Saving Local Food and Farming in Manomet

Keep Fresh Local Food in Manomet! 
Holmes Farm was not only a beautiful place to go, it was a community space that supported local food, community spirit and a sustainable environment where customers could be guaranteed that the food was local and fresh. 
We want to create another magical location where the community is welcomed and celebrated and where access to local, high-quality food is top priority.

As many of you may know we were just barely half way though our first 10 year license to  Holmes Farm when the landowners suddenly terminated the license. With only 5 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to vacate and pack up we have been quite busy. We have dedicated over 6 years to growing and sourcing fresh local food. We want that to continue here in Manomet. The community of Manomet has come to love and depend on our farm stand and we are determined to continue with your help. 
We are asking you to keep fresh local food available here in Manomet and in Plymouth. We not only grow our own food but also keep thousands of dollars in our local ecomony by also sourcing from and supporting other local farmers. 

How? By securing a retail location at 629 State Rd. Once secured we will then be working with locals who have fields that can be cultivated to extend our growing capacities. 

Most of the money raised through this campaign will be used to add to what we have available to secure 629 State Rd and begin returning it to a real farm stand providing fresh local food to the community, beautiful plants and flowers, a huge variety of bulk local foods (flours, dried beans, dried herbs, etc), a more extensive selection of local meats and dairy, a wider array of artisenal foods by local food purveyors. 
The rest will be used for renovations for the existing commercial building, bring it up to code, add walk-in coolers for greens, fresh produce and dairy as well as add a commercial freezer space, renovate the interior with shelving and bins for bulk food sales,  incorporate a small commercial kitchen, renovate the exterior for plant sales and PYO flowers and resurrect the greenhouse on property.   (We are working on getting an estimate on these projects) 
A place where all those fun things we have all been wanting to do on the farm but werent allowed to CAN... 
Farm to Table Dinners; Mini Farmer's Market; Fun Days

***If we are extraordinarily successful with this funding project the ultimate dream is to also purchase the Antique/ Country Store at 627 State Rd so they can be used in conjunction with each other, the antique store being used for the selling of farm antiques and artistry by locals....and maybe if the town lets us, a few indoor acoustic fun evenings ***
Once this project is secured we will work on relocating and bringing Barn Show to a venue in Manomet!

We need these funds ASAP to ensure we get this great location! goal has always been to bring the best locally grown foods to the tables of the local community. It is my mission to create a space that can be enjoyed by many and provides knowledge and exploration of what it means to be connected to one of few life sustaining essentials, food. This project supports the full circle of health, economics, spirit and sustainability. 
Your donations go towards bringing something amazing to the community of Manomet and Plymouth. If everyone who saw the FB link about Holmes Farm closing donated $15 we would be very close to our goal!

All donors will be invited to our
             --Grand Farm Feast in the Fall of 2018--

We will miss these views but hopefully not you, our community of local food heroes!

Dear Holmes Farm Members, Customers and SUpporters,


    This is probably one of the hardest letters I have ever had to write.

    I am writing to you to let you know that the license to operate our farm and farmstand at Holmes Farm has been terminated as of Dec 27, 2017- four years early from our contracted date in 2021. At this point, the historic Holmes Farm we recreated will no longer exist. It is my understanding that Manomet, Inc, the land owners, are planning to turn the farm from productive food growing back to "conservation land". We are working on reorganizing and are actively seeking out new opportunities for food growing. I will still be running the Deep Winter CSA program with delivery and I am still selling 2018 CSA shares. I am determined to have a venue by Spring to serve this community. I am putting together a plan for getting you the high quality, locally grown food you have been so supportive of. It may be a mobile farm stand, but that plan is just budding and I will reach out as my plans become more solidified.


    You are shocked, I am sure.  I was too. I have written to the trustees of the organization but have received no response.  How does an organization that has sustainable food and sustainable economies as two of their four missions find that closing a farm that provides for hundreds of people would be a move in a positive direction? I do not know if there is anything that can change this decision but I think it only right to let you know now in case you want to have your voice heard. 


