The rumors have been swirling online for several weeks: What is happening with Keith's Farm in Acushnet?

Questions arose in town after Lorraine "Sue" Santos passed away several days before Christmas. She and her late husband, Keith, were the owners of Keith's Farm for decades. Without Sue or Keith, who would run the popular Keith's Farm?

As of June 26, Google has Keith's Farm listed as "Temporarily Closed." The business phone has been disconnected. The website has been taken down, as has the Keith's Farm and Orchard Facebook account.

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When the calendar turned to June, it was officially strawberry season, and questions came once more.  Would Keith's Farm ever open again?  Was the iconic farm going to permanently close?  What is going on with the strawberries there?

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While it is a bit uncertain at the moment, it appears that the farm does indeed have a future. According to Fairhaven Acushnet Preservation Trust President Cora-Dorothy Pierce, the land is currently in the process of probate. Pierce declined to offer further comment without the board or an attorney, but acknowledged that the land "is not owned by us, it is in an estate."

Pierce doesn't anticipate Keith's Farm being open anytime soon.

"The fall would be the earliest, and I don't even know that," she said.

Rest assured, however, that the strawberries are not rotting in the ground.

"We are donating food as quickly as we can pick it," Pierce said.

Keith's Farm has three distinct busy seasons. The strawberries in June mark the first. That is followed by the autumn hayrides with pumpkins, corn and apples. Christmas trees round out the year.

If the town's land trust assumes ownership of the land, that would all but ensure that residents will be able to gather fresh produce there for years to come.

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