The cold depths of New England winter offer a (relatively) quiet time for its farmers, yet the Friends of Holcomb Farm are kept warm by the good things happening in our community. We think you should be, too.
Fresh Access Food for Many
Once again, in 2019, the Fresh Access program, supported by our members, donors, farm customers and grants, made tons (literally, tons) of fresh produce available to people who might not otherwise have had access. We recently received feedback from two of our partners and want to share it with all of you, who make this possible.
From the Town of Granby Human Services (Youth and Seniors): We had 10 families utilize the gifted shares. We had an average of 33 seniors each week during the program, with a total of 552 participants for the season. One recipient sent the following email: “My husband and I have been able to stretch the vegetables that we have picked as well. We have fresh stewed tomatoes and several quarts of fresh tomato sauce in the freezer; as well as beans, peppers, and eggplant. In addition, I have made soups from the vegetables. Holcomb Farm’s CSA, which we have always appreciated beyond words, really has made an unimaginable impact on our lives this year. Going from a two-income household to one, the groceries being one less thing to cause me concern has been a true blessing.”
From the Healing Meals Community Project: We use the wonderful produce from Holcomb Farm to prepare and deliver healthy meals to families going through a health crisis. Being able to have local, fresh, nutrient-dense produce that is picked on Tuesday and we are preparing into meals on Wednesday and our clients are receiving on Thursday is fantastic. We know we are giving our clients, who need the healthiest meals to support them during their health crisis, the very best.
Fresh Food Through the Seasons
Through grants and volunteer efforts, we have been working to “grow the growing season” at Holcomb Farm. Evidence of our success—thanks to Farmer Joe O’Grady and his crew, and a great 2019 summer season—is best reflected in the bounty being provided through 125 CSA Winter Shares, the most ever. One shareholder recently wrote to thank Joe for the beautiful and delicious carrots; “I know you know what your carrots look like, but I made them for my family who are not used to them and they were amazed. And every time I make them, it’s all we can talk about.”
If this has you salivating, keep an eye out for notice (through social media or website) for a possible flash sale of winter produce this spring. Also, go to holcombfarm.org and sign up for your 2020 summer share. Sales are ahead of prior years and may well sell out.
Winter Work Parties for Volunteers
Our stewardship volunteers have been busy restoring fields, renovating trails and eliminating invasives. The Tree Trail continues to evolve, to include a variety of species, labels and interpretive signs. A complete update is available on the website.It has all the information on how this great resource has emerged through the dedication of many volunteers,
Work parties have been building up a sweat even on cold winter days, clearing invasives, recapturing fields and freeing trees. Eric Lukingbeal has developed a system to offer two- to three-hour projects for people willing to offer their time and effort. If you want some work that will “warm you twice”—once while working the trails and fields, and again basking in the glow of a job well done—contact Eric Lukingbeal at firstname.lastname@example.org. He promises to match the work to the effort you can offer.
Our Annual Appeal is generating a great response this year, including some 30 new members of the Friends of Holcomb Farm. A member is a person (or a family) who donates $25 or more each year to this nonprofit association. What are the benefits of membership? Simply put, the warm feeling we all have knowing that we are helping to preserve, promote and utilize an authentic New England farm—the Holcomb Farm—this public treasure that honors the gift and legacy of Tudor and Laura Holcomb. Thank you and stay warm.