The story of our farm begins nearly 300 years ago, in 1718. Warner Farm is one of the oldest and longest running family farms in New England. Since that time, ten generations of Warners have farmed in Sunderland.
The Warner’s, originally from England, migrated to America in the 1620s and settled in Sunderland (then called Swampfield) in the late 1710s.
|Kim Warner & Mike Wissemann||1955-Present|
We have gathered some of the photos and stories that are a part of the timeline of our history. Scroll through the timeline, and click on the newspaper articles and images to enlarge them. We hope you will enjoy this trip down memory lane with us!
In 1961, Charles Warner opened his strawberries fields to the public to offer U-Pick berries. The business enterprise, believed to be the first farm to open for U-pick in the area, was a success. For a six-week season beginning in June, cars would line up early to pick the wonderfully sweet strawberries by the pound.
Charles Warner’s daughter Kim, who could be found in the u-pick fields directing traffic and helping customers find the best rows for picking during her teenage years, married Mike Wissemann. Mike has become a partner in the Warner Farm business. In 1983, the strawberries were a little late in arriving, but when they did, they were as sweet and delicious as ever. Customers that year paid 63 cents a pound for the berries.
The annual Strawberry Fest continues. In 2016, a pancake breakfast (featuring Warner Farm strawberries of course!) was added and the date moved to Father’s Day. The tradition of offering fun activities for the kids and great live music remains the same to be a sweet summer celebration for people of all ages.
Now, Mike Wissemann and his son, David continue that tradition by growing a wide range of crops, while following strict guidelines to maintain the land. The farm now consists of 150 acres of fertile river valley soil. This allows the Warner Farm family to offer CSA shares, wholesale and fresh retail produce throughout Massachusetts.
As a 10th generation family farm, we understand the importance of growing practices that nourish the soil and that promote the health and biodiversity of the land we farm. We have been feeding our community the freshest, healthiest, and purest produce for over 250 years.
We believe in preserving that legacy for future generations. Seventy acres of the farm are preserved through the Massachusetts Agricutural Preservation Restriction Program.