Four Town Farm in Seekonk, MA integrated pest mgmt / GAP certified
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Our family owned farm is located in Seekonk, MA, a few miles east of Providence, RI. We open our season mid April with a large selection of perennials, annuals, hanging baskets, and mixed containers. The farmstand is open through the holidays, selling fresh cut trees and wreaths.
We grow most types of small fruits and vegetables that can be grown in our climate. We are especially known for our asparagus, strawberries, sweet corn, melons, and fall crops. We also offer pick your own which includes strawberries, fava beans, English peas, raspberries, pumpkins, and cut flowers.
We welcome you to visit us and enjoy a real farm experience with your family.
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Seekonk, MA - Four Town Farm is a beautiful 150-acre family farm located along the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border. The farm has been family owned and operated by the Cleggs since its founding in 1920. Today three generations of the family work on the farm, where they wide variety of vegetables, gourds, fruits, and flowers. In the early days the farm’s produce was mostly sold as wholesale to grocery stores. They opened farm stand in 1972, and over the years the farm stand has become so successful that it has become the main sales outlet for their products. Today they also sell wholesale to local restaurants through Farm Fresh’s Market Mobile.
These days the farm is managed by Chris, who in his mid-30s, is the youngest family member working on farm (compared to the oldest who is ninety-one!). Chris’ honest and detailed answers to living and working on a mid-sized family farm operation help shed light on the nature of the changes that occur when a farm increases in size, an educated use of pesticides, and the benefits of a multi-generation family farm.
Four Town’s land is a combination of owned and leased acreage. Due to its size, it is much more efficient to drive around the fields than it is to walk. However even with a car, it can be difficult to manage. Chris explained that his family works every day, and when you do take a day off, it’s not a day off; it’s falling a day behind. There is always work to do! Even though there are plenty of employees on the farm, the amount of work can quickly outweigh the number of workers and in the summer months the work on a farm never ends.
The mass amount of never ending work also explains Four Town Farm’s conventional farming practices. The farm does use pesticides, in a responsible manner. The back seat of Chris’ truck is filled with books used to identify pests. They never spray casually. If there are too many pests on a plant, they identify the pest, and use the most pest- specific, preferably organic pesticide that has the fewest side effects. This process is very time consuming because before they use any products, they spend ample amounts of time researching the issue and the solution so that they use pesticides as responsibly as possible.
The farm also uses other farming practices that benefit the environment and health of the farm. Four Town Farm cultivates a broad spectrum of crops and rotates where crops are planted on the. When these two practices are used together, they reduce the risk of depleting the soil’s nutrients and improve soil health. Also, if anything is past its picking point, instead of discarding it, they plow the crop back into the soil to increase nutrient levels.
The larger size of their farm allows them to keep the farm stand busy and full of a variety of products. Since their farm stand is their main sales outlet, they do not have to deal with the pressures and schedule of grocery stores. This means they can pick all of the crops at their prime, not for when an order is due. The fact that their main sales outlet is the farm stands provides a multiple of other benefits, including costs, customer interaction, and individualized orders. There are no gas, packaging, or shipping costs to bring their product to the stand, which allows them to have better prices. They encourage customers to suggest new crops for the next year, and make individually requested flower boxes, hanging baskets, and bouquets!
Four Town Farms’ size and family history have enormous benefits. All of the family members have worked on the farm since their youth, learning the tricks of the trade at a young age. Just like any skill, time, practice, and experience is what makes you better. The family farm model has provided each family member more years of farming experience than other farmers in the area. Since multiple generations of the Clegg family work on the farm, older members are able to share their knowledge and farming skills with the younger generations. The results in a more productive farm overall.
Chris says that one of his favorite parts about farming is using this familial knowledge to perfect growing certain crops. He said it is very humbling to work on a farm because nature is constantly testing your knowledge. It can take a whole life to figure out how to best grow a crop, so having many generations of farmers is quite beneficial for improving one’s cultivating practices. As a result of this multi-generational knowledge, Four Town Farm is now incredibly well known for its corn. Such knowledge has also allowed them to improve their quality of lettuce by using plastic mulch that reduces the amount of dirt in the leaves. With the combination of: generations of knowledge, decades of farming experience, and the patience to make meticulous adjustments in farming techniques, Four Town Farm is able to provide notably high quality produce. The time and effort that they put into their farm definitely pays off. The skills that come with a multi-generational farm is one of the main qualities that really make Farm Town Farm stand out as a local farm to support. You can visit their farm stand or spend a day picking your own at 90 George Street in Seekonk, MA.