I’ve always wanted to visit the Wilson Farms store in Lexington MA. It’s not very far away, but it’s still a little bit of a drive.
Well I was planning to be in the Lexington area yesterday, so I decided it was definitely time to check them out.
The night before, I browsed their web site, looking at their “sale” page. Wow, exciting. Prices look great, but I was a little skeptical. Then I found their growing page – actually their IPM (integrated pest management) page. Perfect!
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a way to control insect pests and diseases on crops by combining several complimentary strategies such as sanitation, soil enrichment, variety selection, pest detection, and biological controls. Chemical pesticides may be used, but only if absolutely necessary.
That’s how I want my food to be grown!
Yes, I know “organic” is supposedly better, but truthfully, I would rather buy from a local farm using sustainable and responsible growing practices like this, than an organic farm in California. Organic does not mean sustainable, especially when referring to the high yield organic farms.
My First Wilson Farm Visit
When you arrive, there is an open area full of produce bins. There are large canopies covering part of the area, but the sun beams in, depending on the time of day. I was concerned about the bin of mozzarella cheese, sitting in direct sunlight. No one thought it was necessary to move it. I wondered how long it was out there and how easily it could spoil.
Anyway, I was a little intimidated as I walked around. There was so much to take in. I felt like a newbie, slowly wandering around, pushing my grocery cart, looking in amazement at the bins of fresh produce. I was in heaven!
So, all their farm fresh produce is located outdoors. Every kind of tomato you could possibly imagine…including lots of heirloom varieties. A whole outdoor wall/bin of many varieties of apples, some local, some further away, in PA.
I also loved that they offered some of the more unusual produce, like purple carrots! You do not find those at the local grocery or even at Whole Foods stores!
After browsing outside, I walked into their large indoor area as well. They offer cheese, meats (hormone-antibiotic free), seafood, baked goods, lots of locally produced foods along with a wall of their own fresh-made packaged convenience foods, like soups, salads, meats, etc.
When you first walk in, under the potatoes/onions, that’s where I found the bags of Baer’s Best Heirloom beans. I heard about Baer’s Beans when I became interested in learning more about heirloom bean growers. I learned there aren’t any local growers….except Baer! How sad!
So, I looked at all of the varieties, and it was a tough choice between Jacob’s Cattle and Vermont Cranberry. I chose Jacob’s Cattle. They looked interesting (loved the color, too bad it doesn’t stay after cooking) and truthfully, the bag was a buck cheaper than the VT Cranberry, so frugality won out. I figure I’ll be back for more, so they’ll be plenty of time to try more varieties!
The one favorite thing about Wilson Farm is EVERYTHING is specifically marked where it’s from, which I appreciated. You knew right away if it was grown on their farm, or another farm in MA or in California.
Note: I’m trying to boycott any produce from Florida since I heard about their poor soil conditions, which necessitate using harmful pesticides and other chemicals PLUS more importantly the horrific treatment of their employees. I will never knowingly purchase a Florida tomato, so it’s nice to see specifically which state/area my produce is coming from.
There are lots of employees busily buzzing inside and outside, stocking shelves and bins with fresh produce and freshly prepared foods. It’s a friendly homey store! If you have a question, there is always someone close by to help. I was looking for fresh-made ricotta cheese, and couldn’t find it in the cheese shop; a helpful employee pointed me to the dairy department where she said she stocked the fresh ricotta.
So it was a very exciting, fun visit to Wilson Farm yesterday! I will certainly return.
What Did I Buy?
- A big box o’ tomatoes – $5.99 – got home and weighed it, over 7 pounds. That’s under a dollar a pound. Perfect for roasting for tomato sauce!
- Ginger Gold apples (local MA) – 1.1 lb for $1.64
- Gala Apples (I think from PA – 1.2 for $2.31
- Honeycrisp Apples (MA) – .71 lb for $1.41
- Butternut Squash (their own) 2.13 lb for $2.11
- Various shell beans (their own) – cranberry, fava & romano .90 lb for $2.69
- 1 Sweet potato & 1 AP potato – $1.84
- Baer’s Best Jacobs Cattle Beans – 1 lb bag for $4.59
- Fresh Ricotta cheese – small container $3.89 ($4.99 lb)
Looking forward to autumn veggies, like potatoes, leeks, squash, fennel, lettuces, etc. Life is good!
Note: Wilson Farm is located at 10 Pleasant Street in Lexington MA