A divine harvest: New Hadley farmstand under the watchful eye of experienced worker

As a child in Mexico, Lesvia Perez accompanied her Guatemalan-born mother on trips back to her native land, where together they sold corn and other Mexican produce at the market.

Twenty years later, after achieving U.S. citizenship and raising two sons, now 19 and 14, with her husband Baldomero, himself an immigrant from Guatemala, Perez is putting her lifelong experience in farm work into overseeing a recently opened farm store on one of Hadley's busiest side roads, with support from her longtime employer, local farmer Walter Czajkowski.

"Wally asked me if I wanted to try a (farm)stand," Perez said one recent morning as she was setting up for the day a little before 9 a.m. "He told me that if it's working, you can keep doing it, and if it's not working, you can come back to the farm."

Inside the vacant garage space, Perez fills several tables with a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, some grown at Plainville by her husband, including zucchini and radishes, tomatoes from a hothouse, and other items purchased from either Plainville or other area farms, like the native strawberries.

Outside the building, several flowers grown in a local greenhouse are for sale, while other crops, including sunflowers, cabbage, broccoli, and eggplant, grow in nearby fields. The number of products will get larger as the spring and summer progress.

Read the complete article at www.amherstbulletin.com.

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