One of Granby’s most beloved events is back: Open Farm Day, a free experience for Granby and surrounding communities, will be held on Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. After planning was paused in 2020 due to pandemic safety concerns, the Granby Agricultural commission is thrilled to resume this fun family event.
Over a dozen participating Granby farms will showcase their goods and offer fun, informative attractions including wagon rides, apple picking, plant dividing demos, barn and dairy operation tours, pony rides, beekeeping demos, sheep shearing, equestrian demos and veterinarian talks. Kids will enjoy the farm animals and adults the beer and wine tastings!
A testament to Granby’s thriving agricultural community, two new farms have been added to the Open Farm Day line-up: Addison Farm, an organic hemp grower on Wells Road, and Coward Farm, where pumpkins and tobacco are grown on North Granby Road. You can see the full farm line-up on GranbyAg.org and elsewhere in this issue of the Drummer.
Another new addition to Open Farm Day 2021 is a key sponsor, the Granby Land Trust, a local organization committed to acquiring and preserving prime agricultural land for use by some of our town’s most treasured farms. Farm visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about GLT during Open Farm Day or by visiting GranbyLandTrust.org The Granby Drummer is also a key sponsor and longtime supporter of Open Farm Day. Contributing sponsors are Salmon Brook Veterinarian Hospital, Horses & Hounds and Granby Family Eye Care.
A map listing participating farms and a schedule of events will be provided at each farm. That and other information can also be found on granbyag.org and in this edition of the Drummer. You can follow Granby Ag on Facebook and Instagram. See you on Open Farm Day!
1. Maple View Farm
192 Salmon Brook Street, Granby
Maple View Farm is a long-standing working farm on 50 acres in the center of Granby. The farm is home to horses, pigs and chickens in addition to the farmers who, for four generations, have farmed the property. The pasture-based operation provides meat, veggies, eggs and other local products to neighbors through the Farm Store. The on-farm Brewery offers beer brewed with local and farm grown ingredients. The Farmhouse, booked through Airbnb, offers guests a taste of what it is like to live on a working farm (rooster crow wake up calls and all).
On Open Farm Day, Maple View offers self-guided tours, pony rides from 1 to 3 p.m., farm picnic food, live music, “Ask the Farmer” sessions and a hay bale throwing contest with prizes for all ages.
2. Lyric Hill Farm
134 Hungary Road, Granby
Lyric Hill is a small family farm dedicated to sustainable growing practices and educating the public. It uses fresh milk from a herd of Alpine dairy goats and a variety of herbs and wild harvested botanicals grown and collected on the farm to make soaps and other eco-friendly, farm-based products. The farm store is open year-round. On Open Farm Day, Lyric Hill visitors can meet the goats and watch the milking process, learn how to use and preserve fresh herbs and flowers, observe the soap making process and browse Lyric Hill’s handcrafted products for sale.
3. Sweet Pea Cheese/House of Hayes
151 East Street, North Granby
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The dairy cows at House of Hayes have moo-ved into the future with two state-of-the-art robotic milking units. It has now been four years since the robots were installed and have been well accepted by the cows. Come see the cows being milked from the viewing room open to the public. Sweet Pea Cheese at the House of Hayes milks a herd of dairy goats and processes milk, yogurt and cheese.
Open Farm Day activities at the House of Hayes include self-guided tours of the dairy and cheese-making facilities. Visitors can enjoy free bite-sized goat cheese samples. The retail store will be open selling pasteurized whole goat and cow milk, along with yogurt, feta cheese and chèvre, a goat cheese prepared according to the French tradition.
4. Lost Acres Vineyard
80 Lost Acres Road, North Granby
In the 1700s Lost Acres was a political no-man’s land known as “the Wedge.” In the early 1800s, the Wedge’s free-spirited, cider distilling, hill farmers populated the area. At Lost Acres Vineyard, owners Kevin Riggott and Michelle Niedermeyer, continue this tradition with grape wine. A former apple orchard, Lost Acres Vineyard reclaimed this land in 2008, and is now home to five acres of wine grapes, contributing to the agricultural spirit and the natural beauty of Granby.
