Our Impact – Growing with NCOF

Our Impact

Growing with NCOF

People Are Our Most Important Crop

Sowing the Seeds of Our Future

“Off all the things that I have accomplished here at the Farm, I feel the one that has made the most difference has been creating a place where teenagers feel welcome, accepted, and useful”


Every year, we mentor two dozen teens through our Teen Work Crew and in the Mentoring Teens Through Agriculture Apprentice Program, paying them minimum wage to do “the big jobs” around the Farm. Through these programs, we get a lot of work done at the Farm, but it’s also a two-way street. We provide training, guidance, and a sense of community at a critical time in a teenager’s life by offering a safe place for them to explore interests, develop talents, and to make and learn from mistakes. These young people become the backbone of the farm, develop skills and leadership abilities, and then take those experiences out into the world to make it a better place.

Reaping What We Sow

Former teen workers, in their 20s, 30s, 40s, or even their 50s, come back to visit us. They share how their time on the Farm deeply influenced them, and tell us that thanks to the Farm, they now keep bees, have gardens, eat locally, let their children “get dirty” and are active participants in their communities. And some even work in agriculture! 
Their testimonials let us know that we have helped to nurture well-rounded, responsible adults who make in difference in their, and our world.

NCOF Spotlight

James Meyer

James (pictured on the left) is now a professional arborist

Mark Oteri

Mark Oteri started working at NCOF at age 10 in the Youth Summer Work program, where he discovered his interests in timberframing and stonework. He has worked all over the world as a professional timberframer and stone wall builder Mark has worked with NCOF’s Teen Work Crew to restore our 1815 barn, and build our timber frame nature center, composting toilet shed, and barnside market stand.

Rusty Varnell & Henry Barth

Rusty (pictured on the left) is now a professional alpaca shearer
Henry (pictured on the right) is now studying small engine repair, has a thriving small engine repair business, and is working as a farm hand

Trish Wesley Umbrell

Trish first visited NCOF with her Kindergarten class. She remembers goats climbing on an old vehicle and that a classmate was bitten by a goose. She started attending the summer programs when she was 10.
Trish is now the Assistant Director of Internal Operations at NCOF


“My favorite part about volunteering at the farm was when we got to feed the animals. It was so much fun because the animals were all cute. One thing I got out of working at the farm was that sometimes I might have to work really hard to do something, but it all has a purpose in the end. I enjoyed this whole experience very much.” – Isaac Hoffman
I have been wanting to volunteer for many years but finally decided to take the plunge.  I think the farm is such a great resource for our kids and our community.  I have sent my kids to camp here for the past two years and was always jealous of the experiences they had each day. I have been thoroughly enjoying my time at the farm so far.  Everyone at the farm has been so welcoming and friendly,I love how everyone stops everything when the lunch bell rings to come and enjoy a meal together.  I also like not knowing what I’m going to be working on each day.  The variety of different tasks keeps things interesting and allows me to soak in more of how things are done to make the farm run. I really have enjoyed all of the jobs that I have done so far. They have allowed me to not only get my hands dirty, but also apply my technology background to help out on the backend when needed.  — Krissy Fernandes

Our Mission

The Natick Community Organic Farm is a nonprofit, certified-organic farm. We provide productive open space, farm products, and hands-on education for all ages, year-round.

The Natick Community Organic Farm is about farming in the public eye. Visitors to the farm learn what food looks like before it gets processed, refined, or packaged. We demonstrate how to take good care of the land and the animals, and we’re excited to teach the next generation about stewardship, ecology, and personal responsibility.