A Restored Garden at Swift River Farm

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For Bruce Lockhart, the second time was the charm. When a realtor first brought him on a site visit to Swift River Farm as a prospective buyer, he immediately said, “Forget it.” The house was badly built from scrap lumber, and the land was stripped. Any natural resource that the previous owner could possibly exploit was lumbered, dismantled, and sold, including the pine forest and stone walls. But somehow, Bruce ended up touring the downtrodden property a second time to find struggling spring wildflowers studding the fields—and that’s when his perspective changed. He became determined to rescue the seemingly hopeless Massachusetts property. Together with his partner Gus Block, he decided to adopt the lost cause and turn its life around—you might even say he helped the land find its soul.

From the start, Bruce poured himself into all 87 acres in an effort to make every square foot of land shine—but he knew he had to view it as a marathon rather than a sprint. As a medical doctor in New York City, he could only work on the weekends. Every Thursday night, Bruce would hit the ground running. “I would park the truck with the headlights shining on the garden so I could plant under the high beams,” he says.

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