Upcoming Educational Workshops

Please join us for these FREE upcoming events!

Stream Ecology
Saturday August 31st
3:30-5:30 pm
All Ages

Let’s evaluate the water quality of a local stream near Boulder Knoll by catching and identifying macro-invertebrates! We will discuss what makes a stream healthy and what factors lead to their demise. Be prepared for a small hike and be ready to get wet (water shoes or old sneakers might be a good idea)!

Backyard Poultry Raising

Tuesday September 10th

Have you always wanted a backyard flock but didn’t know where to start? Well come down to Boulder Knoll and gain the confidence you need to start getting those fresh eggs! Topics of discussion will include: breeds, feed, housing, care and disease.

RSVP for these free workshops by emailing educator@boulderknollfarm.com.

June 2013 Education Events

Bird Watching Walk-N-Talk at the Farm With Special Guest Bob Giddings
Monday June 17th at 5:00 pm –
All Ages

Bring your binoculars for a bird watching hike with special guest Bob Giddings! Let’s see what species we can find and learn who lives here year-round and who is in for a quick visit. Be prepared for a moderate hike and be sure to bring some water.

Worm Composting
Wednesday June 26th at 5:00 pm –
All Ages – With a Special Project for Kids!

Want to cut down on what your family sends to the landfill, but aren’t sure how? Start a compost system! We’ll talk about banana peals, paper towels, chicken bones…you name it, so that you can answer the question: “Can I compost that?” We will go through all the do’s and don’ts of composting to help ensure you aren’t sending more to the dump then necessary. It’s a great lesson in sustainability for the whole family!

Goat’s Milk Soap Making Demo
Sunday June 30th at 3:00pm – Adults

Don’t you just love that fresh, clean feeling goat’s milk soap gives your skin? Well, come down to the farm to see how it’s made! We will go step-by-step through the entire process so that you can try it for yourself at home! Be sure to bring latex gloves and glasses or goggles, since we will be working with lye. Safety first!

Email us at educator@boulderknollfarm.com to RSVP to any of our upcoming free educational workshops.

First Education Events of the Year

Three Sisters Gardens

May 13, from 5:30-6:30pm
Recommended ages: 12 and under

What do you get when you cross Native American lore, mutualistic relationships and farming?  A Three Sister’s Garden!

Bring the kids down for an afternoon of storytelling, sowing seed and fun! You get to bring home your very own Three Sister’s Garden to watch and learn how these siblings get along.

Spring Hike

May 23, from 5:30-7:00pm
All are welcome!

What’s coming out of the ground?  Can you spot the intruders?

Join us at the farm for a spring Walk-N-Talk and see what native plants are emerging from the ground and, how they need to fight for their rightful place among the dreaded invasive plant species.

Freshwater Fishing

May 31, from 5:30pm-when we catch some fish!
Recommended ages: 7-12

Lets discover the common freshwater fish species in our area!

We’ll learn about anatomy, habits and life cycles of our water loving friends.  We will also make a minimalist’s fishing pole and learn some basic fishing techniques and see what we can catch at a local pond minutes away from the farm.  We will meet at the farm and drive over to the pond, caravan style, so be prompt!  Fish On!


Click here to RSVP!


July 2012 Educational Events

Upcoming Events at Boulder Knoll Community Farm!

Events and free workshops at a local farm and natural area. Click here for directions. All activities take place outdoors. Please dress appropriately!

11am, Saturday, July 7th
Cooking Greens with Elizabeth Ciarlelli (All are welcome)

Elizabeth, a food professional and Manager at Zinc Restaurant in New Haven will host this Cooking Greens workshop for those picking up their weekly shares from the farm as well as the general public. Free event but please RSVP!

2-4:00pm, Sunday, July 8th
Introduction to Beekeeping with Bill Hesbach (All are welcome)

Bill Hesbach, our resident beekeeper will cover basic bee anatomy and biology, forging habits and honey production, life cycle and queen types, we’ll visit the hive, taste honey, and Bill will take questions. Free event but please RSVP!

