RadioBDC Logo
I Want an Alien for Christmas | Fountains of Wayne Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +

Cracking up the Queen

Posted by Paul Kandarian  April 6, 2012 07:16 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Many people, when given an audience with the Queen of England, might be a little intimidated. Not Tom Wadson, owner of Wadson’s Farm in Bermuda, an outspoken sort of fellow who, among many other things, produces Easter lilies for England’s Queen Elizabeth, the island’s gift to her royal highness.

“The Queen had written us a letter expressing concern about the length of the lily stems,” smiled Wadson, 61, a tall, craggy sort with calloused hands and rugged spirit honed by almost 40 years of tilling the land in the hot Bermuda sun. “Well, that year, I met her once at a formal get-together here.”
tom wadson.jpg

Wadson is known around Bermuda not just for the Bermuda hogs he raises, or the dozens of types of fruits, vegetables and flowers he grows, or his busy farmer’s market stand or the farm being named “Best Greengrocer” by Bermudian Magazine or the publication’s “Award of Excellence, Best of Bermuda Gold” for food and beverages in 2008. He’s also known for his playful sense of humor, straightforward and blunt

“So I told her, ‘Your Majesty, we have a microscopic complaint department but just wanted you to know that your complaint stood out because it’s the only one we’ve gotten that was handwritten!’” Wadson roared one day at the farm, telling the story and pointing out lilies being grown for the queen this Easter.

The queen took it in stride, Wadson said, even smiling at the comment. And later that night, Wadson said, he went and quaffed a few brews with her husband, Prince Philip, whom Wadson dubbed, “a good fellow, a down-to-earth sort.”

Wadson started his farm in 1976, dabbling in farming prior to that, going to school abroad, then graduating from Ontario Agricultural College in Canada. The farm was doing well – until Hurricane Fabian destroyed the whole thing in 2003. He built it up again, but transitioned from conventional to organic farming in the process.

The farm does a lot of school tours, and will soon get a commercial kitchen and open a little café at the farmer’s market, which sells all manner of what Wadson grows or harvests, including duck eggs, lamb meat, and a wide range of organic vegetables. The farm is the island’s only CSA (community supported agriculture) site, Wadson said.

Taking a tour of the farm one day, Wadson showed us parched fields with chickens running about them, which come season’s end, they’ll plow under, enriching the soil, turning the brown earth to green grass the following year because, Wadson winked about what chickens leave behind, “we’re just using what nature drops us.”

He also rents some land near a former U.S. Navy base, using it to graze a few dozen sheep, land likely to be developed into a massive resort at some point but for now suiting his sheep’s grazing needs just fine.

The farm is open for regular tours, which if you’re lucky, you’ll get Wadson to conduct. Feel free to ask about the Queen’s lilies. If he wasn’t shy with her, he won’t be shy telling you about it. For information on the farm, visit www.wadsonsfarm.com

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

 
About globe-trotting Travel news, tips, deals and dispatches.
contributors
  • Anne Fitzgerald, Globe Travel Editor
  • Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor
  • Eric Wilbur, Boston.com staff
  • Kari Bodnarchuk writes about outdoor adventures, offbeat places, and New England.
  • Patricia Borns, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs travel, maritime, and historical narratives as well as blogs and books.
  • Patricia Harris, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Paul E. Kandarian, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs New England and Caribbean stories.
  • Chris Klein is a regular contributor to Globe Travel. His latest book is "The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston."
  • David Lyon, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Hilary Nangle, author of Moon Maine, Moon Coastal Maine, and Moon Acadia National Park, writes about soft adventure, skiing, cultural travel, and food.
  • Joe Ray, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs food and travel stories from Europe.
  • Necee Regis is a regular contributor to Globe Travel.
archives