Grades K-4
Days: M, T, W and/or Th
Time: 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

Farming for Homeschoolers (ages 5-10)  A great chance for 5- to 10-year olds to help out with age-appropriate and fun farm tasks, like daily animal chores, planting, weeding, and harvesting. This is a great introduction to what farms do, how farms work, and to learn what our farmers do on day-to-day basis on our diversified farm.

Ages 5-10
Days: T and/or Th
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Farming for Homeschoolers (ages 11-14) An opportunity for 11- to 14 year olds to work together to creatively solve problems and contribute meaningfully to the farm’s mission. Our older homeschoolers participate in every aspect of working the farm, from planting in the spring and harvesting in the fall to making maple syrup in the winter. Each group will come up with its own service project, such as creating a new product for the market stand or building benches.

Ages 11-14
Days: M and/or W
Time: 8:30 am – 2:30 pm

Youth Work Experience Join us afterschool to help with afternoon animal chores and with farm maintenance. During February and March, our Youth Work Experience participants serve as key members of our maple sugaring crew!

Grades 5-8
Days: T, W and/or Th
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

REGISTER NOW
WINTER

Program Dates: Two 6-week mini Winter Sessions. November 29, 2021 – January 21, 2022 and January 24 – March 11, 2022

Registration Opens: October 25, 2021

No Programs: 1/17/21 and the weeks of 12/20, 12/27, and 2/21

Special Notes: Warm clothing and duplicates of everything is critical to winter fun!

Outdoor Explore & Play Together we’ll visit the animals, sing songs, and hear a story! This is a wonderful introduction to NCOF program for our youngest farmers and their families.

Ages 1.5-3 with Caregiver
Days: Select M, T, W or Th
Time: 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Farm Sprouts A wonderful chance for three- to five-year olds to explore the farm through daily animal interactions and visits to the fields and the forest. Our farm educators will structure the day and lead games and short lessons designed to engage children’s senses and introduce them to the wonders of the farm. Participants will have plenty of time for free-play in their very own space and for their imaginations to flourish. Please note that all children must be fully potty-trained in order to participate. 

Ages 3-5
Days: T and/or Th
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Fridays on the Farm  Come down to the farm and help our farmers wake up and check on the animals. Together we’ll feed and water the animals, then spend some time in free-play in the woods.

Ages 3-5
Days: F
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Woodland Adventures  Spend some quality time in our forest. Free play is the order of our day as we let exploration and our imaginations guide our activities. We’ll visit the animals who live near or in our woodlands.

Age 3-5
Days: T
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Animal Hoppin’ on the Farm Series Each week we’ll visit a different farm animal, and go hoppin’, cluckin’, oinkin’ or  baahin’ as we make our way around the farm. We’ll talk about what makes each animal unique and how we take care of them, then we’ll finish up with an animal-themed craft.

Ages 3-5
Days: W
Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Farm Learning Workshop (ages 4-6) Here’s a chance to take a deeper dive into a variety of farm topics week by week. Each week will explore a different facet of farming in an age-appropriate way, such as taking care of livestock, composting, gardening, or working with wood. 

Ages 4-6
Days: M
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Farm Learning Workshop (ages 7-12) Here’s a chance to take a deeper dive into a variety of farm topics week by week. Each week will explore a different facet of farming in an age-appropriate way, such as taking care of livestock, composting, gardening, or working with wood. 

Ages 7-12
Days: W
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Afterschool Farmers Youth in grades K-4 dive headfirst into our everyday, hands-on outdoor seasonal farm work and chores. Join us and have some fun using your body and your problem-solving skills outdoors after a long school day! NCOF staff are available to pick up Memorial School students at 3:16 dismissal. Email [email protected] to request this.

Grades K-4
Days: M, T, W and/or Th
Time: 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm
Optional Extended Day: 4:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Afterschool in the Woods Unwind after a long day at school or on screens by relaxing and playing in our woods. We’ll make time for hikes and activities. NCOF staff are available to pick up Memorial School students at 3:16 dismissal. Email [email protected] to request this.

