Back when it was a stop along the stagecoach route, locals and travelers alike would gather at the crossroads tavern, where members of the Eastman family would play the fiddle and host dances. Friends, neighbors and those passing through would spin yarns, argue and make up, form friendships, and fall in love. It was a place where life happened.
In 1911 the old tavern was torn down. A few businesses opened on this spot over the years, but in 2012 the land, including acreage across the street that was once part of the Eastman family farm, sat vacant. It might have been a gas station, a pharmacy, or another fast food joint.
A different vision. Alan Lewis, whose ancestors have been in Kensington since the early 1700s, and his wife, Harriet saw this location as the ideal place to create
something new that would carry on the Eastman family’s legacy and support the local economy. They envisioned a farm store where people could come to buy local produce and foods, gather with friends and neighbors and learn about healthy eating, agricultural and sustainability.
The Farm at Eastman’s Corner opened in 2012 as a place for local farmers, food producers and craftspeople to sell their goods. It gives the community a convenient place to buy local produce, eggs, milk, cheese, breads, meats, honey, syrup and much more. We also grow fresh vegetables throughout the winter in the Farm’s six state-of-the-art greenhouses – yes, even through our New Hampshire winters!
Angela’s Café, above the store, provides a warm, welcoming space for get-togethers, classes and workshops, and community meetings.
By the community, for the community
A Board made up of community members helps oversee the store and guide our mission. That mission is twofold: to give back to Kensington and to develop a strong model for sustainable communities.
Shopping locally makes a huge difference on so many levels. When you buy local produce and products more of the revenue goes directly to our farmers and merchants so they can continue to thrive, creating a stronger local economy. It also eliminates the use of fuel for trucking produce across the country and reduces our carbon footprint. What you will notice the most is the healthier, fresher, better-tasting food.
At the Farm, buying local also supports our community park. All profits from the store and 5% of sales are donated to support beautiful Sawyer Park, where Kensington families go to watch ballgames, play, picnic and explore nature.
Empowering the leaders of today and tomorrow.
The Lewis family owns 400 acres of woods, meadows and ponds here in Kensington where they have created a leadership center and are developing a sustainable retreat environment in harmony with nature. The property offers experiential learning for non-profits and youths, and programming in conservation filmmaking, and food and nutrition.
Partnering with the Pinnacle Leadership and Team Development, the Center empowers young people from the Seacoast and inner-city communities (including Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan), giving them opportunities to uncover their true potential as they learn about leadership, accountability, and their role as stewards of the earth.
The Lewis family, and the rest of us here at Eastman’s Corner, hope that others will see what we’re doing here in Kensington, and will try to bring the same model home to their own communities.