A year in review, with pie and ice cream, too

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The Friends of Holcomb Farm celebrated at its Annual Members’ meeting with a ribbon cutting at the refurbished CSA barn, a pie contest, ice cream and reports of another successful year for the nonprofit. With a mission to protect Tudor and Laura Holcomb’s gift of this farm to the Town of Granby, the board reported on successful farming programs, growing Fresh Access partnerships to provide fresh produce to people otherwise without access, and ongoing land stewardship to provide greater public access to the meadows and trails. President Bob Bystrowski made special note of the Friends’ recent recognition by the Wheeler Clinic of Hartford, with its 2018 Hands and Hearts Awards, and plans to grow that new Fresh Access partnership. Participants toured the refurbished and fully stocked farm store, its shelves ready for the next day’s opening, including the first of 20 summer CSA pick-ups. 

The 2018 season is off to a great start, despite damage from the hailstorm, thanks to Farm Manager Joe O’Grady and his team of farm hands. The treasurer’s report noted that 2017 was the third year in a row in which the farming programs produced net income, allowing the Friends to contribute even more to the Fresh Access program. In 2017, a total of 8,000 pounds of produce was donated!

During the Open Forum portion of the meeting, Friends member Walter Ford urged the board to work with the town to find a way to fund regular mowing of the upper meadows to keep them open and fight invasives, noting that 10 years of hand-mowed walking paths have resulted in beautiful grass trails free of invasives without use of any chemicals. Member Put Brown noted possible support for the effort by the Granby Land Trust. With Town Manager John Ward in attendance, Bystrowski assured the membership of follow-up on this issue.

A Busy Spring

While the fields were being plowed and planted, other Friends’ activities included:

Lost Acres Vineyard hosted its annual Holcomb Farm day on May 19, including a cooking demonstration using Holcomb Farm’s celebrated produce. Thanks again to Chef Chris Prosperi of Metro Bis restaurant, and to the Vineyard, which will donate 10 percent of proceeds from the day to the FOHF.

The Granby Public Library hosted a talk on Holcomb Farm Heritage: Struggles and Successes, by its author Peggy Lareau, with autographed copies available after the talk. The book is available for purchase for $15 at the Holcomb Farm Farm Store, 111 Simsbury Road in West Granby.

Coming Up

Mark your calendars for Moth Night at the Farm, July 28, and check the FOHF website or Facebook page for more details of the fun, family-friendly event. Other events may include cooking demonstrations and farming-related information talks, and possible group hikes; check the website, or “friend” us on Facebook, so you don’t miss a thing.

Open Farm day is Sept. 15, and the whole town will be involved, so be sure to plan on visiting Holcomb Farm and all the other great local farms that day.

The annual Harvest Dinner and Silent Auction is set for Nov. 3 at Metro Bis. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and is devoted to our Fresh Access program. It is a very special evening for a very special cause. As we say about the Holcomb Farm nonprofit farming programs: Taste the Difference; Make a Difference—the Harvest Dinner is a great opportunity to do just that! We are seeking donations of items for the auction, and volunteers for the event. If interested, contact cathy@holcombfarm.org, and we will get you involved. Many thanks, and have a great summer.