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For almost 40 years, Karabin Farms has been a staple of the Southington community. And now thanks to the state of Connecticut Community Farms Preservation Program and the town of Southington, it’s going to stay that way.

While Southington might not be your typical rural landscape, Karabin Farms covers 48 acres of land that is now permanently protected.

“We’re feeling a little at peace that we’ve accomplished this,” said owner Diane Karabin.  “It was a long time coming and we’re quite happy about it.”

And the three year application process was well worth the wait.

Bryan Hurlburt, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture explained that, “by protecting farms across the state we’re making sure that future generations have that same ability to support their local farms and farm businesses.”

Businesses that are more important now than ever before.

“They were there providing food during COVID,” said Hurlburt.  “They were there making sure that people who didn’t feel comfortable grocery shopping or doing the traditional sorts of shopping had places to go and they were there to make sure food was available.”

Fifty percent of the funds to purchase the development rights were covered by the town of Southington, with the other half covered by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation Program. In total for the year 2020, over 13 farms were preserved across the state, protecting over 1,000 acres of land.

“We have a third generation now active at the farm,” said Michael Karabin, Diane’s husband.  “And hopefully this will allow our grandchildren that want to pursue this to be able to do so”

As one of the most diversified farms in the state, future generations will have their hands full.

“We have everything from live stock to Christmas trees,” said Diane.  “We have an apple orchard, greenhouses where we grow three seasons of flowers, poultry…we do a little of everything.”

“It’s just a nice way to see a bit of agriculture and reconnect with what we have in Connecticut,” continued Hurlburt.

And even though the growing season may be over, you can always support local. To find a farm stand or farmers markets near you, just visit www.CTGrown.gov.