It’s easy to understand why our readers love Davenport Farms—alongside the homegrown produce there are soups, baked goods, homemade lunch goodies, local beef, organic baking supplies and bread, gourmet foods, and a wide variety of cheeses, everything marked by region of origin—not to mention a warm welcome from a close-knit staff, two of whom have been at the stand for over 30 years.
“We’re starting to harvest a lot right now,” says Bruce Davenport, whose family has been farming the 200 rich acres since Isaiah Davenport came across the river to Stone Ridge in 1840. “Through early July, we’ll be harvesting early spinach, strawberries, asparagus, kale, collard greens, green beans, sugar snap peas. The second week of July, it will be corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant,” says Davenport. “What I’m doing changes every season, every month, every week. And not everyone gets a month of downtime.”
The downtime is much appreciated—during the other 11 months, the job bears no resemblance to a 40-hour week and the 10-week harvest season makes or breaks the whole year. But at Davenport’s it’s a labor of love. Not every legacy farm is lucky enough to have a new generation stepping up, but three of the next generation—Davenport’s own two children and a niece, all thirtysomethings—have chosen to stick with the business.
And the farm stand is where it all comes together for the public—and where you can be certain you’re getting the real thing when it comes to eating local veggies. “I don’t want to do vodka or beer or agritainment, although I respect and admire the people who do,” says Davenport. “It’s cool stuff, but not for everyone. I just want us to grow the best corn and tomatoes possible, and we’re pretty good at it.”