There are hundreds of small local roads in Massachusetts from which to view the beautiful fall foliage at this time of year. One of my favorite of these roads is Route 117. An added bonus of this road is that it leads to Verrill Farm in Concord.
I discovered Verrill Farm in college, as it was conveniently located just 20 minutes away, and a half hour from Boston. There is nice strawberry picking to be had during the summer months and several festivals and events throughout the year, including a Corn & Tomato Festival, Asparagus Festival, and Blueberry Pancake Breakfast. The biggest draw of Verrill Farm for me though is their farm store. In the fall of 2008, their existing farm store was destroyed in a fire and they opened a larger, environmentally-friendly store in September 2009. The store features a large prepared foods section and bakery, fresh produce from their farm as well as farms nearby, and an extensive array of locally made products, including honey, ice cream, cheese, bread, sauces, pasta, and much more.
Photo c/o Verrill Farm
Last Friday, Dave and I went to Verrill to get lunch and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Verrill makes their own sodas, including black cherry, which we got, as well as cranberry lime rickey, and root beer.
Dave got a BLT from the deli counter. The bacon was perfectly crisp, and the bread and vegetables were very fresh. It is a fairly good deal at five dollars and change. I have to add that the customer service at Verrill is some of the best I have experienced. The employee at the deli counter was exceedingly friendly, informative, and pleasant. It was a small touch that added to our overall pleasant experience that day.
I love the Verrill Farm bakery with its selection of pies, muffins, cookies, scones, as well as tarts, cupcakes, bars and more. I was considering getting a pumpkin-filled cannoli until I saw this pumpkin crunch bar.
It has an oat-pecan crust, a layer of pumpkin, a layer of sweetened cream cheese, and brown sugar-oat-pecan crumble on top. It was delicious. I love any combination of pumpkin and cream cheese, be it a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting or pumpkin cheesecake, so I had high hopes for this bar. Each layer had a different consistency. The crust was hearty and crumbly, the pumpkin light and smooth, and the cream cheese slightly dense. The crumb topping provided a touch more sweetness and crunch to complete the bar.
Dave got a chocolate covered cannoli. The shell had a good balance of crispy pastry and chocolate. The filling not the typical ricotta mixture, and had a hint of cocoa.
In addition to the fantastic baked goods, prepared foods, and local products, the Verrill Farm store is a source for locally grown produce after the farmers’ markets in the city have closed for the winter. There is still plenty of produce to be had in Massachusetts after the end of November, but unfortunately it becomes hard for Bostonians to procure it since the farmers’ markets close up shop. If you have never been to Verrill, I would not recommend waiting until the winter. You should go now when you can pick a pumpkin and enjoy the crisp fall weather. But come winter, if you haven’t visited, you will have a very good reason to.
11 Wheeler Road