5-7pm, Tuesday, July 17th
Casual Evening on the Farm (All are welcome)

Join us for a fun, family-friendly and delicious celebration at our farm. Featured will be hayrides through our wildflower garden, tours of the farm, educational workshop and crafts for kids, a raffle and more! Culinary delights provided by Caseus Bistro and Jordan Caterers. Adult $30 Kids $5. Click here for more information and for tickets.

1-3pm, Saturday, July 21st
Exploring Ecosystems on the Farm – Summer (All are welcome)

We’ll start with a “Sit Spot” where we’ll embody a “sense of place”, inviting native wildlife to join us, followed by a stroll around Boulder Knoll Community Farm and learn about the ecosystems on the farm.  In this semi-guided interpretation, we will examine what is changing in nature and examine unique landscape features, plants, trees, and wildlife. Bring your imagination and be prepared to share interpretations, questions, and personal interests regarding our great communal venture.  Free event but please RSVP!

9am-12:00pm, Wednesday, July 25 th
Let’s Build a Birdhouse (Workshop for kids ages 6-12)

In this workshop we’ll discuss the role of birds in the environment and then assemble one birdhouse per child.  The houses will be kits that will have previously been fabricated by our own Environmental Educator.  Due to the nature of this workshop, we ask that you register for this event in advance so that the proper number of assemblies can be fabricated.  Walk in will only witness the event. Free event but please RSVP!

1-3pm, Saturday, July 28st
Organic Gardening:  Beyond the Basics (Teens and adults only please!)

Building on Organic Vegetable Gardening for Beginners this workshop goes beyond the basics of organic gardening.   We’ll discuss lead in our soils, taking soil samples, succession planting, companion planting, crop rotation, cover crops, etc.  Free event but please RSVP!

May 2012: Upcoming Educational Events at the Farm

Upcoming Events at Boulder Knoll Community Farm!

Free events and workshops at a local farm and natural area.
All activities take place outdoors. Please dress appropriately!

2-4pm, Saturday, May 26th
Immersive Nature Walk (All are welcome)

We’ll start with a “Sit Spot” where we’ll begin to learn about and embody a “sense of place”, inviting native wildlife to join us, followed by a stroll around Boulder Knoll Community Farm and learn about the ecosystems on the farm.  Bring your imagination and be prepared to share interpretations, questions, and personal interests regarding our great communal venture.  Free event but please RSVP!

1-3pm, Sunday, May 27th
Organic Vegetable Gardening for Beginners (All are welcome)

Memorial Day Weekend is the usual date when for warm season crop seedlings become available. Come by the farm on Saturday for a workshop on how to get started. You’ll participate in hands-on demonstrations and have a chance to ask your questions! We’ll talk about site preparation, sun and water factors, soil structure and health, and plant selection. Free event but please RSVP!

5:30-7:30pm, Wednesday, May 30th
Edible Wild Plant Walk (All are welcome)

Bill Duesing, (Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association – CT NOFA) will lead this workshop and share how the Native peoples of America thrived on wild food stocks for hundreds of years. Many of the plants we consider weeds are actually delicious and healthy foods. We’ll walk around the farm and into the forest to explore what kinds of wild foods occur where and how to eat them. Bring an open palate, we will be taste testing! Bill will also share the mission and history of CT NOFA as well as review the Farmer’s Pledge, which Boulder Knoll Community Farm adheres to.  (Rain date 5/31) Free event but please RSVP!

CANCELED: 5:30-7:30pm, Wednesday, June 6th
Introduction to Soils (All are welcome)

Building on Organic Gardening for Beginners, join us as we plunge into the earth for a look at soil ecology, decomposition and soil makeup! Using maps that indicate Boulder Knoll’s soil types, we’ll dig soil pits at different locations, compare their composition, and talk about how forests and farmers use different techniques for building soil. Free event but please RSVP!

5:30-7:30pm, Wednesday, June 13th
Introduction to Composting (All are welcome)

Building on Organic Gardening for Beginners and as part of our “Springing into Nature” series, join us as we learn about composting.  Composting is the controlled biological decomposition of organic matter.  Compost creates humus which is then used as a soil conditioner.  In our case, we’ll review the use of yard and kitchen waste to create a beneficial soil additive while at the same time, reducing materials that end up in our municipal waste streams. Free event but please RSVP!

