Thank all who made the 6th Annual Easton Farm Tour a success!
This annual self-guided tour of Easton farms took place on August 16, 2014 and was a celebration of Easton, a local farming community within Fairfield County CT, The event began at the Easton Firehouse Green, One Center Road, Easton, Connecticut. Here visitors checked in and picked up the event map & pass to events and incentives offered by farmers and community organizations at the different locations throughout day.
Fun for the whole family! Visitors enjoyed the many farming delights and agricultural educational opportunities Easton has to offer. Visitors enjoyed tastings, pony rides, Easton Historical Society activities highlighting what it was like to work the land, grow and cook food, and maintain the farm in the 18th and 19th century, old-time fun and games by the Easton Community Center (ECC); petting zoo, greenhouse tours, weaving and spinning workshops, how to access Easton grown and harvested veggies and fruit fresh from the farm, arts and crafts, and pick your own activities.
Many Easton farms and farm stand locations, including Aspetuck Apple Barn, Blue Button Farm, Buttonwood Farm, Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens, J & L Orchids, Sherwood Farm, Silverman’s Farm and Sport Hill Farm participated in the tour as well as the Easton Historical Society’s Historic Bradley-Hubbell House Homestead and the Easton Library. Visitors discovered opportunities to explore Easton and learn about sourcing seasonal agricultural and horticultural products and services, including fresh veggies, fruit, honey, eggs, mulch, herbs, meat, flowers, rare and unusual orchids, Christmas trees, horseback riding. In addition, many locations featured educational activities for kids and families – information on animal husbandry, healthy eating, living history and farming in the 18th and 19th century, as well as, an art show and workshop looking at crops and seeds at the cellar level where all where all growing begins! Something for everybody at the Easton Farm Tour!
The Easton Historical Society’s Historic Bradley-Hubbell House Homestead, a National Register of Historic Places site located on Black Rock Turnpike, engaged visitors with kid-friendly demonstrations of wool cleaning, carding and leather tanning. Hands on workshops included beeswax candle making. The 1816 historic house was open for tours and docents were on hand to answer questions. The 1860 barn featured 18th and 19th century farm tools and flax harvesting and preparation was demonstrated throughout the day. Thank you Lisa Burghardt and all of the Easton Historical Society volunteers for sharing the richness of Easton’s history with all of us and for making history come alive for the children!
The Easton Public Library, celebrating its 8oth anniversary, featured books on the Easton Farm Tour reading list and tour activities. This year the Easton Library and the Easton Arts Council teamed up to highlight the work of Connecticut artist Kate Henderson who in addition to showcasing her work from her Nature of Abstraction show, conducted a workshop for kids at the Easton Library during the Farm Tour. Kate is exhibited pastels, lithography prints, and digital media prints, including pieces from her Cyto-illusions series that start from cellular microscopy images that she then transforms into abstract environments. Kids were able to view nature at the cellular level, plants cells and seeds, under the microscope and create their own artistic creations. Fun for the whole family!
The Easton Firehouse Green served as home base throughout the tour. Food, live music , and family entertainment met visitors as they sign in to take the tour. Skinny Pines – an Easton-based purveyor of wood-fired pizzas –was on site with their mobile wood-fired oven selling pizza, live music performed by the Easton Banjo Society, and organizations supporting our Easton farmers and farmland preservation had a presence on the green. The Easton Community Center had the green in full play with some old time fun and games for the entire family — tug of war, egg toss, watermelon eating contest were some of the favorites. “This day captures the essence of days long gone with the simple enjoyment of a small town, a few farms and wholesome family time” says Lori Cochran-Dougall, co-chair of the Easton Farm Tour.
Citizens For Easton, event sponsor, invited participants back to the green throughout the afternoon to enjoy food and entertainment and visit with some of the Easton organizations who support our Easton farmers and farmland preservation. Visitors Enjoyed live music performed by the Easton Banjo Society. Visitors learned about preserving and storing the produce from local farms, growing, and maintaining their gardens at the UConn Master Gardener booth. The Easton Public Library published an “Easton Farm Tour Reading list” brochure which delights visitors — pick up your copy at the Easton Library and browse the many books pulled for the event. If you should see Bernadette or Vivian-Lea thank them for all they do to support our town! Members of the Easton Agricultural Commission were on hand to discuss the farming initiative in front of Samuel Staples Elementary School and support for our Easton Farmers. The Easton Arts Council (thank you to Joanne Kant and Dolly Curtis) was on hand and shared information about the many exhibits and activities they host throughout the year. Visitors learned about the Nature of Abstraction exhibit and workshop at the Library.
“This annual tour is truly a community event in celebration of Easton – past, present, and future.” said Jean Stetz Puchalski, co-chair of the Easton Farm Tour. Agriculture has been a part of Easton’s character and culture for nearly three hundred years and our tour celebrates this unique heritage, supports today’s local farming, and shines a light on the importance of planning for farmland preservation.”
So, thanks to our Easton farmers, farm stands, and growers, to Citizens For Easton (CFE) for sponsoring the event, The Easton Volunteer Fire Company for graciously lending us the use of the Firehouse Green, The Easton Public Library, The Easton Historical Society, The Easton Community Center , The UCONN Master Gardeners, The Easton Arts Council, Skinny Pines Pizza, The Easton Banjo Society, Joe Puchalski for lending us his Easton map for our event pass and his computer expertise, and to all the volunteers, including Nate Dougall, who made this year’s tour a success!
– Lori Cochran-Dougall and Jean Stetz-Puchalski, Co-Chairs, 6th Annual Easton Farm Tour.