Green Meadows Farm – A Rich & Storied History
The property known as Green Meadows dates back to the 1700’s. The country-style Homestead, just down the street from today’s existing farm, was purchased by Gen. George S. Patton Jr. (a Major at this time) and his wife Beatrice in 1928 and served as a family vacation spot for many years. With the start of World War II, Beatrice moved to the Homestead permanently while her husband led the Third Army across North Africa and later commanded the Seventh Army to victory across the European Theater. Gen. Patton’s untimely death from an auto accident in 1945 put an end to his plans to retire to Green Meadows after the war. Beatrice continued to live at Green Meadows until her death.
From 1953 until 1980 the Homestead and surrounding land were used only occasionally by family members. That all changed in 1980 when Major General George S. Patton, his wife Joanne and their five children moved to the Homestead permanently. Patton, the son of World War II’s Gen. Patton, had followed in his father’s footsteps, graduating from West Point and then going on to his own distinguished 34 year career in the US Army before retiring to Green Meadows. He was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor. His combat service included commands in Korea and Vietnam.
George and Joanne, the daughter of a career Army Officer herself, looked forward to putting down roots. Once settled Gen. Patton decided that the land should no longer be used strictly for leisure play. He wanted it to be a community asset for everyone. Green Meadows Farm was born.
The fact that Gen. Patton knew nothing about farming was not seen as an obstacle by Patton. He sought out experts, and was eager to learn. While still considered an “amateur” farmer, Patton took his first crop (blueberries) on the road and sold them from the back of a truck at the Topsfield Fair grounds. He hired a farm manager, added crops and started selling from his farm property. This very modest beginning grew over the years to the bountiful Farmstand and CSA you see today at 656 Asbury Street.
More crops were planted, greenhouses added and new fields were plowed. Major Gen. Patton named each of his fields for fallen heroes with whom he had served in Vietnam – men he never forgot. Beginning with Yano Field in 1984, honoring Sgt. R.J.T. Yano of the Air Cavalry, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, seven fields now honor fellow veterans. The large outdoor display here at the Farmstand lets you read about the heroes and see where their fields are located.
Sadly, Major Gen. George S. Patton passed away in 2004. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His partner and widow, Joanne Holbrook Patton, keeps his memory alive by her continued stewardship of Green Meadows Farm, his beloved second career.
In 2002 Green Meadows Farm became a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) offering members (shareholders) access to locally-grown organic produce, heritage meat, eggs and flowers direct from the farm in a new way. Members pay for a share of the anticipated harvest. The general public is also welcomed to buy a wide array of produce at the Farmstand.
Thirty years after those first blueberry bushes Green Meadows Farm stands alone as the oldest, family-owned certified organic farm, farmstand and education program in the region. We invite you to join us at the Farmstand, in the fields, and at GMF festivals and special events. Bring the kids for story time or bring your whole classroom for an educational farm tour; inquire about our Farm Apprentice Program; dine on gourmet organic food thoughtfully prepared at one of GMF’s Farm to Table dinners; join an Elder Hostel eco-tour or book us for an unusual wedding venue and reception.
Green Meadows Farm’s CSA members and customers are supporting the local economy, their local farmer and the growing movement to eat healthy and local.