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Holly Day Fair

November-December 2016

Wreath-making activities with farm co-founder Jean Miner White (at right)
Photograph courtesy of Holly Hill Farm

 


Wreath-making activities with farm co-founder Jean Miner White (at right)
Photograph courtesy of Holly Hill Farm

 

Hand-crafted furniture made from wood found on the farm’s property
Photograph by harvard magazine/jc


Hand-crafted furniture made from wood found on the farm’s property
Photograph by harvard magazine/jc

Holly Hill Farm’s picturesque working barn
Photograph by Harvard Magazine/JC


Holly Hill Farm’s picturesque working barn
Photograph by Harvard Magazine/JC

 Holly Hill Farm, in coastal Cohasset, Massachusetts, celebrates winter and nature at its annual Holly Day Fair.

Visitors gather in the greenhouse, where a wood stove burns amid pots of homemade soups and trays of cakes, cookies, and pies. Local food vendors and artisans also sell jams, breads, soaps, jewelry, ceramics, and other artwork great for wholesome holiday gifts. Fair-goers can check out the barnyard creatures, and make gingerbread, seeded pinecones for winter bird-feeding, and wreaths of freshly cut grapevine decorated with holly, juniper, and white-pine sprays. Some 30 marked trails throughout the farm’s 140 acres are open as well, from dawn to dusk, for walking, skiing, or snowshoeing. “We try to make everything local, using what’s around, and get people outdoors,” says Jean Miner White ’57, who started organic farming at Holly Hill in 1998 with her late husband, Frank White ’55, whose family has owned and lived on the property for generations. (His father, Richardson White ’27, was a gentleman farmer and sculptor, and the couple’s daughter, Jennifer White ’81, and nephew, Arthur White ’94, are members of the Friends of Holly Hill Farm board of trustees. Frank White’s brother is Donald White ’57, a former board member who still spends time on the Cohasset property.) 

The fair crowd includes longtime customers and volunteers devoted to the nonprofit Friends group that manages not only the arable fields but also a summer camp and year-round educational programs for children, adults, and school groups. The core environmental mission incorporates the farm operations, historic structures, and diverse habitats—an ethos that also extends to fair vendor and nephew Malcolm White. A teacher and woodworker, he ingeniously entwines pieces of wood scavenged on the property to create rustic furniture “without nails or screws,” his aunt reports. “He just fits it all together naturally.”

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