Jack Lareau first encountered Holcomb Farm in the 1970s when he cross-country skied from Case Street through Enders and McLean’s to the Farm. That was back in the days before he knew much about the Farm and its educational programs and farming operation. When he moved to Reed Hill Road in 1994, a neighbor who was a Holcomb Farm board member told him about all that was going on at the Farm, including the Link and Learn program and the CSA. The Lareaus signed up for the CSA in 1995 and Jack became interested in the programs. He was recruited to be a board member to help with the transition as the Farm became a town property.
At present, Lareau is a vice-president and co-chair with Eric Lukingbeal in charge of stewardship, which involves maintenance of the trails and the fields. Working on the newly begun Tree Trail is his favorite activity: planting young trees in the east fields, nurturing them along, protecting them, and placing identifying markers has been the focus of his work for the past two to three years. Preparing for the sustainability of the trail is a particular goal of his. Lukingbeal notes that keeping the Tree Trail thriving in the recent droughts requires moving a lot of water uphill every week. “We’re lucky to have Jack, a physicist, to keep us from making mistakes. He’s saved us more than once!” Luckinbeal also remarks that Jack has “a good mowing tractor and he likes to use it,” which is a great help in the fields.
Now semi-retired, Lareau’s career took place on the opposite side of the country where his work in nuclear physics involved non-destructive testing of nuclear materials. He consults now as a senior technical advisor for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
A very active person, Lareau enjoys hiking the Holcomb Farm trails and Land Trust properties here in Granby, mountain climbing, biking, and especially canoeing and kayaking. He and his wife Peggy, who is also a Holcomb Farm volunteer, have three children who are all professionals located in California and Nevada: Keith works in military communication security in California; Liana is a professor in genetics and does research at the University of California at Berkeley; and Neil is also a professor and does research in atmospheric physics at the University of Nevada.