Celebrating the success

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The positivity was palpable at the Friends of Holcomb Farm Annual Meeting on Aug. 20. The incredible growth of our Fresh Access program, the expansion of our award-winning Tree Trail, the enthusiasm of our new members and new board members, and the responsible management of our assets—all the news was met with an enthusiastic “Aye.” Photo by Rick Orluk

On a lovely—if too dry—August morning, members of the Friends of Holcomb Farm gathered in the fields east of Simsbury Road, overlooking the farmland, to celebrate the successes of the past year and share plans for the future. President Bob Bystrowski welcomed the attendees and guests, and the fruits of our labors were reviewed by Farm Manager Joe O’Grady and various board members. Highlights of 2021, detailed in the Annual Report (available at holcombfarm.org) included:

• Despite having to cancel 2021 winter CSA shares due to the excessive rain, the summer 2021 farming season successfully delivered for CSA members, retail customers and Fresh Access;

• Fresh Access provided more than 18,800 pounds of vegetables and 3,500 pounds of fruit to people in need, locally and in the greater Hartford area: a total wholesale cost of almost $65,000;

• The trails were maintained as public use continued to grow (despite the washout of the bridge to the western acres), and the Tree Trail developed to the degree that, in the spring of 2022, it gained national recognition from the Garden Club of America, through its Frederick Law Olmsted Civic Improvement Award;

• Through the continuing generosity of donors and by securing grants, the Friends’ financial standing remained strong.

Members of the Friends unanimously approved two new board members: James Szipszky, who moved with his wife to West Granby almost two years ago and immediately got involved in trail maintenance and Tree Trail activity; and Cat Kadrle, another West Granby resident who moved to town in 2020 and whose kids have already become familiar with the Farm’s trails and treasures. There were shout-outs to numerous volunteers who have gone above and beyond this past year, and encouragement for others to join in. Membership—being a “Friend” of Holcomb Farm, which means purchasing a CSA share and/or donating $25 or more a year per family—stands at 673. If you’d like to give back to your community and spend time with a great group of people, please consider volunteering your time at Holcomb Farm. To sign up, just drop us a note at cathy@holcombfarm.org

Holcomb Farm CSA members love pick-your-own options, including our flower beds. At Open Farm Day on Sept. 17, all visitors will be invited to cut their own beautiful bouquets for just $10. Photo by Donna Snyder
Farm Manager Joe O’Grady gave a report on the state of the farming operations at Holcomb Farm at the Annual Meeting. Despite drought conditions, the farm crew has managed to produce a bountiful harvest this summer. Photo by Jenny Emery
Missed the annual meeting? The Friends of Holcomb Farm Annual Report is now available at holcombfarm.org