Few things celebrate summer more than a bowl of ice cream. And what better way to enjoy the tasty treat than go straight to the source for Sundaes on the Farm?
On Sunday, August 21, Graywall Farms and the Farmer’s Cow hosted a special event to raise awareness about the need to save Connecticut’s most valuable and vulnerable resource: our farmland. The event drew 120 supporters and raised $4,500 to support the ongoing work of the Working Lands Alliance, a project of American Farmland Trust.
Our farms and farmland provide much more than the sweet ingredients for a creamy summer treat. Agriculture in Connecticut is essential for a healthy economy, a healthy environment and the preservation of the state’s rich history and culture. But sadly, like much of the nation, Connecticut has seen a rapid loss of farmland due to rising development, with approximately 85 percent of Connecticut’s farmland unprotected.
Sundae on the Farm featured Connecticut fresh ice cream, horse-drawn wagon rides, locally grown roasted sweet corn, and bluegrass music. The event also highlighted the rich history and contributions of agriculture and other rural livelihoods in Connecticut. Not only was it an excellent way for families to have a great day out and enjoy the best of the state, but it also gave attendees the opportunity to support the state’s leading advocacy group for farmland preservation.
The event was a collaborative effort between the Farmer’s Cow and the Working Lands Alliance. Behind the mission “Local is Fresh,” the Farmer’s Cow is a group of six Connecticut dairy farms that produce fresh, local dairy products (including ice cream) for southern New England. The Farmer’s Cow products are pasteurized the “traditional way” and are never ultra-pasteurized. The group also sells Connecticut-sourced all-natural eggs, apple cider and seasonal beverages. The Working Lands Alliance, a project of American Farmland Trust, is a statewide coalition of individuals and more than 200 organizations and businesses working together to help save Connecticut’s valuable and vanishing farmland.
Facts about Connecticut Farms and Farmland
- Connecticut’s prime farmland is some of the most productive land in the world.
- There are 321,393 acres of cropland, pasture and woodland on Connecticut’s 4,916 farms.
- The state has 163,686 acres of cropland, 32,832 acres of pasture and 124,875 acres of farm woodland.
- Connecticut has 862,822 acres of “prime and important soils”—that’s 27 percent of all state land—which have the potential to be used for agriculture.
- Sixty-four percent of Connecticut’s farms are fewer than 50 acres.
Working Lands Alliance was grateful to have the incredible support of our sponsors, including Farm Credit East, Jones Family Farms, T.W. Henry Real Estate and Appraisals, CME Engineering, Rockville Bank, and Cooper Whitney Cochran and Francois Attorneys of New Haven. We were also delighted to serve ice cream from the Farmer’s Cow, and roasted sweet corn from Cushman Farm. Prizes from Chestnut Hill Nursery were auctioned off along with Elisha Cooper’s award winning book Farm. Events like these help not only to raise money but also to raise awareness about the need and importance of working together to save farmland in the state. They also demonstrate the deep-seeded support from the community for local agriculture. All in all, Sundae on the Farm was the cherry on top of the many ongoing efforts to protect a viable future for agriculture in Connecticut.