• bottles of CT maple syrup
    Photo by Molly Deegan

Job openings!

Want to join us in sharing the news about farms? We are currently hiring two, part time, seasonal Local Farm Ambassadors for a project we are doing in the Northeastern Connecticut region.  If you're interested in getting the word out about local farms and live in the area, check out the job description here and help us help farmers!

heart C T grown logo in color

What is #heartCTgrown?

Coming out of the UConn CAHNR Extension , #heartCTgrown is an initiative to promote farms, Farmer's Markets, CSA's, and pick-your-own operations throughout the state of Connecticut.  We believe that local food is an important venue for making meaningful connections to each other and to building strong, resilient, healthy communities that are ready to tackle challenges together. We hope to share the stories of these connections, and that it will encourage you to tell your stories too.

Want #heartctgrown in your inbox?  Sign up for our seasonal newsletter that explores some of the great agricultural traditions, and new practices, that make CT grown products and people worth getting to know and sharing with your community.

Whew! Farmers markets are opening, fields are being planted and animals are running all over the place. Sounds like a crazy CT spring. We're going to take a quick week to regroup so we can bring you all the farms and farmers you love here at #heartCTgrown in all their crazy spring glory. See you next week!⠀

photo by @drewshoneybees

#springbreak #beejokes #honeybees #beback #brb

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Farming is hard, but there is a reason that people start farming, and I bet it has some connection with why you might like gardening. For our #weekendread, check out this study out of the UK that shows how gardening improves our well-being! The whole article from the BBC Science Focus magazine can be found in our the link in our profile:⠀
Gardening more frequently may be linked to improvements in wellbeing, perceived stress and physical activity, new research suggests.⠀
A new study indicates that people who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6 per cent higher and stress levels 4.2 per cent lower than people who do not garden at all.⠀
According to the paper, gardening just two to three times a week maximised the benefits of better wellbeing and lower stress levels.⠀
“This is the first time the ‘dose response’ to gardening has been tested and the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the more frequently you garden – the greater the health benefits,” said Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) wellbeing fellow and lead author Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui. “In fact gardening every day has the same positive impact on wellbeing than undertaking regular, vigorous exercise like cycling or running.⠀
“When gardening, our brains are pleasantly distracted by nature around us. This shifts our focus away from ourselves and our stresses, thereby restoring our minds and reducing negative feelings.”⠀
According to the study published in the journal Cities, gardening on a frequent basis-at least 2 to 3 times a week- corresponded with greatest perceived health benefits. Improving health, however, was not the prime motivator to garden, but rather the direct pleasure gardening brought to the participants.⠀
The study – conducted by the RHS in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and the University of Virginia – found that more frequent gardening was also linked with greater physical activity supporting the notion that gardening is good for both body and mind.⠀
“Gardening is like effortless exercise because it doesn’t feel as strenuous as going to the gym, for example, but we can expend similar amounts of energy,” Chalmin-Pui added.⠀

#getoutside #growyourown #heartctgrown

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Farmers markets are starting to open up again, and we couldn't be more excited. So we interviewed Phil from Lebanon Farmers' Market and learned a little more about the market that has been running for about 15 years!
Want to see the whole video? Check out the link in our profile!
Want to visit the Lebanon Farmers Market? They open June 5th!

#lovemymarket #farmersmarketsareessential #LebanonCT #marketmaster #farmfresh #farmersmarket #CTfarms #CTfarmers #supportyourlocalfarm #eatlocal #farmersmarketfinds #farmtotable #ctfarmersmarkets #supportlocal #locallygrown #farmgrown #knowyourfarmer #CTgrown #heartctgrown

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Sometimes farmers go out into the wild, or they bring the wild to them- like these cultivated fiddleheads from Fat Stone Farm . Fiddleheads and ramps are common spring edible plants that you can find in the woods in CT (if you know where to look!). If you're lucky, your local farmers might have these spring gems from a rare cultivated patch, or from a goldmine that they found in the woods. Keep your eyes out for these yummy spring finds from Mother nature at farm stands or farmers markets!
(And of course, if your foraging yourself, always make sure you look things up first- like that these are ostrich fern fiddleheads, and never completely clear an area. Just take what you need!)

Reposted from@fatstonefarm What I'm eating -- just up from the ground - fiddlehead ferns! Steamed, they taste like a cross between asparagus and a green bean.
🌿 They are the young shoots of the ostrich fern (don't eat other types of ferns)
🌿 They have taken y-e-a-r-s to establish here on the farm, but sooo worth it
🌿 1 ounce provides 20% of the RDA for Vitamin A
🌿 They are perennial, meaning they come up every year
And speaking of greens from the farm, we are going to set up at the Farmer's Market at Tiffany Farms this summer.

#takeawalkonthewildside #foragedfood #springthings #ramps #eatlocal #forageandharvest #ctgrown #heartctgrown

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Suns out, cones out! We're Connecticut, so any spring day above 50 degrees deserves an ice cream cone made with delicious #CTdairy, right? ⠀

Photo by @arethusa_farm

#icecream #icecreamcones #sunsout #thinkspring #icecreamseason #dairy #undeniablydairy #sweettooth #icecreamlover #localdairy #locallymade #dairyfarms #supportlocal #eaticecream #ctfarms #ctfarmers #CTgrown #awayoflife #heartCTgrown

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#weekendread about the good work happening at @giftsoflove_ct ! To read the whole article "Gifts of Love Farm Is Helping BIPOC Farmers Thrive" visit NBCConnecticut.com ⠀
"Only about 2% of the U.S. population is growing food, and BIPOC - or Black, Indigenous and People of Color - make up an even smaller percentage of farmers. But one Simsbury farm is helping minority farmers and their local businesses.⠀
“All of us have these similar stories of the lengths we go through just to grow food. All of us,” said Vicheth Im, a Farmer for CT Valley Farms and active member of Gifts of Love farm.⠀
Im is one of eight BIPOC farmers at Gifts of Love, an incubator farm where local farmers can grow produce to then be sold across local communities. All of the farmers come with unique backgrounds and very diverse crops.⠀
“We have such a great group of farmers here,” Im said. “We have someone from the Hopi tribe, someone from Zimbabwe. If you’re into Latin food, there’s Manny, if you want Asian crops you can bother me,” said Im. “If you want broccoli rabe you can go see Jim, so it’s really, really magical.”⠀
Zania John and Emmanuel Marte, who met studying biology and nutritional science at UConn...started Micro2life, LLC as a way to grow local, organic vegetables for their community.⠀
“We really know that a lot of the areas, especially the inner city, doesn’t have options for nutrient-dense vegetables,” Johnson said. “And so our main mission is to get the locally organic produce to them.” But another goal of theirs is to educate.⠀
“As minority business owners and farmers, we really want to show the people who is growing the foods. Especially when it comes into terms with the culturally relevant foods that were growing,” said Johnson.“We really want them to see that it’s coming from farmers who are just like them...”⠀
“We’re collaborating with a lot of farmers of color as well and we’re uniting to bring more awareness to farming and how it’s lacking in the BIPOC community,” Marte said.⠀
“... A lot of us are immigrants but we contribute to the community,” said Im. “Whether we’re doctors or custodians or painters, we're all different occupations and people and we don’t bite.”

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