Flint Farm has been a mainstay in Mansfield since 1868., and has yet to miss a beat in the local farm business. Two Flint brothers originally bought the property when they came home from the Civil War, attempting to carve out a living after fighting in a terrible time.
Beth Flint, with the help of her husband and two sons, now keep up the family business.
She said that originally, the farm was a ranch for cattle, and they grew some of the finest animals of the time.
“We milked cows for five generations,” she said. “Most of their money was made from prize-winning bulls, the sent cows to Turkey, Istanbul, Russia China.”
But as the cattle industry became more corporatized, the Flint’s felt that a move to more year-round business would be the most stable business. They sold the cows in 1986 in favor of vegetable agriculture.
“My father-in-law cut the herd in half when he took over, and when my husband and I took over we added things to it so we’d have things for every season,” she said.
In 1986, the family sold their cattle in favor of wares they could grow and sell year-round. They now grow all manner of vegetables for every season. Right now, as you can see to the right, they are growing peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, onions, spinach, basil straw and, of course, 20 acres of sweet corn. They grow a great array of fruits in season, and when they can’t, they buy locally from The Big Apple Orchard in Wrentham.
Flint Farm is now famous for their ice cream in Mansfield, but the decision, made more than a decade ago, was not easy.
“We started the ice cream shop after many many years of deliberation,” she said. “But I’m glad we did it and now it’s been twelve years.”
Beth Flint said that the choice to begin their ice cream business was a tough one, as Beth’s father-in-law fell from a hayloft and died when the original plans for the shop began.
“I wanted to do [the ice cream shop] before, but when we lost him, I sort of lost my partner in the business,” she said.
The farm also holds a corn maze every year, with a different design from Beth’s son Dave. The designs can be seen overhead, and are carefully constructed to every minute detail.
The farm does business year-round, even in winter. They process, season, dry and split fire wood for the winter, and grow Christmas trees for the holiday season. Ice cream, flowers of every sort and fruits and seasonal vegetables are sold in the summer and harvest vegetables are sold and grown in the fall.