While some of my earliest childhood memories involve a lot of biking outside, making an "oven" out of a giant rock (baking mud patties), and making up games that would involve being outdoors for far longer than necessary (in the winter), the other memories all revolve around food. And food shopping, specifically.
Growing up, my family ate at the table together seven nights a week (before those after-school activities began shifting into the evening) and that meant that my parents grocery shopped weekly, at the very least. And while a lot of the staple items came from one of the nearby chain stores, the majority of our ingredients, and eventually all of them, came from a little jewel called Wilson Farm.
Visits to Wilson Farm with my mom usually included purchasing their eggs and farm-fresh veggies, and gradually, as their business expanded, more and more on the grocery list. Wilson Farm was a family affair as we would often run into my grandmother shopping there at the same time. One of the phrases most frequently said in our home was, (while on the phone), "Yes? I just got back from Wilson's." And that eventually became (and still remains to be) an almost daily statement said by my mom, grandmother, or another close friend or family member.
The business grew as rapidly as I did and eventually the little farmstand we frequented became a beautiful, barn-shaped building with every product you could ever need to make a delicious meal, much as it appears today. I, on the other hand, grew to be a delightful five feet tall, and that's that. They have many acres of land right next to the store where you can see the freshest produce being harvested daily. Plus there are farm tours, animals to visit, and special theme days (I recently went to Tomato Fest!) during which Wilson's features seasonal products, free samples, and extra info about all of their local produce! What could be better?! :)
Wilson Farm is an incredible family-run business that has been the premier location for my family, and countless others, to buy farm-fresh produce and an ever-expanding array of local products including meat, dairy, a full bakery, prepared foods, and an amazing selection of fresh cut flowers that I can barely resist each time we visit. Wilson Farm also offers a vast gardening department where you can find everything you need no matter the size, or space required, for your gardening plans.
Wilson Farm has been family owned and operated since 1884. They have 33 acres in Lexington, MA and 500 acres in Litchfield, NH. So you know that the produce you're perusing is absurdly fresh, and super local!
With regard to my dietary needs, Wilson Farm has recently expanded their gluten free section to include everything from breads to cookies to pasta and even some awesome snacks that are all made by my favorite gluten free companies, many of which are local! I find it comforting, and convenient, that Wilson's has this area stocked at all times so that my cookie cravings can easily be satisfied alongside my love for their wonderful tomato selection and ever-evolving cheese department. I appreciate that the company is aware that some of their customers do have food allergies and that those needs can easily be met by carrying a wide variety of gluten free products.
An aspect that I find even cooler about this multi-generational family business is that they stick to their roots (haha) and really emphasize stocking quality products no matter the area of the store. From ice cream to cake, peppers to peaches, and everything in between, you know you're buying a product that's been carefully chosen to represent the store's high standards as well as being the freshest version available. This commitment has allowed Wilson Farm to become a multiple “Best of Boston” winner from Boston Magazine (now a “Classic” recipient), and it was recently named “Best Farm Stand West” in the 2017 Best of Boston edition. A very well-deserved award!
Throughout childhood and even into my college years, I did not realize the multiple, positive long term effects and benefits that this incredible family-run business would have on my life, especially as my dietary needs changed (read: Celiac Disease) and my passion for high quality, locally produced food developed.
These days, I care deeply about where my food comes from and maintain a pretty healthy balance between eating "real food" and the occasional treat, which means that a place such as Wilson Farm is essential to my personal wellbeing and health. My husband and I shop weekly, on Sundays, for our weeknight dinners where we buy predominantly their own produce and everything else that's labeled "our own." But I'll be honest, I make a bee-line for the cheese fairly often, too. :)
Last weekend, while going through the checkout, I noticed every single item in our cart came from their farm and our grocery bags were spilling over with the brightest colors and freshest, late-summer scents. I'm so proud of how our dinners have become influenced by eating "with the season" as some call it, and that's made entirely possible by shopping at Wilson Farm.
And to keep up with family traditions, I often text (or call) my mom when we get home from shopping and say, "Hi! What's up? We just got back from Wilson's!" ;-)
Thank you Wilson Farm for being a premiere destination for fresh produce and all-around healthy living. We always look forward to our weekly visits, and hearing from friends and family about their most recent trips as well. Thank you for representing such a wonderful family-owned business that I am sure will continue to be a success, and local food shopping tradition, for generations to come.
Follow along on Instagram to see what we're cooking this week featuring ingredients from Wilson's: @glutenfreemollied
Be sure to follow Wilson Farm! @wilsonfarm
And please check my website for more stories, reviews, and general gluten free food joy!