Photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren, Creative Commons 2.0
November 7, 2018
LAKEVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS — For the past 25 years, family-owned Elliot Farm in Lakeville, MA has provided southeastern Massachusetts with quality, native produce. The 50-acre family farm grows mixed vegetables, beefsteak tomatoes, and specializes in sweet corn. Elliot Farm’s roadside farm stand is open seasonally 7 days a week, and also offers a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program. Founder Kenneth Elliot, 60, has been farming for over 40 years and welcomed his two children into the family business at the ripe ages of 10 and 8, now 34 and 33. Now, as proud co-owners, the siblings are determined to keep agriculture in their community for generations to come.
Unfortunately, sweet corn crop damage from red-winged blackbirds is threatening the viability of Elliot Farm and hurting other farms across the region. Despite tremendous efforts to keep these pests at bay, including balloons, bird distress calls, bird repellent, reflecting tape, and netting, in 2016 season, Elliot Farm lost 80% of its sweet corn crop during the height of bird season, roughly mid-July through mid-October, estimated at $18,000 in lost product.