Stamford residents are surprised to discover they have a thriving organic farm right in their own back yard where volunteers can take home free fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs while learning about gardening, participating in fun events, and helping to support local soup kitchens and other non-profits. Fairgate Farm, located at 129 Stillwater Avenue and part of the Vita Health & Wellness District, is managed by the newly-appointed farm manager, Peter Novajosky, who brings a wealth of experience in horticulture and gardening along with a devotion to promoting healthy lifestyles.
Besides managing the farm, Peter is eager to expand the community of volunteers. “We have 3-4 year old kids with their parents, to college age kids that want to do green things, to 70-year olds, corporate people, and everything in between.” He is hoping to attract more teen and college age volunteers who can learn where foods come from and how organic foods benefit them. Whether it’s just one time or on a regular basis, the Farm welcomes volunteers of all ages on days, evenings, and Saturdays. Volunteers receive a Reward Card good towards earning a seat at the farm-to-table dinners and prizes. Peter explains “It doesn’t cost you a thing to get involved, except your time. There’s no catch, just so many things you can do, learn, and enjoy!” He is hoping to raise awareness about the long-term harm that chemicals and pesticides are doing as well as helping people realize how good they can feel by eating clean, organic food.
“The biggest misconception is that the public thinks organic farming can’t be done on a large scale or can’t get same yield, but there’s a growing trend for sustainable, resourceful, and efficient farms on whatever big or small piece of land you have,” says Peter. Since childhood, Peter has been drawn to gardening and while in college he realized he wanted to be a farmer. He began to study herbalism, nutrition, and natural medicine as well as became a Connecticut Accredited Nursery Professional. Previous to joining Fairgate Farm, Peter spent 3 years as the Head Horticulture and Manager at Green Up in Stamford where he designed living walls, organic gardens, hydroponic systems, constructed and repaired greenhouses, and consulted with clients in Fairfield County and the New York Metropolitan area. He also worked for 7 years as a general manager at Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens in Easton, the largest organic greenhouse system in New England, where he oversaw a staff of up to 60 employees.
Fairgate Farm is striving to boost awareness on the importance of eating more nutritious fruits and vegetables, respecting nature, and building community cohesion. The Farm offers a jam-packed schedule of community events and activities, like communal farm dinners, recipes and gardening workshops, Strawberry Festival, Harvest Festival and live music, as well as hosting corporate groups, schools and organizations. Peter is sees tremendous potential at Fairgate Farm and is looking towards the future. “I want the farm to be more experiential and educational to help people learn about planting and harvesting. I would love for the farm to be open all the time and for people to embrace it as a true community organic farm.”
For details about volunteering and upcoming events, visit FairgateFarm.com