Public Programs

Summer Program 2020
update 6/16/20

Thanks for your patience as we’ve worked to meet local, state, and federal guidelines and worked through many different scenarios in response to an ever evolving situation. NCOF will run the following summer programs for youth 10 and older, beginning July 6:

  • Junior Working Farmers, ages 10-11
  • Working Farmers, ages 12-15 (please note new upper age)
  • Teen Work Crew, ages 15-17 (please note all positions now filled)

 We still have open spots in Junior Working Farmers and Working Farmers, check availability by registering online.

During these programs masks must be worn at all times, specific tools will be designated for farmers and for workers, we will have daily cleaning routines for surfaces and tools, and group sizes will be smaller (2-3 workers to 1 farmer.) Parents, please note that NCOF cannot accept any volunteers under the age of 18.

Unfortunately, NCOF will not be able to run the following traditional summer programs for youth under 10:

  • Forest Explorers, ages 3.5-5
  • Budding Farmers, ages 4-5
  • Woodland Wanderers ages 4-6
  • Younger Farmers ages 6-7
  • Growing Farmers ages 8-9

Instead, NCOF will be offering new summer programs to self-selected groups of 6 throughout July and August, Monday-Thursday. Check them out by clicking, “Summer Programs” in the green drop down menu below.

 

 

 

Our new and exciting Summer Programs are for self-selected groups of up to six people. One flat fee covers each time slot, allowing you to choose how few or how many people attend, up to the group limit of six. Registration for all sessions takes place online on a first-come, first-served basis.

NEW SUMMER PROGRAMS

Let’s talk Rabbits (All ages)

Learn about the rabbits raised at Natick Farm. This program includes learning about rabbit history, behavior, and anatomy and partaking in a rabbit themed arts and crafts activity. The highlight of the program is the Bunny Circle, where participants are able to touch and interact with live animals.

Length: 45 min
Cost: $80 flat fee, up to 6 people

Register

Let’s talk Chickens (All ages)

Learn about the chickens raised at Natick Farm. This program includes learning about chicken history, behavior, and anatomy and partaking in a chicken themed arts and crafts activity. The highlight of the program is the Chicken Circle, where participants are able to touch and interact with live animals.

Length: 45 min
Cost: $80 flat fee, up to 6 people

Register

Bring Your Work Shoes – Rabbit Chores (Ages 5 and up)

Learn about the rabbits raised at Natick Farm. This program includes learning about rabbit history, behavior, and anatomy while you perform the morning or afternoon chores related to taking care of them. The highlight of the program is the opportunity to interact and touch the bunnies.

Length: 45 min
Cost: $80 flat fee, up to 6 people

Register

Bring Your Work Shoes – Chicken chores (Ages 5 and up)

Learn about the chickens raised at Natick Farm. This program includes learning about chicken history, behavior, and anatomy while you perform the morning/afternoon chores related to taking care of them. The highlight of the program is the egg hunt, where participants get to check for eggs and interact with the chickens.

Length: 45 min
Cost: $80 flat fee, up to 6 people

Register

Bring Your Work Shoes – Goat, Sheep, Pigs, Cow chores (Ages 5 and up)

Learn about the cows, goats, and sheep raised at Natick Farm. This program includes learning about their history, behavior, and anatomy while you perform the morning chores related to taking care of them. The highlight of the program is interacting with live animals.

Length: 45 min
Cost: $100 flat fee, up to 6 people

Register

Woodland Adventure – Scavenger Hunt (All ages)

Come hike the woods with a naturalist educator! Participants will learn about each scavenger hunt find, all related and important to NCOF woods.

Length: 45 min
Cost: $80 flat fee, up to 6 people

Register

Woodland Adventure – Hike and Play (All ages)

Come hike the woods with a naturalist educator! Participants will learn about NCOF woods and then utilize the Forest Gnomes playground area for fun, nature based play.

Length: 60 min
Cost: $80 flat fee, up to 6 people

Scout Skills (Ages 6 and up)

Come hike the woods or farm with a naturalist educator! Participants will learn about the NCOF woods and learn a skill in fire starting, animal tracking, or whittling. On the farm, participants will learn all about insect tracking and identification.
Morning sessions: Insect Quest!
Insects (Arthropods and worms) are our smallest and busiest farmers! Grab magnifiers and shovels, and sleuth for decomposers in our compost pile. Then, we’ll “log, rock & roll” to discover their dark, secret, hiding spots. A pollinator trek to our flower fields has us searching for bees and butterflies. We’ll swing by the chickens who LOVE eating insects, and talk about animal pests.

