Each spring I dutifully plant seedlings in my garden box and the only things I can manage to grow are lettuce and cherry tomatoes. So I’m always in awe of actual farmers. How do they grow so many delicious things? Today, we’re getting a little peek behind the scenes, in this interview with Ipswich dad of 3, Jamie Barrett. Jamie is the Farm Manager at Marshview Farm and creator of their popular CSA program (which is now open for 2022 sign-ups!)
Where are you from originally and what town do you live in now?
I live in Ipswich, right on the farm with my wife, Kelly, and our 3 daughters. I moved around a bit when I was growing up (Pennsylvania, Texas) but one constant was my grandparent’s house on Cape Cod, so Massachusetts has always felt like home to me.
How did you get your start in farming?
I began farming right here in Ipswich. Twenty years ago I apprenticed at Appleton Farms. I apprenticed for three years there and then managed the CSA for 5 years after that. I then moved to Charlottesville, VA to start a CSA for a landowner down there. I spent 9 years farming in Virginia. My family and I moved back to this area, which we missed so much, 2 years ago to start the CSA at Marshview Farm for the owners of this beautiful property.
When did you open the CSA program at Marshview Farm?
Marshview Farm CSA opened in 2020.
Where is Marshview Farm located?
We’re right in Ipswich. The property used to be part of the Crane Estate, so we border The Great Marsh and are very close to Crane Beach. The current owners wanted to protect the land from development and return it to agriculture and so here we are. It’s quite an amazing and beautiful place to farm!
Tell us a little bit about the team at Marshview Farm.
I’m so lucky to work with the folks I work with. The Assistant Manager of the farm is Marina Madden. Marina and I have farmed together for over 7 years now and I can’t imagine farming without her. And then we have Paolo, Tim and a few more part time additions helping us through the growing season. Our team works very hard but we enjoy the work and we love sharing the spirit of diligence, fun and exploration that drives us with our members and the community that surrounds the farm.
What are the growing practices at Marshview Farm?
Our guiding principles center around a deep respect for the land that we’re stewarding and a steadfast commitment to the responsibility we have to provide our members with healthy, safe, fresh produce. What that means in practice is that we’re paying a lot of attention to the soil, trying to create life and diversity to nurture our crops. We do this through crop rotations, cover crops, rotating our laying hens into fields and monitoring it all through yearly soil tests. The only type of farming I’ve ever been a part of is sustainable farming. We grow with an adherence to the organic standards although we are not organically certified at this time.
You have a popular CSA program at Marshview Farm. What’s included in a CSA share?
Our CSA runs for 20 weeks and each week a member would expect to be able to choose from 8-14 different crops with which to fill their CSA bin. We grow most vegetables; all the familiar ones like carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce and then some that might be less well-known like bok choy, kohlrabi and salad turnips.
Our CSA share is a fun, tasty way to explore seasonal eating here on the North Shore. You’ll start with loads of greens like arugula, kale and spinach in the spring and slowly build into more diversity like onions, potatoes and cucumbers, and then the exciting summer crops including melons, and finally the fall squashes and roots. And each week our members also receive farm fresh eggs. You can pick a full share or a half share.
Where can families pick up their weekly CSA share?
We have lots of options for pick-ups. In Ipswich, we’re at True North Ale Company on Wednesday afternoons from 4-6:30pm. We’ll be at the Hamilton/Wenham Farmer’s Market at the Community House on Fridays from 3-7pm for CSA pick-ups and the Rockport Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 10am-1pm so you can get your share there as well. We also have delivery options.
What is the annual price for a CSA share?
Our Full Share for 20 weeks is $755 and our Half Share is $450. Our CSA starts in June.
When do sign ups begin for 2022 CSA shares?
Folks can sign up right now! We hope to sell out in April so securing your share quickly ensures you a spot. You can sign up on our website, www.marshview.farm.
Can people shop with you for a la carte items or things not included in the CSA shares?
For sure. We’ll sell our veggies, eggs and meats at any of our pick up locations and people are always welcome to call (978-412-2937) or email ([email protected]) if they’d like to figure out a different way to get our goodies.
Marshview Farm is also active in the community through your Nourishing the North Shore CSA share donation. How can families get involved to support this program?
One of our goals is to get our veggies to every part of our community. To help us with this we work with partners like Nourishing the North Shore. Together, we’re able to involve 15 families and individuals in our CSA who would otherwise not be able to participate and we also donate any extra produce we have weekly to food outreach efforts. So, just by getting involved in the CSA, folks are helping our food relief efforts. Community Members can also donate directly to Nourishing the North Shore to help support their food advocacy work. You can find all that information right on our website, at www.marshview.farm, and thank you!
Marshview Farm is located at 31 Fox Creek Road in Ipswich, MA and can be found online at www.marshview.farm. Follow along with Jamie and get farm updates on Instagram @marshviewfarm or on Facebook @Marshviewfarmipswich.
This post is sponsored by Marshview Farm.