This bustling farm opened in 1884. Today, the Wilson family grows over 150 crops on more than 600 acres in Lexington and on their sister farm in nearby Litchfield, New Hampshire. Head farmer Jim Wilson, who seems to know everybody in town, takes huge pride in the variety of his crops, which he says are the most diverse and vast in New England. He’s probably right: Here, sweet corn alone occupies more than 90 acres of farmland. The Wilson family makes nearly everything on their property except for milk. Creamery items come from Shaw’s Farm, an independent family farm a few miles away in Dracut. To showcase their produce, Wilson’s also operates a grocery headed by Jeff “Chef Jeff” Peters, who uses seasonal fruits and vegetables to make to-go quiches, soups, and stews. He also runs cooking classes tailored to the season; at Thanksgiving, townspeople assemble to learn the finer points of turkey-carving.
The shop is festooned with homegrown seasonal décor. In the fall, pumpkins and gourds fill the open-air nursery; during the wintertime, shimmering wreathes hang from the walls and poinsettias brighten the doorways. Wilson’s was an early implementer of IMP (integrated pest management), an environmentally aware system of managing crops. And, as a mainstay business in Lexington for five generations, the family has strong community ties. They routinely donate products to nearby churches and food pantries, especially around the holidays.