Donald Wilson is a member of the third generation to operate the 128-year-old Wilson Farm, with farm stands in Lexington, Mass., and Litchfield, New Hampshire, offering a myriad of vegetables and flowers as well as incorporating a bakery, butcher shop, seafood counter, cheese shop and grocery department. The family farms over 500 acres of land, produces over 125 different crops year-round and is the epitome of “locally grown.”
While the term “locavore” was coined in 2005, this farm has understood the value of locally grown produce since 1884 when the patriarch of the family, James Alexander Wilson arrived in the United States from Enniskillen, Ireland. He rented 16 acres of land to raise pigs and vegetables and establish an orchard.
Donald Wilson and his late cousin Alan grew Wilson Farm to the successful, multi-dimensional agricultural entity it is today. After Alan’s death two years ago, his son Scott assumed the role of president overseeing purchasing and sales. Donald continues as treasurer and travels to New Hampshire daily to run the farm stand and crop production, while his son, Jim, leads the production end of the business, following in his father’s footsteps.
Today, the Lexington Farm stand contains 36 acres. In 1956, Wilson Farm purchased the 150-acre Parker Farm in Litchfield, New Hampshire, and later acquired other parcels that now total 600 acres, 400 of which are cropland.
With its 200 full and part-time employees, Wilson Farm produces over 100 different varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs, and much of its seasonal crop is sold within hours of being harvested.