Carlson Orchards is a popular vendor at the Westford Farmer’s Market bringing delicious fruit, cider, and other products to the Common. On any given Tuesday you might meet Katie, a third generation Carlson who has spent the last four or five seasons working full time on the orchards. Prior to this Katie received her degree in child development, a background that may seem unrelated to her position as retail store manager, but Katie says it comes in handy when conducting school tours of their facilities.
As informative as they are fun, they offer a behind the scenes look at local food production and children can even pick their own apples. Having grown up on the orchards and working here and there, she says her motivation to commit full time was to keep the orchards going and pick up the baton from the older generations. Katie says her favorite part about coming to the Westford Farmer’s Market is seeing customers come back and getting to know the people in the community. Even watching the kids grow up has been a rewarding experience. Carlson Orchards upholds practices of sustainability; in addition, they installed a 2-acre solar array in 2010 that can satisfy up to 80% of the farm’s energy requirements.