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Farming In Franklin

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A collaborative presentation at the Franklin Historical Museum by Alan Earls, Historical Museum; Seth Rousseau, AkinBak Farm and Nick Hoffman, Hoffman Farm - May 19, 2013

A collaborative presentation at the Franklin Historical Museum by Alan Earls, Historical Museum; Seth Rousseau, AkinBak Farm and Nick Hoffman, Hoffman Farm - May 19, 2013


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  • 1. Farming inFarming inFranklin:Franklin:Then and NowThen and NowHost: Alan EarlsHost: Alan EarlsPresenters: Seth Rousseau, AkinBak FarmPresenters: Seth Rousseau, AkinBak FarmNick Hoffman, Hoffman FarmNick Hoffman, Hoffman Farm
  • 2. Pre ColumbianPre Columbian Climate and soilClimate and soilgood for agriculturegood for agriculturein many areas ofin many areas ofNew EnglandNew England Slash & BurnSlash & Burn Three Sisters (corn),Three Sisters (corn),beans, and squash)beans, and squash)
  • 3. European SettlementEuropean Settlement Puritan and PilgrimPuritan and Pilgrimgroups practiced bothgroups practiced bothsubsistence agriculturesubsistence agriculture(feeding immediate(feeding immediategroup) and agriculturegroup) and agriculturefor tradingfor trading Most “moveable”Most “moveable”agricultural product wasagricultural product waslivestocklivestock Settlement of interiorSettlement of interioroften centered on naturaloften centered on naturalmeadows near riversmeadows near riverswhich provided pastureswhich provided pastures
  • 4. Early Farming inEarly Farming inFranklinFranklin Most people farmed at least part of theMost people farmed at least part of thetimetime Farmers often had other businesses,Farmers often had other businesses,such as milling or running a saw millsuch as milling or running a saw mill Mostly subsistence farming with a fewMostly subsistence farming with a fewpeople “doing well”people “doing well” Livestock for export and mix of cropsLivestock for export and mix of crops
  • 5. 1919ththCentury FranklinCentury Franklin Better roads andBetter roads andrailroads opened newrailroads opened newmarketsmarkets Development ofDevelopment ofindustry gaveindustry gavefamilies newfamilies neweconomic opportunityeconomic opportunity ……and new localand new localmarket for farmersmarket for farmers Crops varied widelyCrops varied widely--Some new specialties--Some new specialtiessuch as cranberriessuch as cranberries(in 1860s Franklin(in 1860s Franklinwas one of the topwas one of the topgrowers)growers)
  • 6. Late 19Late 19thth-early 20-early 20ththcenturycentury Dairy FarmingDairy FarmingMany dairies in regionMany dairies in regionsupplied Boston marketsupplied Boston marketwith daily milk trainswith daily milk trainsMore business but largeMore business but largeBoston dairies couldBoston dairies coulddictate pricesdictate prices Poultry: Across NewPoultry: Across NewEngland, many localEngland, many localproducersproducers ““Famous” locals includeFamous” locals includePalmer family – thePalmer family – thePalmer Red ChickenPalmer Red Chicken -- (later donated land for-- (later donated land forParmenter School inParmenter School inhonor of son killed inhonor of son killed inWW2WW2
  • 7. Garelick FarmGarelick Farm Garelick family took over small farm andGarelick family took over small farm andbuilt large piggery and prosperous dairybuilt large piggery and prosperous dairy
  • 8. SuburbanizationSuburbanization Pop. GrowthPop. Growth Land Price SpiralLand Price Spiral Rising TaxesRising Taxes Growing CompetitionGrowing Competitionfrom US andfrom US andoverseasoverseas Farmers “selling out”Farmers “selling out” Goldberg farm/Franklin Fence onGoldberg farm/Franklin Fence onRte 140 where DaddarioRte 140 where DaddarioHardware is, late 1970sHardware is, late 1970s
  • 9. 1980-1990s. Is there a1980-1990s. Is there afuture for Farms infuture for Farms inFranklin?Franklin? Town PopulationTown Populationtriplestriples Only a handful ofOnly a handful ofsmall farms remainsmall farms remain HOWEVER – someHOWEVER – somestate programsstate programs AND renewedAND renewedinterest in “buyinginterest in “buyinglocal” and CSAslocal” and CSAs ““Big Apple” farm in nearbyBig Apple” farm in nearbyWrentham sells developmentWrentham sells developmentrights to state as a way to stayrights to state as a way to stayviable.viable.
  • 10. 2000s… a rebirth2000s… a rebirth Town sponsors Farmer’s Market onTown sponsors Farmer’s Market onCommonCommon Locals such as Fairmont and AkinBak hangLocals such as Fairmont and AkinBak hangon and reinventon and reinvent New farmers such as Nick Hoffman seeNew farmers such as Nick Hoffman seeopportunityopportunity
  • 11. AkinBak – MultiAkinBak – MultiGenerational LegacyGenerational Legacy
  • 12. Nick Hoffman – fromNick Hoffman – fromNew Braintree toNew Braintree toFranklinFranklin
  • 13. Thank YouThank You Credit: Much informationCredit: Much informationon early agricultureon early agriculturecomes from Howard S.comes from Howard S.Russel’s excellentRussel’s excellentbooks….books…. Photos from FranklinPhotos from FranklinMuseum, Library, privateMuseum, Library, privatecollections and Crawfordcollections and Crawfordfamily and Web sourcesfamily and Web sources Other information andOther information andimages fromimages from Franklin:Franklin:From Puritan Precinct toFrom Puritan Precinct to2121ststCentury Edge CityCentury Edge City bybyEamon McCarthy EarlsEamon McCarthy Earls