What would my grandfather say about all those long black strips of plastic covers banding the town's farmlands? And hoop houses with dirt floors, more plastic carpets and tomato plants basking in safety from floods, bugs, and powdery mildew.

"Looks too darn easy," he'd say. "What's the matter with dirt, a can of dead tomato horn worms and weeding!"

Our local farmers have many new and very old challenges and choices to make when deciding how to produce a crop of vegetables, keep a flock or manage a herd. Food safety, food quality and a rural town character will be hot subjects for conversation at the upcoming Pepperell Farmers Market, which opens this Saturday on the Town Field from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Frank and Sue, Dragonfly Farm owners, can explain the advantages of organic gardening, as can George Kirk of Kirk Farm. Todd Russell, Lyndell Farm, likes to promote smaller carbon footprint and steaks. Tony Beattie, Robinwood Farm, has a sustainability management philosophy. Erica McLellan, Little Acre Farm, specializes in homemade soap products and poison ivy cures.

Prescott Grange offers gardening information, home-cooked pies and cookies and compelling reasons for everyone to join the Grange organization!

Besides fresh foods, including bakery goods, garden supplies will be available. Your choices and conversations will have the company of a local music talent.


The fresh air is free and the blue sky and birdsongs are inspiring as you fill your bags with the best foods from your home town.

I do know that my grandfather waited for and cherished his first tomato sandwich, lightly toasted with a little mayo.

Some of the best things in life never change.