Where in world...?

An old friend phoned the other day. He never phones. But this time he just had to know: "What are you doing living in Florence?"
He thought I was in Florence, Italy. I told him it was Florence, Massachusetts.
Here are some answers -- my occasional wanderings through Florence, MA and the surrounding Pioneer Valley.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Quonquont Farm (say it five times fast)

Farm stand and path to orchard. 
This afternoon we had an appointment at a farm. Joey, Joey's dad and I jumped into the car and drove into Whately to visit Quonquont Farm. This farm has been in operation since 1920, but historical records show this property was raising cattle and growing tobacco from 1860. Quonquont means "crow" according to the farm's website. These days the farm features an orchard where you can pick apples and peaches, depending on the season. Blueberries were available for picking when we last visited in July.
From Whately Historical Society

Joey's dad remembered this place fondly for apple picking when he was a boy. He also remembered when the big Quonquont milk can, once found at the farm's entrance, could be seen on Route 5. It has since been moved to the Whately Historical Society, as seen in the photo. Don't think it's just an optical illusion: the milk can is really very big. Joey's dad says it may be as much as fifteen feet tall. While we do take into account this is a memory from childhood, rest assured that this milk can is highly visible from the road and enormous. Yet it is not taller than the historical society building. (Sorry to confuse you.)

But Joey's dad and I were not about to pick apples or look for the big milk can today in Whately. We were interested in looking at the renovated barn, shown in the photo below. We're planning a big party, and the barn has been fixed up for such events.  Imagine a barn with a shiny floor, chandeliers with wrought iron fixtures, and a beautiful patio made with slate tiles in the back. Unfortunately, the pretty silo below is decorative, not open for visitors to enter.
The renovated barn. The silo is empty.
Before Quonquont Farm became a fruit orchard, it was a dairy farm. You can still see the barn's design inside reflects this use, as you can imagine the stalls for cows. 

What is the big party about, where we're thinking about barns? More to come on this party in the future....

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