    Here's some history. Five years ago I was teaching at an agricultural high school and part time farming in NH. My sister Jen had started on an awesome farming venture at what is known as Holmes Farm on land that is owned by the organization now known as Manomet, Inc. Jen had been approached by the President of the organization, who asked her to start a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and renovate the bogs on what was the historical Holmes property. 

By year two the community had responded so well to the food that Jen was producing and selling in her little side of the road tent set-up that the pick up location had to be moved to a safer spot.  Jen invested in the purchase and painting of what many of you remember as the farm stand trailer. In year three  I started helping out on weekends, as the vegetable sales were getting increasingly busier and Jen had an infant at home. I absolutely fell in love with Holmes Farm, the projects Jen was working on, the vision for the farm, and you, the community of Plymouth and Manomet. I spent every Sunday during the Spring and Fall and many more days during the Summer talking with our customers about growing, sustainability, recipe ideas, planting, the raising of food and community happenings.


    The following Summer I came to Holmes Farm full-time and began working at the farm stand and helping with planting and harvesting,  while raising pigs and chickens on another leased location in Plymouth. In 2017 I took over management of the farm stand and the fields at Holmes Farm. Jen has continued to farm at the other location, growing food for the stand, while consulting on the fields at Holmes farm.

    To date we have accomplished so much. In year one Jen had about 10 CSA members and was hand watering her crops from buckets pulled from Skokes Pond. This year we produced hundreds of pounds of summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, flowers, herbs, celery, beans and more. With the help of Jim Lifton and Maple Meadow Apiary we expanded to 5 more beehives and were planning many more in the next year, so we could have real Manomet honey. We fed over 500 families and had over 7000 transactions, and 75 full members. I developed a website this year, we have grown to over 1500 followers on FB, and 500 families receive my newsletter.  We were on the front page of The Old Colony Memorial in Sept. and are scheduled to be in the Spring edition of South Shore Living. 

    This past winter I signed up our farm to be a part of the Healthy Incentives Program, a grant funded program through the state that provides dollars for SNAP (food stamp) recipients to spend with MA farmers on fresh fruits and vegetables. Already, we have been able to provide $4000.00 worth of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to these customers since July. The bogs have been fully renovated, and although we faced challenges with our newly planted vines and fighting rampant weed pressure organically, this fall we secured support from a well established local cranberry grower to help with this project. Some of you saw the solar sunflower this fall on the property, which was just the beginning of an anticipated project with a local solar company to make the farm stand an off-grid solar powered sustainable operation this year. Barn Show was the baby of Hayley Sabella (who worked on the farm for many years) and Jen after it was obvious that the community of Manomet wanted more family friendly community events. It was a success from the first show. The copious pictures of children  playing while bands performed and community members laughed and enjoyed themselves will be images that make our hearts feel full forever.

    With every year there were new ideas, a better understanding of the land we were farming, a better sense of the business that had been started, and how to best serve the needs of the community that we are a part of.

    There were also, without doubt, challenges and obstacles, projects we thought would be accomplished but just weren’t, things we probably should have done but only realized their importance in hindsight, decisions that could have been made with more clarity and more focus. We made many mistakes; as any new business, new farming venture, new members to a community, new partners in a relationship will do. Over the last 6+ years as the farmers who brought Holmes Farm back to life we have been determined to make the land and the farm stand a success and something Manometians hold dear.

As we move forward we hope that you will continue to seek out sustainable, local, fresh foods to fill your fridge, your freezer, your canning shelves and your tables. Keep in touch, feel free to reach out to us or, if so moved, to Manomet, Inc to guide them in utilizing the land of Holmes Farm as a positive, forward-thinking, community-enhancing space.

    Again, a huge thank you from the depths of my heart in making all the challenges of the last four years well worth it with your presence and your unending show of support and love for the work we have done.