Length: 45 min
Cost: $80 flat fee, up to 6 people

Register

Fun Farm Crafts (All ages)

At NCOF, we pride ourselves in the work we do in regards to our farming and livestock. Come join us for an hour workshop on a specific farm related craft. Participants will use findings from the farm to create art!

Length: 45 min
Cost: $100 flat fee, up to 6 people

Register

Farm Learning Workshop (Ages 6 and up)

Join us for an hour long workshop on weekly topics related to the farm. In these workshops, participants can learn about taking care of livestock, composting, gardening, and best farming practices!

Length: 45 min
Cost: $100 flat fee, up to 6 people

Register

ONGOING SUMMER 2020 PROGRAMS

Junior Working Farmers for ages 10-11

The Junior Working Farmer program is for kids ready to have fun while doing good work. This can-do team and the work they do touches all aspects of farm life. One day they are carpenters, fixing a sticky gate. The next day they might be engineers finding the gradient for a storm drain. And everyday they curate and polish market stand. Each day brings something exciting and new, new problems to solve, new opportunities for creativity. The Junior Working Farmers is a great chance for kids to excel in farm projects and get a better, dirtier, view of where our food comes from!

  • Morning sessions run 8:30am to 12pm, Monday through Friday
    • $245 for members, $298 for nonmembers
  • Afternoon sessions run 1pm to 4:30pm, Monday through Thursday.
    • $196 for members, $230 for nonmembers

Register

Working Farmers for ages 12-15 (note new upper age!)

The Working Farmer program is a learn by doing experience. As Working Farmers kids become agricultural juggernauts, powering every dimension of the growing process. Seeding, weeding, cultivating, harvesting, selling- they are hands on at every step. Working right alongside our expert growers, kids learn where their food comes from and how to grow it. Throughout the summer, this team develops the skills and the confidence to run the farm and have a blast while doing it. So get ready to roll up your sleeves and join us!

  • Morning sessions run 8:30am to 12pm, Monday through Friday
    • $245 for members, $298 for nonmembers
  • Afternoon sessions run 1pm to 4:30pm, Monday through Thursday.
    • $196 for members, $230 for nonmembers
  • In order to best prepare for a great summer, all Working Farmers are asked to attend a pre-season meeting at 4:30 on Wednesday, June 12th. If you decide to join us this season after June 12th, please be sure to review the Working Farmer Guidelines.

Register

Teen Work Crew (ages 14-17)

Teen Work Crew  offers paid, mentored summer work for teens carrying out “the big jobs” at the farm, like mowing, fencing, splitting wood, and tackling general construction projects.Teens work 3 to 4 24-hour weeks over the course of the summer, earning minimum wage, under a Teen Work Crew leader. Teen Work Crew is full for Summer 2020. NCOF will accept paragraphs of interest from teen applicants–not their parents–for Summer 2021 from February 1 to March 15, 2021. Unfortunately, NCOF cannot accept volunteers under the age of 18.

 

Afterschool Farmers (grades K-4) Mondays & Thursdays

This program will involve students in our everyday Farm operations, from animal chores to harvesting, to putting our gardens to bed. Memorial students will be walked over from Memorial by Farm staff. Please indicate in the “notes” section of the online registration if your child is from Memorial. No program on Natick Early Release days.  Crofter members and above receive 20% off programs! Become a member by clicking here.

Afterschool in the Woods (grades k-4) Wednesdays

Let’s reclaim our woods for afternoon play and exploration. There will be time for hikes, wood working and building shelters. Memorial students will be walked over from Memorial by Farm staff.  No program on Natick Early Release Days.  Crofter members and above receive 20% off programs! Become a member by clicking here.

 

Early Morning Drop Off, Mondays-Thursdays

Join us at the Farm for our new Early Morning Drop Off Program! We will do various fun, outdoor Farm activities, such as feeding an animal, or taking a hike into the forest before the start of the school day. Dropoff is at 7:30am – we will walk Memorial students over to school at 8:40am. Weather appropriate outerwear is needed for this program.  Crofter members and above receive 20% off programs! Become a member by clicking here.

