Stop & Shop would like to thank the generous donors who made their pet food drive a success. Eight full carriages of pet food were then donated to Bandits Place, Mary’s Kitty Corner, Southwick Animal Rescue, Simon Foundation, Granby Animal Control and Small Animal Rescue. Pictured from left are: Chris Willett, Rosanne Reis, Julia Ouellette, Jameson Krajcik and Rosia Kennedy.
GMHS Senior, caregiver at Small World Daycare, member of women’s a cappella singing group, chorus member at the high school and First Church
bad about being a high school senior…
These are the good things. I have a strategy for success that has been in place for several years now. I am very familiar with my school, its routines, and how to study in order to get good grades. I know all my teachers well and where to go to get help, even how to write a paper effectively by deciding whether to attack the main idea or set a series of goals. I also have a great group of friends and know who to depend on when the need arises.
Alan Addley is the 2017 recipient of the Outstanding Superintendent Award given by the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education Alumni Board. Addley was recognized on March 18 at the Neag School’s 19th Annual Awards Ceremony in Storrs.
Addley received his Ed.D. from UConn’s Neag School of Education in 2014. Prior to this, Addley earned his Connecticut Intermediate Administrator Certification in 1997 and a Connecticut Superintendent certificate from the Executive Leadership Program in 2007, both from the Neag School. Addley received a bachelor of science degree in education and mathematics from the New University of Ulster in Northern Ireland in 1984 and a master of science degree in education from Western Connecticut State University in 1993. He currently serves as the superintendent of Granby Public Schools, where he has been since 2008.
Receptionist/Accounts Payable Clerk--
Tri State Kenworth
Tell about yourself…
I have been in Granby for 18 years and in fact live in the same house my husband grew up in. Currently I am working for a Kenworth large truck dealership. Local companies like Beacon, State Line Oil, Pierce Builders and Arrow Concrete drive our trucks.
I have two older children and like taking long walks. I am very involved in Relay for Life which is a non-profit organization that holds events to secure funds for the American Cancer Society. Soon we will be putting on a concert at Granby high that will feature the acoustic music of Atlas Gray.
Equal Pay Day was an opportunity to bring awareness to the issue of equal pay for all. Participating businesses were given a toolkit with information to pass along to customers to bring awareness. In the packet were suggestions for businesses. Most here in Granby simply handed out information and stickers. Granby Village Health chose to give women a free juice from their juice bar in addition to providing information.
By Peggy Lareau
A vibrant legacy has emerged from a strong bond between Seth and Lucy Holcombe and their veterinarian and friend, Harry W. Werner, VMD. With an estate gift of over $5 million, the Holcombes of North Granby endowed an academic chair and innovative equine center at the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school (Penn Vet) in the name of Dr. Werner, an alumnus. Dr. Werner operates Werner Equine with his wife and practice manager Susan, based at their mini-farm in North Granby.
“Endowing a chair” is a collegiate phrase for a giving a substantial financial gift to an academic institution, which is sufficient to generate income to support a full professor’s salary indefinitely. At Penn Vet, professors’ chairs are typically endowed with a gift of $3 million. The Holcombes’ estate gift establishes the “Dr. Harry Werner Professorship in Equine Medicine “ at New Bolton Center. The additional $2 million donation enables Penn Vet also to fund the creative “Werner Center for Equine Wellness.” As Dr. Werner puts it, “the center is the bus, and the professorship is the driver of the bus.”
By John R. Nieb
Fourth graders learned about having healthy bodies and minds during the third annual Wellness Day, which was held at Wells Road Intermediate School from 1-3 p.m. on February 17.
Wellness Day is a collaborative effort between the Granby Public School District’s wellness committee and Sodexo, the district’s food service contractor, to celebrate and promote healthy bodies and minds for the district’s students.
“It is an important part of developing student knowledge of having healthy bodies and minds. This is important for engagement and success in school and beyond,” said Patricia Law, director of curriculum and professional development. “Developing this knowledge early helps students to make good choices throughout their lives.”
Nancy Canfield wrote, “The plows never made it to this end of Glen Road. My sister had to get back to Suffield so our awesome neighbors cleared the road for her! Love our neighborhood! We love Granby and the road crew! I’m sure they are doing a great job of cleanup all around.”
By John R. Nieb
The unusual weather of the winter of 2016 to 2017 has affected the trees in the Granby area and the sap that determines boiling season for maple syrup.
“Even though we’ve had a few days up and down the temperature scale, trees here in New England are and will remain dormant for the winter season,” said Doug Max, owner of Maximum Tree Service LLC.
Buds that are formed prior to the summer remain protected under bud scales until the next growing season. There is a scientific formula to compute Growing Degree Days (GDD), but basically it’s the high and low temperature of a given day averaged out above a particular base line for each species or variety of tree.
