Northshore Magazine

May / June 2015

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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72 | MAY + JUNE 2015 nshoremag.com CONTACT Pettengill Farm 45 Ferry Rd. Salisbury 978-462-3675 pettengillfarm.com pots brimming with softly colored succulents. A historic barn, a ro- mantic courtyard, and 13 green- houses anchor the property. The greenhouses grind into gear as early as February to gestate pots of spinach and other cool-weather vegetables and flowers, many of them unusual or difficult-to-find native plants. The greenhouses are the purview of Jan Pettengill Richenburg, Liana Webb's mother and the owner of the farm with husband Henry Richenburg. Clockwise from above, The annual Vintage Bazaar; a greenhouse; Jan and Henry Richenburg When Jan Richenburg's parents ran Pettengill Farm, there were no flowers for sale; all their energy went into raising cows and oper- ating a summer vegetable stand. Richenburg herself never intended to farm, and in fact had escaped the farm as a young woman to live in Boston. But the rigors of city life and concrete took their toll. As Richenburg says, "Everything in Boston was pavement. There were no paths to the woods, no green grass, no animal noises, and no wide-open fields. I missed the farm." And then came the final deciding factor: "I fell in love with the flowers." She and her husband bought the farm from her parents in the early 1980s, and soon she was growing and drying flowers for sale, including astilbe, German The Pettengill Farm greenhouses open for the season on April 17. Hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. statice, and strawflowers. Today, Jan Richenburg still stakes her time in her love of flowers, choosing which species the farm will offer. She also assists with Petal Pushers, a group that consults with home gardeners; helps schedule classes and seminars; and ducks into the courtyard's Order Up A Garden studio to chat about flowers. Husband Henry Richenburg main- tains the greenhouses and keeps the farm books. Like her mother, Webb wasn't captured by the idea of running a farm. "Growing up, I had no interest," she says. After a move with her husband to Arizona, they returned to Pettengill, where their young daughters love help- ing with the planting season and labeling jars. The couple plans to sell organic produce from a local farm this summer and partner in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. The more Webb and her hus- band help Pettengill Farm evolve, the more they see how looking forward brings up the past. Both grew up on farms and were pulled back to working the land, continu- ing the longtime family tradition. "We learned early on about the importance of sustainability and appreciation of nature, animals, and family," Webb says. "We value being with our family, and we love working outside." photographs by Christine Richenburg (top and bottom); by Brad Mintz (middle) SHOP

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