1-3pm, Saturday, June 23rd
Introduction to Permaculture: Ethics & Principles (All are welcome)

Permaculture is a design science based on observations of nature, and is focused on taking challenges and transforming them into intelligent and learning based solutions.  Considering that mankind is nature, rather than something separate, and considering just how far we go, and how hard we work to control nature, Permaculture is a thoughtful process which aims to reintegrate natural thinking and ecological design back into our being using a practical set of ethics and principles. Free event but please RSVP!

Upcoming workshops and educational opportunities: TBA

  • Build a Water Catchment System (Rain barrel/Cistern)
  • Build a Bat Box
  • Worms eat my garbage!  A workshop on Vermicomposting
  • Edible Landscaping
  • Forest Gardening
  • Fermentation
  • Canning and Preservation
  • Growing Mushrooms at Home
  • Permaculture Mapping & Design


Park in open lot next to the farm.  We gather in the white hoop house.
We look forward to seeing you!

News from the Farm: Week 14

September/October Educational Programs at Boulder Knoll

Saturday Sept 24th 10am -12pm – Exploring Mycology: Fungi, Mycelia, Oh My!

Grab a notebook and join Zaac Chavis during this unique opportunity to study and learn about the many fungal forms that exist throughout the land. Zaac, an organizer with the CT-Westchester Mycological Associatoin, will guide us in collecting specimens, identifying edible and poisonous forms and more! All Ages. Long pants and closed shoes recommended.

BIKE TO THE FARM! – In solidarity with the Moving Planet event in New Haven, there will be an organized ride to Boulder Knoll Community Farm in Cheshire for participants planning on attending the farm’s morning workshop Exploring Mycology. We’ll ride the 14 miles to the farm on pure muscle power via the rail trail and Tuttle Ave. Estimated ride time is 1h 30 min.

Groups will meet at 8 am on the New Haven Green around the fountain or at 8:45 am in the empty parking lot to the right of TJ Maxx in the Hamden Plaza. Please try and be prompt. We look forward to riding with you! Even if you don’t ride with us, ride from your home! Directions to the farm can be found here: http://www.boulderknollfarm.com/farm/direction

Sunday Sept 25th 2-4pm – How Wild is Your Yard? Creating Wildlife Certified Backyards – Join us as we explore how to create welcoming spaces for wildlife of all forms to take refuge in our yards. We’ll take a walk around Cheshire resident Bob Gidding’s wildlife certified property, notice existing wildlife and wildlife habitats, and a look at native biodiversity. Take home information provided. Come with a curious mind and long pants. All ages.

News from the Educator

Correction on Meadowlark Spotting

The young yellow bird thought to have been a baby meadowlark that was mentioned in the last newsletter was in fact a Common Yellowthroat. Thank you to bird expert Bob Giddings for making the distinction! However, sighting of what was thought to be an adult eastern meadowlark has yet to be proven otherwise!

Bookshelf to Spare?

The education station in the hoop house is need of a new bookshelf. If anyone has an old bookshelf they would like to lend or donate the farm please contact Julia at educator@friendsofboulderknoll.com.

Get Ready for Autumn Olives!

The autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellate) bushes behind the hoop house are bursting with berries. Though tart at the moment, the berries will loose this quality and sweeten beautifully following the first frost. Stay tuned for a fun impromptu autumn olive gathering to follow the season’s first frost in early-mid October.

News from the Farmer

Farm Celebration for CSA members and farm friends

The details

Join us for a potluck farm celebration on Sunday, October 2nd from 4 to 7 pm. Festive food, including cheese from Caseus Fromagerie and Bistro, and a silent auction will be set up in Bob Giddings’ barn, next door to the farm. We’re planning for live music and/or a dance on the second floor. Sound like fun? Put it on your calendar, plan a yummy dish, and bring an empty stomach. We’ll also be officially selecting our new Friends of Boulder Knoll board for next year. It’s our last fundraiser for the season; we’re suggesting a donation of $20/adult and $5 for kids over 5 yo. All who are part of our farm community in any way are welcome regardless of ability to make a donation! RSVP online at www.friendsofboulderknoll.com/farmreunion.

Silent auction items!

