Friends of Holcomb Farm

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Sunday Brunch to Benefit Fresh Access

In June, the Friends hosted a special celebration in honor of our Fresh Access program. A family-friendly event at the farm, with Sunday Brunch catered by Clark Farms, drew a sold-out 125+ people to enjoy the iconic setting. Participants enjoyed games, saw a video on the Fresh Access program developed by students from St. Joseph’s University, and heard from several of our Fresh Access Institutional partners. It was a great way to celebrate how Fresh Access has grown, from $7,500 donated for food for people in 2015, to almost $65,000 in 2021—an estimated $90,000+ at retail!

Family fun included delicious (and adorable) cupcakes for kids of all ages at the Fresh Access Brunch.
More than 125 people turned out for the brunch to support Holcomb Farm’s Fresh Access program on June 26. It was a great way to celebrate how Fresh Access has grown. Photos by Donna Snyder

Doing the work

In the Farm Fields

If one wants to understand at least one dimension of farming, look no further than the juxtaposition of summer 2021 with summer 2022. From torrential, crop-killing rains last year, to drought conditions now, we persevere. For our crops, wise investments in an irrigation infrastructure years ago are proving to be critical, and Farmer Joe and his crew have been producing a bountiful harvest that we expect to continue right through the summer and fall. The current view is that we will be able to resurrect the ever-popular winter CSA shares. Make sure you are on our email list if you want a chance at securing a share; we expect them to go on sale in September and they always sell out fast. Sign up for email list at or email

On the Trails

The Tree Trail volunteers have had their buckets full, all summer, toting water up the hill to the young trees. To date, they have had to water the trees 17 times. This is an enormous undertaking, which involves hauling jugs of water up the hill, then slowly soaking the roots of each and every tree. We are so appreciative of the work they do. Tree Trail volunteers also oversaw the removal of dead Ash trees discussed in an article in this issue of the Drummer.

The Friends also benefitted from the time and talents of Heads Up! Hartford, community service summer camp that unites urban and suburban youth to improve our communities and develop as leaders. In addition to lots of hours of work clearing invasives and doing trail maintenance, the campers built and donated two lovely picnic tables to the Farm. Visit them at your leisure: one is south of the main campus near the horse corral, and the other is in a nice shady spot near the CSA barn.

In the Community

On Aug. 16, Friends of Holcomb Farm and First Congregational Church volunteers went to the Thrall Family Homestead Farm in Windsor to harvest tree-ripened peaches and delectable table grapes for distribution to people in need. The fruit complemented that week’s Fresh Access delivery of Holcomb Farm produce to the Wheeler Health and Wellness Centers and the Granby Senior Center. Some of the produce was delivered to parishioners at the First Congregational Church in Granby and the Life Church in Granby, as well. The Friends of Holcomb Farm thanks the Thrall Family for their generosity and the beautiful fruit.

Friends of Holcomb Farm and First Congregational Church volunteers harvest fruit at Thrall Farm for people in need. From left, Tyler Pollock, Granby; Liz Lewtan, Avon; Laura Orentas, West Hartford; Amy Eisler, West Hartford; Ann Wilhelm, Granby; Patty Sansone, Granby; Donna Snyder, Granby; and Liana Eisler, West Hartford. Photo by Sarah Thrall
Campers from Heads Up! Hartford built and donated two lovely picnic tables to the Farm this summer. Photo by Amy Eisler
FOHF volunteers Patty Sansone and Donna Snyder harvest grapes at Thrall Farm for people in need. Photo by Amy Eisler

Looking Ahead

Together with all of Granby’s vibrant agricultural community, we invite you to join us on Saturday, Sept.  17 to celebrate Granby’s Open Farm Day. Here’s what will be happening at Holcomb Farm:

10 a.m. Chris Prosperi from Metro Bis will provide a cooking demo at the CSA Barn, 111 Simsbury Road;

11 a.m. Guided Tree Trail hike. Park at the CSA barn and walk south on Simsbury Road to the Tree Trail trailhead (at the Day Street South intersection). Your guide will meet you there;

12 – 3 p.m. Caleb Lagan, an eight-year veteran of the farm, will be cooking up our veggies to hand out and sample at the CSA Barn;

All Day. Holcomb Farm Alumnus Allie Kraushaar will have a sampling from her Tariffville shop, Moss Life, at the farm and will display amazing living terrariums and arrangements at the CSA Barn;

All Day. Pick Your Own Flower patch—$10 to enjoy our amazing flower garden and cut yourself a bouquet, at the CSA Barn.