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Owners considering selling Groton Family Farm

Groton — The owners of Groton Family Farm, which has been in the same family for generations, are considering selling the property and will hold a meeting on March 22 to ask residents what they’d like to see happen there.

Warren Burrows ran the farm across from Groton Town Hall for about a dozen years before moving to Seattle, Wash., two years ago. He started at the farm with 25 chickens and a small garden, and ultimately expanded to more than 800 chickens, sheep and a 1.5-acre vegetable garden. He sold eggs at the farm on Fort Hill Road and in grocery stores, sold produce at local farmer’s markets, and provided wool and yarn to local yarn stores.

But the property has been silent since Burrows moved away to be closer to his daughters on the West Coast. Several hundred chickens went to people who wanted backyard chickens. The remaining chickens and sheep went to Terra Firma Farm in North Stonington.

Burrows owns the 6½-acre property with his brothers and sister, and said they may sell the property. The family has scheduled a community meeting from 10 a.m. until noon at Groton Public Library to hear ideas from neighbors and the public.

“Personally, I envision a large open space, a park-like effect where people can come and sit and just enjoy themselves, also in line with the town’s interest in a village effect in that area,” Warren Burrows said. He’d also like to see the old farmhouse and barn restored, he said.

The farmhouse was built in 1784, by an ancestral cousin, Silas Burrows. Warren Burrows’ great grandfather moved to the farm after the Civil War, and built the large barn in 1892. Warren Burrows would like to see the barn restored, with the downstairs possibly converted into small offices or shops, and the upstairs turned into a large lecture hall for music or meeting space.

The family doesn’t want the property to sit in the center of town and deteriorate, he said. He has reached out to town planners and to those who manage historic sites, like the Avery-Copp House, to attend the meeting later this month. The goal is to have an open dialogue with all interested parties, he said.

He’d like to see if the farm can be integrated into other plans the town might have to improve the center area around Town Hall.

“The fact is we’ve been at the farm for 200 years. It’s really been an integral part of our family,” Warren Burrows said. “We can’t just donate it. But we have to have input on what happens to it. We have to do what’s good and what’s right. We have some responsibility.”

d.straszheim@theday.com

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