Pakeen Farm on Elm Street
Since the 1800's and owned by the same family.
Pakeen Farm is located at 109 Elm St. in Canton. Just 20 minutes outside Boston, the Farm is 150 acres and owned by a family who started the farm in the 1800's.
Owner Dave Bihldorff, along with his wife and mother, are carrying on the family tradition, yet with a new twist. A few years ago they decided that they wanted the farm to be a self sustaining year-round business.
"During the Christmas season, we sell trees. We grow thousands [of trees], which take eight years [for each one] to grow. People come and actually cut down their own tree," said Bihldorff.
"We wanted to involve the community and have it be a community supportive agriculture group (C.S.A.),"Bihldorff continued. "It is a creative agricultural business model in which farmers sell shares in their harvest directly to their customers before the growing season begins. The shareholder then receives fresh produce every week for the duration of the season."
A favorite aspect of this business model is that Pakeen Farm does not use chemicals. A CSA model is not focused on what looks perfect, as in supermarket produce, but more on what tastes good.
So how does a CSA work?
Once a week June through November, members of the CSA come to Pakeen Farm to pick up their share of the week's harvest. The size of the share varies with the pace of the harvest, but is usually one shopping bag of fresh produce per week.
There is more to offer than just vegetables, too! Poultry, eggs, strawberries, local honey and naturally leavened bread are also available.
This year, 2012, Pakeen Farm shifted from a single to a multi-farm CSA. In addition to the crops grown on the farm, each week's vegetable share includes produce from other regional farms in New England.
"I have extended family [who live] in Vermont and own "Burnt Rock Farm" with four other farms surrounding him and we are now all collaborating," said Bihldorff.