The Farmers Daughter at Herrick Farm in Rowley
Monday August 02, 2021
David and Kristen. Photo credit: Libby O’Neill / The Town Common
Kristen Herrick has always been the farmer’s daughter. She and her brothers grew up on their family farm, Herrick Farm, located in Rowley. For generations the Herrick family has owned and operated the roughly 80 acre dairy farm, and selling the family business has never once been a thought.
Herrick Farm has always been a staple in the community with regular visitors who stop into their two farm stands to bring home locally grown food. The farm runs year round selling milk, vegetables, eggs and grass fed beef. But the main focus of the farm has always been giving the community the opportunity to reap the benefits of buying locally grown food.
“There are people who feel really strongly about their food and where it comes from,” Herrick said. “And those are the people seeking us out.”
When COVID-19 lockdowns began in the early spring of 2020, Herrick Farm was affected more abnormally than other businesses. As most businesses dealt with shutdowns and a loss of customers, Herrick Farm was still operating, but faced different challenges. People in the area began to look for alternative outlets for activities such as going to the grocery store, so they began to hone in on local outdoor farm stands.With that, Herrick Farm’s business skyrocketed in ways they couldn’t have prepared for.
“When COVID hit, everyone wanted to go to the farm,” Herrick said. “We just ran out of product, it was insane. It was really hard to keep up with because I wasn’t ready for it. I had no idea, and I had kids who had needs and didn’t have school with no place to go and nobody to take them.”
Photo of Jameson. Photo credit: Libby O’Neill / The Town Common
Herrick, mother of three children all under the age of seven, understood people’s desire to take their families to visit the farm. She explained that during COVID lockdowns she found that people had time to think about the benefits for their families of buying from local farms because they could see where the food was coming from.
“It was like a lot of people who didn’t realize before how important it is where your food comes from and like how gross the grocery store is germ wise,” Herrick said. “It got a lot of people thinking about it.”
Tractor. Photo credit: Libby O’Neill / The Town Common
Sophie and David. Photo credit: Libby O’Neill / The Town Common
David. Photo credit: Libby O’Neill / The Town Common
However, Herrick explained that again unlike most businesses as COVID lockdowns slowly settled and life began to make a push towards normalcy, the uptick in visitors to the farm began to decrease.
“Now a lot of people have gotten back into their rhythms and we have slowed down. And that’s kind of frustrating,” Herrick said.
Herrick and her family feel strongly about providing and educating the community on the benefits of local naturally produced food. They take pride in the fact that they have upheld organic farming to the best of their ability, while also keeping their farm small and family based.
“I would say we are as organic as we possibly can be,” Herrick said. “For me, that’s just how my dad has always done it. You pull the weeds, you don’t spray them. My kids can run through here and it’s just like the way I want it to be. It’s natural, it’s clean.”
Kristen. Photo credit: Libby O’Neill / The Town Common
At Herrick Farm, their focus is taking care of their animals in the most humane ways, and keeping their produce as natural as they possibly can. Herrick explained the importance of keeping the family business the same as she raises her three children. She said that she feels blessed to be able to give her children the opportunity to grow up around the lifestyle that she did and that her family has continued to put in the work to keep the farm up and running.
“Everyone comes from a farm at some point, and it is sold at some point. Unless you make sure it’s not,” Herrick said. “Which I feel lucky that my dad has kept it here because my kids get what most kids don’t. They are on their grandfather’s farm.”
Herrick Farm is open seven days a week, with two farm stands selling their produce, dairy, and beef. Both stands are open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Herrick hopes people stop by to help support the farm and to feel good knowing where their food comes from.
“Farms are still here because people support them and people take pride in that. It’s like you have this connection with your food.”
Kids playing with cows. Photo credit: Libby O’Neill / The Town Common