Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Picture this: You're driving north on Route 95, and you've just crossed the Thames River on the Gold Star Bridge. You decide to get off the road to get some coffee.
You take the first exit off the bridge and, soon enough, find yourself in a pretty typical commercial strip. There's an Applebee's on your left, a Burger King and McDonald's on your right. There's an unusual number of banks. A TJ Maxx. Oooh, right next to Arrow Party and Paper, there's an art gallery you'll have to check out on your way back. You can see some pretty nice-looking paintings through the big front windows.
You keep driving, and you find a Starbucks on your right. You get a coffee, then, as you're leaving, you see the 95N sign, pointing to your right. OK, you say, you'll keep going.
You pass a series of lower-level commercial sites, drive past a beautiful New England church, a bakery - you're getting hungry, you realize. You pass stores, a gas station, a pizza joint and then, suddenly, there's a farm.
You pull in. It's the Groton Family Farm, run by Warren Burrows. Yes, that's his real name; I didn't ask if he raises bunnies.
The farm sells fresh eggs. Chickens roam all over the fenced-in fields. And there, in the far pasture, is a little herd of Shetland sheep.
They're just the greatest sheep, as sheep go. They're fat and dirty and tremendously wooly. They have skinny little high-heeled legs and dark, knobby heads. They're a little bit interested in me as I begin painting, but as soon as they see that I don't have food for them, they go away.
The Groton Family Farm, according to its web page, is a small, sustainable farm that's been in the Burrows familly for generations. The family hopes it will be a place where the community can buy fresh produce and learn about local, organic, sustainable farm practices.
I think it's amazing that it exists at all, there on the strip, between a Sunoco station and a lawyer's office.
Thanks for reading!