On Open Farm Day, the vineyard will have free samples of its new blueberry grape wine, Belden Brook Blue, and demonstrations with an old-style wine press. Visitors can take a winemaker’s tour of the cellar to learn about the winemaking process and sample fresh pressed grape juice. Food by Avon Prime Meats will be available from 12 to 5 p.m.
Sepe Farm (sepefarm.com) sheep shearing team—Peter and Carolyn Sepe, Erin Sepe Pirro and Jonathan Pirro—will be at the vineyard to demonstrate fall sheep shearing, wool spinning and a felting craft for kids. Knitting classes will take place at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.; pre-registration for classes is required so please register at morehousefarm.com/product/Granby-classes
5. Lost Acres Orchard
130 Lost Acres Road, North Granby
Since the ‘70s the Wutka family at Lost Acres Orchard has grown peaches, apples, quince and pears. In the fall, you can pick your own apples or buy them already picked. They also sell local winter squash, pumpkins and gourds. The orchard’s kitchen staff stays busy all year round baking and selling their popular pies and a variety of baked goods and soups, quiches, jams and more. The orchard expands its hours during the fall fruit season giving visitors more time to enjoy lunch and hot apple crisp with ice cream on the front porch or select something to take home.
On Open Farm Day, enjoy complimentary wagon rides through the orchard. The bakery will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with pastries, pies, jams and more. Farmhouse Lunch available 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., featuring wraps, salads, mac and cheese, hot apple crisp and other favorites. (Visit LostAcres.com for full menu.)
6. Granby Grange #5
212 North Granby Road (Route 189), Granby
The Grange is a venerable rural community organization and has been helping farms since 1875. On Open Farm Day, the Grange will offer a beekeeping and honey demonstration as well as Grange building tours, a vegetable stand, mum sale, teacup auction, balloon animals and raffle items throughout the day.
7. Addison Farm
37 Wells Road, Granby
Addison Farm is one of Granby’s newest agricultural additions. In 2019, Andrew and Courtney Hurczyn along with their daughter, Addison, made the switch from corporate careers to organic farming and began a pesticide free hemp farm and CBD company located in the heart of Granby. Addison Farm uses their organically grown, pesticide free hemp to make their Addison Farm Full Spectrum CBD oil and lotion. The family also grows pesticide free vegetables offered for sale at their roadside farm stand. On Open Farm Day, Addison Farm will offer guided Farm tours, hemp and CBD presentations, Q & A sessions and will have CBD products on hand for purchase.
8. O’Brien Nursery
40 Wells Road, Granby
O’Brien Nursery is known far and wide for its hosta offerings and has grown into a destination for unique shade perennials, in addition to a wide selection of conifers, special Japanese maples, and numerous dwarf Ginkgo selections. On open Farm Day, nurseryman John O’Brien invites the community to discover the pleasure of plants and explore an impressive six acres of display gardens. O’Briens will also feature hosta dividing demonstrations at 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.
9. Coward Farm
170 North Granby Road, Granby
The Coward Farm is Granby’s newest working farm. Located on the former Maplewood Farm land once owned by Dr. Forrest Davis and protected by a conservation easement (acquired with financial support from the Granby Land Trust, the Town of Granby and the State of Connecticut), John and Teresa Coward obtained the vacant dairy farm on North Granby Road and now grow tobacco and pumpkins. The tobacco grown at Coward Farm is sold to the U.S. Cigar manufacturer General Cigar, which manufactures cigars around the world. The pumpkins are sold at the Southwick Coward Farm.
On Open Farm Day, folks will get a tour of the farm, learn how tobacco is grown and cut, how a curing shed works and how the tobacco gets used for cigars. At press time, they were awaiting confirmation that a representative from the Cigar manufacturer would be on site.
