Happy New Year!
Yes, that’s right; it’s July – and from the perspective of the Friends of Holcomb Farm, it is a new and promising year. How do we know? First, we had our Annual Meeting (and pie baking contest), which you can read about elsewhere in this issue, formally closing out the old and ringing in the new. Also, the CSA and Farm Store opened June 10, on time despite the cold, wet spring, lush with greens, flowers and the promise of a productive summer season. Here are some of what our new year brings, for all of our members – and the whole community – to enjoy.
Holcomb Farm Tree Trail Launched
The Holcomb Tree Trail has launched with 16 new trees, from 8- to 12-feet tall, planted last October along the mowed paths around the East Fields. The trees were purchased with a grant from the Pomeroy-Brace Fund, administered by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The grant also funded metal labels for 80 trees in the East Woods Trails network. Six Interpretive signs also funded by the grant will be installed, again by volunteers, upon arrival. The signs cover such topics as geology, invasives, Farm history, and several tree species of significance. The grant also provided some funding for wooden plank walkways in a particularly muddy section along the Red Trail. These will be installed this summer.
The Granby Board of Selectmen recently approved a five-year tree planting plan for the Holcomb Tree Trail, running through 2024. The FOHF hopes to plant 10 to 12 trees annually in the east fields, comprising a mix of natives and non-natives, with an emphasis on spring and fall color, and will include unusual trees not likely to be seen in northern Connecticut. The trees in the field will link up with the trees in the woods, and with the mowed grass paths. When completed, the Holcomb Tree Trail will have about 100 labeled trees in the woods, and another 75 or so in the field. The design principles for the Holcomb Tree Trail include preserving the long views to the South and West, preserving opportunities for agriculture by planting trees on the edges of fields, and improving bird habitat by planting species that provide food. Mapping and graphical displays of the locations of trees are being prepared and will be available on the website www.holcombfarm.org, along with periodic updates, pictures and event announcements. If you haven’t already been, there, please come take a walk. All Holcomb Farm trails are open to the public with some of the best that Granby’s open spaces have to offer.
Cooking demo with Chef Prosperi
Mark your calendars now for Aug. 31, when our favorite local chef, Chris Prosperi of Metro Bis, will be at the Farm offering a free cooking demonstration using all sorts of Holcomb Farm bounty. To keep apprised of this and other developments, “like” us on Facebook or Instagram, or ask to be added to our e-mail list by dropping a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Farm Store – open to the public, with no membership required – is stocked-up and open for your business, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the CSA barn, 111 Simsbury Road In additional to Holcomb Farm’s own produce, we carry products from a variety of local producers: Hayes’ Sweet Pea Cheese, Maple View Farm beef, Alba Apiaries honey, Lyric Hill Farm goat soap, and much more. New this year:
Grace Hill Farm (Cummington, Mass.) —raw milk grass fed cheese
Simply Paleo (West Hartford) —gluten free cupcake and baking mix
Adamah Farms (Falls Village) —jams and jellies
Old Friends Farm (Amherst, Mass.) — Ginger Syrup and Honey, Turmeric Honey
Healing Meals (Bloomfield) —Immune Broth and Nourishing Connections Cookbook
The Summer CSA is also off and running, with flexible pick-up times all week, and lots of special opportunities for shareholders, like cutting your own fresh flowers and herbs. Farmer Joe O’Grady is always coming up with new ideas; this year he has created a “Workplace CSA” for employees of Ensign Bickford, in Simsbury. Box shares are delivered to Ensign Bickford each week for distribution, saving employees a trip to the Farm. O’Grady hopes to expand this program to other workplaces. If you think your office would be interested in launching a Workplace CSA, contact him at 631-374-9421.
Honoring the old while looking ahead
Finally, the Friends of Holcomb Farm hope our classic barn cupola logo is familiar to everyone in our community, and we continue to protect and honor it. Still, as we grow our farming programs, promote our farm store to the community-at-large, and increase our land stewardship efforts with special projects like the Tree Trail, we decided it was time to better brand the many products and services that the Friends of Holcomb Farm offer to the greater Granby community. Keep your eyes open for some exciting new logos that better represent the Friends’ many functions.