Updated: Apr 20
There is so much opportunity for life and growing in the open spaces of Northeastern Connecticut, and Ginger and Doug of Coruscant Farm in Ashford, take full advantage of that opportunity by infusing life again and again into their land. But it is not just the life they infuse, but it is also the graciousness of waiting.
Coming to their land a little over 8 years ago, they had plans for building their farm and creating a sustainable food source for their family and the community. Ginger knew, however, that it was prudent to wait. The land would tell her things - where the rhubarb would peak from the soil, the best grass that would rise to feed her future livestock, where the light would hit the land just right to plant her fruit trees, berries, vegetable crops, and future greenhouse. She wanted to honor what had come before her.
As she listened to her land, she started listening to the community too - she heard stories of the farmer that cared for the land and brought life from it for 60 years, what the space was used for, and why it was laid out the way it was. She found out the history of Red Devon cows in the area that were bred a generation ago from her property. The local farming community helped her weave the history of what her land had been and what it could now become.
But Ginger is not just someone to keep with the old. She saw opportunities to bring in the new. Her farm now produces loofah that had never been grown in that rich NE CT soil before. She has planted fruit and nut trees, including Hazelnuts, Saturn peaches, Paw Paws, and old Connecticut varieties of apples, such as Ramsdell Sweet and several other food forest trees that fit well into the established soil. These little additions will add a variety of crops for the community which might be hard to find otherwise. She integrated new methods of no-till growing in her garden beds, mixing in animal manure, wood chips, leaf mold, and grass clippings from the farm, so she could continue to care for the land in a continuous cycle over the years. She made the property her own, while keeping the rich past that it carried.
So the Red Devons have come back - having found a granddaughter, Ruby, a descendant of the original cows on the land, and Coruscant will have her first purebred Devon calf this spring to add to their growing herd. Last year, they welcomed a rare American Milking Devon Bull, Dalton, to continue the genetic diversity of the Devons in the area. Meanwhile, Ginger and Doug are starting their new chapter - a net-zero four-season greenhouse, a meat and egg breeder program of Bielefelder chickens, a son to raise on the land, and just recently - a Border Collie puppy to be a farmhand and a friend.
Coruscant Farm walks that beautiful balance of respecting and cherishing what has gone before and welcoming the new that enriches their history. With those roots deeply embedded in their work, they carry on to share their history with you and others that are to come down the road.