I used to dislike apples when I was a kid, but then I tried heirloom apples from Scott Farm Orchard, and I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t like apples, I just wasn’t eating the right ones! Have you ever tasted an Ashmead’s Kernel, a Pitmaston Pineapple, a Knobbed Russet? How about a Reine des Reinettes? With their strange names and crowd-pleasing flavors, these historic gems (heirloom means they’re over 100 years old) are a world away from the mass market fruits trucked in from Washington State.
In Amherst, Massachusetts, 34 miles as the crow flies from the Brattleboro Food Co-op, seated in and amongst a picturesque rail trail, a golf course, suburban homes, and a strip-mall development, is a hidden gem of sorts—a farm which holds the local food movement to a lofty standard. Despite its high standards, Old Friends Farm is not pretentious. It’s simply the expression of the founders who care deeply about the land and the workers who derive a living from that land. Their salad greens, fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, ginger and turmeric, and specialty products shine bright with the care and love that is poured into the work and the land every day.