Friends of Holcomb Farm

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Photo by Susan Canavan

New trail signs at Holcomb Farm remind people how to responsibly enjoy the fields and woods.

Stepping Up and Digging In (to the Ground!)

Hallelujah! While there may be disagreements about how our leaders are responding to the Covid-19 crisis, let’s be grateful that here in Connecticut the importance of fresh, locally grown food was recognized from day one. Specifically, when nonessential businesses were closed, the Department of Agriculture worked with the Governor’s office to make sure farm stands and farmer’s markets could remain open for business. A March 18 Department of Agriculture press release read:

Connecticut Farmers Markets and Farm Stands OPEN

Connecticut residents seeking fresh, local foods are advised that farm stands and farmers’ markets remain open for business. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture has worked with Governor Lamont’s office to clarify that these entities are not currently affected by the Executive Order.

“Farm stores and farmers’ markets offer consumers a retail option that is essential to keeping fresh, local food accessible,” said Connecticut Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “This is an unprecedented situation for all however, our farmers and producers are working hard to produce nutritious foods, playing a vital role in our state’s economy and food supply chain.”

Spring planting included a big increase in black and red summer raspberries in response to members’ requesting more fruit. Farm hand Brittany Gauthier (foreground) helps Farmer Joe O’Grady install a trellis.

Farming: Inspired by Uncertainty

Farmers are used to uncertainty; March and April have brought all the weather variations that are part-and-parcel of a New England spring. And now, the virus. With it has come a strong increase in demand from customers and CSA shareholders, along with requests for support from our Fresh Access partners.

Farmer Joe O’Grady and his crew follow strict health safety guidelines to be sure the food they distribute is safe for shareholders, customers and partners.

Twice, bagged sales of winter veggies and fresh greenhouse greens successfully reached some 200 customers, once before St. Patrick’s Day, and again around Easter.

The Summer CSA shares are sold out with a waiting list, as we try to predict how much the sun will shine, and the rains come.

We have doubled our 2020 commitments to Fresh Access partners and promised to lengthen the season through the end of October.

Despite uncertainty, we have much to anticipate

The always popular annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale will happen, with dozens of varieties of flowers, herbs and tomatoes. lettuce, greens, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, zucchinis, melons and more. And we will open the Farm Store on June 16, if all goes according to plan.

To receive periodic email updates from Joe and the Friends, bringing you the most recent information, please go to and scroll down to add your name and email address to our contact list.

The Trails: Open for (Physically-Distanced) Business

The FOHF Stewardship folks have continued the ongoing work of trail maintenance, tree planting and labelling, and invasive management. Be sure to practice safe behaviors as you breathe in the fresh air.

The American Elm is one of the earlier trees to bud-out in the fickle New England spring.

Friends of Holcomb Farm Annual Meeting: Postponed

Our annual meeting, typically held in early June, is being postponed. We are excited to lead walks on the new Tree Trail, oversee the third annual Pie Baking contest, and share with all the accomplishments of last year. We hope to be able to responsibly do this in late summer or fall.

Support the Friends of Holcomb Farm and Fresh Access

Feeding our community would not be possible without the support of our Friends of Holcomb Farm members, granting agencies like the Granby Community Fund, other donors to the Friends and/or specifically to Fresh Access, and of course our CSA and farm store customers. To support us in this cause, please visit our website: and click on “Donate.”