• Feature

Verrill Farm

The story of this Concord-based farm makes one thing clear: The Verrill family was destined for farming. It began in 1918 when a determined couple moved to Concord and launched a successful dairy business. Four decades later, their Cornell-graduate son Steve took over, selling dairy products and baked goods via the honor system in the farm’s old milk room. In the 1990s, Steve and his wife transitioned out of dairy farming and completely into produce. Despite setbacks—in 2008, a blaze engulfed the first official farm stand—the family forged on. The stand was rebuilt in just one year with even more retail space to accommodate growing crops, and the couple’s daughter Jennifer Verrill Faddoul, a trained baker, established an on-site kitchen.

Today, it’s much more than just a farm. There’s the stand, which is surrounded by cropland and features over 40 different fruits and vegetables throughout the season (visitors can check the farm’s online crop calendar ahead of time to see what’s available). But then there’s the kitchen turning out scratch-made entrees, from hearty lasagna to the beloved mini meatloaf. In warmer months, visitors enjoy lunch on picnic tables outside. The bakery, meanwhile, serves up fresh cakes and pastries (including gluten-free options) daily, all of which can be ordered ahead of time. Pies incorporate the Verrills’ own fruits: Think strawberry-rhubarb, strawberry-plum, peach-raspberry, nectarine-blueberry, and Kentucky bourbon–pecan.

In freezers you’ll find Concord-raised, grass-fed, additive- and preservative-free beef available in a range of cuts. Sliced, house-roasted turkey and beef, as well as a variety of cheeses, can be found at the deli, where hot and cold sandwiches are made to order. Ever-popular BBQ meals include succulent meats smoked in-house.

You’ll also find products from a bevy of local businesses, including Boston Honey Company, Carolyn’s Handmade nuts, Effie’s Homemade oatcakes, New England Toffee, Shattuck’s Sugarhouse maple syrup, and Smith’s Country Cheese gouda and cheddar.

The Verrill family takes pride in its dedication to green practices. Since the 1980s the land has been under Agricultural Preservation Restriction; 100 acres serve as farmland, while the other 100 encompass woodlands, wetlands, and wildlife habitats. Buildings are energy-efficient; the stand itself was built with mainly recycled components, and the greenhouse leverages radiant heat under the floor for starting seedlings. The farm also relies on integrated pest management, which involves a scout manually setting traps, taking soil samples, and monitoring problems to make recommendations for disease and pest control—thus eliminating the need for pesticides.

Another standout aspect is a strong sense of community fostered by regular events. Since strawberries were the first crop grown and sold here (back in the ’60s), Verrill hosts a yearly festival celebrating the summery fruit. Attendees pick their own in the fields and snack on homegrown strawberry shortcake, house-made biscuits, and fresh whipped cream. The farm is also famous for its tomatoes; more than 1,000 attendees flock to the corn and tomato festival mid-August to taste over 30 tomato varieties and at least 8 strains of corn. Three-course “Field to Fork Dinners” incorporate homegrown crops, plus a cash bar and live music. Then there’s the asparagus field trip in late May, during which Steve Verrill gives a tour of the field and visitors pick stalks before enjoying a buffet-style, asparagus-inspired lunch and cooking demo with on-site chef Kevin Carey.

You don’t have to venture to Concord to taste Verrill’s farm-fresh produce, though. Many Boston-area restaurants source seasonal ingredients from the farm, including Alden & Harlow, Area Four, Blue Ginger, Bondir, Craigie on Main, Henrietta’s Table, Oleana, and Sarma.

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