The nerve center of suburban Acton, Idylwilde has sprouted from a rural roadside farm stand into a green-focused specialty market housed in a rambling Dutch barn. The Napoli brothers, grandchildren of Italian immigrants who once ran a small farm outside Boston, moved the stand to Acton in 1969. Now they run the farm with their grown children at the helm. Their 21st-century incarnation includes sandwiches made on local Iggy’s bread with house-made preserves, a line of jams and honeys, and fresh-squeezed juices. Jalapeno pepper jelly, brandied peaches, fig preserves, and pumpkin butter are specialties. What they don’t make themselves, they source from local purveyors—maple syrup from Vermont’s Butternut Hill Farms, ice cream from Maple Valley Creamery in Western Massachusetts, and milk from Oakhurst Dairy in Maine. Towers of seasonal produce from the backyard farm welcome visitors as soon as they step onto the front porch. In the winter, picking a Christmas tree is a local rite of passage, and many hometown folks—from teenagers to retirees—work the cash registers. The Napoli family is well known in town, and the brothers sponsor a variety of community efforts throughout the area. They also recycle all plastic and cardboard on-site.
Photo: Facebook/Idylwilde Farms