After Weekend Fire, Verrill Farm Bounces Back

After this summer’s tragic blaze at James Hook & Co., we thought we’d seen enough food-related destruction for a while. So when we heard that the beloved—and historic—Verrill Farm in Concord had suffered a four-alarm fire over the weekend, our hearts went out to owners Joan and Stephen Verrill.

Fortunately no one was hurt in Saturday evening’s disaster, which stemmed from an electrical fire, spread via propane tanks, and laid waste to the farm’s 3,000 square foot produce stand. Customers and employees escaped without harm. And while the damage was extensive—there’s not much of the stand left to be salvaged, says farm spokesperson Anne Cushman—the fields and animals were safe and sound.

It hasn’t taken long for the Verrills to see a silver lining, either. The outpouring of community support has moved the family, says Cushman, as neighbors and regular customers drop by to lend a hand with the cleanup and send good wishes. John Walker of the Concord Journal even helped set up a blog for farm updates.

And farmers being a hardy bunch, it’s right back to business two days later. Earlier this week, Cushman confirmed that the farm’s regular deliveries will continue as scheduled. (Verrill supplies produce to many Boston-area eateries, including No. 9 Park, Hamersley’s, Harvest, and Rialto.)

And it’s already back to selling fresh corn and heirloom tomatoes from a cart, just steps from the former farmstand. (Before the larger farmstand was built, that same wheeled cart, parked at the corner of Wheeler and Sudbury Streets, was the stand, explains Cushman.)

While donations are appreciated, she notes, “the best thing people can do is to come out and shop again.” The stand may be gone, but the tomatoes and are still sweet and the peppers still crisp.

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