On Saturday March 1st, Joe O’Grady begins as Holcomb Farm’s Farm Manager. We started the search for a new Farm Manager a couple months ago, when we discovered that our current Farm Manager, Karen Pettinelli, had a family situation that would not allow her to work at Holcomb Farm this year in a full-time capacity. Karen has greatly contributed to the farm in her past two years as Farm Manager and we are sorry to see her go. However, we are fortunate because we have both found an experienced farmer, Joe O’Grady, to fill her shoes, and because Karen will remain at Holcomb as a consulting farmer, ensuring that Holcomb Farm maintains the highest standards for our CSA members.
Joe comes to us most recently from Promised Land Farm in Long Valley, New Jersey, where he was responsible for managing a CSA, focusing on sustainably-grown fruits and vegetables. Before this Joe previously served as the field manager at several farms, including Balsam Farms, in East Hampton, NY, and Quail Hill Farm, in Amagansett, NY, both of which embraced the CSA model of agriculture. Joe has also worked as a sheepherder, with Round Grove Ranch in Montana.
A native of New York, Joe graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in International Relations. Following his college graduation, Joe volunteered for the Peace Corps, serving two years in Rietavas Lithuania as an English teacher at a small rural high school, preparing students for university entrance exams.
Joe will be working together with Karen to implement the crop plan as he gets acquainted with Holcomb Farm’s fields, barns, greenhouses and equipment in preparation for this year’s CSA season. Joe and Karen have a great staff lineup for this year’s growing season to accompany them, including returning Granby native Meaghan McGuire. Meaghan worked her first farming season as a Full-Time Crew Member for Holcomb Farm last year, and is returning this year as Crew Leader! We also have an experienced farmer, who has recently been managing a flower farm in Hawaii, arriving to fill the role as Assistant Production Manager. The season is looking strong! We are all very pleased that Karen will remain actively engaged with Holcomb Farm as we enter the growing season, and share with Joe the secrets of her successful harvests these past few years.
We will keep you informed as the farming season progresses and will send you updates as Joe continues to settle into his new role.
If you want a chance to meet Joe, come to the Farm Tour – meet at the barn complex at 113 Simsbury Road – this Saturday, March 1st from 2-3pm or 3-4pm – and meet Joe on his first day at the farm! (In case you’re wondering, Chef Chris Prosperi’s cooking class on March 1st has been filled to capacity.)
Hope to see you then!
113 Simsbury Road, West Granby, CT 06090