Farming for Homeschoolers (ages 5-10) Tuesdays & Thursdays

Throughout the school year we will offer a Tuesday and Thursday morning for homeschoolers at the Farm. Each morning the children will be involved in our everyday Farm operations, from animal chores to harvesting, to putting our gardens to bed. Over the course of the year children will get a deep insight into all aspects on a Farm. This is a drop-off program.  Crofter members and above receive 20% off programs! Become a member by clicking here.

Farming for Homeschoolers (ages 11-14) Monday & Wednesdays

This opportunity for middle-school-aged youth is all about working together to solve problems creatively and to contribute meaningfully to the Farm’s mission. These intrepid students participate in every aspect of the farming seasons, from harvesting in the fall, to sugaring in the winter, to planting in the spring. Join us in growing people while growing food! Crofter members and above receive 20% off programs! Become a member by clicking here.

Youth Work Experience (grades 5-8) Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays

We are inviting middle-school students to join Farm staff after school to take care of the animals and help with maintenance. During the months of Sep, Oct, and Nov, students will be involved in harvesting and putting the gardens to bed. Crofter members and above receive 20% off programs! Become a member by clicking here.

 

After School Farmers

This program will involve students in our everyday Farm operations, from animals chores to harvest to putting our gardens to bed. Memorial students will be walked over from Memorial by Farm staff. (Please indicate in the “Notes” section of the online registration if your child is from Memorial.) There are no classes on Natick Early Release days.

Register Now

Farming for Homeschoolers

This opportunity for middle-school-aged youth is all about working together to solve problems creatively and to contribute meaningfully to the Farm’s mission. These intrepid students participate in every aspect of the farming seasons, from harvesting in the fall, to sugaring in the winter, to planting in the spring. Join us in growing people while growing food!

February Vacation Farmers

February Vacation Farmers (grades k-4)

Experience the Farm in the 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. If the weather is right, you’ll help tap sugar maples!

February Vacation Work Experience (grades 5-8)

Middle-school students are invited to join the Farm staff during February vacation to help with our maple sugaring operation, work in the greenhouses, care for our animals and their new arrivals, and help with maintenance.

Friday Farm Time

It’s Friday Farm time! Join one of our Forest Gnome teachers as we work and have fun on the Farm. Experience a taste of Gnome life as we spend half the day as Farmers caring for and feeding the animals, and half the day exploring the woods with lots of time for child-directed play. This is an outdoor program that runs in all weather and combines the best of Farm and forest time! A snack is included and the cost is incorporated into the program fee. Come dressed in weather-  appropriate gear for a morning full of outdoor play and Farm activities! 

Outdoor explore and Play Group (Ages 1.5-3.5 with a caregiver)

Join our dynamic play group which focuses on outdoor free-play and exploration, community building and connection to the natural world. When registering, please indicate the age of your child and who will accompany the child in the ‘note’ section.

S Day Dates Times Price/M Price

  • 01 Mondays in April 3-4pm $72/$60
  • 02 Mondays May – June  3-4pm $72/$60

(No class Apr 15, May 27)

Register Now

Gnomes on the Farm – Spring (ages 3-5)

Wake the animals up, help the Farmers give water to and feed the animals, and gather eggs. Then spend some time in the forest, where free play is the order of the day and where exploration and imagination guide the activities! This is a drop-off program.

S Day Dates Times Price/M Price

  • 01 Fridays March – June  9am-12pm $594/$495

Little Hands in the Soil (Ages 3-5)

We are looking for little hands to help us take care of our “Toddler’s Garden”. We will plant and mulch, rake and water, cultivate and decorate – just like big gardeners.

S Day Dates Time Price/M Price

  • 01A Thursdays in May 10:30-11:30 am $72/$60
  • 01B Thursdays in May 1:30-2:30 pm $72/$60

Baby Stars at the Farm (Ages 3-5)

Get to know bunnies, kids, lambs, chicks and piglets through watching, touching and storytelling. Each week will feature one animal. We will meet the animals and read a story.

