Groton Family Farm to host day of music, hopes people take interest in project

Groton — The Groton Family Farm is welcoming people to enjoy a daylong lineup of musical performances, from the electric ukulele to beatboxing to a swing band, on Friday for Make Music Day, part of the owner's efforts to make the property a community asset.

Warren Burrows, who farmed the 6.5-acre, family-owned property at 70 Fort Hill Road until he moved to Seattle in 2016, said he hopes people will relax and enjoy themselves on Friday at the Make Music Day event that Groton Family Farm is hosting for the town. The event, which the farm is holding from noon until 9 p.m. with help from Groton Parks and Recreation and Groton Public Library, will feature live music, food and ice cream, according to an announcement. Admittance is free.

Groton Family Farm is one of many venues in Connecticut holding events during the international Make Music Day.

As the Burrows family looks to the future of the site that has been in the family for generations, Warren Burrows said he also hopes the event will generate interest in the Groton Farm Project, an effort to develop the property to be a benefit to the town and community. The family convened a meeting in March 2018, attended by more than 50 people, to solicit input from community members on their vision for the site.

"I'm trying to again get interest that we want to create something with this property that will be good for the town, that people can appreciate," Burrows said during a recent interview. "We don't know what form it's going to take yet but it's not going to be a shopping center."

He said there could potentially be some small "pocket" housing on the property, but a priority is to preserve as much open space as possible and to keep the historic structures on the site.

"One of our priorities is to preserve the historic buildings in some fashion," he said. An idea is to potentially repurpose the large horse barn, built in 1890, with small stores, an ice cream shop or coffee shop on the first floor and a venue for music, lectures or performances upstairs, he said, while the farmhouse, built in 1784, potentially could become a residence, a farm-to-table restaurant or an office.

Students from Ella T. Grasso Technical High School recently spruced up the greenhouse and refurbished the garden, where squash, tomatoes, kale, lettuce and cabbage are growing, Burrows said.

Burrows said the goal of the Groton Farm Project is to create a place the community can feel good about and that people can enjoy. He doesn't know whether they will try to keep the property in the family or find outside partners who will help get the project developed with various components. He said whatever they do with the property, they want the project to be integrated with the town's wishes to create a village center for Poquonnock Bridge.

More information on Make Music Day in southeastern Connecticut is available at bit.ly/CTMMD2019.

An in-depth look at Make Music Day activities in the region will be in Friday's Daybreak section in The Day.

k.drelich@theday.com

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