Founded by John and Lynn Holbrook, Holbrook Farm in Bethel has been family run and operated for the past 40 years. The farm is small by most people’s standards. Although it is situated on 12 acres only two are used for production. From these two acres yield an abundance of produce. While not certified organic, the land is clean of pesticides and herbicides, using plants that attract beneficial insects. Weeds have a special place in the ecological mix as well.
Last week I took a trip up to the farm to meet with Jess Wong, the new manager who gave me a tour of the property. Wong was brought on to manage the property and grow the farm to a new level of productivity. A Skidmore graduate, she dabbled in marketing for a while before realizing that she missed being outdoors and working with her hands. Wong started volunteering at the farm assisting the former manager, handling minor projects and social media
Last December John told her that he wanted to retire and asked if she would run the farm and the market. Wong was elated. She had big plans for the farm which included a new greenhouse and renovating the store. But greenhouses are expensive. Enter Tony Pham and Richard Reyes of Mecha Noodle Bar, and Mezon, and their new program, Eat Justice, a movement of restaurants on a mission to transform taste and tradition to pride and progress.