In the spirit of fall and Thanksgiving, let’s take a farm tour of Old Earth Orchards for a deeper appreciation of our food.
If you know me at all, you know my love of old, weathered textures and objects with history. My boyfriend “affectionately” refers to my collections as “mindful clutter.” When my engineering friends have visited, they get all twitchy, wanting to break apart my old typewriters and the tools that I am “squandering.”
All this is to say Old Earth Orchards & Spring Rain Farm were a veritable visual wonderland for me: cedar siding, weathered tables, 130-year-old harvesting machines, rusting metals, and old barn wood all in a beautiful farm setting. Beyond the visuals though, these weathered objects represent the dedication to this land, to the craft and skill of farming, and to the family legacy.
I visited the orchards and farm to participate in a cranberry harvest, an opportunity to understand my food more, and an opportunity to meet and connect with farmers Will, Veronica, and little Hazel. I wrote a lot more about that harvest experience in my post, A Massachusetts Cranberry Harvest, and I would love for you to read it.
In the meantime, put on a flannel, hold a warm mug of [spiked] cider, and join me for a vicarious brisk walk around a time-tested farm in all its New England fall glory.
Old Earth Orchards
William McCaffrey and Veronica Palladino are multi-generation farmers who believe that farms are critical to building strong local communities and reversing climate change. Veronica grew up on a dairy farm in Lansing, NY and William grew up right where they are farming in East Taunton, MA. They both attended Cornell’s College of Agriculture in Ithaca, NY, which is where they met.
There is so much heart in their work. As they say, “We care about our animals, our crops, our land, and our community. We are proud of the way we farm and love that we get to raise our daughter Hazel with our pigs as playmates and produce as a playground.”
Spring Rain Farm
Will and Veronica lease land on the property from William’s parents Billy & Mary McCaffrey. Founded in 1980, they operate as Spring Rain Farm – producing cranberries, hay, firewood, beef, and pick-your-own strawberries. The farm exists because of Billy’s decision to buy it and his dedication to working it. Will and Veronica hope to carry on his legacy of hard work and of supporting the local community now and many years into the future.
“What can you leave on the planet when you’re gone? If you can save a farm, and that’s important to you, then you did your job.” –Billy McCaffrey, owner of Spring Rain Farm
Thank you, Will and Veronica (and Hazel), for your commitment to this beautiful place, to the food you grow, and to the community you touch.