New farms cropping up all over the state

BETHANY, Conn. (WTNH)– New farms are cropping up all over Connecticut. The latest census shows the state is seeing a spike in farms and while the average age of a farmer is still in their late fifties, News 8 also found a younger group, that is taking to the fields.

“So you use this thing called a divel board to make little indentations in the soil,” said Toby Fischer, Rojo’s Farm.

Toby Fischer didn’t have one two years ago.

And he didn’t use a pencil to slide tiny onion seeds into small holes. But, if you learn anything as a new farmer, you learn from your mistakes.

“Someone taught me this trick and once you’ve done it the other way and once you’ve done it this way, you realize this is way less painstaking,” said Fischer.

Along with Josiah Venter the two rejuvenated Rojo Farms two years ago.

For 20 weeks, they’ll deliver a $40 box full of their organic locally grown vegetables they grown in Bethany.

Rojo farms

“Carrots, beets, chard, beans, peas..” said Venter.

And the list goes on…

“Cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes,” said Venter.

Fischer’s dining room is his winter greenhouse and they’ve got about 2 acres once the snow melts.

“The farm to table and the local sustainable food movement in Connecticut is on the rise,” said Fischer.

The latest Department of Agriculture census shows they’re not alone. More than 1,000 farms sprouted from 2007 to 2012 totaling nearly 6,000.

They believe it’s the demand for locally-grown food.

“You see it changing. It’s a slow change, but it’s happening for sure,” said Venter.

And while the average farmer’s age hovers in the late fifties, more 25 to 34-year-olds are starting to plant in a place they grew up.

“Let’s give back to where we started and that feels good. It feels good to create the awareness here,” said Venter.

“I’m passionate about it and I want more people to be eating local food,” said Fischer.

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