When Steve Noons took over the family farm, Farmer’s Garden, in Rohoboth, MA, his father tried to talk him out of it. “It didn’t work,” according to Steve. Steve is the third generation in his family to farm the land and he always knew he would end up on the farm. Both he and his wife Tammy left successful careers, Steve as an electrician and Tammy as a researcher in a hospital, to run the farm, Farmer’s Garden, full-time. “People never believe that,” says Steve.
Farmer’s Garden was a dairy farm with a few acres in vegetables. Today it is a 200 acre mixed vegetable operation known for their sweet corn and hot peppers. It continues to be a family operation, with everyone from aunts and uncles to nieces and nephews lending a helping hand. Steve is thankful that he and his wife are able to work together. Steve and Tammy stay on the cutting edge of sustainable farming by working with both the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) advisory committee and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Recently, Steve began using zone tillage on his pumpkins and butternut squash, a technique which only disturbs the soil where the seed will be planted lessening erosion and runoff.
Steve is optimistic about the future of his farm. He is looking to build a permanent farm store, which will be open year round. He also hopes to diversify, perhaps even into livestock. “The important thing though, is to keep growing good, fresh food sustainably,” Steve explains. And Steve is happy to do because there is no place he would rather be than in his family’s fields.