While you were summering
There are no slow seasons at Holcomb Farm, but summertime does offer the chance to share the fruits of our labors in a number of ways. Hundreds of CSA shareholders and many more community members and Granby neighbors have been visiting the Farm Store for the farm’s own produce plus lots of other local products from the local agricultural community. The store, sporting new flooring, paint and more, thanks to state grant money and volunteer labor, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 111 Simsbury Road, through October.
People of all ages enjoyed Holcomb Farm’s annual Moth Night Party on July 28. Unlike last year, when the temperatures dipped into the 50s on Moth Night, this year’s more seasonal temperatures meant a variety of moths showed up for the event. The night was really about the beauty and diversity of the moths gathered on an illuminated white sheet, giving people a chance to observe them up close. But even those who were not interested in the moths were able to enjoy themselves, with craft beer tastings provided by Legitimus Brewing, vegan treats provided by the Sweet Beet, live music by Sarah Rose Jazz and Blessings Divine, and a poetry reading by NeaKnows.
Holcomb Farm’s chemical-free produce continues to be made available to people and organizations, that might not otherwise have access, through our Fresh Access program. This summer, thanks in part to continued funding from the Granby Community Fund, we were able to increase the produce supplied to the Granby Senior Center and the Waste Not Want Not Community Kitchen. In addition, two of our Fresh Access partners, the Granby Senior Center and the Healing Meals Project, have collaborated to help educate folks in traditional and healthy ways to make use of local, fresh produce. Free education sessions were held in July and August, and a final session is planned for Sept. 12, at the Granby Senior Center. Thanks to Sarah Leathers and the Healing Meals staff for teaching these classes.
A grant of $4,000 will fund the provision of at least 2,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Wheeler Clinic in 2018. Wheeler will disseminate the produce to individuals and families at its new Family Health and Wellness Center in the Asylum Hill neighborhood. A Wheeler nutritionist will demonstrate healthy ways to prepare and preserve the produce. The grant will allow Wheeler to provide healthy food to approximately 35 individuals/families each week for 25–27 weeks.
Wheeler’s partnership with Holcomb Farm will bring fresh, healthy organic food for Family Health and Wellness Center patients who are low income and have chronic health conditions. This funding came from an anonymous donor-advised fund, through the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving (HFPG). Raising funds to make this kind of programming possible is a primary role of the Friends of Holcomb Farm, and we are actively seeking additional funding sources.
Finally, just as summer began, we received word through the HFPG that we were being awarded a $28,000 grant through the Pomeroy-Brace Fund. We will put these funds to use in our farming programs to extend the growing season, and along the public hiking trails. Stay tuned for more information on these improvements in the next Drummer.
Planning your fall
Of course, the fall is when we really enjoy the fruits of our labors, and Holcomb Farm, along with all of Granby’s agricultural community, will be a very busy place. Be sure to visit Holcomb Farm on Granby’s Open Farm Day, Sept. 15. Julie Wern will do a cooking demo with produce from the Farm at 12:30 p.m., and there will be a Tools of the Trade Show & Tell at 10:30 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m., where Farmer Joe O’Grady will give a tour of all the tractor implements we use at the farm. Peggy Lareau will also be there with a Connecticut wildlife exhibit. Kids of all ages won’t want to miss this.
Plan now to participate in our annual Fresh Access fundraiser, the Holcomb Farm Harvest Dinner and Silent Auction. The Nov. 3 dinner, expertly prepared by Chef Chris Prosperi and held at Metro Bis in Simsbury, will include fabulous farm-to-table dishes. Tickets will be sold through the Holcomb Farm website beginning mid-September. This event, which funds about half of the annual budget for Fresh Access, relies heavily on contributions from and participation by the community, so please let us know if you have time or treasures to offer. Contact Cathy@holcombfarm.org.
Finally, autumn is a marvelous season to hike the miles of trails at Holcomb Farm. Get your boots on and get outside!