Small Farms in Lyme and East Haddam are Building Barns and Moving Online

As consumers, pressed by food shortages and fearing the spread of COVID-19, turn to buying local produce, some Connecticut farmers are using the internet to connect remotely with local residents seeking safer ways to shop for groceries. Cold Spring Farm in East Haddam has been offering food deliveries for several months, and recently started offering weekly food subscription packages that include meat and produce from the farm and other products like cheese, milk and honey from local vendors.  Long Table Farm in Lyme started an online version of its farm stand last week, allowing its customers to make contact-free produce

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Hunts Brook Farm Rethinks the Small Farm Model

QUAKER HILL — The era of the country farm stand by the side of the road where farmers left fruits and vegetables and customers paid by the honor system is over as long as the pandemic continues.  “We have a lot of people who just pull in thinking that our stand is open,” said Robert “Digga” Schacht, who owns Hunts Brook Farm with his wife, Teresa.  He has set up an on-site, socially-distanced farmstand twice a week to provide for customers who once shopped at his honor stand as well as his booths at a number of farmers markets.  “That

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Deep River Farms Plans a Bevy of Programs and Produce this Summer

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DEEP RIVER — A paradise of 60-plus acres of farmland and wooded trails, a small herd of rescue goats, 30 laying hens with another 250 approaching laying age soon, an abundance of locally-grown food — Deep River Farms is full of summer surprises. Owners Marissa Mathews and Kelly Simpson-Angelini have been hard at work ramping up the offerings at their community farm, which was incorporated in 2015. “The response from the community has been positive and extremely supportive,” said Simpson-Angelini, who is excited and proud of all that the farm has accomplished and is doing.  “We love our community in

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Farmers Markets in Lyme, Chester and Ivoryton are Set to Open in June

June is celebrated each year, not just because school lets out and summer is beginning and the weather is mostly beautiful, but also because it is the month when farmers markets kick off and again we can shop for fresh-from-the-earth produce, planted, harvested and sold all within our community borders. And in recent weeks, in an effort to help people afford to take home more fruits and vegetables, the Fair Food Network has doubled food stamps –Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits — if they are used at farmers markets. The so-called Double Up Food Buck program means that local

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Healthy Sales Boost Nursery Business in Connecticut

Early on in the pandemic, Karen Scott, owner of Scott’s Yankee Farmer in East Lyme, had been nervous about whether customers would return. “When we ordered the plant material back in November and we started planting in March, I was thinking, are we going to be able to sell this when it’s ready?” she said.  But, Scott has seen an upswing in sales in the past two months. .  “We’re having a hard time keeping up. I will start some lettuce today. But people may not get their first choice of tomato variety. Vegetable seedlings have mostly sold out and

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Connecticut Dairy Farms Look to Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to Stem Losses After Disastrous Spring

After four years of falling milk prices, 2020 was predicted as a rebound year for the dairy industry. Instead COVID-19 disrupted the supply chain, resulting in even lower prices that jeopardized an already unsteady economy for Connecticut dairy farmers.  “We had to cut back. We have 1500 milk cows and we’ve had to stop milking some early and we’ve had to market some … We’re down 200 animals, unfortunately that still hasn’t got us down to the base that was set,” said Paul Miller, co-owner of Fairvue Farm in Woodstock. Miller, 74,  said he plans to apply for financial assistance

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