                    With gratitude and a breaking heart,

                        Amy, Jen and the Holmes Farm Crew

Summer has officially begun

Though many mark summer with the ending of the school year, the warm days extended and then waning...we mark it's beginning with the pronouncement from our farmer friends with plenty of acreage, "THE CORN IS READY". We can finally answer the question asked since opening day, "Do you have corn?" with a resounding YES! This slow starting season is promising much as we harvested the first Zephyr squash today and the patty pans are looking like they will be ready for the weekend! Cucumber plants that have been weeded and mulched and tended to but finally left to "git growing" surprised us today with several fruits that reminded us that harvest is indeed upon us (they might have been a bit large!) The bounty is upon us so come enjoy the beginning of the summer harvest. 

It feels like Spring (well, Summer some days!)

Lots of activity on the farm! The field is almost full and we are hoping our late planting will bring us bounty later into the fall. The flowers are looking beautiful, the herbs are lush and growing and the farm stand is getting smaller the more that is ready to go on the shelves! (Well it feels like it :). We are gearing up for the first Barn Show this Sat and its going to be a great kick off to the summer season. Come on by to see all of what's happening or join in the agricultural fun! There's always a project or five to do :) Thank you to a great volunteer who came and planted all the sunflowers in the flower beds! We are now open Weds thru Sun 10-7 so you can get your mid-week fix of veggies! A farewell to Maggie who was an incredible Spring crew member and will hopefully be returning once the kiddos are back in school in the Fall. Thanks for your hard work and perseverance!  Also a be-lated farewell to Van who was also a hard working Spring Crew member, now off on an internship adventure.    Amy

Rain, Rain...well at least it pushed me to finish the Website!

There has been so much going on at Holmes Farm! We have the fields ready and soil warmed up to plant the tomatoes that have been patiently waiting in the greenhouse. There are lots of flower pots and fun pizza and salsa gardens for you to add to your summer decor and fresh eating fun. The farm stand has been up and running and we have several new members to the team! And YES  finally no more ipsum computer gibberish on the website (thank you Robyn for the gentle push ;)

Strawberries are in season! Plus so much more deliciousness! CSA shares are still available and offer you the best bang for your buck with a discount on fruits and veggies, free, yes I said free, pick your own herbs and flowers all season!, member specials each week and more...

Enjoy and see you soon! Amy.

Farm Stand open Fri Sat Sun 10-7 this week

Starting next week on Weds it's up to 5 days a week Weds thru Sunday (June 14 thru June 25)

 July 1 thru Columbus Day it's 7 days a week 10-7 

National Small Business Week

I hope that you have been getting out and enjoying the beautiful weather! There has been so much to do, from working the spring soil to marching in support of protecting our environment to doing Earth Day clean-up... The weather also looks incredible for May Day events from wrapping a May Pole to participating in another march to planting those beautiful annuals or direct seeding some peas! This week we also celebrate National Small Business get out there and support your neighbors and tell them thanks for keeping business small and local to grow our local economy. While you are relaxing after so much activity be sure to check out and purchase your CSA Membership.. extra $ bonuses last until May 3! Bee well and Love Life!  Amy


Member Letter Spring 2017


    Small, sustainable agriculture; an endeavor that is purposeful, vital to life and full of challenges. It is rewarding and invigorating while also uncertain and dependent on uncontrollable variables. Agriculture requires the ability to change and adapt with weather and, as in any small business, with the needs of our community and business. This was certainly a year to hone our skills in each one of these areas. We at Holmes Farm have had our share of struggles, changes and adaptations this season. We sincerely thank you, our reason for being here, for also allowing us some growing pains, for continuing to support local agriculture, and most importantly for continuing to be a part of the Holmes Farm community. We believe that the changes we are making will serve to strengthen our involvement in each others’ lives and will continue to make Holmes Farm a resource and invaluable part of our community. 


