Tim Friary, operator of Cape Cod Organic Farm in Barnstable, expanding his operations to include the former Barnstable County Farm, which until last year was run by inmates of the Barnstable County House of Correction.
PHOTO/ DAVID COLANTUONO/GATEHOUSE MEDIA NEWS SERVICE
Tim Friary examines a batch of onions he planted in preparation for the opening of the Barnstable County Farm in mid to late May.
Starting Cape Cod Organic Farm in Barnstable in 1995 wasn’t just a business venture for Tim Friary. “It was a matter of necessity,” Friary said. “I was a single parent and I had three kids and I had to do something where I could take care of the kids and have them around me.”
Now, he’s expanding his operations to include the former Barnstable County Farm, which until last year was run by inmates of the Barnstable County House of Correction. Sheriff James Cummings took his department out of the farm business when the operation became too costly.
Friary’s 14 years of farming experience and solid vision for the Barnstable County Farm property on Route 6A convinced county commissioners to sign a three-year lease agreement with him.
“Our plans for the county farm include a pick-your-own blueberry plantation, and it’s going to be just under an acre,” Friary said, adding it will take about three years for the blueberries to mature.
Friary also plans to grow 30 different varieties of vegetables, maintain a greenhouse of annuals, perennials and vegetable flats, and offer flower bouquets.
A farm stand for residents to purchase fresh organic vegetables is also part of the proposal.
Friary also plans to improve the henhouse and have 400 laying hens.
Growing organically is a family tradition, according to Friary, who said his Italian immigrant ancestors always had organic farms.
“It’s better for you,” Friary said. “If you’re using an organic process, the nutrient density is much higher.”
Friary already has started accepting registrations for a Community Supported Agriculture Program in which residents can pre-pay $500 for a years’ worth of vegetables and other home-grown goodies.
Membership will be limited to 150, and Friary expects it to fill up quickly.
It will not be a requirement of membership, but Friary hopes people will help out around the farm “a couple of hours a month. It’s just to get a feel for the food, where it comes from and give people a sense of the earth and the food that they are eating.”
Friary will continue to run his farm, which has 15 acres of tillable land, in the Cummaquid section of Barnstable. He has five employees at that site.
He envisions a staff of 12 at the Barnstable County property and expects it to yield considerably more produce on the nearly 100-acre county site than has been done in the past.
“Production is going to be much greater,” Friary said. “We’re going to stimulate the economy. We’re going to hire all local people. So it’s a win-win.”