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, a Commonwealth Quality 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 24, approximately 60 guests joined Steve Verrill for an asparagus field trip where guests learned about the history and harvesting techniques needed for the prized crop which has a relatively short 6 week season. The field trip was followed by Verrill Farm chef Kevin Carey who demonstrated asparagus roll ups with prosciutto, provolone and basil served over mixed greens with a balsamic reduction dressing. The afternoon was completed with a delicious asparagus-inspired lunch buffet offering asparagus soup, chicken Piccata with asparagus, asparagus orzo salad, asparagus brown rice pilaf and asparagus prosciutto roll-ups.
The Verrill family is dedicated to providing healthy food of superb flavor surrounded by the beauty of open space and productive farm land. They offer a variety of farm festivals from May through September.
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September’s photo contest winner was Gary Kamen, who photographed Mount Warner Vineyard in Hadley. Mount Warner Vineyards is a farm-winery located in Hadley, a small town in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. Operated by Gary and Bobbie Kamen, their philosophy is to recognize the unique characteristics of …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September