Grades K-4
Days: W
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm OR 3:15 pm – 4:45 am
Optional Extended Day: 4:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Farming for Homeschoolers (ages 5-10)  A great chance for 5-10-year olds to help out with age-appropriate and fun farm tasks, like daily animal chores, planting, weeding, and harvesting. This is a great introduction to what farms do, how farms work, and to learn what our farmers do on day-to-day basis on our diversified farm.

Ages 5-10
Days: T and/or Th
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Farming for Homeschoolers (ages 11-14)  An opportunity for 11-14 year olds to work together to creatively solve problems and contribute meaningfully to the farm’s mission. Our older homeschoolers participate in every aspect of working the farm, from planting in the spring and harvesting in the fall to making maple syrup in the winter. Each group will come up with its own service project, such as creating a new product for the market stand or building benches.

Ages 11-14
Days: M and/or W
Time: 8:30 am – 2:30 pm

Youth Work Experience Middle schoolers can join us after school to help with seasonally-based farm chores such as animal care, farm maintenance, maple sugaring prep, field planting and clean up, and so much more!

Grades 5-8
Days: T, W and/or Th
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

REGISTER NOW
FEBRUARY & APRIL VACATION

February Vacation Farmers (ages 5-10) Experience the Farm in winter. Care for the animals, enjoy the warmth of the greenhouse, learn winter crafts, make yummy treats and explore winter in the woods. You’ll be part of the opening maple sugaring season. Help tap the sugar maples if the weather is right. Select the full week (T-F), or sign up for individual days (afternoons only).

Ages 5-10
Days: T-F
9:00 am- 12:00 pm or 1:00-4:00 pm

SPRING

Details coming soon!

Program Dates: March 14 – May 27, 2022

Registration Opens: February 1, 2022

No programs: 4/15 and the week of 4/18

Special Notes:

REGISTER NOW
ADULT PROGRAMS

UPCOMING:

Wool Needle-felting for Beginners: ‘Acorns’ and garlands Try your hand at needle-felting, using wool roving from our very own NCOF sheep! This event is beginner-friendly, and all materials (felting needles, sewing needles, wool roving, acorn caps, string for bunting) will be provided for use during the event, and a take-home instructional packet will be available for participants. Come spend time in community at our farm, using your creativity with one of our most sustainable materials. Feel free to bring your own craft ideas, materials, and/or embellishments (other roving, needles, beads, etc.!); we are looking forward to creating together! Our TerraCorps Youth Education & Community Engagement Coordinator (and self-taught artist/crafter) Eliza Foli will be leading the event. Register here.

 

PAST:

Online GYO Culinary mushrooms class with Fat Moon Farm Learn how to start, nurture, and harvest your own delicious organic mushrooms from Elizabeth Almeida, owner and chief mushroom farmer of Fat Moon Mushroom Farms in Westford, MA. Your class fee  includes three hours of online instruction for all the members of your household and a 10-pound shiitake grow block, which will produce 2 to 3 pounds of mushrooms ($40-$50 worth) in a week. In addition to answering all your questions, Elizabeth will explain life cycle of mushrooms, share fun facts about the fungus kingdom, and provide culinary tips to maximize the flavor and the nutrition of your crop. Bring your curiosity and your questions and dive into the fascinating world of mycology with your fellow NCOF mycophiles! This is a family-friendly class; children must sign up and attend with someone 14 or over.

REGISTER NOW

My son participated in the April Vacation program and absolutely LOVED it. He is five and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but he came home each day saying, “the Farm was AWESOME!’ with two thumbs up. He wants to return every day after his sister naps.”–SL, Parent

My son G. is LOVING the Wednesday in the Woods program. He comes home so excited about new things he’s learned and explored. I can’t tell you how much we rave about the program!”--MP, Parent

Meet Our Educators

Questions?


Email: [email protected]

Phone number: 508-655-2204 x14


Programs Do Not Meet 

New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Juneteenth, Patriots Day,  Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Please check the individual class listing in our online registration program for additional information.

Program Information