Whitemarz Farm is a small family-owned vegetable farm located in Lunenburg, MA. Brother and sister, Jorge and Danielle, have been surrounded by farming since a young age, starting back in México where they grew up with their father as a broccoli farmer. Jorge and Danielle loved watching their father farm as children, and love almost everything about it. They believe being a farmer is one of the best professions and being able to grow fresh local veggies for their CSA members and clients in a more sustainable way is a great feeling.
Even though it has only been 3 years since Jorge and Danielle started farming in New England, their ideas and how they run the farm has changed a lot. They started farming back in México, where the seasons are very different and the weather is practically steady the whole year, so it was very different than farming in New England. Jorge and Danielle learned that there is always going to be changes, and try to adapt to new trends and needs of the world and the local markets. At the beginning of their farming career in MA, Jorge and Danielle had a plan to focus on growing 3 to 4 crops in higher volumes for a specific market. They ended up loving the CSA's market system and now grow about 40 different crops during the whole season. They are proud to have sales to a couple of restaurants, 31 local CSA members, New Entry's FoodHub and two Farmer's Markets.
Back in 2016, when Jorge and Danielle got to Massachusetts, they had no plans of farming. One day while walking around downtown Boston, they saw a sign for New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and their Farm Business Planning course. From there, Jorge and Danielle got signed up for the 2017 winter Farm Business Planning Course and now consider that to be one of the greatest experiences! They say, “we learned so many things about farming in New England, and most importantly it gave us hope to become farmers once again in a completely different environment.” The following year is when Jorge and Danielle started NESFP's incubator program, where they met a lot of great people, especially their mentor, Alex Mathews, who taught them so much that they are thankful for. This experience allowed them to successfully transition from New Entry's Incubator farm in Dracut, MA to their own farm in Lunenburg, where Jorge and Danielle are now on the second season of their own farm! They acknowledge that there have been so many challenges and things they don't know, but are so grateful for the support and teachings of New Entry Sustainable Farming Project.
Whitemarz Farm is about 1 acre in size, where Jorge and Danielle grow vegetables, flowers, microgreens and mushrooms that are free of pesticides and herbicides. They harvest fresh produce from May to October, offering a variety of different vegetables every week and different varieties of microgreens all year round. This 2020 season, Jorge and Danielle grow produce for 31 CSA members and for the Lunenburg and Shirley Farmer's Markets. Together, they find the most challenging aspect of farming to be the weather, and the most rewarding to be the feeling when customers and CSA members value and like the job they are doing. Jorge and Danielle find themselves most busy during the summer, starting their day around 5:00AM and ending around 6:00PM. Their typical day includes transplanting seedlings, washing their produce, doing deliveries, and catching up on any weeding, planting or harvesting that needs to be done.
At Whitemarz Farm, a few of the production techniques that help with growing food in their sandy, rocky, low pH soil include transplants, raised beds, and drip tape irrigation. Jorge and Danielle transplant practically everything besides radishes, arugula, green onions and carrots. They find that transplanting helps to make sure most of the soil is producing and reduces the amount of time the crop is on the field. Also, this way Jorge and Danielle can rotate crops faster and have more successions during the season.
For Jorge and Danielle, farming is very different from their other jobs. They know that nothing is for sure and everything can change. In the summer, Jorge and Danielle can work between 10 to 16 hours a day and in the winter, if it was a good season, they can relax and take it easy. Regardless of the changes, they feel it is still the best feeling when you harvest and taste the first tomato of the season and see the expression of customers liking the produce. This year, Jorge and Danielle are most excited about growing a purple broccolini variety. Some of their favorite crops include sungold cherry tomatoes, kohlrabi, beets and cauliflower.
Jorge and Danielle hope that little by little more people realize how important CSA programs and local farms are. They believe in the importance of fresh, farm to table produce. In light of this, Whitemarz Farm markets their fresh produce in farmers markets and to local customers. To follow along and support Whitemarz Farm, check out their social media and website below:
Facebook: Whitemarz Farm