Trees live in hardiness zones specific to each tree species and directly related to their ability to survive in the temperatures of that zone.
“Trees in our hardiness zone require a certain number of consistent GDDs to start the growing process,” Max said. “We haven’t started counting any GDDs for New England because we need consistent temperatures above an average of 50-55 degrees.”
“One concern that comes to mind, but there’s nothing we can do to prevent it, is a late season frost,” Max said. “If trees accumulate enough GDDs to break dormancy and start the flow of nutrients or sap as it were, and we get a late season frost, thin bark trees like Norway maple can run the risk of having the sap freeze.”
When any liquid freezes, it expands and can split the bark. Trees are resilient and have the ability to compartmentalize disease and decay. The present weather pattern is having very little affect on the trees in this hardiness zone and they’ll continue dormancy until spring arrives.
When Arlow Case Jr., owner of Sweet Wind Farm, was six-years-old, he began maple sugaring on Bushy Hill Road. Case took an interest in tapping trees, boiling the sap, and making maple syrup. His father, Arlow Case Sr., was a sheet metal worker and fashioned his first homemade evaporator, and began “Arlow’s Sugar Shack” in the backyard.
Case and his parents made maple syrup for about 30 years. Case has tapped many trees in Granby over the years and still does so, giving some of the finished “liquid gold” to tree owners in exchange for letting him tap the trees. As a kid, Case’s production was a few dozen taps. Now, his production is around 3,000 to 4,000 taps, depending on the season.
Case taps trees in many towns besides Granby, including Hartland, Granville, Barkhamsted, East Granby, Simsbury and on the family farm in Blandford.
In 2006, Case and his wife, Susan, built their present sugarhouse in Hartland. It has a 4”x10” Dominion and Grimm evaporator and a La Pierre reverse osmosis. The Cases make 200 to 1,000 gallons of syrup depending on how many sap runs there are and the number of trees tapped.
Case’s four children have all helped with syrup making and the two who are still at home know a bit about farm work and the old New England tradition of maple sugaring.
The sap “runs” when the days are warm and the nights are freezing. The roots convert stored starches into sugar and the pressure of the freeze and thaw cycle sends it out and upward to feed the limbs. The sap is collected after a “run” and brought back to the sugarhouse for boiling.
“Each tap hole has to be a newly drilled hole in a new spot, which is about one and a half inches deep and a 5/16 spigot is inserted for the sap to flow out of,” Case said. “Usually all taps these days are put on connected tubing, which makes it much easier to collect the sap in one large tank near the sugarbush.”
“The old days of buckets are great for a home hobbyist, but not a commercial producer who needs to make good time on collecting,” Case said. “A typical good season could provide a quart of syrup per tap.”
It takes at least 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. Back at the sugarhouse, it is first run through a reverse osmosis machine that extracts water content out of the sap and concentrates it before boiling in the evaporator.
Sap is about 2.5 percent sugar content, and the finished syrup is about 66 percent sugar. Once the syrup is the right density it is pumped through a filter press to take out the “niter”, or sap sand, and when it is hot, it is bottled into various size jugs and bottles.
Syrup season in Connecticut typically starts in February and lasts through the end of March, but there have been seasons that start, and or end, sooner or later. Every year the weather is different—there is never a typical season.
In years past, the Cases have made syrup as early as January or as late as mid-April. There have been seasons where it didn’t warm up enough until mid-March to start, and other years where by mid-March, it was all over.
This year seems to be an average year. Usually by the second week of February, most sugar makers have started their season. The extended forecast is watched for days with a night time freeze (below 32 degrees, but preferably in the 20s) followed by a 40-degree day to start to thaw the sap.
“This is what makes the sap flow,” Case said. “Any other day where the nights don’t freeze up enough, or the days don’t get warm enough, the sap does not run at all.”
A typical season will get up to a dozen sap runs, but the Cases have had years where there were only a few saps.
“We can never tell ahead of time what kind of season it is going to be, we can only tell you in hindsight what it was,” Case said. “The weather right now does not seem out of the ordinary to us.”
“Only if it suddenly gets warm and stays that way, or suddenly stays cold too many days in a row, will it effect the overall season,” Case said. “We don’t know until it is over and done with for sure, usually by sometime in April.”
Pure maple syrup is graded according to color, but there is a difference in flavor with the different grades as well.
“We are still using the ‘old’ grading system, because it’s easier and it’s what people are used to,” Case said. The old way, Grade A syrup was divided into three subcategories: light amber, medium amber, and dark amber. Obviously determined by the color of the syrup. Lighter colored syrup is yellow, whereas medium is a golden brown, and dark is brown. Grade B syrup is even darker like coffee, but stronger in flavor so it is not considered a table-grade syrup, but is used for baking and cooking.
