By Guy Steucek Massachusetts Correspondent
“DRACUT, Mass. — “Farmer Dave hires more than two dozen Latin Americans and has interns from three or more continents over the summer. Then he goes to the Republic of Georgia in the off season to work. What is wrong with this picture?” said local hay and beef farmer Dana Taplin in jest.
All laughed at the notion of a farmer hiring migrant labor and then becoming a migrant laborer himself.
David Dumaresq logs a good deal of face time as a result of this travel, along with the international exchange of information and good will.”
By Debbie Hovanasian
The Sun of Lowell
DRACUT, Mass. – Born and raised in the same community, they shared a love of agriculture. Farming the land was the road less traveled that each would choose. Along that road they became friends.
One would use his own land to reach out to immigrant farmers who needed a little guidance. The other would temporarily leave his busy agricultural business to travel to another continent to lend his expertise to farmers who also needed a little guidance.
“Farmers have dealt with a tough pumpkin-growing season this summer caused by heavy rains from Tropical Storm Irene, a delay in planting the crops in late May because of wet fields and a rainy summer, which has resulted in smaller crops.
Dave Dumaresq, of Farmer Dave’s in Dracut, said his pumpkin crops are decent — not good, but not horrible either.
“We’ve had bad years before and we’re going to have bad years again,” said Dumaresq. “It’s natural New England weather. You never know when you’re going to have a bumper crop or a horrible crop.”
Last year, farmers faced the opposite problem as they struggled to keep their fields from becoming cracked, dry and dusty under the strain of drought.
David Dumaresq, owner of Brox Farm in Dracut, said he was hit hard by last year’s drought and was forced to continually drain his ponds just to provide enough water to his fields.
“Last year was one of the worst droughts I’ve ever seen,” said Dumaresq, who grew up farming and has owned his farm for 13 years.
This year, he’s hopeful and happy with his early harvest, which includes strawberries, spinach, garlic scapes, lettuce, kale, beets and radishes.