small farm

small farm

184 Gleasondale Road
(Route 62)
Stow, MA

small farm cartouche

small farm began in 1988 when Dwight bought a tractor and rented some land on Tuttle Lane. We planted pumpkins and they grew somehow, and we harvested them somehow, and sold them somehow. That made us think we could do it.

The next year we rented some additional land and added tomatoes and peppers, winter squash and gourds to the mix. We started going to farmers markets. Dwight bought another tractor (and survived when Barbara found out). The new tractor was set up to cultivate two rows 36" apart, so everything was planted 36" apart, even radishes.

We started growing corn, and found out that the days to maturity listed in the catalog are averages, and vary a lot with the weather, so even though we planned the harvest dates to be uniformly distributed, the corn had a habit of bunching up and leaving gaps between the heavy harvest dates. We also learned about local geology, where the top layer of rocks is loosely termed “soil” by the New England farmers. Farming is very educational.

In 1992 we bought the Stephenson farm on Route 62 (see the history section). The farm had been used as a site for a sawmill for about 40 years. The major crop grown there was poison ivy, for which we had no market. So we set about clearing the land. Stand 1999

We had been selling our produce out of our garage at home on Route 117, but it got to be a bit cumbersome growing the produce somewhere else. So in 1998 we finally set up a stand at the farm, operating on weekends to see how the business would be over there. It was much better, since we had more parking, more visibility, and no running back and forth for the produce, so in 1999 we closed the stand on Route 117 and moved the stand completely to Route 62.

Since that time more of the fields have been cleared and put into production. The flowers have become very popular, particularly as a pick-your-own operation. We still are limited in space, so we have had to become more efficient and drop some items that did not perform well.

Last update 20140713