Most of what the Cases make tends to be medium amber. Typically, the darker the color, the stronger the flavor and the lighter the color the more delicate the flavor.
“We use light syrup for making confections. Everyone has a favorite and there is no grade more popular than another, it is all individual preference,” Case said.
The grading system has changed and now is divided into more categories. What was considered Grade B for cooking is now a Grade A “strong robust.”
The Cases hold their annual Maple Festival on the second Saturday of March every year because that day is the best bet for being smack dab in the middle of the season, but there have been years when the Maple Festival was the first boil of the season—and years when it was on the last boil of the year.
“We’ll see what happens,” Case said.
Sweet Wind Farm
Annual Maple Festival
March 11, 2017
By Shirley Murtha
After 48 years with the Salmon Brook Veterinary Hospital, Dr. P. Morey Miller decided that the last day of 2016 would be the last day of his fulltime employment. As is typical of things in the veterinary world, it didn’t happen as quietly as he had planned. In the late afternoon of Dec. 31, as he patiently waited out the last few hours on call in the Small Animal Office, in came a dog with gastric torsion (bloat) requiring immediate life-saving surgery. The operation successfully completed and the patient resting comfortably, Miller was finally able to begin his new year and his new life.
Miller’s career was celebrated with a large gathering of colleagues and clients on Jan. 22, but in actuality, he is still keeping his hand in the practice two days a week doing herd checks on the area’s dairy farms. At one time a major part of veterinary work, these planned visitations have dwindled along with the once numerous dairy farms. In addition to checking the animals and giving routine vaccinations and pregnancy exams, the visits also provide a way to take stock of the overall condition of the farm. A dairy man at heart, Miller enjoys putting on the overalls and galoshes and continuing the tradition.
The road to Granby from his family farm in Towanda, Penn., began when Miller was in high school. As the youngest of three brothers, he realized he would not likely ever be the owner of the farm. When considering a career, he knew how much caring for animals was in his blood — “I already felt that I was a shepherd,” he notes — and decided he would become a veterinarian.
Having earned his B.S. in dairy science at Penn State in 1964 and his D.V.M. at the New York State Veterinary College at Cornell in 1968, he noticed a job opening at a practice in Granby, Conn. His advisor recommended the job to him, saying that the two veterinarians, Bob Milkey and Forrest Davis, were both very highly respected vets, although they did have “quite different personalities.” Miller wasn’t 100 percent sure he wanted to start his career being a mediator, “the man in the middle,” as he put it, but he joined up and never regretted his choice. In 1968, the practice was a mixed one, in which all three vets worked on all categories of animals. Today the practice has grown to have doctors who specialize in various animals and various kinds of veterinary care.
Miller notes that another difference in practicing veterinary medicine today is the vast array of diagnostic techniques, many automated and digitalized, that were laborious and time-consuming in his early days. For example, taking x-rays was a very difficult project that took hours, and blood work had to be sent to human hospitals for diagnosis.
Despite the advances in techniques, the practice of veterinary medicine, according to Miller, continues to be being the spokesperson for the animals — “finding the answers to the questions the animals would ask if they could.” Clinical symptoms have been, and probably always will be, the starting point.
Along with his career at Salmon Brook, Miller has developed and maintained a sizeable herd of dairy cows on his own farm on North Granby Road. While attending to the herd on the farm owned by the Colton family since the 1800s, Miller was told by Bill Colton that he was selling off the property in sections, but had not yet sold the house and barn and really wanted it to remain a dairy farm. “Why don’t you buy it?” Colton asked, leading Miller to discuss the possibility with his wife (he and Jane had married in 1972). With the help of a Farm Credit loan in 1974, the young couple became the owners of what is now Milborne Farm.
Starting his herd with a few cows he owned back on the family farm in Towanda, Miller’s herd has grown to about 40 milking cows and 30 calves and heifers. His interest in conformation and showing eventually led to a relationship with 4-H kids, now defined by a 30-year lease program to the organization. Eighteen youngsters come to his farm beginning in April; they work through the summer to be ready to show in the Hartford County 4-H fair held in August in Somers. Miller proudly notes that every year some of his kids qualify in Somers to show at the Eastern States in September.
Miller himself is still showing, as well. The high point of that came a few years back when his beautiful Guernsey, Faye, was Reserve Grand Champion at the World Dairy Exposition in Madison, Wisc. The following year, a busload of touring dairy people arrived at Miller’s farm to see the very special cow, an event that was reported in the Drummer.
Miller notes that retiring is bittersweet and takes some getting used to. He is already enjoying the time he now gets to spend with his grandchildren, but is glad that for a couple of days a week, he still plays a role in tending to the health of the area’s dairy herds.