Dartmouth’s favorite farm stands showcase local products
Everyone loves Dartmouth’s rural, bucolic landscapes.
And where better to enjoy the literal and figurative fruits of the countryside than at one of the town’s many farm stands?
Nestled in the curves of winding roads between field and tree, the occasional wooden shack stands open and inviting, announcing its wares to passers-by with roadside signs: Fresh eggs, strawberries, cucumbers for sale.
Many are unmanned, operating on the honor system with a handwritten list of prices and a lock-box for cash or checks.
Products on offer vary from stand to stand: Fresh-cut flowers and growing basil, potatoes in brown paper bags, stacks of honey, jam and maple syrup, piles of purple kohlrabi and dark green zucchini in gleaming rows.
Here, the produce is covered with damp burlap sacks; there, grass-fed beef and other meats are layered in freezers.
This is the best of what Dartmouth has to offer.
1213 Russells Mills Rd.
Open Monday - Saturday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., year-round
A friendly yellow building welcomes visitors to this age-old standby, with a doorway papered in colorful post-it notes of thanks from previous customers and their children.
Alderbrook is open year-round, according to owner Nancy Manley, who has been running the stand for 20 years.
“The farm has been in my husband’s family since 1898,” she said proudly.
They sell everything from foodstuffs like coffee and baked goods, pork, local honey, jam, and eggs to woollen knitwear, as well as seasonal produce — including root vegetables and squash in winter.
There’s even a small barn where members of the public can look at the farm’s donkeys, goats and sheep.
Quick to support other local farmers, Manley also pointed out the locations and quality offerings of other farm stands in the area.
592 Chase Rd.
Open Tuesday - Sunday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., June - September
Anyone driving down Chase Road can’t miss this rustic weatherbeaten shingle and red trim shack, with barn doors open wide and roadside signs advertising “Strawberries ahead” and “Flowers.”
Delicate produce, including cut herbs, strawberries, and rhubarb, is kept in a fridge with the eggs, while herbs in planters and fresh-cut flowers in buckets rest on tables inside.
According to the farm’s website, all of its products are grown sustainably, with no herbicides or pesticides.
Decor is simple: Plain wooden walls host a framed map of Old Dartmouth and a “Thank you!” sign under a burlap-covered skylight.
Prices are written on labels — sometimes just masking tape — requesting customers to drop a few dollars per product into a cash box.
The stand also serves as the farm’s CSA pick-up spot on Wednesdays.
Brix Bounty Farm
449 Bakerville Rd.
Open daily, 10 a.m. - dusk, June - November
A tent set up near the little blue and white shack on Bakerville road announced it was CSA day at Brix Bounty, with crates of produce covered in wet burlap keeping the just-picked veggies and greens glistening.
Customer after customer arrived with bags to haul out their weekly bonanza, checking their names off the list after filling up with fresh peas, cabbage, cauliflower, dill, fennel, parsley and more.
Eileen Paccia from New Bedford just joined Brix’s CSA program this year.
She splits a full share with her neighbors and was selecting produce to add to an already bulging bag.
“It’s amazing,” she said.
“It makes so much sense to eat what’s in season,” Paccia added with a smile. “And it doesn’t get any fresher than this.”
“I’ve been doing crudites with the kids,” said longtime Brix customer Mike Doherty, who has participated in the CSA program for more than five years, including the farm’s winter share program.
“We get greens like spinach, lettuces, and everything else,” he said. “It’s great. And I get to talk to the guy who grows my vegetables.”
Doherty noted that the farm’s selection has also improved each year.
As for the quality of the produce, he said, “You can’t beat it.”
742 Tucker Rd.
Open daily 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. for milk and eggs, 12 - 8 p.m. for food
Food and Ice cream only available in the summer
At Paskamansett Farms, goats greet newcomers from an enclosure right next to the parking lot, and cows can be seen flicking their tails in the sun just behind the classic red barn.
Picnic tables laid with fresh flowers under bright striped umbrellas show that the farm offers up food and ice cream over the summer months.
The stand sells fresh raw milk, eggs, and a variety of meats layered in chest freezers. Milk crates line the wall for customers to return glass bottles.
“There were 200 dairy farms in Dartmouth when I was a kid,” owner Bill Coutu said. “We’re the last one.”
Coutu and his wife Marlene bought the farm in 1991 at auction.
Since then the family has raised countless cows, goats, pigs, and chickens — even “dabbling” in turkeys and Christmas trees over the holidays, according to neighbor Kevin Castino, who was eating a vanilla ice cream cone and joking with Bill at the window.
Coutu’s son Tom now runs the farm. “He’s one of the only people in the state who does raw milk,” Bill said proudly.
The restaurant serves meat from the farm in its burgers and sandwiches, including ground beef, sausage, steak, pork, bacon, and veal.
Flying Carrot Farm (formerly Apponagansett Farm)
607 Elm St.
Open daily, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., June - September
Also open weekends from October - November
Flying Carrot Farm — a re-brand of Apponagansett Farm — has been operating for around eight years, according to UMass Dartmouth student (and town resident) Rachel Pereira, who was working behind the counter.
Although Pereira explained that most of their business is at farmers markets, there were still goods aplenty at the stand.
Giant tomatoes lay in a rainbow display on one table, while greens and other vegetables sat in crates around the walls.
A refrigerator full of local eggs and yogurt hummed in the corner.
“I love it,” Pereira said of the summer job. “I’ve always been about organic food … so this is awesome.”
Pereira said she likes that Flying Carrot accepts SNAP, EBT, and other government programs helping provide food to lower-income families.
“It’s rewarding that we can help them do that,” she said.