Holbrook Farm

December 4, 2009 at 11:11 pm 1 comment

Back in May when I started investigating the local organic I discovered Holbrook Farm. Located in Bethel, CT it is a good 45 minute drive from my house, but it seemed like the best place to start. Their website boasts their philosophy of fresh produce and free range-range fowl which was exactly what I was looking for. I drove up to this picturesque little mom and pop store that was once a barn with the gardens and farm surrounding it. I saw a variety of herb and flower plants for sale on stands in the front along with a few cats roaming around. Inside there was much to choose from – local honey and syrup, fresh herbs and produce, smoked meats, cheeses, and baked goods. I was overwhelmed and I also didn’t know what half of the stuff was. I knew I wanted some eggs so I gathered those along with some cheese. Then a sweet older man reminiscent of most peoples grandpas clad with flannel and suspenders walked in with a hand full of weeds. He immediately asked me “Have you ever eaten poke?” I had not, nor did I even know what poke was. He explained it tastes like asparagus only sweeter and “more scrumptious”. He told me he had a recipe for it which basically just required boiling it for a while then sauteing it in some butter. He photocopied the recipe for me and handed over the poke. We continued to converse about foraging and eating weeds for a few minutes long enough for me to fall in love with this guy. Fiddleheads, ramps, and dandelion, oh my. Poke, as I found out, can actually be poisonous if eaten any later than spring so this foraging stuff requires a bit more knowledge than I thought.  This man, I later found out, was the owner himself: John Holbrook. He also convinced me to buy some ramps (which I had never heard of before either) by cutting one up in his hand and giving me a piece of one. It tasted like a super strong garlicky scallion. Sold. At the register we chatted some more about the importance of eating growth hormone free, pastorally raised beef and poultry. He was like the Connecticut version of Joel Salatin. When I commented that the price of said meat takes a little while to digest he said “Look, you wouldn’t cheap out on a car you’re buying that’s just going to break down every week, so why be frugal when it comes to what you put in your body – that’s the most important machine you’ve got.”

Holbrook Farm
45 Turkey Plain Road (Route 53 South)
Bethel, Connecticut 06801-2874
(203) 792-0561


Entry filed under: Farms. Tags: , , .


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sophie  |  December 30, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Holbrook’s was my first farm too!


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