South Deerfield farm stand temporarily closed due to labor shortage

  • Fresh flowers and local strawberries at Manheim Farm’s farm stand on Routes 5 and 10 across from the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield. The stand is temporarily closed due to a labor shortage. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

  • When it was open, customers could create their own flower arrangements at Manheim Farm’s farm stand on Routes 5 and 10 in South Deerfield. The stand is temporarily closed due to a labor shortage. Staff FILE Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 9/29/2021 9:03:17 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Manheim Farm’s first farm stand, which opened in May on Routes 5 and 10, will remain temporarily closed due to the labor shortage affecting a wide range of industries across the country.

Orange fencing has blocked the driveway for the last month as the farm stand’s college-aged workers went back to school. Manheim Farm, which has operated in Whately for 35 years, opened the South Deerfield stand on May 1.

“We couldn’t find any people to work there,” said Hugh Manheim, the farm’s owner. “We’re still looking.”

He said his children had been working there, but they had to work other jobs, so they brought their friends on board until they had to go back to college.

“They hired their friends and they were all college kids and went back to school,” Manheim explained. “I think we made a little mistake.”

Manheim said the farm took out a “$500 ad on Indeed” and it “didn’t yield anybody.” He said it’s unfortunate the farm stand had to close because business had become steady after an initial rush and it was enjoyable to be there, but he needs to be on the farm in Whately most days.

“It was great fun, fun to be there and the place looked really cool,” he said. “I can only be in so many places at one time.”

Manheim said he tried having some of the farm’s workers put some time in at the farm stand, but he said they didn’t feel “comfortable.”

When the farm stand was operating, it sold produce from the farm such as strawberries, asparagus and parsnips. It also featured a build-a-bouquet area with flowers sourced from local florists.

Manheim is anticipating reopening in the future if he can find employees. He added that homemade pasta and other bakery items are on the table once the stand reopens.

“We’re dreaming about bagels and fresh pasta and sauce,” Manheim said. “As soon as we find somebody, we’ll fire it back up.”




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