A yellow building surrounded by bright flowers, Calkins Farm Stand in Hampden has been a fixture of the community since in 1924, when Jeremiah “Jerry” Calkins starting selling his garden’s extra vegetables on a table by the town’s busy Main Road.
Since then, Calkin’s Farm Stand has grown into a sizable store, offering seasonal vegetables, a wide variety of plants, gardening supplies and locally made products, including maple syrup, homemade jam and honey gathered from the beehives out back. Passed down through three generations, the establishment is now owned and managed by Jerry Calkin’s grandchildren.
“I’ve worked here all my life, really,” said John Calkins, co-owner of the farm stand. “When I was a kid I’d do the normal things — well, I thought it was normal — waiting on customers, watering the plants, routine stuff.”
On the morning of July 25, John Calkins was busy putting price tags on baskets of blueberries, listening to the radio while he worked. Native strawberry season had passed, and they were getting toward the end of raspberry season, but blueberries would be around for weeks to come, he said.
Heaped in baskets beside the blueberries were summer squash, zucchini, eggplants, green beans, peas and potatoes. Much of what’s sold at Calkins comes from the family’s 30-acre property (just behind the farm stand), where they grow a variety of flowers and vegetables in five greenhouse and outdoor beds. But the farm stand also sells products from a handful of local farmers and gardeners. Their newest offering is cut flowers from a gardener in Hampden.
Other products sold at the farm stand include fresh eggs, dried beans, seeds and plant food. Their beautiful hanging flower baskets are a big hit. And then there are late-season items, such as apples, pumpkins, Christmas trees and wreaths.
Season and hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 1 through December.
Directions: 295 Main Road South in Hampden. The bright yellow building is hard to miss.
Payment options: Cash, checks and credit or debit cards.
Phone number: 207-862-3246