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Saving Roxbury’s Farms

To help sustain Roxbury’s rural and agricultural heritage, the Roxbury Land Trust maintains and leases more 450 acres of farmland and works with local farmers to provide grazing and crop production opportunities on certain preserves.

Protecting the land from development and promoting environmentally sound farming practices, RLT has an active lime management program to enhance soil quality and actively works to keep hedgerows cut back and invasive plants under control.

Starting in 2002, the RLT acquired three historic farms as part of the “Save our Farms” Campaign with help from private donors and grants from the State of Connecticut DEP Open Space and Watershed Acquisition Fund:

Good Hill Farm

Straddling the Roxbury-Woodbury border at the intersection of Route 317 and Tophet, this 467-acre farm is currently leased by Ox Hollow owners Mark and Stephanie Maynard. The Maynards produce all-natural, pasture-raised beef, as well as high-grade pork, lamb and poultry on the farm using rotational grazing. They also sell vegetables and eggs at a roadside stand and through a CSA (community supported agriculture) program.

Since it acquired the Good Hill Farm in 2003, the Land Trust has continually invested in the upkeep of the farm and buildings, reclaimed fields and orchards, cut back hedgerows and built a hiking trail with a trailhead off Route 317 that connects a 720-acre greenbelt of land preserved by the Roxbury Land Trust. In 2014, the Good Hill Farm Preserve was listed on the State Register of Historic Places by the Connecticut Historic Preservation Council.

Orzech Family Preserve

The 112-acre Orzech Family Preserve, with the Kress Family Trail, is the gateway to Roxbury from Route 67, with fields along the river, on either side of Weller’s Bridge Road and along Botsford Hill Road. Acquired in 2002 through the help of a “bargain sale” by Edward Orzech, whose family established their farm in Roxbury in 1924, the preservation of the Orzech Farm not only continues active agriculture, it also continues important protection of the river begun by the adjoining River Road, Erbacher and Golden Harvest Preserves.  Together, the four preserves protect in perpetuity more the 600 acres and two miles of the Shepaug River.

Note: The house and iconic Blue Seal feed barns are NOT owned by the RLT. Please respect the owners’ privacy and do not trespass or park in their driveways.

Gavel Family Farm Preserve

This 200-acre farm at a crest of Route 317 offers working farmland, rolling meadows and stunning views to south, east and west. There is a small parking lot off Dorothy Diebold Land.

Note: The house and barn remnants on the corner of Route 317 and Dorothy Diebold Land are NOT owned by the RLT. Please respect the owners’ privacy and do not trespass or park in their driveways.