HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) is pleased to announce the preservation of Karabin Farms in Southington. The farm was protected through the state’s Community Farms Preservation Program in conjunction with the Town of Southington, which contributed fifty percent of the funds to purchase the development rights. The Community Farms Preservation Program began in 2012 as a pilot program to offer food-producing farms with local community support an avenue to permanently protect their farmland from future development.
“We are pleased to permanently protect 48 acres of prime and important farmland soils owned by Karabin Farms,” said Bryan P. Hurlburt, Agriculture Commissioner. “This collaboration between the Karabin family, Town of Southington, and State of Connecticut will insure continued availability of active farmland and farm-fresh products to the town and central Connecticut communities. The Karabin Farm is a great example of the diversity of agriculture – in production and locality – and a showcase for the future opportunities of agriculture in our state.”
Karabin Farms is a diversified farming operation offering a variety of Connecticut Grown products and experiences, including maple syrup, Christmas trees, meats, flowers and pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. Purchased in 1984 by Michael and Diane Karabin, the land had been in agriculture production long before they purchased it. The initial property consisted of 25 acres which they added to one year later when the neighbor offered to sell them an additional 25 acres with one condition – that they never develop it while his mother was alive.
“It would break our hearts to see that parcel of land be broken into house lots,” said Diane Karabin. “It’s a beautiful piece of farmland and we are grateful that with the assistance of the State of Connecticut and the Town of Southington we are able to secure it for future generations for their farming ventures.”
The Karabin’s are now welcoming their third generation with grandchildren becoming active in the farm. The sale of development rights offers peace of mind as new farmland isn’t being made. “This sale will assist with future estate planning to pass the farm on to other family members,” said Michael Karabin.
They are appreciative of the town’s support which includes a master plan for open space acquisitions, including farmland. Currently, the Karabin’s maintain a large portion of the open space purchased by the town which has been a mutually beneficial situation.
“The Town of Southington thanks both the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and Karabin Farms for working together to allow the Karabin Farms to remain open space for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations,” said Mark Sciota, Southington Town Manager.
“Southington is thankful the Karabin family was willing to work on a project to preserve their beautiful property and promote farming in our community, which is exactly in line with the strategy set by the Town Open Space and Farm Heritage Committee and our Plan of Conservation and Development,” said Paul Chaplinsky, Town Councilman and Chair of Southington Open Space and Farm Heritage. The Karabin family farm has been a beloved staple in our community for almost 40 years and we hope they will continue for many more!”
Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation Program was established in 1978 to protect the prime and important farmland soils in the state in order to maintain and preserve agricultural land for the future. To date, the state has purchased development rights on 386 farms encompassing over 46,142 acres.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state’s citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state’s economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
–Connecticut Department of Agriculture
For more articles out of New England, click here.