This past season we increased our membership base to over 60. Our marketing has been minimal and we owe the increased awareness of Holmes Farm to our customers telling their neighbors, friends and family about the great food they find at the Farmstand. We were able to support more than 5 local farms by supplementing our produce with theirs. These farms include Golden Rule Farm, a certified organic farm owned and operated by a Manomet resident; Four Town Farm, a 150+ acre, fifth generation farm in Seekonk, MA; Langwater Farm, a certified organic 1900s revived farm of now over 120 acres supported by the town of Easton; Elliot Farm, started and run by Ken Elliot a veteran in agriculture of more than 30 years and now joined by his two children who at 30 and 31 have almost as many years in the industry; C.N. Smith Farm and Orchard, a 100 year old farm that has specialized in nearly everything over its history but now focuses on orchard fruit (they are the suppliers of those amazing peaches so many of you crave!); and other local farms as we find ones that have specialized products we think you might enjoy at the stand. By working with other local farms we are better able to provide our customers and members with a diversified offering as well as more securely support a strong local economy. This next season we will do a bio and highlight the farmers that we work with so you can get to know them as well as I do and “know your farmers”. You can also find information about the farmers we work with on our NEW website! 

The 2016 Season Wrap-Up

    As many of you are aware, New England and specifically southeast MA is experiencing a severe drought, according to SEMAP (Southeast MA Agricultural Producers) the worst since the mid 1900s. Though we were not able to save all of the spring planted crops on our unirrigated newly leased field in Chiltonville, we did put in a well in late July and are prepared (but doing moderate rain dances so this drought ends) for planting this next spring even without Mother Nature’s consistent rain. In 2015 we decided to give the fields at Holmes Farm a well deserved rest for the 2016 season.  The winter rye has been mowed flat for Spring 2017 to again plant yummy veggies, greens, herbs, and of course beautiful flowers. We have also reorganized our management delineations so that we can better focus on the multiple areas of expertise we each have and can be more productive in our many endeavors. 


Programs for 2017

    ~ Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 

        Amazing vegetables you have come to know and love available in the Farm Stand starting with the availability of a spring cut baby lettuce mix, spinach, and more for our members already signed up. We will have a few days we will be open prior to the official opening day that you can get these items.

    ~Workshop series: (each is a 3 part series, enjoy one or the entire series)

        Gardening and Homesteading: garden planning, planting, and prep    

        Enjoying the Harvest: food preparation and preservation

        Animals: care and learning about a few of our favorite animals

    ~Kids/Youth program: We are working with local moms and dads to create some         great on the farm programs for the kids. More info to come soon. Interested in helping? Let us know

    ~Farm to Table Events: a dinner, a pig roast, and a member potluck are all in the works.

    ~DIG IT! Volunteer Days: want to get your hands dirty or know more about something we are doing on the farm? Come to a volunteer day or just volunteer some time to DIG IT!

And to make sure you have somewhere to find out what’s going on….A new website! (BUT I GUESS YOU ALREADY FOUND IT IF YOU ARE READING IT HERE!) :)


    The new website is to facilitate bringing you more information about who we are, what is in season, events on the farm, highlights and information about local, regional, and federal news and events we think are important, recipes for seasonal offerings, and a place you can go to for information on farming, gardening, etc as we continue to expand the site. If you are interested in helping us develop and add content to the site please don’t hesitate to ask. If you have great photos we can add to the site we would love to add those to the photo gallery. Got a great recipe? Can we share it? 

Our first DIG IT! volunteer learning day will be to re-cover the greenhouse before the 2017 season begins. This will be a Spring project you can look forward to and volunteer to help with! The anticipated date for this event is April 29


****So Aren’t You EXCITED!!!  Don’t Delay!!! Sign -up to Be a MEMBER Today!!!****


    Your membership ensures you are supporting your local farm.  A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farm becomes the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support of food production. Typically, members or "share-holders" of the farm pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production.  

