Grown Connected is all about our small farms and the farmers who raise super fresh and flavorful foods in Northeastern CT. Though the region has a vibrant farming community, research showed that residents in the Northeast were not utilizing small farms as a consistent source for their shopping. UConn Extension joined a team of community leaders and local farmers to help residents reconsider those shopping habits.
We created new promotional tools, such our yearly guides, and partnered with marketing and design experts to launch the brand "Grown ConNECTed. The phrase and logo signals that farms are part of our community, and we can grow and thrive through our connections to each other. Our community grows resilient whenever we stop by a farmers' market or farm stand to check in on our farmer friends while we pick up ingredients for meals at home. The conversations we enjoy and the quality of food we purchase make every meal a little richer in its meaning.
Our logo is a signal that what you are buying is fresh, full of flavor and comes from one of the more than 130 farms in our region that sell directly to you, our consumer. We hope to see you soon at farmers markets and farms throughout the region!
Behind the Connections
Grown ConNECTed is coordinated by UConn Extension. We strive to work with food-producing farmers across the region to guide our work. Our hope is that this project will help make local food more visible, easier to find, and more convenient for residents of the "Quiet Corner" so that they can get a full taste of local flavor on their plates. So get ConNECTed, and Find Your Farm!
UConn Extension Educator, Sustainable Food Systems
Jiff Martin is an active program manager of several extension programs promoting local food and assisting new farm enterprises for the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. She has worked for over 12 years on food and agriculture issues in Connecticut.
Becca is a part time farmer and a part time helper at UConn Extension to get the word out about programs that we are doing in Northeast CT and around the state! She takes care of social media and farmer communique so let her know what you want to see and hear about!
Sustainable Food Systems Programs Assistant
Alyssa Benoit is a graduate student at UConn's Master in Public Administration program. Alyssa values knowing where and who her food came from, and supporting the local farms and families behind it, which drives her passion as she helps Grown ConNECTed.
Project Outreach Educator
Joy helps promote NE CT farms because in addition to providing fresher, better tasting and more nutritious farm goods, it helps to preserve the way of life that she grew up in- on a farm in Hampton. Supporting local farms also means maintaining farmland and the quintessential New England countryside that she loves.
Our Farm Advisory Team
Kelly Caisse- KD Crop Farms, Chaplin
Robert Chang- Echo Farm, Woodstock
Art Talmadge & Sherry Simpson- Cranberry Hill Farm, Ashford
Charlotte Ross- Sweet Acre Farm, Woodstock
Susan Mitchell- Cloverleigh Farm, Columbia
Cari Donaldson- Ghostfawn Homestead, Willington
Joe Orefice- Hidden Blossom Farm, Union
Libby Tarleton- Russo's Roots, Canterbury
Betsy Molodich- Betsy's Stand, Sterling
Nancy Barrett- Scantic Valley Farm, Somers
Yoko Takemura- Assawaga Farm, Putnam
Nick Weinstock & Danielle Larese- BOTL Farm, Ashford
As many of the towns in our Grown ConNECTed Northeast Region are part of the Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor, we work closely with them and their work to "connect people with the abundant and diverse natural, historical and cultural resources within eastern Connecticut ... We advocate to sustain our region’s legacy for future generations."
They have and continue to be invaluable thought partners in helping us engage and take pride in our community that are shaped by their open spaces- farms, forests, and fields alike. To learn more about The Last Green Valley, and support what they do, visit their website at: thelastgreenvalley.org