Governor Deval Patrick Visits Appleton Farms America’s Oldest, Continually Operating Farm

Contact Information

Appleton Farms Media Contact:
Holly Hannaway, Ipswich
Communications & Marketing Coordinator
The Trustees of Reservations
Phone: 781.307.5707

Ipswich, MAApril 10, 2012 – The Trustees of Reservations were the proud hosts of Governor Deval Patrick at Appleton Farms last Thursday. The iconic 1,000-acre working farm located in Hamilton and Ipswich was one of the first stops in a series of visits Patrick is making across the state to diverse farming operations. Appleton Farms, owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations, made the list not only for its cultural significance – America’s oldest continually operating farm – but also for its diverse, sustainable agricultural programs and green technologies.

Governor Patrick was greeted by the farm’s 40-head, Jersey dairy herd and Trustees staff and volunteers. Interested in learning more about the farm’s dairy operations, he toured the nearly complete dairy processing plant retrofitted in the old bull barn and learned about the model wastewater treatment system for the facility. Appleton Farms is one of two Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources pilot sites for the new water-treatment system.

Patrick visited with staff as they seeded onions in the greenhouse and learned about the farm’s 550-share Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. He assisted the livestock staff with morning farm chores, collecting eggs from the mobile chicken coop. Patrick also toured the farm’s extensive composting operation, making way as the tractor came by with a huge load of farm compost designated for the haying fields.

In addition to touring the CSA, livestock, and composting operations, Patrick was interested in seeing how the working farm meets its energy needs. He made stops at the farm’s two solar-panel arrays, which provide electricity to the farm buildings, as well as the biomass heating systems that heat many farm buildings. Trustees’ staff explained that these systems are part of the farm’s plan to eliminate the property’s carbon footprint, an ambitious goal for a working farm.

The visit ended at the Appleton family farm house, with lunch washed down with the farm’s own milk which The Trustees sell to the public through their on-site retail store. The Trustees recently renovated the house, transforming it into an energy-efficient, “green” visitor center. During lunch, the Governor learned about Appleton’s role within The Trustees’ broader statewide work designed to protect important agricultural lands, create and invigorate working farms particularly in urban areas, and nurture sustainable local food systems accessible to all.

The Governor seemed at home after his morning on the farm, as did the folks who accompanied him on the tour including outgoing Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner Scott Soares, the incoming Commissioner Greg Watson, and Fred Winthrop, a former Commissioner who also served as Trustees President for nearly two decades.

Appleton Farms and Crane Estate Director David Beardsley and Statewide Farm Manager Wayne Castonguay guided Patrick on the tour with other Trustees farm staff and representatives. Beardsley noted, “We were thrilled to be among the farms that Governor Patrick has chosen to tour, particularly because of the diversity of our farm operations and our larger goal of engaging the public in real, local, sustainable farming.”

More about The Trustees of Reservations
The Trustees of Reservations is the nation’s oldest, statewide land conservation organization founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891 to “hold in trust,” and care for properties of scenic, cultural and natural significance for current and future generations to enjoy. Supported by members, donors and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage 106 spectacular “reservations” located on more than 26,000 acres in 75 communities throughout Massachusetts. The Trustees work to promote healthy, active, green communities locally and around the state by providing hundreds of year-round programs, events and engagement opportunities for all ages. Most property entry fees, programs and events are free-of-charge or heavily discounted for members.

Accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, The Trustees are an established leader in the conservation movement and model for other land trusts nationally and internationally. To find out more about membership, volunteer, job and other engagement opportunities with The Trustees visit