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Verrill Farms: one of the top 10 reasons I love living in MA

So I was perusing old posts this AM about where to go to lunch in the Lexington area (had to go to Expo in Burlington) and found a recommendation for Verill Farms (in Concord) as they have a deli/bakery for lunch items. Wow...it was so fun, delicious, rural and so close to home. I felt like I was on vacation miles away. For those who haven't been, they have a farm stand (inside and outside) with mostly local (and mainly from their farm) produce and a deli/bakery. Outside there are tents with picnic tables. What a fun day!

If there's anywhere else nearby that's similiar I'd love the recommendation.

Thanks for the tip as always, CH'ers!

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Verrill Farm
11 Wheeler Rd, Concord, MA, MA 01742

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  1. It's not nearby for you, but it is close to me and qualifies as one of the top 10 reasons I love living in MA.

    I'd never really known about it until last year, so please allow me to spread the gospel about Ward's Berry Farm in Sharon. They use IPM (integrated pest management) which means they use the least amount of pesticides possible, and they are the type of place you need to support, along with CSA's.

    I found out about them because in the winter, they have a mailing list for their Organic Buyer's Club, which is a weekly pickup of organic veggies and fruit that they bring in from wherever they can find the best stuff available. Not cheap, but a wonderful alternative to Whole (Paycheck) Foods.

    In season, they have great fresh veggies including the best corn I've ever had.

    http://www.farmfresh.org/food/farm.ph...

    614 South Main Street
    Sharon, MA

    5 Replies
    1. re: tbiscaia

      will check out, I assume no deli/bakery though (didn't see on their website)?

      1. re: gramercyfoodie

        They do indeed have a deli and bakery, the lunch/deli counter is usually buzzing, but I haven't tried their sandwiches yet since I usually am there to get stuff to make at home.

        "specialties include home-baked goods, artisan breads, gourmet cheeses, homemade jams & fruit baskets made to order. We also have a very popular sandwich counter & deli, smoothie bar w/ soft serve ice cream & slush."

        Another feature that seems to bring in a high percentage of their clientele is the kid/family-oriented stuff they offer, which I also haven't explored.

        1. re: tbiscaia

          ah great! thanks...i'll add it to my list!

          1. re: gramercyfoodie

            I live very close to Ward's Berry Farm, and I go there at least 3 times a week during the growing season. They have excellent tomatoes, the best I've ever had in Massachusetts, including at least 8 kinds of heirlooms which they grow. They grow about 7 or 8 varieties of corn, and usually have 2 or 3 available at any one time. They make fresh smoothies, which are very good. Their sandwiches are great, huge, and all around $6.50, but big enough to share (my wife loves the grilled eggplant and mozzarella, served warm.) You can pick your own blueberries this time of year, and we picked 3 pints last week that were fantastic.

            Definitely check it out before the end of September!

      2. re: tbiscaia

        This is near my sister and BIL, and we often go in autumn - great apple selection. Their pumpkin butter is SO good!

      3. In Mid August, Verrill Farms has a corn and tomato festival. Numerous varieties of both as well as some prepared foods. You pay a small fee ($5, maybe) and it's all you can eat. It's a lot of fun and full of summer deliciousness.

        1. I just love Verrill Farms. I feel so lucky to have it right down the road from me. They have beautiful cut flowers too - very reasonably priced and they keep for ages since they're fresh cut just yards away from the stand.

          1. I was at Verrill Farm yesterday also! Got delicious blueberries, peaches I haven't tried yet, and life-alteringly fantastic tomatoes, OMG. Black Prince and the giant yellow ones, Rainbow Something. I really love their baked goods too.

            1. I grew up working on a family farm in Hingham, MA when I was younger and I thought we had the best corn in the world. Well, that farm closed years ago and I can tell you one thing, Verrill's corn is light years better than ours was! I cannot get enough of it. They offer at least two variety's everyday.

              One of my favorite places to visit not only for all their fresh veggies & food, but for the memories of my youth.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mjg0725

                Curious how long ago, as I grew up in Hingham buying corn from a stand until they closed (by the Jr. High). so good. Haven't found a farm stand to replace it yet...