S Day Dates Times Price/M Price

  • 01A Mondays in April 10:30-11:30 am $72/$60
  • 01B Mondays in April 1:30-2:30 pm $72/$60

(No class on Apr 15)

Chicken and Egg (ages 3-5)

Meet a chicken. We will learn what they really love to eat and feed them. If we’re quiet, we can hold one. Then we’ll hunt for eggs in the nesting boxes.

  • 01 Wednesdays in April 9:00-10:00 am $18/$15
  • 02 Wednesdays in May 9:00-10:00 am $18/$15

Register Now

Chore Time (Ages 3-5)

Come down to the Farm and wake the animals up. Help the Farm feed and water the animals and gather the eggs.

S Day Dates Times Price/M Price

  • 01 Mondays in April 9:00-10:00 am $72/$60
  • 02 Thursdays April – May  9:00-10:00 am $72/$60
  • 03 Mondays May – June  9:00-10:00 am $72/$60
  • 04 Thursdays in May 9:00-10:00 am $72/$60

(No class Apr 15,16,18 or May 27)

Farm Activities and Crafts (Ages 3-5)

Let’s discover the Farm in beautiful spring and do farm projects and activities around the season – from sowing seeds, to creating a Farm project, and gathering flowers.

S Day Dates Times Price/M Price

  • 01A Thursdays in April – May 10:30 am-11:30 am $72/$60
  • 01B Thursdays April – May 1:30-2:30 pm $72/$60

Got Milk (Ages 3-5)

Have you ever milked a goat? Spend some time with our milking friends! Does chocolate milk really come from brown cows? Come see and taste what we can make with milk!

S Day Dates Times Price/M Price

  • 01 Wednesdays in May 9:00-10:00 am $18/$15

Hop with the Bunnies (Ages 3-5)

Spend some time learning about these warm, fuzzy little creatures. How they live in the wild and how we care for them at home.

S Day Dates Times Price/ M Price

  • 01 Wednesdays in April 9:00-10:00 am $18/$15
  • 02 Wednesdays in May 9:00-10:00 am $18/$15

Let’s Play!

In May, from 12-2pm at the Natick Community Organic Farm
For parents and caregivers and their children (preschool through elementary)
A “hands on” program with ideas on how parents can engage their children through the world of play. Facilitated by licensed psychotherapist Pam Stich, this program will take place (weather permitting) outside at Natick’s local gem (and natural playground), the Natick Community Organic Farm. Lead Sponsors: Natick Community Organic Farm and SPARK Kindness. Registration for this program takes place through SPARK Kindness.

Register Now

Afterschool Farmers (Grades K-4)

This program will involve students in our everyday Farm operations, from animal chores to harvesting, to putting our gardens to bed. Memorial students will be walked over from Memorial by Farm staff. Please indicate in the “Notes” section of the online registration if your child is from Memorial. No program on Natick Early Release days.

S Day Dates Times Price/M Price

  • 01A Mondays April – June 3:15-4:45 pm $189/$158
  • 01B Mondays April – June 3:15-5:15 pm $252/$210
  • 02A Tuesdays March – June 3:15-4:45 pm $297/$248
  • 02B Tuesdays March – June  3:15-5:15 pm $396/$330
  • 03A Thursdays March – June 3:15-4:45 pm $270/$225
  • 03B Thursdays March – June 3:15-5:15 pm $360/$300

(No program on Natick Early Release days)

Afterschool in the Woods (Grades K-4)

Let’s reclaim our woods for afternoon play and exploration. There will be time for hikes, wood working and building shelters. Memorial students will be walked over from Memorial by Farm staff.  No program on Natick Early Release Days.

S Day Dates Time Price/M Price

  • 03A Wednesdays March – Jun 3:15-4:45 pm $216/$180
  • 03B Wednesdays March – June 3:15-5:15 pm $288/$240

(No program on Natick Early Release Days)

April Vacation Farmers (K-4)

Experience the Farm in the 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. If the weather is right, you’ll help tap sugar maples!

S Day Dates Time Price/M Price

  • 01 Tues-Fri in April 9-12 pm $216/$180
  • 02 Tue-Fri in April 1-4 pm $216/$180

NEW: Make-your-own afternoon schedule! Choose single or multiple afternoon sessions. $60/afternoon.

 

April Vacation Work Experience (grades 5-8)

Middle school students are invited to join the Farm staff during April vacation to help work in the greenhouses, care for our animals and their new arrivals, and help with maintenance.

