CONCORD - “We’re a farm stand, not a supermarket,’’ says Stephen Verrill, walking through the gleaming kitchen facility at Verrill Farm, where a staff of 15 turns out a variety of home-cooked foods and baked goods. Verrill Farm began as a dairy operation, started by Verrill’s parents, and Verrill works hard to maintain the farm’s agricultural identity. Still, in the interests of diversifying, he’s had to do things he’d never imagined. “My wife said, when we built our first farm stand, ‘We’re not going to take credit cards, and we’re not going to sell bananas,’ ’’ says Verrill. Now, of course, he does both.
Other farms do more. Among the simple joys of a New England farm at harvest time are homegrown tomatoes, corn, eggplant, peppers, and leafy greens. Now you also can find French Gruyere, local goat cheeses, imported butters, eggplant Parm, gazpacho, pad Thai, eclairs, napoleons, and chocolate mousse cakes. There are hayrides, corn mazes, and mini golf. And don’t forget the cider doughnuts. We’ve been waiting all year for them.