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marini farm history


3rd Generation

Family-Owned Business

In 1928, three families who were all ‘related’ emigrated from Italy to the United States. Joseph Marini, Tony & Peter Iorie, and Jerry Angelina would come to settle in Ipswich, MA and buy the land that would become Marini Farm.

Marini Farm History

In 1928, three families who were all ‘related’ emigrated from Italy to the United States. Joseph Marini, Tony & Peter Iorie, and Jerry Angelina would come to settle in Ipswich, MA and buy the land that would become Marini Farm.

The families lived together and worked the farm until 1938. After many years of kitchen arguments over pots, pans, and pasta it was decided that four Italian women cooking in the same kitchen was not working. The families had outgrown the farm and it was time move on. The Angelinas and the Iorie families moved from the original farm to buy land in Wenham, MA. The Iorie family would eventually move again and purchase a farm in Florida. All of them would continue the family tradition and cultivate the land in Ipswich, Wenham, and Florida. In 1978, once the Ipswich estate was settled, the Marini family became the sole owners of the property. Today, all three family farms are still in production.

Marini Farm History
Marini Farm History

Marini Farm began as a strictly wholesale business. Most of the fruits and vegetables grown were trucked to the local A&P and the Boston Produce Market. The main crops were fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, potatoes, pears, and apples.

Although Marini Farm was famous for their high quality fruits and vegetables, they were not limited to these products. The farm was also home to more then 10,000 chickens and 3 cows. The eggs from the chickens were gathered daily and delivered to many towns from Ipswich to Salem. Two of the farms biggest customers were the Salem Jail and Endicott College. Although the chickens were part of the wholesale business, the cows were not. The milk produced by the cows was used solely by the family – however, if there was extra milk it would be made into cheese and sold along the egg route.

In the late 1960’s the egg business began to decline, but the apple cider business was taking root at the farm. The Marini Farm apple cider production took off both in the retail and wholesale markets throughout the North Shore. By the early 1990’s the farm was pressing over 60,000 gallons of cider a year. Unfortunately, in the mid 90’s in Washington state, a death related to E-Coli was traced to a ‘farm’ using contaminated apples. This incident resulted in laws on pasteurization to change nationwide. In 1998, a decision was made to not invest in a pasteurization system. It was a difficult decision, but one the farm was forced to make. Today, people still ask about Marini Farm Cider.

For 30 years, Marini Farm was exclusively wholesale. One day in 1972, Gina Marini was picking a bumper crop of strawberries. After picking for a few hours, she realized that she had picked too many for the daily wholesale orders. She went into the farmhouse and emerged with a chair and a sign that read “Fresh Strawberries For Sale”. In no time, the strawberries were sold and our retail business was born.

Today, Marini Farm grows over 200 acres of mixed fruits and vegetables. This produce is supplied to local supermarkets and sold at the retail farm market on Linebrook Road. The farm also leases property around the area and this allows them to grow over 100 acres of sweet corn – their most popular crop. The vegetables are still picked daily in the early morning to ensure quality and freshness. The farm uses many different growing techniques including raised plastic beds, drip irrigation, row covers, and frost control. These techniques allow them to harvest their crops earlier in the season and later into the fall.

Each year the spring season starts with an acre of greenhouses where a beautiful assortment of annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetable plants are grown. These are sold both wholesale and retail.

Marini Farm History

Over the years, the farm has added over 30 acres of pumpkins, gourds, and winter squash. The pumpkin crop is a large part of the fall wholesale and retail business with the majority of the crop sold to garden centers throughout the North Shore. The winter squash is stored and sold to local restaurants through the winter months.

In 1980, Mario Marini became one of the first farmers in the country to adopt the Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM). This program is now used throughout the world. Today, the farm continues to work closely with the University of Massachusetts and follows a balanced IPM program (see the UMass feature article). By closely monitoring cultural controls, biological controls, and the reduced use of chemicals, Marini Farm produces the safest fruits and vegetables while promoting a healthy environment.

Marini Farm is a family run business in its third generation. The farm continues to follow the same principles started by Joseph and Gina Marini. Through hard work, they strive to provide freshness, quality, and, most of all, customer satisfaction. Marini Farm is a New England tradition and it is their hope to continue to grow for many years to come.

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