The third-generation farm, established in 1914 by Joe's grandparents, started out cultivating tobacco, potatoes, and cucumbers. Today, Joe Czajkowski has thirty employees and grows many different kinds of vegetables, including corn, winter squash, summer squash, sweet potatoes, and much more. He even converted 160 acres of his land to meet organic certification requirements.
Joe is always coming up with new and creative ways to market his produce - whether it be in the form of butternut fries or beet noodles. He works to encourage the UMass Dining team to take advantage of underutilized vegetables such as Brussels sprout tops or broccoli leaves.
In addition to all of the vegetables he grows, Joe's operation supplies UMass Dining with fresh fruit, chickens, and value added products such as jams and coleslaw. UMass Dining bought 1000 chickens from Joe last year, and over the course of this current academic year we plan to double that amount. His products reach far beyond the Dining Commons, and can be found all over campus in various retail locations.
Thanks so much, Joe, for working so hard with UMass Dining to make our campus a more sustainable place!
Photo credits to Keith Toffling.