                Live in braintree now, and this thread has me looking for an option. Looks like Milton may have something based on the farmfresh.org link above (though no corn!). keeping my fingers crossed. anyone have any thoughts for my general area? I'm not very optimistic, as I don't see many farms around here...

                1. re: goose

                  Yes that was it, Push Cart Farm. My grandfather died years ago and the family did not carry on the tradition. You probably saw me there every summer you came.

                  Penniman Hill farm is close by. They grow their own corn. I cannot speak to the quality or the consistency of it though.

                  1. re: mjg0725

                    Well thanks to you and your family for all the great corn as I grew up...it will always be my point of reference for farm stand. we never found Penniman to be quite the same

              2. Hit Verrill myself the other day. VERY nice farm stand, bought an amazing berry pie that was still warm. It was truly excellent. The sandwich I bought was just run of the mill. I'd be very happy to have this place near where I live, but not quite sure I understand the Top 10 designation, but certainly an excellent farm stand with a wide range of really nice produce.

                4 Replies
                1. re: StriperGuy

                  I can understand questioning the top ten designation, but for this born and raised NY city girl, it is really something very different than what I'm used to 20 minutes from a city (State Island - lol).

                  1. re: gramercyfoodie

                    Hah, Manhattanite originally myself. Guess I've been here long enough that I am starting to be an honorary New Englander.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      Nah. Not even your children, even if born here. As the old Yankee saw goes, "just because you put kittens in the oven doesn't make 'em biscuits"....

                2. Well, VF is off my circuit this year, due to gas prices. I just cannot justify driving 35 miles for pricey produce, however glorious it is. I am sticking to Market Basket, JPace, Caloruso's and my local farmer's market

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Karl S

                    We're staying pretty close to home this year also, Karl. Would love to visit Verrill's however. Have heard so much about it over the years. We don't even make the circuit of our usual local fams.. only keeping Tendercrop on the list so far. It's so important to support local farms!

                    1. re: Karl S

                      Speaking of killer corn, I picked some up at Calareso's today and could not believe how sweet it was. My husband accused me of putting sugar in the water, it was that sweet (really, almost a bit TOO sweet for me!)

                      1. re: Chris VR

                        I'm glad that someone else appreciates (snicker) just how sweet the new enhanced corns have become. I tend to grind more pepper on the ears these days in order to dial down the treacly factor. The new varieties may extended shelf-life but, sadly, there's at least a generation out there that's never tasted real balanced corn flavor. It's a bitter-sweet quandary I'm in awaiting, in anticipation, the last and best corn of summer, good old Silver Queen!

                        Harp

                        1. re: Harp00n

                          Silver Queen is not, btw, an heirloom corn, as it was introduced only in 1955. And a lot of white corn that is sold today as Silver Queen is not actually Silver Queen - it's just become a handy default name for all-white corn, sad to say.

                          And Golden Bantam is only about 100 years old - all-yellow sweet corn was a novelty then.

                          Anyway, I've been disappointed by the local corn this past week. As one should expect, the excess rain has made the kernels fat and bland. For most sweet fruits and vegetables, it's better to have somewhat dry conditions for during the maturing stage - less water means less diluted flavor. So this wet midsummer is not a good thing for eating local.

                          1. re: Karl S

                            Back in the late late 60's early 70's my mother had a veggie stand in front of the house selling what she grew. I remember her saying that the customers keep calling the white corn Silver Queen Corn and she didn't have the heart to tell them is was just plain old native corn.

                            1. re: Karl S

                              Karl S & Infomaniac,
                              You are correct in stating that Silver Queen is not an heirloom variety in the strictest sense, having "only" been around since 1955. I'm mindfull, being on the leading edge of the Boomer and only 9 years old when SQ first arrived on the scene, but it's been around "forever" as far as our generation is concerned.

                              The su varieties were originally developed not to artificially increase the sweetness of the open-pollinated/heirloom corns but rather to slow the rapid starch conversion witnessed in those varieties. But with the later lab developments of the sh2, se & sy strains Franken-corn, IMO, was born. The goal was to create hardier strains that could be grown in more areas, had a longer shelf-life and could be made, almost, sweet as sugar. It was/is great for commercial growers but not for those of us we remember and appreciate what real corn is supposed tastes like. Again, IMO.

