Published in CISA’s May 2009 Enewsletter.
Click here for an interview and more content regarding Outlook Farm.
When Dave and Mary Lee Morse bought Outlook Farm in 1962, the farm and orchard were a mere ten acres. Mary Lee did not know much about farming, but Dave had worked on dairy farms. Their son Brad started helping out on the farm at age 5; his wife Erin joined the business in 1989. Then, in 1994, Brad and Erin took over ownership of the farm, which is perched on a hilltop along Route 66 in Westhampton.
Over the years, the small orchard has grown to sixty acres. The land produces an abundance of apples, peaches, cherries, raspberries, melons, corn, and squash. The farm has also diversified its operations. Brad focuses on cultivating the land and orchard, along with the pick-your-own operation, while Erin oversees the farmstand and deli, where Mary Lee has baked her delectable straight-from-the-orchard fruit pies since day one.
In the early days, the Morses raised their own pigs. Today, their hormone and additive-free pork comes from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, Outlook Farm continues to smoke their own kielbasa and make their own brisket and sausages. Hog roasts have been an essential part of the business since the 1970s. “It evolved from a fun party thing to a business, which works pretty well,” says Brad. Other changes have come to the farm as well. Brad now grows more lettuce because the water crunch in California has made growing conditions there more challenging. At the moment, Brad is working to rebuild a historic barn moved from Leeds, Mass. The “new” building will showcase the farm’s fresh fruits and vegetables. “We felt it important to reuse this historic building and its resources. The local farmer has always understood the concept of recycle, renew, and rebuild,” said Brad.
In the meantime, Outlook Farms sells its fruits and vegetables at a number of farmers’ markets, including the Springfield Market at the X. The Outlook Farm delivery truck can be seen at many local grocers and on the Smith College campus, which they have supplied with farm products for almost fifty years. They also sell to the Williston School in Easthampton. And, of course, you are always welcome to stop in at the farmstand or come for the pick-your-own season.
Brad observes, “People love to come pick apples. People who came with their parents are bringing their kids now.”