My husband, Milton, and I are farmers. This is what we want to do, even with the challenges we face. A big one is that the weather is always too: too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry. It poses a different challenge every year. And it’s not something we can ever predict. Staffing the farm can also be a challenge, for both the farmstand and the field crews. But we have been very fortunate: those who have joined our team have been amazing and we are so grateful for their contributions and commitment.
In college I majored in environmental sciences. I knew I wanted to work outdoors and d something beneficial for the community. But as a recent graduate, I felt I lacked the farming/growing knowledge and skillset. Soon I met Milton when we happened to be working on the same farm. Milton had grown up across from a produce farm and worked picking beans and peppers there. Then he went to college at UMass for a degree in soil science. Here was someone whose skills and expertise complemented my own.
We fell in love and knew we wanted to farm when we got married, but land for farming in Massachusetts is scarce and expensive. We got lucky and were able to lease forty acres in Dighton, the coastal area of southern Massachusetts. So, in 2016 we founded Under the Sun Farm. I focused on the retail side of the work while Milton focused on the growing side.
Then we got lucky again when we rented a farmstand. It had been a produce and garden center in the Dighton area, so we were carrying on a tradition for that location. The community warmly welcomed and supported us.
Then, in too short a time, our lease at the farmstand ended and the owner reclaimed the property. We still had our forty acres, but on the retail side, we would have to start over. Would a new door open for us?
In January this year, a couple was retiring and needed to sell their 4.5-acre property just a few miles up the road from our rented farmstand. The lot included a house and greenhouses. We made our interest known to the owners. They were happy their property would continue its destiny as farmland and sold to us.
In some ways it felt like we were back at square one, but we recognized that the timing was right. This time we know more about what we want and what we are doing. We own a house, a greenhouse, and several acres. We own our farmstand. The house needs some repairs, but we are on track to move in before winter arrives.
Then another door opened. Earlier this year Ed Silvia approached us. Ed has been farming in Dighton for decades. We learned that he had been a mainstay at the Winchester Farmers Market. Ed moved into retirement but has an affectionate place in his heart for Winchester and wanted to continue supporting the Market. So, he asked if we would consider becoming a fruits and vegetables vendor in Winchester. Now here we are! I’m here every Saturday with Danielle Mitchell, and together we sell fresh produce, corn, local fruits, honey, and flowers.
Under the Sun Farm
Milton and Caitlin Teixeira
North Dighton, MA
Caitlin Teixeira with Under the Sun Farm is a full-time vendor bringing Massachusetts-grown fruits and vegetables to Winchester Farmers Market. Under the Sun’s farmstand on 325 Williams Street in North Dighton is a local resource for fresh produce, flowers, and vegetable starts. In addition, they sell CSA shares and can be found at the Brighton Farmers Market on Wednesdays.