Ted Dobson's Equinox Farm is located on several acres of beautiful land in Sheffield, MA.
INTERVIEW: "Farming is constantly drawing you into the future. And, you’re drawn out of yourself as a result of having to think ahead. You have to anticipate. The only way to anticipate is not to be harvesting or on the tractor, but to walk around and let the fields talk to you, and get an idea of what is going on. Each day I make an attempt to walk the fields. My shed is a half mile away, but I do go out quite frequently … just to be there."
"The field is inspiring, and it does inspire quiet contemplation and active contemplation, and the two meld … they come together. As a farmer, if you’re in love with your fields, your fields are in love with you, so you’ll have a conversation."
"I specialized in greens early on, and I had a particular passion for the tremendous variety of greens that were out there. I shopped all over the world for seeds. Radicchios, endives and escarole, any crazy sounding lettuce or Asian green, which are all common today – I was growing them … this mesclun mix. It was brand new in New York City in ’84 … brand new."
"(Back in the ‘80s) a guy named Bill, from the restaurant Wheatleigh in Lenox, realized the (quality of the)greens I was growing. Over the phone, he said ‘cut the leaves, mix them up, make me a salad! You’ve got all these phenomenal greens, mix them up and make me this beautiful salad.’ And, I did, I made this phenomenal salad. It was very exciting. But, they were greens that no one had ever seen before, so it wasn’t just a salad. Mesclun was a very apropos name."
"So much of this I had to work out in my mind and in the field. And, what you see now is tremendous organization coming from chaos and tremendous learning on the ground. So, what appears as a smooth running ship is years and years in the making. There’s so much to keep track of. I mean, we have 80 accounts!"
"We want to get it out the door because restaurants are expecting (the greens) for service. So, it’s made me tremendously organized. I can’t afford to be anything other, and I get a great deal of joy out of things going off well. It’s almost like an artistry when we harvest everything, we wash it, we pack it, and then it leaves here. It’s accomplished. Mission accomplished!"