The Renaissance of the Connecticut Farm

They're sprouting up all over

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Jim Gooch, CT Farmland Trust
Photo:Chion Wolf
Hannah Gant, Manager, West End Farmer's Market
Photo:Chion Wolf
The Renaissance of the Connecticut Farm
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The Renaissance of the Connecticut Farm

After years of decline, Connecticut farms are on the rise, and they’re smaller, more diverse, and more self-sufficient than ever before.

It seemed for a long while that Connecticut farms were going out with the 20th century as more and more farms were being plowed under to make way for new suburban housing and commercial development.

The cost of cultivating big tracts of land dedicated to tobacco and dairy was just too high to resist the big cash offers from developers and towns in need of tax revenue.  And our few bigger producers just couldn’t compete with the international agribusiness that stocks supermarket shelves with food trucked in from all over.

But thanks to a rising demand for local, fresh, and healthy, a new crop of Connecticut farms are sprouting up. They’re small, their crops are diverse, and they’re even profitable.

Today, we’ll talk to people excited by the new face of farming in CT and what they’re doing to keep it growing. Have you ever tried Jilo or Calabaza Squash? Have you visited a farmers market or local farm stand this summer?



Renaissance Women in Ct.

Glad to hear Hannah on the radio, a woman of many talents: farmer, cheese maker, candy manufacturer, food preservation expert, management consultant, advocate for sustainable economic pursuits, champion of small businesses, gourmet chef, producer of boutique beverages.

Connecticut farms

This is the reason a recent study showing organic and conventionally grown foods being of equal nutritional value was misleading. The value of organic and/or locally sourced foods is not nutrition (they're equal) but the way when we buy local the benefits stay local-- employment, profits, sustainable farming practices, promotion of local markets (like co-ops and farmers markets). Smaller food producers closer to their markets will always be more efficient than global food suppliers in delivering benefits to consumers. Agriculture doesn't "scale" well, at least not to the size of global enterprise. People need to know this.