If you go by the numbers, Norfolk County has the least amount of farms in Massachusetts outside of Dukes, Nantucket, and Suffolk counties. The number of acres farmed is comparatively lower than many other counties, as is the median size of farm. True, numbers don’t lie, but they don’t always tell the full story. While the scale of agriculture may not be as great as other counties, Norfolk certainly makes up the difference in diversity and quality. A trip to Ward’s Berry Farm is all you need to understand that.
Located in Sharon, its over two hundred acres sprawl across several lots and streets and yet, very quickly after arriving, you feel right at home. Wandering in the greenhouse area, a young farmhand in his early 20s struck up a conversation about what’s starting to grow after a long winter thaw. His youthful enthusiasm wasn’t an anomaly, and it wasn’t restricted to the young people I met. Ward’s is certainly large but, at its core, it is a family farm…and families care. Read more →
When one hears about a local farm, it’s natural to conjure up images of wide open skies over rows and rows of corn, cows grazing in verdant plains, a tractor in the distance…you know, typical bucolic New England. So you’d be forgiven if, on a drive through Attleboro, you zoomed right past 2 Friends Farm and didn’t even realize it. I sure did! Set in a former factory in an industrial park on the outskirts of a blue-collar Southeastern Massachusetts city, 2 Friends’ exterior appearances can be deceiving…but walk up a flight of stairs, open the door, and you find yourself surrounded by light, rows and rows of delicate green vegetables and more than a little magic. Read more →
It’s 5:00 am, and the sun won’t be out for quite some time. Spring may be here, but the chill of the air, like the sensation of an ungloved hand placed on a sheet of ice, is telling you that winter is still lingering. While some high school students in the region are still warm in bed and well-ensconced in dreamland, some intrepid student workers are milking cows. That’s the reality for many of the students who work in the Animal Science Department at Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton. After a difficult winter of constantly beating back the snow to make sure cows had enough room to stroll outside, the staff and students at the Aggie are no doubt acutely aware of those challenges. Thanks to their diligence and hard work, Bristol Aggie’s dairy cows were well-cared for and were more than happy to keep the milk flowing. Read more →
As anyone who has been that way would know, a drive through the Russells Mills neighborhood of Dartmouth would not be complete without a stop at Alderbrook Farm. Fresh off another successful Christmas tree season, the year round farm owned by Allen and Nancy Manley still has plenty of their homemade honey, some jams and preserves and fresh, freshly baked breads and pastries, and yummy local dairy products. Other assorted goods, like commemorative Dartmouth ornaments, soaps and books adorn the shelves in the farm store. It’s business as usual but, as is the case for all farmers, preparation is already underway for the upcoming season. Read more →
The crisp airing biting as you pull the blanket over your face…the feeling when your feet first hit the cold floor in the morning…scraping that layer of frost from your windshield. Yes, November mornings in our little corner of heaven have all the subtlety of an ice bucket challenge. The only thing on most of our minds is the first coffee of the day (and, perhaps, some of us have drawn plans for the second by that time). Don’t feel bad: by the time most of us have reached for that first cup, the folks at Dufort Farms in Rehoboth have already been up for several hours applying their craft. Read more →