Meet Mark Rutkowski – Cityscaper and Organic Farmer
Mark has been with Cityscapes for about 1 year and prior to that he worked on small organic farms throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. He managed Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset for four years. Organic farming is his passion and he’s very excited to be opening his own operation this spring.
Merrimack Farm will be located in Beverly, MA. Its purpose is to provide Greater Boston with vegetables and herbs sold through local farmers’ markets, a CSA, and wholesale to restaurants. This season his farm is particularly focused on growing salad greens, spinach, arugula, radishes, baby kale, turnips, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Mark has plans to eventually expand Merrimack Farm to include a wider variety of produce, flowers, eggs, poultry, and honey. Although the farm will not be certified organic in its first season, all the vegetables will be grown to USDA National Organic Program standards (i.e. without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, or genetically engineered seeds).
Mark’s CSA program is a great way for people to support the farm and enjoy local, farm-fresh produce all summer long. For those unfamiliar with CSA’s, here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public, typically the share consists of a box of vegetables. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. The farmer receives payment early in the season, which helps him or her purchase seeds, fertilizers, and cover other operating expenses.
Merrimack Farm’s CSA will run for 13 weeks from June 7 until August 30 (with a couple bonus weeks in September expected). Mark is also expecting to be a vendor at the Copley Farmers’ Market in Copley Square on Tuesdays.
The cost of a CSA membership is $300.00. Each share will contain at least $30.00 worth of produce. People interested in signing up can visit the farm’s website, www.merrimackfarm.com. Please send any questions to Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org