Waterfront Farms – Located at Newbury, Ma. If you didn’t work here as a kid you knew someone who did. Richard Walsh has been farming this land since about 1945. Staring out growing vegetables, but ending with flowers. Locate it
So where is Richard Walsh now? This photo was taken in June of 2008 on a visit to his home. Up until 2006 he has been planting his dahlia bulbs and picking them himself. Richard is 84 years old. This just goes to show a little hard work never killed anybody! Unfortunately at age 85 he past away on July 4, 2009.
Workers picked for Flowers for the Boston Flower Exchange, Ronnie at Meadow Brook Farm, Tendercrop Farms, Marini Farm, etc… Remember Joe Marini at Marini Farm at Ipswich, Ma.
Anyone who has ever worked for Richard will remember these tools. The wooden stick was for planting pumpkin seeds, the knife was used to cut flowers and of course the weeder. These tools were from circa 1981 + – 15 yrs.
Richard… “Ahoy Kid…”
* Richard used to refer to say farmers work in clean dirt and mechanics work in dirty dirt. It was only after fixing hydraulic hoses on his tractor that he got real dirty.
* On Fridays he’d take the workers out to lunch. He’d drive everyone to the bank in Newbury to cash their checks. He always paid for lunch no matter how many were invited.
* He would always say, “You have be be smarter than the machine…the machine is nothing but a dumb piece of metal.” This would be in reference to you stalling a tractor by letting the clutch out too fast or stalling the push lawnmower in 2 feet of grass.
* When you didn’t do as he asked he would say, “If you don’t want the job just tell me…Say Mr Walsh I do not want the job and you can leave. The farm was hear long before you and it will be here long after.” Richard expected near perfection in all his workers.
Richard traveled the world during the January – March months. He has traveled to every continent, yes Antarctica and has visited the Soviet Union before the Iron Curtain Fell.
He would say inside the barn during winter was one of the coldest places on earth. I’d have to agree.
His choice of car was a white Cadillac in the 1960- 70’s . He loved the car so much it became his farm car also (field bomber). Later he traded up to driving RV motor homes that he drove around town and into Boston for flower deliveries. Most workers will remember the white Caddy and RV’s.
Working with kids can aggravate the heck out of you, especially when you rely on the work produced as your sole income. You would know when Richard was mad. If the anger was directed toward you it was the worst 15 minutes of your life. If it wasn’t it was the best 15 minutes of entertainment a paycheck could buy. Richard always expected it done his way, which usually was the right way. He was fair and after all he was the boss. After a day of work we took away with us a greater knowledge of farming and a sore back. Although we never thought about that as kids, as adults we can now appreciate the expectations he had for us.
On July 4, 2009 Richard passed away leaving only to memory 65 years of Waterfront Farm memories and stories. If you have one to share please comment below.
We are looking for lost Waterfront Farm Alumni – please contact me!
Bruce Nichols of Byfield, Ma
Tim Walsh (No relation) Newburyport, Ma High St
David Mowry of Newburyport, Ma Woodland St , Merrimac St
Louie McGinness of Newburyport, Ma
Ian Rice of Newburyport, Ma
Joe Roaf of Newbury, Ma