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Local News

April 1, 2014

Peabody library goes local with Clark Farm program

CSA will provide shareholders with fresh produce, eggs, honey

PEABODY — Can you get much more local than next-door? Bill Clark of Clark Farm in Danvers will be providing a cornucopia of locally grown produce and goods for this year’s Community Supported Agriculture program at Peabody’s public libraries.

The Peabody Institute Library started the CSA last year with Silverbrook Farm out of Dartmouth, and it was a success, offering all sorts of fruits and vegetables to shareholders each week throughout the summer, said librarian Kelley Rae Unger. But, she said, the library hoped to get even more local with a North Shore farm.

The whole point of a CSA is to “support the farms in your own community,” she said.

Enter Bill Clark. Clark, who’s pushing 70, is a Danvers selectman and retired teacher who has worked on the farm his entire life and now runs it with his family. In fact, the Hobart/Clark family has operated the farm since 1728.

Clark regularly participates in farmers markets in Salem, Marblehead and Swampscott and said he also ran a small CSA program at the farm the past two years with seven or eight members. Now he’s looking at supplying enough produce and goods for 40 shares. In order to meet the demand, he’s growing more of everything and more varieties, he said.

Clark received a call from Unger asking if he was interested in the Peabody program and chose to do it instead of joining another farmers market this summer, although he is considering participating in a Danvers market if it comes together, he said.

“I’m geared up for it,” Clark said. In the greenhouse, he has five kinds of kale started — that’s been a popular item lately — eight kinds of peppers, eight kinds of lettuce, different varieties of tomatoes, collard greens, snap peas, kohlrabi, artichokes and a whole lot more. “We’ll have a little bit of everything.”

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