We would like to focus on the many talents and interests of our members. We are now accepting donations of any good or services that you as a member are involved in. Do you make jewelry, take beautiful pictures or have another talent you would be willing to share? Please contact Fellis Jordan at 203-272-4633 or jordans28@cox.net to donate an item or service.

Musicians or dance callers sought!

Are you or is someone you know a musician? Can you call a contra dance? We want to have an hour of two of music and/or dance at our celebration. Contact me if you’d like to help add to the festivities in this way.

Update on the garden

Hoo-boy – We’re sorry to say that the tomatoes are done, succumbed to the effects of the deluge that fell over the past month. Peppers and eggplants are sad. Fortunately most of the potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beets are still fine if we can keep the deer from hopping the fence. What a crazy season.

See you at the farm!!
Julia and Brenda

July Events at Boulder Knoll

Beyond the Basics: Organic Gardening
Tuesday July 5th 4-6pm

Already begun a garden? Want to take it to the next level? Farmer Brenda will lead this workshop in going beyond the basics of organic gardening. Using examples from the farm and drawing on Brenda’s years of hands-on experience in the field, we’ll cover many aspects of farming. Participants are encouraged to come with questions!

Whats Buggin’ You?
Saturday July 16th 10-12am

The CT Agricultural Experiment Station’s Kim Stoner will lead this morning workshop on insect ecology. Dr. Stoner, an expert in local pollinators and entomology, will help us discover different insects, their relationships to plants and their purpose on the farm.

Friend or Foe? Invasive Plants and You
Saturday July 23rd 9-11am

Join horticulturist and invasive plant expert Rose Hiskes of the CT Agriculture Experiment Station in understanding the plants that are threatening our native ecosystems. Brief lecture followed by a walk around Boulder Knoll farm and forest in search of invasive plants.

Events are free and open to the public. Bring your enthusiasm and dress for the outdoors!


Late June Events at Boulder Knoll

You’re invited to attend these upcoming educational workshops and events at Boulder Knoll Community Farm:

Planting Anne’s Garden
Friday June 24th 4-6pm

Join us in honoring the life of Anne Giddings, wife of Friends of Boulder Knoll Board President Bob Giddings, by planting a memorial garden on the farm. We will be planting an array of annuals and perennials and will follow a collaborative design that will greet every future visitor to the farm. Light refreshments, gloves and tools provided.

Exploring Ecosystems on the Farm Part II
Tuesday June 28th 4-6pm

Farm Educator Julia will lead a hike around the Boulder Knoll property, through forests, fields and wetlands. In this guided interpretation, we will examine what has changed in nature since our spring walk and examine unique landscape features, plants, trees, wildlife, and folklore. Please wear long pants and be prepared for uneven ground!

CSA Potluck and Orientation

CSA Potluck and Orientation

Sunday, June 5, 12 noon – 2 pm

  • Join fellow CSA members for a yummy potluck lunch, a garden tour, kids’ activities and, especially for new folks, an introduction to CSA logistics. Please bring a dish to share, some utensils and a plate (we’ll have some if you forget). If it’s possible to bring a folding chair that would help too. You’ll have an opportunity to explore the farm and the gardens next door at the home of Bob Giddings, board president of the Friends of Boulder Knoll. We may even have strawberries ready to pick! RSVPs (with numbers of adults and kids) to Brenda would be nice but not required. Leashed dogs ok!

News from the Farm: May 24, 2011


The CSA finally has running water!! Thanks to the efforts of Anne Giddings who, in the months before she passed, advocated for us on the Cheshire town council. The council approved the opening of the water line from the farm house across the street to the spigot near where the barn used to stand. Bob Giddings, president of Friends of Boulder Knoll, followed up to make it a reality for this summer. Much to our delight, we now have water with tremendous volume and pressure. Of course we will use it judiciously. We are blessed to live in an area of the world with abundant clean water and do not take it for granted.

Members have been working!

Thank you to all members and other volunteers who have come to the farm to work so far. We’ve gotten the garden into pretty good shape for the summer. Our fence is up; gates are being installed; our solar electric generating system is operating and lots of crops have been started. Thank you to everyone who has contributed your time and effort.

Educational events!

