Tag Archives: Patti Popp

Westport Favorite Is Farmer Of The Year

The Westport Farmers’ Market is proud of its many vendors. They sell honey, ice cream, tamales and pizza, along with the usual (and delicious) fruits, vegetables and meats.

Today they’re particularly proud of one.

Patti Popp has just been named 2017 Farmer of the Year.

That’s not some silly online poll. The honor comes from the Farmers’ Almanac and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Popp is one of 3 outstanding farmers or ranchers throughout the country — and the only woman. All were chosen for their support of the farming tradition; innovation in agriculture; community involvement, and inspiration as an agricultural leader.

Popp grows produce, and raises chickens and pigs, at Sport Hill Farm in Easton. She operates a community-supported agriculture program, and a retail store sellling locally grown and crafted goods.

Patti Popp and friends.

In the summer Sport Hill Farm sponsors a children’s camp. She hosts other events throughout the year, including farm-to-table dinners and workshops.

Popp calls herself an “accidental farmer.” In 2000 she and her husband purchased a home with enough property to grow vegetables and raise chickens.

They learned to farm by trial and error — reading books, and asking questions of other farmers.

Westport Farmers’ Market director Lori Cochran-Dougall says, “Not only does Patti grow some of the choicest food in the area, she gives of herself to the community in an unparalleled way.

“We always count on Patti to dig in when we need anything — from offering fresh food, to partnering with local chefs, to volunteering for events that help folks make a connection between the farm and our food system.”

You can see the national Farmer of the Year at the Westport market on Imperial Avenue every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., now through November 9.

Taters For The Taking

Alert and very kind “06880” reader Christy Colasurdo writes:

Easton farmer Patti Popp just posted on Facebook that due to this crazy warm weather and extended growing season, she has more than 50 crates of organic potatoes — and no one to take them off her hands.

She’s reached out to restaurants, food pantries and families in need, but because this is such a hectic time of year, it’s tough moving these organic spuds. She’s bummed because they were grown with love and care.

I’ve known Patti a long time. She’s a fixture on the local green foods scene, and is at the Westport Farmers’ Market every week. I’m sure some local organization would love to be the recipient of such a terrific haul.

So: If anyone knows anyone — a family in need, or organization — that can use these holiday taters, Patti will donate them. Plus butternut squash and cabbage. Click “Comments” below — or email ccasama@optonline.net.

Loading potatoes. Can you help "unload" them?

Loading crates of potatoes. Can you help “unload” them?


4th Grade Farmer

Many Westport 4th graders want to be firemen or astronauts.  Some may dream of playing Staples soccer.

One wants to be a farmer.

Charlie Colasurdo attends Kings Highway Elementary School.  His fame has already spread all the way to Fairfield, where he was featured on the Fairfield Green Food Guide blog, in a story and photos by Analiese Paik.

He recently spent 6 weeks preparing a multimedia presentation for his class about local farms, and their importance to the community.  He first asked his classmates if they knew where their food came from.  (I’m assuming many said “Trader Joe’s.”)

Charlie discussed the history of farming — he really knows his onions — and then talked about Community Supported Agriculture.

Charlie and organic farmer Patti Popp

Charlie’s mentor is Patti Popp, owner of Sport Hill Farm in Easton who hosts dozens of children each year in a summer farm camp. Charlie has attended the camp for 2 years, after a great experience at Shelburne Farms in Vermont.

Charlie suggested that Kings Highway develop a school garden, like Staples and Green’s Farms Academy.  It could be used for science class — and in the cafeteria.  (A classmate piped up, “Cafeteria food isn’t healthy.  I don’t like it” — prompting a roar of approval.)

Charlie was peppered with questions  His favorite farm animal is chickens (“they give you eggs every day”), while harvesting cauliflower is hard because the heads are twisted in the ground.

The Fairfield Green Food Guide blog did not mention whether Charlie — and his special guest, Patti Popp — brought in zucchini or broccoli for the class to sample.  It’s a good bet, though, there were no cupcakes.