    Early membership sign up is essential to our operation. Early memberships provide a financial boost during a time when we are generating less income because the season of vegetable sales is dwindling yet we need to purchase all of our seeds and pay farm laborers to help seed, prep and maintain plants getting ready to for this year’s harvest. It is also helpful to our planning process. I liken it to event planning, it’s much easier to plan the shopping list if you know how many people are coming to the event. Memberships provide the backbone to our seed purchases and planting. Early membership also gives you the benefit of being able to participate in our early season vegetable offerings. Last year we were able to offer spinach, salad greens, kale and asparagus well before the farm stand opened to the public. 


Early Member EXTRA benefits  Sign up by March 1st to receive: 

~5-10% added to your paid amount to spend on your card! (over $40 in free food!) (Half Share = 5% Full Share = 10%) **added value decreases this year as we get closer to the season so stretch your dollar and sign up today! 

~Invitation to our early Spring Greens purchasing days (Member$ can be spent)

~Use your member$ to buy plants at our seedling sale and Springfest May 13

Additional Member Benefits:    

*Member Days: Use your base discount (5% or 10% ) on specialty non-fruit and veggie items in the farm stand once a month.  

*Free Pick Your Own Flowers and Herbs at Holmes Farm (over a $110 value!)

*Advance notice of PYO fruits and vegetables

*Weekly member specials

*Invitation to the Member Appreciation Day this Fall (Fun and Free Food!)

*Priority registration for the Farm-to-Table Dinners this summer

*Discounts on workshops and events including our new movie and popcorn series    

~You will again receive a debit card that will automatically track your balance. It is reloadable if you run out of money before the season is over. 

More Reasons to become a member:

    *You can shop frequently and when you need food!

One of the best parts of our CSA is the ability to be able to shop 5 days a week or whenever we are open (see below for hours) as many times as you want.   For example if you have a party coming up and need extra corn, you can spend as much as your balance as you would like.  That same week you can come by again to shop for your daily vegetables.  There is no limit to how much or little you spend and how often you come by.  Basically you can come by anytime we are open! 

    *Awesome benefits/ Value for your dollar

Our membership includes benefits that most other CSA programs charge extra for. Most CSA programs include only the fruits and vegetables grown on that farm. For example, we don’t grow apples or peaches but we commit to provide those items in our farm stand and include them in what you can purchase with your farm card. (As a note, due to our increase in memberships and community support coupled with the sometimes limited supply of locally grown fruits we may have to have a daily or weekly limit on farm card purchases for those items.) Flower shares often cost extra, up to $150 for a 10-week season. Cut-your-own flowers are included in your share. Cut-your-own herbs are also included, allowing you to decide what you are cooking and picking the variety and quantity of herbs you need. This we hope also allows you to feel freer to experiment with including herbs in your cooking adventures. We also provide daily Facebook messages on what is available for purchase, what is coming up in the season and recipes or menu ideas.

    *Community Involvement

Being a member demonstrates a commitment to the community of Manomet and Plymouth supporting green spaces and local food production.



Sign up pay online or for even more bang for your buck pay in cash or check (you still sign up online). 

    CSA Membership dollars will be added to a gift card that can be used any time the farm stand is open. All fruits, vegetables, pre-cut herbs and flower bouquets can be purchased with the card. Bread, oil, honey, maple syrup and other local products not produced by us are cash or credit card only. There will be Member Days when Half Share Members will get 5% and Full Share Members will get 10% discounts on those cash or credit card only items…look for special days coming this season!

Sign up for your 2017 Membership today at our online Farm Store!  Here’s how:

Go to our new website 

Click on the Menu link at top right. From there you will click on the link to go to the online store. All orders (credit card, check and cash) should go through the link. Thanks! 


Winding Down 2016

It's December...whoa it's December! Seems like we were just harvesting and filling the farm stand with an abundance of great locally grown foods..but alas..the root veggies are safely put in the root cellar for the upcoming deep freeze, the stand is filled with beautiful wreaths still hoping to find their holiday family home and the animals are all either at their winter homes or getting ready to move there...and I am finally getting the moment I needed to create this website, send out the year-in-review and tell you all about the membership plans for next season!