Julia Meurice has led nature walks, girl and boy scout learning/work groups, and workshops on organic gardening and plant patterns, among other things. Check the Education calendar on the boulderknollfarm.com/education website for upcoming events in May and June. Thank you to Julia for her thoughtful and wonderful work and to member Marion Sparago who facilitated the grant to allow the Friends of Boulder Knoll to hire Julia as our educator. It makes a huge difference!

Mitzvah day!

On Sunday, May 22 adult, youth and child members of Cheshire Temple Kol Ami came to the farm to volunteer as part of their spring Mitzvah Day event. Kol Ami facilitates our deliveries to area soup kitchens. They come annually to give the farm a work boost during a much needed time of the year. We’re able to produce more food because they make this work contribution. Thank you to CSA work intensive members Lauren and Fellis who came to the farm to help the day go smoothly. Thanks to Julia for helping the children feel productive and happy.

Upcoming Events

  • CSA orientation and potluck lunch
    At noon on Sunday, June 5 join us for a potluck lunch, garden tour and CSA orientation. Please bring a dish to share, some utensils and a plate. 

    Meet other members, join CSA pick up groups, sign up to work for harvest days. A great children’s craft activity will be led by Julia Meurice. Kids can make a funny face with real grass hair.

    Please RSVP to Brenda@boulderknollfarm.com with the subject line “CSA potluck”.

Educational events

  • The Ground Beneath Our Toes, Sat., May 28 , 1-3 p.m:
    As part of our “Springing into Nature” series, join us as we plunge into the earth for a look at soil ecology, decomposition and soil makeup! Using GPS maps that indicate Boulder Knoll’s 3 soil types, we’ll dig soil pits at different locations, compare their makeups, and talk about how forests and farmers use different techniques for building soil. Bring your scientific mind and a willingness to get “soily”! All ages, free. Please register at educator@friendsofboulderknoll.com
  • Learning Wild Edible Plants, Fri., June 3, 4pm – 6pm
    Many of the plants we consider weeds are actually delicious salad additions, and Native Americans used wild food stocks for hundred of years. We’ll walk around the farm’s perimeter and into the forest to explore what kinds of wild foods occur where and when and how to eat them. Participants will help collect ingredients for a wild salad! Bring an open palate; we will be taste-testing! Free but please RSVP to educator@friendsofboulderknoll.com.

Check the farm’s website for additional upcoming events: http://www.boulderknollfarm.com/

What’s happening in the garden?

Planted – broccoli raab, radishes, carrots, beets, Swiss chard, kale, potatoes (fingerlings – LaRatte, French and Banana and regular – Red Norland, Keuka Gold and Kennebec), red and yellow onions, shallots, scallions, leeks, peas, green and wax beans, white turnips, lettuce

Going in soon if it stops raining – the rest of the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, escarole, chinese cabbage, bok choi, more lettuce, parsley, dill, flowers, sweet potatoes

We’ve had some great wildlife sightings. Lots of animals are courting and laying their eggs. Just last week we’ve seen turkeys, toads, spiders with egg cases, barn swallows nesting in our tool shed, ribbon and garter snakes, blue birds nesting in area boxes.

Work needs

Please sign up with CSA member Amy at amywojenski@yahoo.com to work at the farm. Amy and Annmarie will put your name on the work calendar. I need to know ahead of time if you are coming. If you change your time last minute, call my cell to make sure I’m going to be there when you want to come. If I don’t know you’re coming, I might not be there when you arrive. Sometimes I decide it’s not worth working in the rain – soil is too muddy or it’s too difficult. If it’s raining or if you have any doubts about the weather, call to confirm that we’re still on. My cell phone is 203-645-1734.

Here’s what’s needed soon

  • Painters (we’ll schedule a day just for the painting project – maybe this Saturday, May 28th)
  • Carpenters to work on the shade house (next week sometime?)
  • Mount bird houses
  • Pea trellises
  • Weeding herb and flower gardens
  • Mulch strawberries
  • More bed prep especially clearing sweet potato beds (they should be arriving soon)

Wish list

  • small (4 – 5 inch diameter) terracotta pots for a kids’ activity on June 5th
  • exterior white stain for the hoop house
  • Rhubarb plants
  • A few days of sun


See you at the farm!