Burgess Farm




The Farm at Camp Burgess is an educational, diversified organic operation that includes vegetable, herb, flower, and egg production. We currently have about 5,000 square feet of land under cultivation in both in-ground and raised beds. Production continues year-round in an 800-square-foot heated greenhouse. The farm is also home to chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, rabbits, honeybees, and a cat; for more information about our heritage breed animals, please visit their page here.






At Burgess Farm, students, campers, and volunteers have the opportunity to help grow food for the community while learning about local and sustainable food systems. Hands-on, participatory activities reinforce important lessons about the true cost of food, allowing visitors to gain a deeper appreciation for the role farms and farmers play in today’s world.







Farm projects provide countless volunteer opportunities for new and experienced farmers of all ages. All of the activities offered during the outdoor education seasons align with the Massachusetts education frameworks for middle school students. Some farm projects might include:

  • starting seeds in the greenhouse
  • turning planting beds in preparation for new crops
  • transplanting baby plants
  • sifting and spreading compost
  • harvesting, washing, and sorting produce for distribution
  • collecting and washing chicken eggs
  • feeding and watering the animals




Produce from the farm is divided three ways. One portion stays right here at Camp, showing up on the dining hall’s salad bar and in other dishes. One portion goes to the Sandwich farmers’ market, where locals enjoy finding fresh food grown just miles from the market. And some of the less perishable goods go to local food pantries, including the South Shore YMCA’s Germantown branch, to help address food security in our community.

Students and campers who help out on the farm get good outdoor exercise and first dibs on the best strawberries, in addition to prime goat hang-out time. They also get to see the fruits of their labors moving beyond the camp and into the community, reinforcing the Y’s commitments to healthy living and social responsibility.





Summer campers at Burgess & Hayward have the option to sign up for daily Farm Interest Group, selected at the beginning of each week. Cabin groups may also choose to visit the farm during Cabin Activity Periods (CAPs). For a more in-depth experience, sign up for Farming Specialty Camp, offered the final week of summer!

Students participating in our overnight Outdoor Education programs will have the chance to visit the farm during evening activity periods. They may also visit the farm during academic classes if there are farm projects available that fit in thematically with class content.

Local schools looking for a single-day visit to the farm are welcome, too. We offer farm tours paired with participatory activities which can align with Massachusetts state education frameworks in an array of subjects. Feel free to contact the Farm Director for more information about these memorable field trips.



Burgess Farm receives support from a number of farming and gardening organizations, listed below. Please support these wonderful organizations in return!



The Farm Director posts “Fresh from the Farm” updates on Camp’s blog each Monday. Check it out here!

To read about research conducted at Burgess Farm, click here: Tara Laidlaw 2014.

For more information about our farm-based programs, please contact Tara Laidlaw, Farm Director, at 508-428-2571 ext. 118 or tlaidlaw@ssymca.org.