HF joins others in securing state grants

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All photos by Hana Fulwider.

Winter shows off her beauty at Holcomb Farm.

With support from the Town Administration, the Friends of Holcomb Farm have been awarded a Connecticut Department of Agriculture Farm Viability Grant. The project, to begin in April, will bring further improvements to the CSA barn and Farm Store (next to the Church on Simsbury Road) and expand our dry and cold storage to meet the growing demand from our CSA, restaurant, retail, and Fresh Access partners. We can’t wait to get going with the work; stay tuned for pictures and updates.

Meanwhile, a workshop for grant recipients provided insight into a fascinating variety of community-based agricultural efforts underway across Connecticut. For example:

Volunteers who use a 1 ½ acre plot of land in the center of Clinton, Connecticut to grow food for the local food pantry will use their funds to purchase a small tractor, in hopes of increasing production and saving the backs of the aging volunteers.

A nonprofit is undertaking “brownfield restoration” on former industrial land in Waterbury.

Sprague, Connecticut will use its grant to create a promotional program in support of some young, start-up local farmers focused on goats, bees, and maple syrup.

A Redding, Connecticut -owned farm will be investing in its agriculture and environmental education programs.

We are excited to participate in the State’s economic development efforts in support of agriculture and expanded local production.

You may think farmers have the winter off, but au contraire! The Farm Crew has been very busy getting ready for the 2018 season (as always, using absolutely no chemicals or pesticides).

Summer CSA shares selling fast

Holcomb Farm’s early Summer CSA Shares are selling quickly, with restaurants, nonprofit organizations, and traditional customers all signing up early and increasing the size of their orders. Don’t worry, though – it’s not too late to reserve your share of the summer bounty! We have increased our capacity so that we can serve everyone. To learn more or sign up, go to www.holcombfarm.org or call Cathy at 860-844-8616.

CSA announces incentive opportunity

If you are a CSA shareholder, you already know the tremendous value of sharing in the bounty farmer Joe and his crew produce each summer. You know how good it feels to eat healthy, chemical-free produce, reduce your impact on the environment, and belong to the Holcomb Farm community. Will you help us spread the word? To encourage you to invite your friends to join, we are offering an incentive: Farm Store coupons for $20 off your purchase (for a full share) and $10 off your purchase (for a half share), when you refer a new shareholder who joins in April. More information is available through our website, www.holcombfarm.org or by calling 860-844-8616.

Signs of Spring – seedlings take root at the Holcomb Farm CSA. Soon, our CSA and Farm Store will have delicious fresh produce for purchase – for both CSA members and the general public.

Friends of Holcomb Farm History

Over the past several years, FOHF volunteer Peggy Lareau, with support from Karen Eustis, produced a series of monographs covering the history of Granby’s Holcomb Farm. Now Peggy and Karen have compiled these monographs into a book, Holcomb Farm Heritage, Struggles and Success. The Friends of Holcomb Farm, with additional financial support from the Granby Historical Society and the Granby Land Trust, are excited to provide this masterpiece to our annual fund drive donors (of $100 or more) and other supporters of FOHF. We also will explore other ways to make this treasure available to interested parties. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact cathy@holcombfarm.org.

Holcomb Book cover: The Friends of Holcomb Farm has published a history of Holcomb Farm, written by longtime Granby resident Peggy Lareau, that traces the history of this remarkable farm from 1756 through the present.

Forgotten Farms film and panel discussion

The Friends of Holcomb Farm was proud to sponsor a local showing of the documentary film “Forgotten Farms” on March 11. Nearly 75 people turned out to see the film and learn more about the challenges New England dairy farmers face today. Granby’s own dairy farmers Stanley Hayes and his daughter, Ellen Hayes Whitlow, served on a panel discussion after the film, along with Don Tuller of Tulmeadow Farm in Simsbury and the film’s producer, Sarah Gardner, an associate director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College.

Friends of Holcomb Farm annual
progressive dinner set for May 5

Planning for our annual “friend-raising” is well underway, and we invite old friends and new to join us for this special evening. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. with local-infused appetizers and drinks at the North Barn on the Holcomb Farm campus, participants will move on in small groups to host homes for a home-cooked lasagna (including local greens and fresh-baked bread), and then return to the North Barn for delicious, homemade desserts. We are still looking for a few more host homes; contact cathy@holcombfarm.org for more information. Tickets to the event are $45 and will be sold through our website, www.holcombfarm.org or by calling Cathy at 860-844-8616.

Chef Prosperi cooking demo at Lost Acres
Vineyard May 19

Once again, the Lost Acres Vineyard has invited the Friends to showcase who we are and what we do at their beautiful vineyard, so mark your calendars for May 19, noon to 4 p.m., for Holcomb Farm Day at Lost Acres Vineyard. At 2:30 p.m., Chef Chris Prosperi of Metro Bis Restaurant in Simsbury will offer another of his entertaining and delicious cooking demonstrations, using Holcomb Farm produce. Learn how to make delectable culinary creations like the pros. This was a very popular even last year. We hope you can join us for an afternoon with Friends at the Vineyard!

Hike Holcomb Farm trails June 3

Holcomb Farm will celebrate Connecticut Trails Day by offering a family-friendly, guided hike on the western Holcomb Farm trails, with stops at the beautiful Carpenter Falls and a look at the historical Weed Homestead foundations. The hike will start out from Holcomb Farm’s main campus at 10 a.m. and will return at 1 p.m. Last year, Connecticut hosted the largest National Trails Day® celebration in the nation, with more than 3,000 people taking to the trails. Spend an afternoon outdoors with your neighbors on the beautiful Holcomb Farm (and adjoining) trails and help us make this year’s celebration even bigger!