                              It is a fact that most of the roadside corn that's marketed today as SQ are actually varieties such as Silverado (su) or worse something called SS 7801 (sh2). Boy does that roll off the old tongue or what?

                              My point, and I'm coming to it, is this; Silver Queen, and a few other varieties, are rapidly turning in to a new category all together; "hybrid heirlooms".

                              There are growers still committed to preserving these older su and heirloom varieties against the tidal wave of dumbed-down, long lasting, overly/overtly sweet corn. New England is a bastion, but not the only one, for keeping these varieties available for those of us who care.

                              End of my bloviations and stepping down.

                              Harp

                              1. re: Harp00n

                                Well, Verrill Farm itself hasn't in past years offered much in the way of the older hybrids, but it seems customer demand (and the demands of marketing) keeps the newer hybrids dominant. At least it has tended to label its varieties with some measure of accuracy.

                                I haven't found any stands that appear to be committed to the older hybrids. What's your list of such stands?

                                1. re: Harp00n

                                  Whether it is Silver Queen, Silverado or the scary SS 7801, are there any farmstands selling white corn these days? I used to go to an ice cream stand in Nashua, NH that had a Saturday farm stand with white corn.

                              2. re: Harp00n

                                Like you, I love Silver Queen or anything similar. The popular yellow corn is way too sweet for me. Do you know of any farms/farm stands where I can buy white corn?

                                1. re: MindyLou

                                  Sergi's Farm in Belmont. There are other, early white corns but Silver Queen takes 90 days from planting to ripening, so it's a late-season item.

                          2. I live in Concord and I actually use a couple of other, much smaller but closer, farmstands, and when I want something special, and just the buzz of a glorified farmstand, I go to Russo's or Wilson Farms or---does this one ever get mentioned?---Idylwilde in Acton.

                            14 Replies
                            1. re: cassis

                              Do you know if the farmstand in Lincoln on 2A is still there? It was organic (non certified) and run by two elderly people. The lady wouldn't let you buy anything until you heard her lecture on why organic produce doesn't look perfect. Said she was tired of people bringing their corn back because it had a worm at the tip.

                              I haven't been in a couple years. Good corn. Great people.

                              1. re: three of us

                                A bit off subject but I hate it when people strip corn!!! I see RED! In Leominster there is a farm stand off Rte 2 and they package your corn for you - that way they don't have people stripping it and making it dry out! Smart farmstand people.

                                Back on topic - there was a farmstand on Rte 2 on the West bound side that was there for years but I noticed this year they are selling every thing off. It was a good sized place. I hate when I see that. Not sure if that is the one you were talking about or not.

                                1. re: xcptnl

                                  Arena Farms..... That is where my Mom worked during the end of the depression. Concord Academy has purchased the property, which will be non-taxable. In exchange for allowing Concord Academy to take the land out of agricultural zoning, Concord Academy has agreed to allow town teams to use the fields that they will carve out of this land.

                                  The farm was in foreclosure when Concord Academy bought the land.

                                  1. re: smtucker

                                    How sad - Arena Farms. I always counted on their seasonal lit decorations to lead the way home (ie hearts at valentine's day, bunnies at Easter, etc). There was a great ice cream stand on the corner of Sudbury Road and Route 2 that had great sundaes named the Minuteman,etc. And across Rte 2 was a farmstand that had Zuchinni the size of my leg for 10 cents squash. My mother loved visiting me for those! I just finished a yummy butterscotch pudding from Verrill Farms. I also bought some corn, yellow and red tomatoes and their Orzo Salad. It's simple enough to make with orzo, celery, Kalamata olives, feta and spinach but it's a treat to buy it and eat it as lunch. :) I haven't been to Idywilde in a while but I love going there too. :)

                                    1. re: bostonfoodie111

                                      I live and work just down the street from Verrill and in the summer, I go every day to grab a bunch of corn for dinner. They make some pretty good sandwiches and on Thursday nights from 4-6 the serve pulled pork BBQ sandwiches with beans and slaw. A bit pricey but so very good. Their butterscotch pudding is absolutely divine and their orzo salad is sooo good. They make pies and sell them while they are still warm, love the apple, the mixed berry and the Kentucky bourbon pecan pie is out of this world. Verrill can be expensive but it's so worth it for a treat every now and then.