10. Clark Farms at Bushy Hill Orchard
29 Bushy Hill Road, Granby
Clark Farm at Bushy Hill Orchard in Granby is one of three farms run by the Clark family. Bushy Hill is a 75-acre farm/orchard growing apples, blueberries, peaches, plums, pears, nectarines, and vegetables. The farm is open seasonally, offering a farm to table café, the new Bushy Hill Cidery Pub, ice cream and a full bakery, including the famous apple cider donuts, plus pick your own apples and blueberries. The farm offers a great location for family outings and small events. There are many things to check out at the farm and farm store: sweet and hard apple cider pressed fresh from the farm, a variety of local products, and flowers from its Goodyear Farm location in Suffield.
On Open Farm Day you will have the opportunity to pick-your-own apples from 17 varieties, take a wagon ride, and sample those famous homemade apple cider donuts!
11. Valkyrie Equestrian Center
175 Barndoor Hills Road, Granby
Valkyrie Equestrian Center is heading into its 23rd year in Granby. The full-service boarding, lesson and show facility focuses on the care and well-being of both horse and rider. Valkyrie trains in hunter, jumper and equitation disciplines and accommodates both beginners as well as those with national competition goals. On Open Farm Day, guests can tour the barn, meet the horses and will be treated to a horse jumping demonstration at 1 p.m. and pony rides between 2 and 4 p.m.
12. Holcomb Farm CSA
111 Simsbury Road, West Granby
Holcomb Farm was a gift from siblings Tudor and Laura Holcomb to Granby in 1992 and continues as a town-owned historic property open to the public. Today, the Friends of Holcomb Farm (FOHF) operate Holcomb Farm as a working farm with fields full of fresh, chemical-free produce. The FOHF also maintains miles of hiking trails throughout the 312 acres, and is developing a Tree Trail in the fields to the east of Simsbury Road. The Friends of Holcomb Farm are committed to preserving this expansive green space through sustainable programming: sustainability in farming, woodlands management, and cost-effective stewardship of the farm for the benefit of the Granby community. As part of its non-profit mission, and with the generous support of donors and granting agencies, the FOHF Fresh Access program provides a portion of its harvest to social service agencies in Hartford and Granby.
On Open Farm Day, experience a cooking demo from celebrity chef Chris Prosperi of Metro Bis, a wildlife exhibition, guided hikes and a “guess the garlic” contest.
13. Angel Horses Inc.
12 Knollwood Lane, West Granby
The mission of Angel Horses Inc. is to provide a permanent retirement sanctuary for horses that have been teachers and healers in the therapeutic world. These special horses receive nurturing, companionship and love for the rest of their days. In addition, this past year, Angel Horses Inc. partnered with other rescues to save three horses from the slaughter pipeline and provide them a permanent and peaceful home. These efforts are made possible through volunteers and generous donations. Angel Horses Inc. is also a place where humans can come to connect with these sensitive beings. On Open Farm Day, visitors can experience a farm tour and meet the horses, mini donkeys, goats and sheep that call the farm home.
Salmon Brook Veterinary Hospital
(Stationed at Angel Horse Rescue, 12 Knollwood Lane, West Granby)
Salmon Brook Veterinary Hospital has been caring for farm families and their animals for more than 60 years. Dr. Milkey started the practice in 1953 on his horse farm on Hungary Road. Since that time, the SBVH staff has forged long lasting client relationships based on progressive medicine and a fundamental concern for the well-being of all animals. Its fully equipped ambulatory trucks allow staff to provide both medical and surgical care for animals on the farm. It offers digital x-ray, ultrasound and endoscopy services at the farm as well as in the hospital along with general medical and lameness examinations and a full array of laboratory analysis. The depth of expertise with a ten-doctor practice and compassionate staff allows SBVH to provide the best in veterinary medicine for both farm and companion animals.
At Open Farm Day, the Salmon Brook ambulatory truck will be stationed at Angel Horse Rescue where visitors can meet one of the large animal veterinarians, see the equipment used to care for farm animals and watch Dr. Weber’s afternoon presentation on Equine Rescue techniques.
Open Farm Day Events • Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021
Open Farm Day is sponsored by The Granby Agricultural Commission and by: