It’s worth it.
Our COVID year put us all on detours and altered our planned destinations. While we have all had significant disruption this past year of COVID and are thankfully returning to a safer, new normal, our children have faced enormous changes in the educational process at all levels. For some it’s a building year that has moved them ahead. For many more the disruption means falling farther behind in productive learning, with the costs accruing to our society in untold ways.
Locally we have many support opportunities for those in need. Two non profits in our area which our family is proud to support are the Woman and Family Life Center and the Guilford DAY initiative, “It’s Worth It”. Bishop’s round up campaign this month benefits the latter.
Guilford D.A.Y. (Developmental Assets for Youth) is a community coalition focused on encouraging youth to make positive choices and look to their parents and other adults as role models. Volunteers come from the Guilford community, including parents, youth, community leaders, law enforcement, and other sectors. Ultimately, D.A.Y. works to reduce high-risk behaviors such as underage drinking and other illicit youth substance use and provides our youth with the opportunities, skills and values they need to grow into healthy caring and responsible adults.
The Women & Family Life Center provides resources and education for women and all families in crisis. “The Center provides services to our shoreline community that simply can’t be found anywhere else,” said Liza Petra, Executive Director of the Guilford Foundation “and their programs ensure that families facing their most difficult times are met with kindness and the help they need.”
As we continue to exit from a year of stress and adaptation, please remember those who struggled and are scarred from the ordeals they faced. As you garden, walk, run, sit or enjoy the outdoors, think of youth and families who have needed and been supported by these organizations and donate to our round up campaign to assist them. It’s worth it.
Bishop’s first tractor was an International Harvester 1916 Mogul 8-16. This one cylinder, 5000 pound, metal wheeled 8 HP kerosene powered tractor cost $675. Young Charles Remington Bishop, age 18, posed for this photo during a break from plowing part of the 14 acre field which we still farm 150 years later. This field is on Dunk Rock Rd adjacent to ‘Bishop’s Ice Pond’ where ice was harvested until the 1938 Hurricane destroyed the Ice House. 6 Generations later on this same land, and 13 generations since John Bishop arrived with Rev. Henry Whitfield and settled Guilford, we’re proud to be stewards of this land where today we grow raspberries, asparagus and a wide variety of vegetables. The Mogul tractor and it’s implements to prep our land are long gone, but not our drive and zeal to farm our land.
While a relatively large farm in CT, we are small by comparison to our farming friends outside of New England. We use a variety of methods to enhance conservation and minimize wind and water erosion. For most vegetables, we rototill, then create a ‘plant-bed’ by laying down biodegradable plastic with drip-tube irrigation under the plastic to deliver water to the root zone. This uses less water than overhead irrigation, saving pumping energy, labor and money. Another technique we use is a hillside cultivator for strawberries, raspberries and vegetables pictured here. Land on slopes is rarely disturbed, and done in strips so sod remains between the rows where we will be planting young trees. Soil loss occurs when it is embedded in the leaves and roots of harvested plants, tracked away by equipment and humans, or carried away by wind and rain.
In the spirit of the busy life a working mother has these days and the lack of hours in a day to sometimes accomplish the always expanding to-do list, this email turned into a “Flashback Friday” instead of a “Throwback Thursday.”
A picture can be worth a thousand words, especially one with such important individuals. For those of you who do not know these family members, from left to right are: Barbara Bishop (my grandmother and wife of 4th Generation member Al Bishop), Arthur Bishop (3rd Generation – my great-grandfather), and Diane Bishop van der Grinten (my aunt – 5th Generation). This photo was taken while family and staff were celebrating Arthur’s birthday around 1980. Barbara, my grandmother, would ALWAYS make the time to bake a cake for everyone’s birthday, her father-in-law being no exception! Whether in the breakroom at the farm, Arthur’s office or back home with family, baking was always her favorite thing to do! Her handwritten recipe cards have all been computerized and imported onto our website’s ‘Bishop’s Cookbook’, as well as recipes that still to this day, are used in our Kitchen and Bakery. Barbara’s Blueberry Buckle is still a #1 seller and a dessert very well known throughout the shoreline, and personally my favorite, right after her raspberry pie!