In 1906 Caswell and Etta Wood bought
the property which consisted of a traditional farm
house with all post and beam barn and wind driven
well. Their only surviving child, Edith Wood, a well
known elementary school teacher in town married “the
boy next door”, Norman Sawyer, from the Sawyer
farmstead of Mary Had a Little Lamb fame. In the 1940's
Norman planted the standard orchard of mostly macintosh
apples still used today for PYO and cider apples.
Norman and Edith’s oldest grand daughter, Diane,
and her husband Rick moved here in 1989. They were
the first to make it a retail farm operation. It started
with a single PYO pumpkin patch for their 3 daughters
to earn enough money to have a horse. The farm has
changed and grown with the family
Now Clearview Farm is a 32 acre seasonal orchard
and farm stand run by Rick and Diane Melone. It
is located at 4 Kendall Hill Road in Sterling, Massachusetts.
This farm has an interesting historical background
because of it’s ties to the home of Mary E.
Sawyer, the little girl in the nursery rhyme “Mary
Had a Little Lamb.” A statue in the center
of Sterling commemorates Mary and her lamb. Diane
is a sixth generation descendant of Mary and currently
owns the Sawyer homestead. Rick
still farms some of the original Sawyer farmland.
This site has been a farm for 200 years and in this
family 6 generations. The farm includes: 20 acres
of apples, 4 acres of peaches and nectarines, 12
acres of pumpkins, 6 acres raspberries and blueberries,
2 acres of other vegetables. In addition, 17 acres
leased orchards and fields. Farmer Rick is a very
capable orchardist and adds about 60 trees per year
to upgrade the orchards and reflect the changes
in consumer demand for variety. The farm currently
has 27 varieties of apples. The farm is not certified
organic due in part to the fact that orchards don’t
lend themselves to crop rotation, an essential part
of organic farming. Rick is certified in Integrated
Pest Management (IPM) methods and uses them to grow
their orchards, fruits, and vegetables. IPM promotes
minimized pesticide use by using environmentally
sound practices. This combined with crop rotation
and natural fertilizer use helps Clearview Farm
produce a healthy product.
For our customers and their families to experience
traditional farm culture; purchase fresh, healthy
local produce and related products as well as value
added activities and services to enhance the feeling
of being in an authentic rural farm atmosphere.
Our business values are customer satisfaction through
consistent quality, education and friendliness.
The farm stand opens mid August with peaches, blueberries,
corn, and other seasonal vegetables. The farm stand stays
open through the holidays, weather permitting. The
stand sells apples, peaches, pears, nectarines,
blueberries, raspberries, vegetables, non-pasteurized
cider (pressed on site), pumpkins, squash, gourds,
maple syrup, cheese, eggs, jams, baked goods, crafts
and gift items. The Melone’s also sell potted
plants, primarily hardy mums. Rick, his wife, Diane,
their 3 daughters, 1 son and two workers supply
labor. The workers are men who come from Jamaica
to work on the farm from May to October.