Farm stands provide bountiful harvest this season

Aug 8, 2023

The Teal Farm produce stand in Rochester, which is stocked with summer squash, cucumbers and tomatoes, is one of many Tri-Town farm stands that are “just booming,” according to Marion Institute Executive Director Liz Wiley.

For Teal Farm owners David Sanders and Sybil Krawczyk business picked up during the Covid-19 pandemic when major grocery stores were short on fresh produce. 

“[Customers] were shopping at farm stands more so it put a lot more pressure on us and we sold more stuff,” said Sanders. 

Since the pandemic subsided, he said, demand at the farmstand located at 567 New Bedford Road in Rochester waned — but the quality and amount of produce hasn’t. 

Along with fresh vegetables, the farmstand stocks eggs and flowers. 

Wiley hopes that shoppers across the South Coast will try eating locally grown produce during the month of August with the Marion Institute’s “Eat Local South Coast Challenge.”

“We thought we needed a fun initiative to get people engaged,” said Wiley. “We also wanted to elevate our stakeholders like the farmers that we work with.”

Fieldstone Farm Market Manager Henry Johnson said that the store keeps locally sourced produce such as melons, zucchini and eggplant to support farmers from the community. 

“Farmers need places to sell [their produce] to help support themselves and their staff,” said Johnson. “[Selling local produce] supports them directly…as more of their products sell, the more of it we buy from the local farmers.”

Tri-Town farmers said that locally grown produce is more fresh than produce shipped to grocery stores.

“When something gets harvested, it's got a set amount of vitamins,” said Sanders. He explained that after a crop is harvested, “the vitamins decay exponentially.”

Great Hill Dairy Farm office manager Ana Mendes echoed that sentiment.

“It’s fresher,” she said, referring to the dairy farm’s homemade blue cheese. “It hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for a long time and you know that the product came straight from the earth.”

Besides the freshness of products, eating locally can also have health benefits.

According to Madison Aguiar of Jonathan Sprouts, broccoli sprouts can support heart health and help lower cholesterol. 

Wiley and the Marion Institute aren’t the only ones who think consumers should eat local this summer. 

Governor Maura Healey declared Aug. 6 through Aug. 12 as Massachusetts Farmers Market Week, according to a Massachusetts Department of Agriculture press release.

According to Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Commissioner Ashley Randle it is “the perfect time to be celebrating farmers markets as pillars of their local community and providers of wonderful, fresh, and delicious products.”

To sign up for the Marion Institute’s Eat Local South Coast Challenge, visit