  • 01 Tue-Fri in April 8:30 am-12 pm $252/$210
  • 02 Tue-Fri in April 1:00-4:30 pm $252/$210

NEW: Make-your-own afternoon schedule! Choose single or multiple afternoon sessions. $60/afternoon.

Register Now

Farming for Homeschoolers (ages 5-10)

Please join us for a year round, hands-on program that involves children in our every-day Farming operations – from maple sugaring to working in the solar greenhouses, from starting seeds in the greenhouses to transplanting seedlings into the vegetable gardens.  Every week we start the morning with animal chores. Over the course of the year children will get a deep insight into all aspects of work on a farm and to where our food comes from. This is a drop-off program.

S Day Dates Time Price/M Price

  • 02 Tuesdays March – June 9-12pm $480/$390

Farming for Homeschoolers II (ages 11-14)

Middle-school-aged youth work together to solve problems creatively and to contribute meaningfully to the Farm’s mission. Our intrepid students participate in every aspect of the farming seasons, from sugaring in the winter to planting in the spring. Join us in growing people while growing food!

  • 02 Mondays March -June 8:30 am-2:30 pm $720/$585

Register Now

 

Only Bunnies (ages 5-10)

Thinking about a rabbit for a pet? Here’s your chance to hold, care for and get all your questions about these furry critters answered.

S Day Dates Time Price/M Price

  • 01 Wednesdays in April 3:30-4:30pm $18/$15

Purely Piglets (Ages 5-10)

Get to know the smartest animal on the Farm. A chance to learn about our piglets, feed them kitchen scraps and watch them play in the mud.

S Day Dates Time Price/M Price

  • 01 Wednesdays in April 3:30-4:30pm $18/$15

Youth Work Experience (Grades 5-8)

We are inviting middle school students to join Farm staff after school top take care of the animals and help with maintenance. During the months of April, May and June, students will be involved in starting our vegetable seedlings, transplanting and preparing our gardens.

S Day Dates Time Price/M Price

  • 01 Tuesdays February – March 3-4:30 pm $135/$113
  • 02 Wednesdays February – March 3-4:30 pm $135/$113
  • 03 Thursdays February – March 3-4:30 pm $135/$113
  • 04 Tuesdays in April 3:00-4:30 pm $108/$90
  • 05 Wednesdays April – May 3-4:30 pm $108/$90
  • 06 Thursdays April – May 3-4:30 pm $108/$90
  • 07 Tuesdays May – June 3-4:30 pm $135/$113
  • 08 Wednesdays May – June 3-4:30 pm $135/$113
  • 09 Thursdays May – June  3-4:30 pm $135/$113


Winter Public Programs run January-March
Spring Public Programs run April- late June
Summer Public Programs run late June-August
Fall Public Programs run September-December

Current NCOF members Crofter level ($125) and above save 20% on program fees. Join & save.

 

What folks are saying about our programs:

“I have been meaning to write for months, really ever since my 4 year old son, A., finished up 5 weeks of the Budding Farmer program (or farm camp, as we fondly called it) at the farm in August. My reason for writing is to thank you. A. is, by nature, an outdoor kind of a kid and I was convinced, following our move to Natick in January, that he would love the farm. But his time with Bridget and Betsy far exceeded my expectations. Everyday he was full of enthusiastic stories… what he’d found in the woods, the animals he’d cared for, the bee stings he’d bravely endured! He talked more about farm camp (and with more enthusiasm) than he has about any school, camp, or class he has ever done. Part of that is because of him and what he loves/feels connected to. But most of that is because of you and the wonderful programs you run.  I know how often one can go about their regular business and not know how much is being contributed or noticed. But please know how grateful A. and our whole family is for the important work that you do on the farm. Thank you and keep up the good work! Best wishes,”A.L., Parent

 

“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, “Camp at the Farm was AWESOME.” with two thumbs up and wants to return every afternoon after his sister naps.   I feel it is always important to tell someone/place a job well done-Since we tend to always hear the negative. ” S.L., Parent

Refunds Refunds, cancellations, and changes to programs:

Refunds, cancellations, and changes to program registrations can be made at no cost within 5 business days of registration.
After 5 business days and before the June 1 deadline, changes will be subject to a $25 fee.
During the Summer, no refunds will be granted after June 1 for cancellations or changes.