A New Normal for Chip-in Farm and New England Nurseries after Generations-Long Business Histories

Doing business on a busy, drizzly day at Chip-in Farm and New England Nurseries


The Couvee and Brown families are West Bedford neighbors who share a generations-long history of doing business in Bedford.

Some100 years ago, John Kierkegaard, great-grandfather to the Browns, New England Nurseries’ current proprietors, came to Bedford from his job as director of the Botanical Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark; he was associated with the nursery from its inception and became an early owner soon thereafter.

The Couvee family established Chip-In Farm in 1944 when members of the Couvee family “chipped in” to buy the current property.  By the 1970s, they were serving 1500 people with a home delivery business.  Neighbors left doors unlocked so the Couvees could put eggs directly into home refrigerators.


The two businesses have taken a step into the future as Covid-19 has changed nearly everything about doing business. Both companies are now accepting phone orders, and offering curbside delivery.

Chip-In Farm

Paul Couvee delivers a grocery order into the trunk of a customer’s car

Chip-in Farm on Hartwell Road will close the store tomorrow, Friday, April 3, and offer phone orders and curbside pick-up only.  The store will be open from 10 am and close at 4 pm, beginning on Friday, April 3.

Their flyer instructs customers to telephone the store between 10 am and 4 pm and leave a message with a name and phone number. Store staff will return your call in the order it was received and take customers’ orders based on what’s wanted/needed and what’s in stock at the time of the call. Orders left on the answering machine will not be filled.

The hens at Chip-in Farm are laying eggs as always. Neal Couvee brings them to the candling table before they go on sale

Once the order is packed and ready, the customer will get another call to arrange pick-up.

Paul Couvee said on Thursday, “This is a learning process, and I hope our customers will bear with us as we work out the details.” As the service gets busier, customers should allow up to 24 hours for order processing. A $10 minimum is required, and payment is online by credit card.

  • Phone: 781-275-2545
  • Address:  201 Hartwell Road, Bedford
  • Website: https://www.chipinfarm.com/


New England Nurseries

Jae O’Rourke helps a customer

The nursery’s Concord Road store is closed, but pansies and veggie six-paks are outside and available for purchase. A convenient ‘Dutch door’ has been cut into the wall separating the cashier’s area and the plant yard, and familiar faces are at the till ready to take credit card purchases.

To keep customers and staff safe while keeping spring projects on track, the nursery is open until 5 pm each day, opening at 8 am during the week and at 9 am on Sunday. It’s shopping as usual in the yard, maintaining safe social distance, and staff will bring anything from inside the store to you.

It must be spring if the pansies are ready

Customers who know what they need may call and arrange for curbside pick-up to the trunk of your car or the bed of your truck. Payment by credit card is preferred, and may be processed over the phone. Mulch orders and deliveries are operating as normal.

There is a $50 minimum for purchases of hard goods, and delivery is available to Bedford and surrounding towns for large orders.

  • Phone: 781-275-2525
  • Address:  216 Concord Road, Bedford
  • Website: https://www.newenglandnurseries.com

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