Farming Practices

A Third Generation Farm Committed To Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture at Verrill Farm encompasses a myriad of practices and activities from soil improvement to the support of community life. After more than three centuries of production, our soils are still among the most productive in the country. We use cover crops and crop rotation extensively, till the soil to limit erosion, and work to maintain fertility and organic matter. IPM (integrated pest management) is at the center of our cropping program. We employ a professional crop scout, who makes weekly visits setting insect traps, taking soil and tissue samples as needed, monitoring pest problems, and making general recommendations for disease and pest control. The farm is certified under MA’s Commonwealth Quality Program and follow the guidelines for soil protection, compost and manure applications, irrigation water quality, and sanitation standards. We also use drip irrigation on many of our crops which reduces water use by 50% or more!

Steve Verrill inspecting the sweet corn crop for pests

Weed control on our small crops is accomplished with a combination of pre-emergence flaming, plastic covered beds, mechanical weeding with the latest tools and technology, hoeing and hand weeding as necessary and the use of tens of thousands of transplants which we start in a weed-free medium. Selective herbicides are used on crops such as corn and pumpkins and predator insects are released weekly through the summer for the control of flies and some greenhouse pests. A combination of organic and conventional techniques are blended into a sustainable growing program to help us to grow the highest quality and best tasting produce possible. Verrill Farm also recycles cardboard, paper, plastic and cans, and kitchen compost, as well as cooking oil and heat from our refrigeration system to heat our water inside the farm stand.

Local agriculture offers improved nutrition and energy conservation. Our summer festivals are enjoyed by members of all ages. Our staff of about 60 people includes many students in their first work experience. We believe that maintaining an attractive farmstead, contributing to and partnering with community organizations and participating in Town government round out a sustainable environment.

Fall lettuce plantings
Plowing the cover crop under to increase organic matter in the soil

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