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Breaking Ground: Bardwell Farm

My name is Harrison Bardwell, I’m the owner and operator of Bardwell Farm I farm about 15 acres here of forty different vegetables, forty different varieties of vegetables. We have land scattered throughout town On this property itself, there’s about 6 to 7 acres that we’re farming, and throughout town we have another 10 acres or so, that we’re using on and off This farm was actually established in 1685 Yes, your heard me correctly, 1685 I’m about the ninth generation of this farm It last dropped off with my grandfather, he was the actual past owner of the farm Doing different things like growing tobacco, onions, field corn, those kinds of things, He told my father, when he was about my age or a little bit younger, not to get into farming because there’s not a lot of money in it It’s a hard career, you’re dealing with the weather, you’re kind of relying on Mother Nature to make money and sustain a life At the age of about 12, I decided to jump in to my grandparents’ garden I was interested in what he was doing, in that kind of thing, I played in the garden with him that summer, when I was in my younger years, middle school and high school area, and kinda jumped from there The next year I opened a farm store, growing on about an acre and a half of land still not really knowing what I was doing, and then took it from there, each year I grew in acreage, grew in sales, grew in knowledge It ended with my grandfather, and it skipped a generation and I picked it up in about 2014, when this farm became a business again There’s a long history of agriculture in my family and in this town with the Bardwell name, It’s something I’m trying to carry on Hatfield, and the surrounding towns, is definitely an agriculture-driven community Every farmer in this town has helped my in one shape or another to build what I have right now I would not be anywhere I was today without the Wendolowskis, the Smiarowskis, Antosz Farm more in the area, too many more to name just helping out here and there, letting me borrow equipment, lending me knowledge from the old-time farmers that have been doing this for forty or fifty years, It’s definitely a knit community, definitely, in the farming community We all try to help each other out, we work with each other If someone’s tractor broke down, we’re trying to be out there helping them out, I’m definitely trying to expand my relationship with the farms in the area, I have a lot of relationships with the farms in this town, and a few outer, but we’re still trying to push out farther and farther, We’re all in it for the same thing, we’re all in it to grow food, support a healthy environment, and grow sustainably, and we need agriculture, without agriculture we can’t survive So, we’re definitely all in it together I wouldn’t say there’s competition in it, I really wouldn’t We’re all growning the same or similar crops, but we all find our way to make our market and get our product out there We all work together, if I can’t move something someone else can, and we go back and forth with that So it’s really a big family, a big friend group relationship That’s awesome to have and I’m thankful for it, very thankful for it I’m a new generation of farming, I’m 21 years old and I started this back in 2014 We need farms, we need farmers I’m the perfect example of a new beginning farmer and a farmer coming up, that wants to take care of the land, grow food for others, and support the local community One thing to take away about me is my age, my work ehtic, and what I’m trying to do You don’t see many kids out here like this, my age, I’m not a kid anymore, but you don’t see anyone my age doing this So that’s something to pull away from it, that there are people out here, even though we’re few and far to find, We’re trying to make an impact and make a difference, I’m trying to make and impact and make a difference, on our Earth, with our community, and helping to support people and grow food It’s just something I love and something I’m going to hopefully do the rest of my life

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