Programs > Incubator Farmer Program
Have you always dreamed of growing your own produce, fruit, or flowers? Have you ever thought, I would like to start my own farm? Community Farm of Simsbury may be the place for you…
Community Farm of Simsbury (CFS) is a certified organic farm, providing the use of inexpensive farmland, from 1/8th of an acre up to 1 acre, for people interested in becoming organic farmers. CFS assists with plowing, irrigation, equipment, storage, and other services. CFS offers hands-on training with CTNOFA and UConn so you can learn to plant crops, use a hoophouse, set up irrigation systems, safely control weeds and pests, and use farm equipment.
If you are interested in becoming an Incubator Farmer for the 2014 growing season, please complete and turn in your application by December 30th, 2013Applications should be sent to:
Community Farm of Simsbury
73 Wolcott Road, Simsbury, CT 06070
For more information or to request an application please Contact Us
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is The Incubator Farmer Program?
- The Incubator Farmer Program (IFP) is a project of the Community Farm of Simsbury. It can also be described as a beginning farmer program. The goal of the IFP is to help people initiate a farming business by providing quality farmland, assistance with growing organic crops, assistance with implementing a business plan, and help finding markets to sell products.
- Where is the program located?
- The Incubator Farmer fields are located on the south side of Wolcott Road at The Community Farm of Simsbury, 73 Wolcott Road, Simsbury, CT, 06070
- What are the benefits of becoming a Community Farm of Simsbury Incubator Farmer?
- The Community Farm of Simsbury provides organically certified land at inexpensive rates, initial spring plowing, training in equipment usage, help with maintaining organic practices and record keeping, and assistance in finding markets to sell products. CFS has partnered with CTNOFA to provide regular informational/training sessions.
- Does The Community Farm of Simsbury charge a fee for the IFP?
- Yes, the 2014 land usage fee is $500 for the growing season.
- Are there other fees?
- Yes, the land usage fee does not cover organic fertilizer, organic pesticides, seed, fuel, or equipment usage. These fees are based upon amount and/or time used.
- Does The Community Farm of Simsbury give fee waivers?
- No, because fees are minimal, there is no policy for having them waived.
- How many farmers will be accepted into the IFP?
- The 2014 goal is to accept 1 incubator farmers.
- How are farmers accepted into the IFP?
- Potential farmers must attend an information meeting and fill out an initial contact form. Next potential farmers must complete a brief application. After review of the applications, potential farmers will be called back for an interview. Potential farmers will also need to provide information for a background check.
- Can farmers be removed from the IFP?
- The intention is for all farmers to be a part of the IFP for at least three years. However, if a farmer is unable or unwilling to adequately maintain fields, follow equipment usage policies, or follow organic practices a written warning will be issued. If concerns persist, the farmer may be removed from the program and will forfeit all fees paid and crops in the ground.
- How many acres of land can be farmed?
- Farmers may choose between 1/8th of an acre and 1 acre of land.
- Is transportation provided?
- No, farmers must provide their own transportation to and from the Community Farm of Simsbury.
- Are IFP fields irrigated?
- The Community Farm of Simsbury was awarded federal funding to dig a well for the 2010-growing season. The wells that were drilled came up dry and new plans have been made to connect the IFP fields with the farm’s existing well. This is projected to happen as soon as the pipe can be drilled in the spring of 2011. Once this occurs, there will be several hydrants installed. Each incubator farmer will be responsible for providing his/her own watering system (drip tape, hoses, sprinklers, etc).
- Is deer fencing and/or other pest control measures provided?
- Deer fencing is in place at this time.
- What markets will the community farm utilize to help establish the IFP?
- The Community Farm of Simsbury currently enjoys a partnership with the Simsbury Farmers Market and The Farmers Market at Billings Forge in Hartford. CFS also plans to expand farm stand hours at the site on Wolcott Road. CFS will provide contact information for other Farmers Markets in the Hartford region. Markets fill quickly and farmers are encouraged to inquire about openings as soon as possible.
- What is required of Incubator Farmers once accepted into the program?
Incubator Farmers must attend trainings on pest management and equipment safety
in order to learn how to operate safely and legally on the farm.
- Farmers are expected to work with CFS to keep good records of crops, water use, pesticide use, equipment use, and personal expenses, and revenues.
- Farmers are expected to meet with CFS staff on a regular basis to review production and marketing needs.
- Farmers are expected to meet all fee requirements in a timely manner.
- Farmers must adhere to all required organic practices.
- How do Incubator Farmers access equipment?
- Each farmer is given access to the storage shed and may access equipment at any time during daylight hours between 7:00AM and sunset. All equipment must be returned to the storage shed in proper working condition and doors must be kept closed.
- Can farmers bring their own equipment?
- Yes, farmers may bring their own hand tools, but they must follow organic certification regulations. All farmer-owned tools need to be clearly marked. Farmer-owned tools can be stored in the CFS equipment shed. Due to organic certification regulations, mechanical equipment may not be brought onto the farm unless each instance is discussed and approved by CFS.
- What are the expectations concerning other Community Farm Programs?
- The Community Farm of Simsbury will be conducting a series of summer camps and a summer school from June through August. During that time it is expected that farmers are tolerant of children and students, and on occasion, willing to share advise, experience, and knowledge with them. Children and students will be instructed on maintaining proper respect for Incubator Farmer fields, crops, and property.
- Do Farmers need to carry insurance?
- Yes, each Incubator Farmer must provide a certificate of insurance.