Every October, people from all over the United States visit the historical town of Acushnet, Massachusetts. This charming little town’s history includes being part of three separate towns (Westport, New Bedford, and Fairhaven) before its settlement in 1659. Learning about Acushnet’s history as a whole, though, is not the only reason to visit—Stone Bridge Farm has been family-owned and operated by Joanne and Scott Harding since they first planted cranberries 25 years ago. During the growing and harvest season, the farm offers walking tours on its three acres of bogs, as well as a farmers’ market and gift shop.
Walking through the bogs, farmers describe the soup-to-nuts process of how cranberries are grown and maintained, and how farmers use two different harvesting methods for these delightfully acidic fruits made famous for their notable appearance on the Thanksgiving Day table. Stone Bridge Farm employees also educate visitors on the history of the farm.
During their own travels, the Hardings noticed a trend toward agritourism and the farm tour idea was born. “After many years of cranberry harvesting, we failed to appreciate the unique and beautiful process,” Joanne ponders. “Opening our farm to visitors helped us gain a deeper appreciation of our own lifestyle.”
The best part of the visit? Stepping into the flooded bogs (chest high waders provided) to surround yourself with a sea of bobbing red cranberries—an ideal and unique photo opportunity. And don’t worry about getting your camera wet: Stone Bridge Farm employees will take the iconic photos and email them to you shortly after your visit.
So whether it be for a few hundred Facebook posts or that perfect Christmas card, it’s never too soon to make friends and family envious of the fun time Stone Bridge Farm offers. After the tour is complete, Stone Bridge Farm invites you to linger with your picnic lunch and enjoy the quiet serenity and sweet views only a cranberry bog can provide.
Stone Bridge Farm
186 Leonard Street
Acushnet, MA 02743
By: David Polney has found writing small articles much harder than he ever imagined. Oh, and he likes extra cranberry sauce on his turkey sandwiches.
Photos Courtesy of Stone Bridge Farm
Reprinted from edible South Shore & South Coast magazine.