Moraine Farm
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Moraine Farm Beverly, MA
37 acres

About Moraine Farm

When Frederick Law Olmsted designed Moraine Farm, he didn't plot out an adventure-based ropes course. Or make room for school children to roam. Or think about a community farm with members picking up their weekly farm shares.

But these are exactly the activities that have begun breathing new life into the historic Beverly farm, thanks to a groundbreaking partnership between The Trustees of Reservations, Project Adventure, and the Cape Ann Waldorf School – and thanks to the generosity and foresight of the family that has owned the land since the late 1920s.

Originally designed in 1880, Moraine Farm has been hailed as "the finest existing example of Olmsted's approach to planning a country estate" by pre-eminent Olmsted scholar Charles E. Beveridge, and it was a testing ground for ideas the noted landscape architect would later execute on a grander scale at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and at Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

In Beverly, Olmsted – an important mentor to Trustees founder Charles Eliot – combined the latest advances in farming and forestry with a landscape of leisure, all on 275 acres located along the shores of Lake Wenham owned by John C. Phillips. He created lawns, hedges, rustic stone walls, and a magnificent meadow – and collaborated with Boston architects Peabody and Stearns to design a massive stone terrace facing the lake, extending the shingle-and-stone house into the landscape. A former scientific farmer himself, Olmsted may have been especially proud of the working section of the farm, for which he designed an underground drainage system that turned seasonally flooded land into productive agricultural fields. The farm took its name from a low ridge of glacial debris, called a moraine, which Olmsted used to provide an elevated vantage point for the paths and carriage drives that looped through 75 acres of coniferous forest, passed lake and meadow views, and climbed to an overlook on the edge of the 40-acre farm.

The Trustees at Moraine Farm
Now 29 acres of that farmland, which has been in continuous production since the Phillips era, has become the site of The Trustees’ fifth community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and part of our newest reservation. Including an additional eight acres on Wenham Lake, The Trustees received 37 acres of Moraine Farm from the Batchelder Family Trust in August 2010. Mimi Batchelder-Brown, whose late husband, George Batchelder III, lived on the property as a child, donated the land from the trust.

Trails
At this time, the portions of the property owned by The Trustees are only open to members of the Community Supported Agriculture program and are not yet open for public visitation. Planning is underway, and we hope to open the farm and trails to visitors soon. With private landowners in the center of the property and many partners owning contiguous tracts of land, it is important that our visitors respect private property on the farm. The neighboring Phillips Preserve, owned and managed by The City of Beverly, is open for recreational use; parking for this property is at 801 Cabot Street.

Two other nonprofit organizations that share a stewardship interest in Moraine Farm are Essex County Greenbelt Association, which monitors the conservation restriction on the property, and the Friends of the Olmsted Landscape, a volunteer group dedicated to the preservation of the farm’s unique Olmsted heritage.

When to Visit
We are currently working with our partners to develop a comprehensive access plan for the property (current access is for CSA farm share members only). Stay tuned for the opening of our reservation!

Moraine Farm CSA
Interested in fresh, local, and sustainably-grown produce? Moraine Farm CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture program operated by the Trustees of Reservations. Learn more about our CSA and how you can enjoy fresh, healthy, delicious produce grown right at your local farm!

Regulations & Advisories

Please access the CSA distribution barn from the farm road at 735 Cabot Street for CSA pick up.

We are currently working with our partners to develop a comprehensive access plan for the property (current access is for CSA farm share members only). Stay tuned for the opening of our reservation!

Please observe all posted signs.

Directions

Moraine Farm CSA
735 Cabot St. Beverly, MA 01915
978.969.1738
morainefarm@ttor.org

Get directions on Google Maps.

Admission

When our trail system opens in the future (stay tuned!), the reservation will be free and open to the public forever.

Property History

Originally designed in 1880, Moraine Farm has been hailed as "the finest existing example of Olmsted's approach to planning a country estate" by pre-eminent Olmsted scholar Charles E. Beveridge, and it was a testing ground for ideas the noted landscape architect would later execute on a grander scale at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and at Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

In Beverly, Olmsted – an important mentor to Trustees founder Charles Eliot – combined scientific farming and forestry with a landscape of leisure, all on 275 acres located along the shores of Lake Wenham owned by John C. Phillips. He created lawns, hedges, rustic stone walls, and a magnificent meadow – and collaborated with Boston architects Peabody and Stearns to design a massive stone terrace facing the lake, extending the shingle-and-stone house into the landscape. A former scientific farmer himself, Olmsted may have been especially proud of the working section of the farm, for which he designed an underground drainage system that turned spring floodland into productive fields.