                                  2. re: xcptnl

                                    No, the stand I'm talking about was in Lincoln, for sure, and on 2A for pretty sure.

                                    1. re: three of us

                                      I am having difficulty creating a mental image of where 2A goes through Lincoln. Need to look at my map in the morning.

                                      1. re: three of us

                                        Are you sure you don't mean the organic farm in Lincoln on 117? It's right near the train tracks? 2A is in Lincoln, but not for long and it intersects with Route 2 and then there's Hanscom. :) just a thought...

                                        1. re: bostonfoodie111

                                          Yeah, it took me a minute to firgure out where 2A runs through Lincoln, it's just a tiny spit of Lincoln at the edge of Concord before Hanscom. There were at least 3 farmstands along there once, but I havn''t seen much activity there this year: I think the Park Service has bought out all the houses and farms, and plans to demolish them if they were not built before 1776! I will make a point of checking as I drive by today.

                                        2. re: three of us

                                          Thanks for helping me figure this out. I know the stand is in Lincoln because when I was there once, the old man was weak and starting to pass out. He pointed to the cooler and motioned as if to drink. I got him a fruit juice and he revived. I asked him who I could call in his family and he shook his head. Another customer came and I asked if they knew what town the stand was in. They said Lincoln and I called the Lincoln Police to come check on the guy. The following week, I stopped in at the stand and asked the guy how he was doing and did the police help him out. They thanked me for my assistance by giving me a book on Color Therapy, the use of colors and lights to cure illness. They are very interesting people and the farm house and outbuildings were very worn and looked in disrepair. Since they were both so old, I wouldn't be surprised if the stand was gone but it sure was an interesting place.

                                        3. re: xcptnl

                                          You're talking Gove Farm. There is no corn better - not even Verrill. I have tried both (and many more) and no farm has yet come close to touching Gove Farm.

                                          BTW: they have employees that peel away just a little in order to take a peek inside each ear of corn to make sure it is up to their standards before they put it in a bag for sale.

                                          1. re: RandyL

                                            Exactly - that is the name - great farm stand. But this farm stand is the first one that I have been to where they package your corn for you.

                                            Now, their corn is very good but the best I have had is in Deerfield MA at Ciesluk Farm Stand. They usually have corn first (I think the CT river keeps the ground warmer) and it is so sweet....YUM! But even for me it's a drive so Gove is my local stop.

                                            1. re: xcptnl

                                              Hmmm...never heard of it but I have been to Deerfield only a handful of times. If they have better corn than Gove, then I will HAVE to try it sometime. I love Gove and am in there a couple times a week. They have great tomatoes, lettuces, beans, peppers, cukes, basil, squashes, beans, etc. It's not really summer for me until Gove opens.

                                          2. re: xcptnl

                                            I couldn't agree more on the corn striptease! Try to get to the corn shelf at Verrill's when 3-4 people are standing in front of it shucking ears. I get blank stares when I share with them my tip for the best and easiest preparation: take the ear, untouched, and put it in the microwave. I position 3 in triangular formation on the revolving bottom.. Nuke on high power...depending on size of ear and power of the oven, perhaps 5 min for a single large ear, and 8-9 minutes for 3 of them. When cool enough to handle, you will be delighted to find that the silks come off in one fell swoop - and the corn, which has picked up extra flavor from steaming in the husk, is heavenly. Fast, no-fuss, no boiling vat in a hot summer kitchen! (I posted this technique to the home cooking board last year).

                                      2. If the farm stands along 2A are not open, go a little farther to Scimone's---from 2A heading towards Concord, turn right at Meriam corner, turn right again at 62, and it's on the left. Corn, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, basil, peaches, nectarines....baked goods, all produced by the good Scimone family on their land.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: cassis

                                          Does Scimone's make their own baked goods? What do you recommend?

                                          1. re: Mayflour

                                            Grace Scimone makes single serving and very good cookies and brownies, and they usually have some pies, coffee cakes and breads made by other small scale home based bakers. The phone number is 978 369 3173.