October 12, 2017 The Ever Changing Landscape at Fowler Clark Epstein Farm
If you’ve gone by the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm in the past few weeks, you’ve probably noticed the site looks twice the size as it did when HBI acquired it in 2015. While construction on the house and barn has been on-going since early this year, the work of creating a farm has really gotten underway in the past couple of months with removal of trees and demolition of non-historic and unstable landscape features. Now that the site is wide open, it’s easy to imagine what the landscape probably looked like when the Fowler and Clark families lived there in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Historic Boston is very pleased to have enlisted a local Mattapan contractor, Hurst Landscape and Site Services Inc., to transform the land to a 21st century urban farm. Owner David Hurst grew up in Dorchester and has lived in Mattapan for over 30 years. Though he started his career as a sheet metal mechanic, he always liked the idea of starting his own business. A neighbor asked him if he would cut her lawn in his free time, and before long others asked him to do the same for them. He started reading up on gardening and landscaping, acquired a truck and a plow, and 24 years ago formed Hurst Landscaping Inc. He continued his education at Wentworth Institute of Technology where he studied site preparation and drainage, which allowed him to take on bigger projects. He changed the company name to reflect his expanded capacity and now focuses entirely on landscape installation rather than maintenance. (His neighbors must have to cut their own lawns.)
In addition to working on the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm, David and his crew has been busy this summer and fall with improvements to Roxbury Heritage State Park’s Dillaway Thomas House. Hurst has ten full time employees, including his son Mitchell, who might like one day to expand the business to include residential installations in nearby suburbs. But David’s primary focus for now is in the local neighborhood projects (including HBI’s Eustis Street Fire House and Alvah Kittredge House) where he’s built successful client relationships over the years. Stay tuned for more photos of the evolution of the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm landscape in the weeks to come.