Past Projects - after 2015
Hilltop Farm Sign
If you have driven past Hilltop Farm recently you may have seen our new sign in the front pasture. Sign Factory in Enfield created the sign and installed it at the very end of 2015.
Right now the sign is somewhat obscured by the fence line. In the Spring the fence will be angled back so that the sign is more visible.
Photo by Diane Christian.
Fire Safety Provisions
Plans are currently underway to install a fire sprinkler system on both levels of the large white barn.
During the summer of 2015 Connecticut Water Company installed two new water mains and a fire hydrant on the farmstead. This provides sufficient water pressure to support the installation of an automatic fire sprinkler system.
The first phase of the sprinkler
system installation has been completed by Red Hawk Fire & Security, with the installation of the "brains" of the fire sprinkler system in the sub-basement of the creamery. Design work is being finalized now on the "distribution" phase of the work which will involve the installation of pipes and sprinkler heads along the rafters of the main level of the barn as well as along the ceilings of the lower level of the barn.
Building and fire codes mandate this project, which when completed, will allow full use of the barn.
We have earmarked funds and are currently seeking additional monies for this expensive initiative.
Fire escape constructed in 2011.
As part of our mission, we are establishing a fruit orchard on the property. The orchard will consist of approximately 40 apple trees, blueberry bushes and heirloom raspberry plants. It will be in an area where the raspberries have been growing for decades and there is evidence that apple trees were also once grown there. The orchard will be established as a “guild” community and maintained as organically and environmentally responsibly as possible, following the system outlined by Michael Phillips in his book, “The Holistic Orchard.”
The orchard will benefit people by providing nutritious fruit grown without chemicals. It will benefit the environment by not using poisons and by providing a habitat that will nurture native species such as birds, amphibians, reptiles and beneficial insects.
The site on the property was chosen for the following reasons: plenty of sun, protected from north winds by evergreen trees, raspberry plants already growing there, flat and easy to access by workers but secluded, already surrounded by many native and wildlife friendly plants. The area had been neglected for decades and was very overgrown with vines, small trees and weeds. There were remnants of old sheds, piles of firewood and logs and other debris around.
We started clearing the area in the spring of 2016. We had the large maple trees that were growing against the back of the chicken coop removed and with only volunteers and a small bulldozer, were able to clear approximately 85% of the area.