The Pinehills Neighbor Taking Care of Local Veterans

The Nathan Hale Foundation & Three Harts Farm

May 26, 2023     Behind the Pines

You know Plymouth has a rich history, but it also has a strong sense of community.

We’ve highlighted many of our neighbors doing good things for others, and this week, in honor of Memorial Day, we’d like to introduce you to our neighbor on Beaver Dam Road: Three Harts Veterans Farm. The farm was founded by Chris Hart as part of his non-profit Nathan Hale Foundation, and named in honor of three members of the Hart family who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It’s a welcoming, safe place for local vets and their families to find camaraderie and a connection to nature. Chris is the epitome of a great neighbor to The Pinehills and Plymouth.

The minute you meet Chris, the passion he has for this cause is obvious. Go and visit. You’ll see it (and hear it) as he describes the care with which Three Harts Farm has been created. From the soothing sound of moving water through the waterwheel in the reflective garden, to the raised bed that can accommodate a gardener using a wheelchair, to the future mini-golf course for vets and their families to enjoy, to an always-available great cup of coffee, to the hi-tech hydroponic trailer producing the BEST lettuce with an obsessive following – oh that lettuce.

You also have an opportunity to meet Chris Hart (and donate to the Nathan Hale Foundation) during the Mayflower Beer Garden at The Pinehills on Sunday, May 28. That day, Mayflower Brewing Company will donate $1 per beverage sold to benefit the Nathan Hale Foundation, and The Pinehills will match donations raised by Mayflower’s beverage sales.

3 Harts Entrance

We had a great visit with Chris and his wife/partner/botanic-wizard, Diane, a few weeks ago. Here’s what we learned:

PH- Why did you start the Nathan Hale Foundation and Veterans Outreach Center?

CH - I was inspired after 9/11 to make myself useful to my nation. I have never served in the military and felt compelled to do something positive for my country and our veterans.

PH- How did you decide on the name Three Harts Farm?

CH - The Three Harts name derived from my grandfather, and his two brothers, who fought in World War II. My grandfather, Clarence Guy Hart Jr., was killed in action on Thanksgiving Day 1944 in France. His brother, Thomas Hart, was a flight engineer aboard B-17's and B-29 bombers, and he participated in 25 bombing missions over Europe. The third brother, George Hart, was a marine who fought in the South Pacific and Korea. They would be forever honored. And the symbol of the heart, the symbol of love, we have seen much of that at our farm.

3 Harts

PH- What programs and services does the NHF offer to veterans and their families?

  • Social activities
  • Weekend cookouts
  • Veterans coffee hour
  • Holiday events
  • Veterans Wellness Programs

CH - Our wish was to integrate all our services under one roof, and 2023 is our first year of doing so here at the farm located at 232 Beaver Dam Road in Plymouth, MA. We are now the Nathan Hale Foundation’s Three Harts Veterans Farm.

PH- What’s it like having The Pinehills as your neighbor?

CH - Our Pinehills neighbors are very friendly and kind. We have met many wonderful individuals and couples that come to our farm frequently. So many times, Pinehills residents come to the farm to buy lettuce and bring us special treats! They also provide us with great resources and contacts. Many have generously donated special-ordered meat and rolls for our Saturday cookouts for veterans. Our Pinehills neighbors are not just consumers to us but have also become our friends. The Pinehills Veterans Group and Great Island Veterans Association have also been extremely supportive of Three Harts Farm.

PH- The Pinehills Veteran’s Group will be with you at the Mayflower Beer Garden this Sunday, May 28. How have they supported the work you’re doing?

CH - The members of The Pinehills Veterans Group have always been very supportive of our outreach center and farm. They have helped numerous times as teams of veterans, and as individuals. Many, many times they have helped us offload food for our food pantry. They held a clothing and bicycle drive when we had a clothing outlet. They also helped assemble and deliver Thanksgiving baskets, and have been a major contributor to our funding.

PH- What other neighbors have been supportive of the project? Didn’t Egan Landscape Group help in the beginning?

CH- Egan Landscape Group is well known for its exceptional quality of landscaping, I think little is known of their service to the community. George Egan and his family have been long-time supporters of Three Harts Farm. Other business contributors that have been essential in shaping Three Harts Farm include Matt Glynn of Glynn Electric, Reynold’s Construction, Mayflower Brewing, and O’Brien Construction.

PH- Do you take advantage of any amenities that The Pinehills offers?

CH - Yes! We love to attend the activities at the Village Green. We especially love the Mayflower Beer Garden where we can take our dogs Red and Betsy Ross. We often take them along the walking paths and trails. There are so many friendly people and dogs that we have met along the way. The Pinehills offers so many community activities. We enjoy participating.

Diane and Chris Hart

PH- We know you don’t do this alone! How do you and Diane make your partnership work?

CH- Diane and I have been partners for seventeen years. We do everything together. Right from the start, Diane understood the importance of my mission to help veterans and we supported each other the entire way. Diane, (a former teacher, and self-professed science lover,) can be found most days toiling away like a mad scientist in the trailer that houses their state-of-the-art hydroponic system. You can thank this sustainable farming practice for their bountiful crops of lettuce, spinach, basil, and more that are available for sale at Three Harts Farm. (We tested out the lettuce and basil, and it’s good – really good!) They are open to the public Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm.

PH- What about gardening made you want to offer this opportunity to veterans, their families, and first responders?

CH- Veterans often look for activities and places to go with their families. I wanted to offer them a place they would feel comfortable and safe. Gardening relieves stress and anxiety, and creates a sense of well-being. When veterans learn about gardening, they want to take their knowledge to their own homes and share it with their families. When veterans harvest a crop, it gives them a deep sense of accomplishment. Spending time in the garden, doing light activities, allows veterans time to appreciate and enjoy nature. Gardening also lowers stress hormones and encourages people to eat healthier foods. When you have a garden, you always have a friend to visit!

PH- What are some of the vegetables that we can expect to see in the coming months?

CH - We just finished our outdoor garden crops of arugula and arrowhead spinach. Our biggest summer crop will be our garlic. We grow both hard and neck garlic. Before our harvest, garlic produces scapes, (everyone is mad for scapes.) Our garlic crop this year is predicted to be the largest crop we have ever grown. We will harvest our garlic in mid-July. After the harvest, our garlic will hang from our barn rafters for five weeks. Bring your camera to take a picture of how beautiful the curing process is! Garlic will be available for sale in late August.


Visit Three Harts Farm

Next time you’re in Plymouth, driving on Beaver Dam Road, be sure to stop at Three Harts Farm. They are located at 232 Beaver Dam Road, Plymouth, MA and are open to the public Monday through Saturday 10 am – 4 pm. Keep your eyes open for their list of fresh produce and get yourself some of their hydroponic lettuce anytime!

3 Harts Farm

Welcome Center

The Summerhouse

33 Summerhouse Drive   •   Plymouth, MA 02360
Open by appointment Wednesday–Sunday, 10am–4pm

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