Every morning at 4 a.m., Kevin Bassette and his sleepy staff don rain suits and rubber shoes, even on the driest summer days. They're heading into the cornfield, where every stalk wears a jeweled armor of dewdrops. For about two hours, they pluck and bag all of the ears they'll sell that day. The sweet, always fresh-picked corn is only one of the draws of his farm's produce stand and farmer's market booths. In fact, his 85-acre farm produces an astonishing variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, which a brood of 350 free-range hens watches over as they lay eggs. These crops grow with low-level or no pesticides; rather, Kevin's integrated pest-management systems use ladybugs and very tiny scarecrows to ward off any troublesome bugs.
Locals can get a taste of this fresh fare by visiting Killam & Bassette's stands at community farmer's markets or right on their land. Often, the farm's owners man the booths, chatting about crop varieties and recipes. They're an experienced bunch. The farm has been in owner Henry Killam's family since the 1800s, and Kevin began working there when he was only 9. His wife worked alongside him while they were dating, and today their five children share the ownership—and the chores—of the business.