The Carrot Project and Salisbury Bank and Trust Company are pleased to announce loans provided through the Greater Berkshire Agriculture Fund (GBAF) to two farms in Litchfield County, CT, Maple Hollow Farm and Chubby Bunny Farm. These are the first two loans made by the GBAF to farms in Connecticut.
”Salisbury Bank is pleased to assist, through this unique program, local farm and food enterprises in need of resources to develop or improve their businesses. Helping the greater community to be economically viable is a consistent message at Salisbury and we look forward to working with additional deserving businesses in the future,” said Dick Kelly, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer for Salisbury Bank.
Maple Hollow Farm
Maple Hollow Farm is a family-owned multigenerational Christmas tree farm operated by the Steadman Family for the past 37 years in New Hartford, CT. The Farm has experienced a significant growth in sales in recent years and in order to meet the increased activity at the farm, the owners plan to upgrade the parking area and to improve the circulation for visitors to the farm. Funds from the GBAF will be used to achieve these amenities as well to purchase needed equipment to increase the efficiency of their production including a brush hog and a wreath maker. They currently use sustainable practices to manage 19 acres for Christmas tree production. The owners are pleased to work with a local funding source that is focused on meeting some of the financial challenges faced by small to mid-sized farming enterprises in the Northeast.
During the holiday season the farm is open to the public for sales of cut-your-own Christmas trees, wreaths, hot cocoa and other holiday gift items. Business hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, November 28 through Christmas Eve.
The Steadman Family, Maple Hollow Farm.
Chubby Bunny Farm
Chubby Bunny Farm also received loan funds from the GBAF. Chubby Bunny Farm is a diversified vegetable farm in Falls Village, CT owned and operated by Dan and Tracy Hayhurst. Funds from the loan will be used to purchase specialized European-made field equipment that is an upgrade from their current equipment and will help reduce labor costs on the farm. The new equipment is ideally suited to production on a diversified farm where flexible equipment that works on a range of crops is beneficial.
Chubby Bunny Farm is a first generation farm in its 12th year of business. Dan and Tracy are highly involved in their local community, hosting school groups and other tours and mentoring their own interns and other farmers through a local program called Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT). The farm uses organic methods.
Chubby Bunny Farm also opened a farm stand this year, selling products from their own farm and other area farms. The farm stand is at the corner of Undermountain Road and Cobble Road, Falls Village, CT. Visitors are advised to take Undermountain Road to reach the farm stand. Business hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.
Adam Higgins, Salisbury Bank; Dan and Tracy Hayhurst, Chubby Bunny Farm;
Benneth Phelps, The Carrot Project.
The GBAF is a joint project of The Carrot Project and Salisbury Bank and serves businesses located in the four-county region that includes Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Litchfield County, Connecticut and Columbia and Dutchess Counties in New York.
The GBAF is designed to help meet the growing demand for local food. GBAF loans can be used for working capital, capital needs such as equipment or buildings, operations, or other improvements. Financing and related business and financial technical assistance is available to farms and food enterprises using local ingredients.
For more information about the program, contact Martha Bryan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413.427.3472.
The Carrot Project (www.thecarrotproject.org) works at the forefront of change by helping to create a sustainable local farm and food economy. The Carrot Project (TCP) facilitates access to financing and business support so that today’s small farm and food businesses can grow into thriving, enduring enterprises. Making long-term investments in the building blocks of the food system provides healthful food for consumers, a replenished environment, and strengthened regional and local economies.
TCP works with family farms that use sustainable growing methods, and food system businesses that sell their products locally and regionally. The Carrot Project administers four regional loan funds, in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and the Greater Berkshires.
Salisbury Bank is a full-service community bank headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut and presently operates full service branches in Canaan, Lakeville, Salisbury and Sharon, Connecticut; Great Barrington, Sheffield and South Egremont, Massachusetts; as well as Dover Plains and Millerton, New York. The Bank has been serving families and businesses for over 160 years and offers a full range of consumer and business banking products and services as well as trust and investment services.