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Nourse Farms of Whately to buy Northfield’s Five Acre Farm

Nourse Farms of Whately to buy Northfield’s Five Acre Farm

  • Five Acre Farm in Northfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Mario Escalante of Springfield works in the retail greenhouse at Five Acre Farm in Northfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • These greenhouses will be growing berries soon at Five Acre Farm in Northfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Amanda Tessier of Vernon, Vt., works in the retail greenhouse at Five Acre Farm in Northfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz



Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

NORTHFIELD — In preparation for a change of ownership, Five Acre Farm is closing its retail store on Aug. 26.

The farm is being sold to Nourse Farms in Whately, which specializes in strawberries and bramble plants.

Bill Randall, the founder and owner of Five Acre Farm, died in 2007, but the Route 63 farm has been operated by its employees since then, according to Karen Randall, the trustee of her brother’s estate.

Karen Randall said that the farm is being sold because in the 11 years since her brother’s death, none of his children have been in a position to take ownership of it.

The farm grows and sells annual and perennial flowers as well as certain vegetables starter plants and nursery stock.

“These decisions are difficult, but it’s the best decision for the farm,” Karen Randall said. “We’re really very happy we’re selling to another great farm from the Pioneer Valley. We couldn’t be more pleased that the farm we’ve taken care of for all these years is going to another excellent farm.”

History

Five Acre Farm began in 1979, when Bill Randall bought it as a roadside stand selling fruits and vegetables. In the years since, it expanded to three acres of greenhouse space and seven acres of outdoor growing space. In the 1980s, the farm began selling plant plugs wholesale, then in the 1990s began selling rooted cuttings and finished perennials. Since then, Five Acre Farm has done most of its business selling wholesale to garden centers throughout New England, Karen Randall said.

Tim Nourse, owner of Nourse Farms, said that the primary focus of the purchase is the greenhouse space, which Nourse Farms will use to grow two new breeds of raspberries and strawberries. The outdoor growing space will be used to grow other types of plants, he said.

The exchange is set to be finalized in mid-September, Nourse said.