There is an estate in Connecticut nestled on the Long Island Sound, complete with a stone building that is over 100 years old. The story Bob Conboy heard is that a set of concrete stone planters were placed in the back of the property and overlooked the water.
There they sat, until recently, when they were donated to Graymoor.
“They wanted to place them at the different shrines across Graymoor,” Conboy explained, “except they weigh 300, 400 pounds apiece. They had no way of getting them to the locations they wanted. They asked if I could use them, and I said sure!”
The stone planters are now scattered throughout San Damiano Farm. Although they aren’t for sale, Conboy hopes the guests and shoppers enjoy them when they flock to Graymoor each Friday for the San Damiano Farm Market.
The first market of the season will be held on Friday, June 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Among the many offerings in the market’s first week are lettuce, kale, potatoes, garlic, geraniums, sunflowers, petunias and zinnias.
San Damiano Farm is a ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. Brothers Christopher, men in treatment from St. Christopher’s Inn, work on the farm as part of their recovery journey.
The farm’s roots can be traced back to 1916, when Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA, founded the farm at Graymoor, first calling it St. Anthony’s Farm. Father Paul was intent on making the Society of the Atonement self-supporting and considered the farm a means of helping others.
The concept was revived by Minister General Father Brian Terry, SA, in October, 2017. The farm was named after a church in Assisi, Italy, where St. Francis received his calling in the year 1205.
Conboy, the manager of the farm, says not much has changed from last year. The farm will remain selling the same plants and vegetables, with a few minor additions to the list this season, such as dill and sage.
There will still be men from St. Christopher’s Inn lending a helping hand, keeping the farm in order. And, San Damiano will still sell produce to certain local restaurants, namely the Farm to Table Bistro in Fishkill and The Riverview in Cold Spring.
The farm is also giving back to the community in other ways.
Leaders from agricultural regenerator programs in Peekskill, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh have visited the farm. Conboy has taught them how to plant and sow seeds.
“I show our guys (from the Inn) how to plant the seeds at the same time I show two or three of their people,” he said. “It’s our way of giving back to the community.”
And rest assured, the community is ready for the first farm market of the year.
“People have been showing up the last few Fridays, because Friday is the day we have the market. They want to be sure they haven’t missed it!” Conboy said. “It’s especially exciting when you get to the first market. We’re looking forward to it.”
San Damiano Farm Market
Open: Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting June 30
Where: Graymoor, Garrison
What’s for sale on opening day?
Vegetables and greens
- Lettuce – $2 per head
- Kale – $2 per bunch
- Swiss chard – $2 per bunch
- Potatoes – $3 per basket
- Garlic – $2 per bunch
- Garlic scapes – $1 per bunch
- Basil and cilantro
- Jade and aloe
- Lucky shamrocks
- Dish gardens
- Sunflowers – $2 per stem
- Dahlias – $2 per stem
- Zinnias – 50 cents per stem
- Snapdragons – 50 cents per stem
Fresh cut herbs ($1.50 per bunch)