Spring Rain Farm in Taunton, MA
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Taunton, MA - Strawberries are an earthly delight and the first fruits of the season have ripened to delectable sweetness. Their flavor is tantalizing after a drab winter and this chilly spring but the long, cool season has given plenty of time for the fruits to ripen to peak flavor. Knowing that anticipation Spring Rain Farm, in East Taunton, aims for an early start to the pick-your-own season. Strawberry picking starts early here: Memorial Day/Early June is their traditional start for the three-to-four-week period.
Spring Rain Farm in East Taunton is a 112-acre family farm owned and operated by Mary and Bill McCaffrey, recently with the support of their son William. With deep family roots in the area, they have a great commitment to maintaining farming in the region. Spring Rain is a beautiful old farm, with a rolling landscape of crops and hay fields intertwined with farm roads, cranberry bogs and ponds. It is a superb site with well-drained soil and slight hills and a convenient location. Besides the above-mentioned luscious strawberries, they grow cranberries and hay their fields. Spring Rain Farm utilizes integrated pest management and the strawberry fields are on a five year rotation to protect from soil-borne diseases and cover cropped to improve soil fertility and reduce pest pressure.
The economics of food production and our social support system don’t favor farming as the sole employment for a family. As with most diversified Southeastern Massachusetts farms, owners combine farm work with full or part time employment off the farm and it’s similar for the McCaffreys. There is obviously a significant amount of thought and planning that goes into their strawberry production – from variety selection to bed spacing to customer satisfaction. Spring Rain Farm is obviously a first priority for them.
With their son William’s return from Cornell University with a concentration in Crop Production and Sustainable Agriculture there is now a second generation farming the land. William’s plan is to establish a diverse fruit CSA at and he has a good start with a nursery of newly grafted fruit trees. Since it takes several years to establish fruit trees, keep an eye out for a local orchard in the not too distant future.
The farm has some of the easiest picking around. Raised beds are covered with plastic mulch to encourage early and substantial growth and the raised beds and wide paths leave plenty of room to move around. The McCaffreys pay special attention to the picking experience for their customers. Besides the easy picking layout, the farm has extended hours and reasonable prices. No one worries if the kids eat the berries while you pick; they hope it means you will be back for more.