This is the first in a series profiling the many farms in town, all of which make Concord unique. We kick things off with Hutchins Farm, located at 754 Monument St. Have a favorite farm that you think we should feature? Let us know in the comments section!
Since John and Gordon Bemis took over their grandfather Gordon Hutchins' farm in 1973, the two brothers have held an uncompromising commitment to growing fresh, always organic produce.
The Bemis brothers chose in 1973 to rename what was from 1912 to the early 1950's called "Punktasset Farm" --from the name of the hill on which the farm sits-- , and have been providing their loyal customers with all-natural fruits and vegetables ever since, all grown on a picturesque plot of land on quiet Monument Street.
"It's our diversity of crops, and because we have the most organic, fresh products you'll find anywhere, that we can draw people to our remote retail site," co-owner John Bemis said.
Hutchins’ farmstand has been open Tuesday through Sunday since June 4, and currently has a large supply of various leafy greens and vegetables in stock. All the produce Hutchins sells at its farmstand is grown on the farm’s premises, says current Farm Manager Brian Cramer, and is all held to a rigorously high standard.
“People like that we’re organic, and that we sell high-quality stuff that we pick every day,” Cramer said. “There’s no one asking ‘Where is this from? Is it from California? Is it from Mexico?’ They all know that it’s from right here on the farm.”
Hutchins also sells eggs from Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds, as well as plants customers can take home and grow in their own backyards.
The approximately 60-acre plot of land that is now Hutchins Farm has been designated on maps as farmland since 1775, and was purchased in 1885 by Charles Hutchins, a retiring minister from Medford, according to the “history” tab on Hutchins’ website.
When the Bemis brothers took over the farm in the early 70's, Hutchins soon became one of the first organically certified farms in America, said co-owner Gordon Bemis, who took an interest in organic agriculture from a very young age and pursued an independent study in composting and organic farming practices while studying engineering as an undergrad at Tufts University.
The farm has evolved over the years, but Hutchins is still very much a family business. The farm's approximately ten employees include John's son Taylor and his wife Andrea, and Gordon's daughter Eliza.
"Sustainability has always been important to us, in our crops, our land, and our people," John Bemis said.
When Patch swung by for a tour on Wednesday, the farmstand, built by the Bemis brothers in 1987, was stocked with a good supply of basil, lettuce, swiss chard and garlic tops --literally the curly “tops,” or stems of garlic bulbs -- among various other fresh items. By early afternoon the farm was already sold out of strawberries, tomatoes and broccoli, as has often been the case this summer, said Cramer, who was hired six years ago by the Bemis family to oversee much of the day-to-day operations of the farm.
“People really want the strawberries, the tomatoes, the blueberries, and we’ll have more of those as the summer goes on,” Cramer said.
Farm fans can also expect an eclectic array of Hutchins apples and squash to choose from when the fall harvest rolls around. For now, you can visit the farmstand on Monument Street Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m to 6 p.m, as well as sample and buy Hutchins produce at the Central Square Farmer’s Market in Cambridge on Monday afternoons, the Belmont Center Farmer’s Market on Thursday afternoons, and at the Somerville Union Square Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings.