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05-may1000
Bunches of native Asparagus from the Asparagus Festival at Verrill Farm in Concord. Photo by Nicolas Hyacinthe

May’s contest winner was Nicolas Hyacinthe who photographed bunches of native Asparagus from the Asparagus Festival at Verrill Farm in Concord.

Asparagus is one of the first spring crops we harvest here in Massachusetts. It found its way to Massachusetts in the late 1700’s by way of colonist from the Netherlands who settled in West Brookfield. In the late 19th century Concord began its agricultural focus on crops such as asparagus and strawberries. Concord farmers grew asparagus in quantity from the 1850s, and within a few decades produced half the entire Massachusetts crop of the vegetable. Today, the tradition continues at Verrill Farm; a diversified farm that grows a large variety of crops including asparagus, strawberries and tomatoes.

Verrill Farm has been in operation since 1918. The farm consists of approximately 200 acres, encompassing land in Concord and Sudbury. The retail farm stand features the farm’s own produce, specialty foods, gifts and flowers in addition to homemade baked goods, prepared entrees, soups and salads. On Saturday May 23, join Steve Verrill for an asparagus field trip & lunch where you’ll learn about the history and harvesting techniques needed for the prized crop which has a relatively short 6 week season. You’ll meet Chef Kevin Carey who’ll demonstrate a simple asparagus delicacy while you complete the afternoon with a delicious asparagus inspired lunch buffet artfully and thoughtfully prepared by Steve’s daughter Jennifer Verrill Faddoul and her friendly staff.

Each month, we are posting the 2015 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar’s photo of the month. The calendar features a winning photo of Bay State farming as well as interesting facts about local agriculture. The 2015 Celebrating the Seasons of Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar is available for purchase. All photos were taken by amateur photographers who won the annual Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest. Proceeds from the $10 calendars benefit Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom, a small, private non-profit organization that has been working since 1983 to provide agricultural education and training.

 

Written By:


DAR Program Coordinator

With a background in the culinary arts, nutrition education and program development, Julia joined The Department of Agricultural Resources Division of Agricultural Markets in 2008 to help spread the word about Massachusetts’ incredible agricultural and culinary opportunities. She also coordinates several grant and marketing programs available to a diversified group of growers and agricultural associations across the Commonwealth. A Boston University graduate, she can be found in her spare time sourcing out the best local products for her next culinary creation or volunteering in the community.

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