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Honoring Sue And Jim Shortt With A New ‘Garden Of Plenty’



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Celebrating the 62nd edition of New England’s largest Labor Day parade, Sue and Jim Shortt of Shortt’s Farm have been appointed this year’s Labor Day Parade Grand Marshalls. After almost 30 years of organic farming, the Shortts have become a pillar in town feeding thousands through their farm store, community supported agriculture program, and by collaborating with Real Food CT.

Line of March Co-Coordinator Melissa Kopcik described the couple as “well-known, friendly faces around town. Everything they do is to benefit others.”

When the Newtown Labor Day Parade Committee was considering who they wanted to award the honor of Grand Marshall, a lot of community leaders came to mind, but the Shortts stood out from the others. The committee was looking for “unsung heroes” of the town to honor their contributions and commitments to the community, and these two hardworking farmers were an obvious choice.

Directly inspiring the theme for this year’s parade, “Garden of Plenty,” the Shortts are looking forward to their role in the September 2 parade. “I think that ties in really well with our farm and what we do here in town,” Sue Shortt said.

Jim echoed his wife saying, “I think [the theme] ties into [us] well. For a small farm, we’re a pretty productive farm.”

Their most recent undertaking started May 17 of this year when they started to sell Big Dipper ice cream at their farm store. They are working to add some of their own produce to the ice cream. “Mother Nature-willing, we will have some specials running through July and August with fresh fruit [as toppings],” Sue explained.

This new business venture is cold on the heels of their USDA certified organic farm that is comprised of a very small staff. There are only two regular pickers, Sue and her son, as Jim is not allowed to pick anymore. “He gets too distracted,” Sue teased her husband.

Though the farm is small, Kopcik said the Shortts “have been quintessential in keeping their land,” referring to the creeping infrastructure in town. The farm started in 1995 with just Jim and his late mother, Dolly, and it has only grown since.

The Newtown Labor Day Parade Committee is looking forward to honoring all their hard work and community efforts this year with a new kind of “garden of plenty.”

For information about the committee, which is always looking for more members, volunteer opportunities at the parade, sponsorships, and more, contact Melissa Kopcik, 203-994-6435, or Carissa Costello, 202-494-7264.


Reporter Sam Cross can be reached at sam@thebee.com.

Sue and Jim Shortt of Shortt’s Farm. —Bee Photo, Cross
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