Farming in November
If you Google “farming in November,” you will find lots of interesting descriptors: a time of transitions, a time for gleaning, a time to take stock. At Holcomb Farm, our strategic focus on “growing the growing season” means that while the last CSA summer share has been distributed, and the retail farm store has closed for the year, the farming continues.
Our cold storage and hoop houses are in full swing, and it’s a good thing they are. We have promised thousands of pounds of fresh produce to our Fresh Access partners, and the need has never been greater. Our Winter CSA shares sold out in record time, and Summer 2021 sign-ups are already underway. Farmer Joe has promised a few “pop up” farmer’s markets over the holiday season. If you want to be sure you don’t miss these, follow us on Facebook or Instagram, and make sure we have your email address for periodic notices. Sign up on our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcoming neighbors to Granby’s Holcomb Farm
In mid-October, what was left of the warmth of the autumn sun offered a perfect day to share the fast-evolving Holcomb Farm Tree Trail with members of the Hartford Garden Club. Thanks to longtime Friends of the farm Put and Nannie Brown, members of this organization came to learn about the work that has been done to fight invasives, reclaim meadows and fields, and plant, nurture and label trees for environmental and educational advancement. The group spent several stunning New England autumn hours learning about the work of the Friends of Holcomb Farm through its intrepid Tree Trail volunteers, including Eric Lukingbeal, Susan Canavan and Barry Avery. The Garden Club members were so inspired by their work that the Garden Club made a financial gift to the Tree Trail, in honor of Eric and his crew.
New Trees and New Signs
The Holcomb Tree Trail volunteers also completed the annual fall planting on Oct. 17, adding seven new trees to the trail, including one of each of the following: Amur Maackia, Yellowwood, Bald Cypress, Hornbeam, Hophornbeam, Eastern Redbud, and Ginkgo. All these trees were planted in Hillside Field, except for the Hophornbeam, which was planted on the eastern edge of Hilltop Field, the CSA’s potato crop field. We also planted three Zelkova Schmidtlow cultivars, a gift from the Friends of Holcomb Farm, in the grassy area between the farmhouse and North Barn at the main farm complex, to replace the ailing birch that was removed earlier this year.
In addition, the Tree Trail added eight new interpretive signs, which provide information on a variety of topics including farm history, invasive plant species, geology and specific tree species. These signs were purchased with funding from a Pomeroy-Brace grant and a Granby Education Foundation grant. We also added 25 additional tree labels to mature trees, bringing the total of labeled trees to more than 100. Many thanks to our volunteers including Barry Avery, Sue Canavan, Joel Danke, David Desiderato, Jill Ford, Walter Ford, Jack Lareau, Peggy Lareau, Heidi Lindberg, Eric Lukingbeal, Shirley Murtha, Bill Simpson and Lynette Simpson.