Verrill Farm 1918 – 2018
Farm to Table for 100 Years
Concord, MA, February 1, 2018 – 100 years ago Amy and Floyd Verrill established their dairy farm in Concord with a herd of 30 cows. Today, their son Steve, his wife Joan and their daughter Jen Verrill Faddoul operate the farm. The last of the herd was sold in 1990 finalizing the transition to produce started two decades earlier with a strawberry crop planted in fields still used today. Talking about the family farm’s history, Steve Verrill says, ‘for 100 years we have been putting food on people’s tables – first milk, now produce and always mindful of our mission:
To nourish the body and soul of our customers by providing healthful food of superb flavor in surroundings of beauty‘.
Verrill Farm is celebrating its first 100 years with four special events in 2018. With a nod to the seasonality of farm life, the series kicks off with a Spring Birthday Party on March 24 followed by Summer, Fall & Winter events.
Saturday, March 24, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm • Birthday Party with cake & ice cream, kid’s activities, balloons, prizes, live music, and more! Everyone’s invited to stop by for this free event!
June 23, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm • Strawberry Festival. Celebrate the farm’s first crop with PYO, Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberry ice cream, live music, pony & hay rides and more!
Saturday, September 15, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm • Farm Day & Dessert Contest. Farm tours on the hay wagon with Steve Verrill, demonstrations, live music, food! Enter your favorite in our dessert contest – family favorites from past generations are especially welcome.
December 30, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm • 100 Year Celebration – Past & Future. The fields winter over in preparation for a new year and Verrill Farm starts planting the seeds for a new century!
The story of Verrill Farm is one of growth, transition and entrepreneurial spirit. The first 5 decades were at the time when New England dairy farming was on the rise. From the original herd of 30, Verrill Farm grew to 155 cows; Verrill Farm was the first in Concord to pasteurize milk and the first to sell to schools. Milk was also sold directly to customers and delivered in Concord and surrounding communities. By the time Steve graduated from the College of Agriculture at Cornell in 1957, changes in the industry were making dairy farming less viable. The transition to produce started in the 1970’s and Steve describes the process this way:
‘We sold the last of our dairy cows in 1990 and moved on to growing vegetables and cooking prepared meals and never looked back. We chose to put an “agricultural preservation restriction” on our land in 1983. This was the right thing to do to permanently protect our wonderful farmland from development. It also removed the safety net many farmers have used when things get tough – selling the real estate to pay the bills. We had to figure a way to make farming work. The side enterprises of PYO strawberries and growing vegetables combined with my wife Joan and daughter Jennifer’s interest and talent in cooking combined to make a great farm stand business to start our second century’.
Verrill Farm starts its next 100 years growing over 40 crops on over 100 acres in Concord and Sudbury. A 3,000 sq foot farm stand, built in 1998 and recently expanded, sells produce, prepared foods and bakery items, made in the farm stand kitchen, along with year round and seasonal gifts. The stand kitchen and attached greenhouse are used for cooking classes and events.
From May through October, Verrill Farm holds outdoor Festivals featuring farm grown crops, activities and entertainment. In addition, annual dinners in July, August and October celebrate the history of Farm to Table for 100 Years.