Dave Dumaresq bought the 30 acres of farmland at 437 Parker Road, once tilled by the Leczynski family, in 2006, with a pledge to make it “a model for future agriculture” in Massachusetts.”
Seventeen years later, Farmer Dave is still making good on his word.
He bought the land with help from Dracut’s Community Preservation Fund and matching grants from the state.
Dave and his wife, Jane Bowie, officially opened the latest attraction at the farm, the 70-foot-by-70-foot Farm Stand at Farmer Dave’s, last summer, but the finishing touch, The Ice Cream Room, opened on May 5.
Dracut Economic Development held a ribbon-cutting that same day for the farm store and the brand-new ice cream stand, which features Shaw Farm products.
One of the town officials on hand for the ribbon-cutting was Alison Genest, chair of Dracut’s Board of Selectmen and a member of the Leczynski family that formerly farmed the land.
Genest’s grandparents, Jan and Jadwiga Leczynski, bought the land in 1919 after arriving in America from Poland. When it came time to retire and sell the land, they wanted it to remain farmland.
Pointing to the house on the property that now houses international interns who work on the farm, Alison said, “My mother was born in that room right up there.”
She added, “My grandparents were adamant that this land would never be built into any kind of housing. Dave has done an amazing job keeping this land as pristine farmland and ensuring that it doesn’t get developed.”
“Your family hoped to see it continue as a farm,” Dave said, “and that’s what I promised to do.”
In fact, Dave has purchased even more farmland abutting his Dracut farm and also farms land in Tewksbury and Westford.
In addition to growing dozens of crops, Farmer Dave’s has a thriving Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, program, through which members pay up-front to support Farmer Dave’s in the costs of farming the land in exchange for a share of the crops during the growing season. The farm benefits by receiving payments at the beginning of the season, when it needs them most, to buy seeds and supplies to produce the food.