East Side Fields
Before snowfall, volunteers made their final assault for 2014, pushing back the overgrowth at the edges of the east side fields and battling invasive growth, such as the dreaded Oriental bittersweet, autumn olive and multi-flora rose.
On your next trip by the Farm, check out the progress in the field diagonally across from the farmhouse. Much of the brush along the decrepit fencing paralleling Simsbury Road has been removed, swaths of brush at the field edges has been cut out, and interior sections bush-hogged.
It's a daunting task, with an aim to help reclaim the fields and ready them for livestock or other agricultural use. The cattleman who planned to lease the fields from the Town has bowed out, but hopefully there will be another farmer.
Hit the Trails
Hiking, tracking creatures in snow, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are all awaiting you on your own but also watch for special announcements of group activities. Volunteers continue to fix up the blazes for you and help with trail maintenance. Shortly, a revised trail map will be on our website, www.holcombfarm.org.
The large number of hemlocks being destroyed by the woolly adelgid infestation are leaving tall sentinels in the woods, which are shedding extra debris onto the trails and changing our forest landscape and ecosystem. The bears were pleased. Before their winter sleep, they gleefully ripped apart standing dead timber and downed logs to feed on insects.
Community Supported Agriculture Vegetable Farm
After harvesting the last summer-grown produce and putting the fields to sleep, we turned to the Winter CSA—a winter full of storage produce and some fresh greens. We have just finished the last distribution and will now enjoy the remaining home-stored root vegetables.
Meanwhile, Farmer Joe O'Grady is planning next year's crops, his first chance to craft his own summer crop plan here. The 2015 summer share options, including on farm and off-site pickups- may now be found at http://holcombfarm.org/joincsa. Good news: same price as last year—20 weeks @ $28.75 per week, for a season total of $575.
Are you mulling buying a summer share for the first time in 2015? You can get a good sense of "what's what" by perusing Farm Manager Joe O'Grady's archive of entertaining weekly blogs. For a real bonus, read Julie Wern's delightful past Simply Fresh blogs recommending uses and recipes for Joe's vegetables. Holcomb Farm’s blog can be found by visiting http://holcombfarm.org/blog.
The Town of Granby's new building, sited where the deteriorated north barn once stood, is well underway. The Friends' $100,000 contribution from its past capital fund, will defray some of the costs of this community building. This contribution contained no regular membership or CSA share monies.