The farm took its name from a low ridge of glacial debris, called a moraine, which Olmsted used to provide an elevated vantage point for the paths and carriage drives that looped through 75 acres of coniferous forest, passed lake and meadow views, and climbed to an overlook on the edge of the 40-acre farm.

Now 29 acres of that farmland, which has been in continuous production since the Phillips era, has become the site of The Trustees’ fifth community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and part of our newest reservation. Including an additional eight acres on Wenham Lake, The Trustees received 37 acres of Moraine Farm from the Batchelder Family Trust in August of last year. Mimi Batchelder-Brown, whose late husband, George Batchelder III, lived on the property as a child, donated the land from the trust.

Two other nonprofit organizations that share a stewardship interest in the farm are Essex County Greenbelt Association, which monitors the conservation restriction on the property, and the Friends of the Olmsted Landscape, a volunteer group dedicated to the preservation of the farm’s unique Olmsted heritage.

Archival Collections
Archival material related to Moraine Farm is available to researchers at the Archives & Research Center in Sharon, Massachusetts.

Moraine Farm Archive (10.5 linear feet)
Regarding the operation of the farm by the Batchelder Family, 1860-2007.
Preliminary folder list available at the Archives & Research Center.

The Archives & Research Center welcomes donations of documents, manuscripts, records, photographs, maps and memorabilia that pertain to a particular property. Please contact us at 781.784.8200 or arc@ttor.org.

Programs

Moraine Farm Community Supported Agriculture

The Moraine Farm CSA is a partnership between farmers and shareholders

Interested in fresh, local, and sustainably-grown produce? Moraine Farm CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture program operated by the Trustees of Reservations. Learn more about our CSA and how you can enjoy fresh, healthy, delicious produce grown right at your local farm! We are currently signing up shareholders for the next season!

Community Supported Agriculture

2014 Shares Available! Sign up today!

Together, we share the risks and rewards of the growing season, and in the process become more deeply connected to and appreciative of the land that sustains us all. In the winter, households purchase a “share” of the upcoming season’s harvest at Moraine Farm. This advance commitment supports the costs of running the farm, which are mostly incurred in the spring planting season.

Bad weather and pests may pose a threat to some of the crops. Generally, the consequence of such threats is a less diverse harvest. The potential rewards, of course, are a season of fresh and delicious vegetables! As a shareholder you agree to take part in the adventure of this CSA, sharing with us the risks and bounties of small-scale, New England agriculture.

We're currently signing up shareholders for our summer season! Learn more about our CSA and how you can enjoy fresh, healthy, delicious produce grown right at your local farm!

Conservation and Stewardship

Today, the land and historic buildings at Moraine a Farm are protected, forever, through a unique partnership between The Trustees of Reservations, Essex County Greenbelt Association, the Cape Ann Waldorf School, Project Adventure, and the Batchelder Family Trust. The Trustees and Greenbelt have held conservation and historic preservation restrictions on this property since 1991. In 2010, the Batchelder family gave The Trustees 37.7 acres, including a beautiful sweep of highly productive farmland, a lakeside esker, and two nearby lots to sell for capital. The result: The first season of our Moraine Farm CSA project. All thanks to the vision of Mimi Batchelder-Brown, her late husband George, and their three sons Van, Terry, and Kim and their families, our 2011 Conservationists of the Year.

Maps and Resources

We are currently working with our partners at Moraine Farm to develop our access plan for the property. Stay tuned for info on when we expect to open the property to visitors.

Planning Your Visit

Travel Links
Essex National Heritage Area
North of Boston CVB

Community Links
Beverly's Farmer's Market
Beverly Chamber of Commerce
Beverly Bootstraps

Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.

Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:

  • Protect wildlife and plants.
  • Guard against all risk of fire.
  • Help keep air and water clean.
  • Carry out what you carry in.
  • Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
  • Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
  • Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
  • Enjoy and share the landscape with others.


Click on links below for further visitor information:

Before Setting Out

Enjoying Trustees Reservations

Safety

About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land

Tell Us What You Think

We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:

  1. Take our visitor survey. If you have a question for us, you can ask us in the survey and we’ll get back to you.

  2. Post a comment about your visit on our Facebook page.

  3. Share your experiences with other visitors on our website. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll post your comment right here on this page.





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Announcements & Alerts

2014 CSA Shares Available!
Both half and full shares are available for the 2014 season. Learn more about the Moraine Farm CSA and sign up today!

Read the Moraine Farm CSA Blog

Please note: Moraine Farm is currently open only to CSA shareholders. The farm is not open for recreation at this time.

Upcoming Things To Do
No events for this reservation at this time.
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