Astarte Farm is a certified organic market garden located on the old town common in Hadley, Massachusetts. We sell primarily at the Amherst Farmers' Market on
Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, from the last weekend in April until mid
November. We peddle any surplus production to our local co-ops and a few
friendly chefs. We specialize in heirloom tomatoes (both plants and fruit),
unusual lettuce varieties, sweet corn, and a dozen varieties of heirloom garlic
with an eclectic mix of small fruits, herbs and flowers to fill in the gaps. We pick all of our
varieties for superior taste and nutrition, continue to rigorously search out certified organic seed whenever
possible, and even grow a few outstanding hybrids.
The farm sits on 6.6 acres of premium Pioneer Valley loam soils and is one of the original farms in Hadley, dating from the
1650’s. Early English pioneers braved the rapids coming up the Connecticut River from Wethersfield, CT and settled the town. The original plots were deeded based on the amount of land
that one man could plow in one day with one ox. It must have been great to have
a speedy ox.
When you subtract the amount of land taken up by our house, yards,
barns and the buffer zones mandated by the National Organic Program, we are still blessed with 4.5 acres of certified
organic growing area. We have a 26’ X 48’ heated propagation greenhouse and two
unheated high tunnels for season extension. We use minimal machine tillage and a semi-permanent bed system
that keeps untilled grass paths between each bed and allows complete sanctuary for a vibrant
array of soil biota, from earthworms to Mycorrhizal fungi. In essence, at least half the farm is fallow, undisturbed soil even at the most intense point
of the season.