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George Hall Farm of Simsbury: A Rich History in Organic Foods

By Debbie Marconi

George Hall Farm, a 100-acre farm nestled in Simsbury, grows more than 50 types of vegetables, fruits and herbs and offers them for sale through community supported agriculture (CSA) membership and local farmers’ markets. Hall’s Farm can be found at one of 16 farmers’ markets across Connecticut every day of the week.

Daren Hall, nephew of the late George Hall who passed away last November at the age of 87, prides himself on providing the freshest, highest quality, certified organic produce.

“My uncle owned this farm since 1964,” explained Daren. “One day, as his father was lying in bed battling cancer, George watched field workers spreading pesticide dust on cabbage. Because cabbage grows from the outside in, he realized these pesticides were being trapped inside the plant. He began to wonder if pesticides played a part in his father’s illness.” Since then, Daren adds, Hall’s Farm has been using techniques that are environmentally safe and organic. The farm has been certified organic for the last 35 years.”

“We love what we do and it shows in the care we take with our produce,” said Hall.

Healthy Soil for Nutrient Rich Foods

According to Scientific American, as a result of soil depletion, crops grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us eat today. The key to healthier produce is healthier soil. Alternating fields between growing seasons gives soil time to restore and protects its phytonutrients, which are compounds that have the potential to reduce the risk of four modern health issues: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia.

“We rotate our crops each season,” said Hall. “By doing so, we interrupt the breeding cycles of pests so we don’t have to use pesticides and never overburden the soil.”

Hall is also a member of the Bionutrient Food Association, which is a nationally recognized, non-profit organization that advocates for vital soils and nourishing food.

“The group analyzes soil samples from my fields and tells me exactly what minerals I need in each field to ensure I’m producing the most nutrient-dense food possible,” states Hall. “Because I grew up farming, I know which nutrients are lacking just by looking at which weeds are growing, but having scientific guidance certainly helps me stop second guessing if what I‘m doing is too much or not enough.”

CSA Offers the Freshest Produce

One of the most popular offerings of Hall’s Farm is the weekly CSA pickup that takes place every Tuesday from 2-6 p.m. at the farm and every Wednesday from 3-6:30 p.m. at the Shelton farmers’ market. Customers buy “shares” of the farm’s produce and receive a weekly allotment of freshly picked organic produce. In general, members receive approximately 500 pounds of vegetables over a 20-week period. As an added benefit, CSA member can visit the cut-your-own flower garden to pick a beautiful bouquet each week.

For community members interested in trying a CSA membership, George Hall Farm is offering a special trial during July. Mention Natural Awakenings and receive four weeks of fresh produce for $130.

Eggs and Honey and Pork, Oh My!

The farm offers much more than just produce. Organic eggs, laid by more than 350 chickens that are fed an all-organic diet, are available for pickup at the farm or at the farmers’ markets. Also available is organic honey, produced by bees in boxes dispersed at the edge of the fields. The bees help pollinate all of Hall’s Farm crops. The farm’s pigs are in the process of being formally deemed organically raised, and are fed scraps remaining from farmers’ markets.

Find Hall’s Farm at a Local Farmers’ Market

George Hall Farm is at farmers’ markets in Avon, East Windsor, Hartford, West Hartford, Farmington, Middletown, Plainville, Shelton, Simsbury and South Windsor. These markets run through the summer and extend through fall and into winter.

“Last year, we attended our last farmers’ market two weeks before Christmas,” says Hall. “Consumers want healthy foods all year long and appreciate knowing where they came from.”

George Hall Farm, 180 Old Farms Rd, Simsbury. Contact 860-658-9297 or GeorgeHallFarm.com.

 

 

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