Jessica DiBona didn’t anticipate living a farmer’s life while growing up in Holbrook. With a career as a reading specialist and an electrician husband who works in the city, you wouldn’t expect her to live on 36 acres with chickens, guinea hens, and a pumpkin patch. When DiBona moved to Halifax seven years ago, however, that’s the life she was destined for.
“It’s kind of a rural, small town,’’ DiBona said. “There are a lot of farms, everybody has chickens, everybody grows their own pumpkins, but I don’t feel like it’s that small where it’s one of those towns where everybody knows your business. Most of the houses have some acreage; you have some space.’’
In towns like Halifax, the community members lean on one another. DiBona mentioned how parents have banded together to raise money to rebuild a playground. In addition to the strong sense of community, Halifax is known for its natural appeal, with Silver Lake and East and West Monponsett ponds figuring prominently into the town’s layout.
DiBona’s father-in-law, a lifelong resident and retired firefighter who goes by “Farmer Bob,’’ runs Good Neighbor Farm, which, in addition to hosting the family’s home, sells hay and grows a wide variety of vegetables. She fondly recalls a class project a few years ago in which her third-grader had to grow a cabbage and produced one of the largest in the class.
Halifax belongs to the Silver Lake Regional School District; the middle and high schools are in Kingston. DiBona, the mother of a sixth-grader now, is preparing for the change to middle school next year and the greater distance from her farm to the school.
While she laments the distance she has to travel to get to a major highway, DiBona wouldn’t trade the Halifax life for anything.
“Halifax is just a good, safe family community,’’ DiBona said. “Good schools, everybody’s looking out for everybody else’s kids, everybody’s supportive of the Fire Department, police, and teachers, and it really hasn’t changed since I first moved [here] seven years ago.’’
The number of acres of corn that make up the maze at Nessralla Farm. The maze is open from mid-September until the end of October. Nessralla is also home to “Mudfest,’’ a rally in which souped-up vehicles drive through deep pools of mud.
The date, in 1734, in which Halifax was incorporated
The number of sides of Monponsett Pond separated by a strip of land that supports Route 58. The two smaller ponds are referred to as East and West Monponsett Pond and are both prime fishing and boating spots.
The price of the adult Sunday brunch at Monponsett Inn. There has been an inn of some sort on the current site since 1886, but overnight stays are no longer offered. The venue’s picturesque waterfront location makes it a popular choice for weddings and special events.
There definitely isn’t a shortage of land in Halifax. The majority of homes sit on at least an acre, and many properties are on double-digit lots. If you want to play a game of football, keep chickens, practice your snowmobiling skills, or do all of that at the same time, you can here.
High property taxes
Because there are so few businesses in Halifax, the town relies heavily on residential property taxes for funding, leading to a high rate of $17.65 per $1,000 of valuation in fiscal 2018 — but this is a 4.8 percent decrease from the previous year. Compare with neighbors Hanson ($15.98 in 2017), Pembroke ($15.10 in 2017), and Bridgewater ($15.61 for 2017).