About SFG

A Family Affair

The Smith Farm property was originally purchased in 1718 by Matthew Smith. The home was constructed in 1778, the land used as a small family farm until the early 1900s. Over the years, the house was neglected, falling into disrepair. In 1985, Malcolm and Peggy Winkley purchased the property, intent on providing a healthy, country environment for their family of five active, growing children.

In addition to enjoying their spacious country property, Mal and Peggy’s vision was to develop an organic farm worksite for the nascent Adult Vocational Program, Inc. (AVP), a non-profit human service agency founded by the Winkleys, which provides meaningful and healthy work opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.

While returning the property to a functioning fruit and vegetable farm (Smith Farm), the Winkley family began renovating the dilapidated house. Utilizing the talents of the Winkley clan, the project turned into a labor of love. Countless hours of dedicated work were involved in various aspects of the renovations, from demolition, carpentry, painting and masonry. Careful measures were taken to maintain the historical architecture and craftsmanship of the early period.

The main house restoration included the addition of an 800 sq. ft. Classic Revival great room. With its 12-foot vaulted ceiling, built-in bookcases, French doors, floor to ceiling windows and a formal fireplace surround, this elegant gathering space is a focal point of the home. The remaining interior of the house showcases exposed chestnut beams on the third floor, detailed moldings/paneling throughout and original hardwood floors, while the exterior has columned porches, brick walkways, stone patios and traditional architecture. See the house.

Smith Farm evolved over the years and is now a hub for a variety of activities supported by Adult Vocational Programs, Inc. The organic farm sells CSA shares, as well as produce to the local community, taps the maple trees for maple syrup in the early spring and produces cider in the fall. The property is also used for processing wood in the winter off season, which is sold as cord wood or small bundles of firewood. The AVP Inc. landscape crew contributes towards maintaining the beautiful grounds visible everywhere on the property.

The main house restoration included the addition of an 800 sq. ft. Classic Revival great room. With its 12-foot vaulted ceiling, built-in bookcases, French doors, floor to ceiling windows and a formal fireplace surround, this elegant gathering space is a focal point of the home. The remaining interior of the house showcases exposed chestnut beams on the third floor, detailed moldings/paneling throughout and original hardwood floors, while the exterior has columned porches, brick walkways, stone patios and traditional architecture. See the house.

Smith Farm evolved over the years and is now a hub for a variety of activities supported by Adult Vocational Programs, Inc. The organic farm sells CSA shares, as well as produce to the local community, taps the maple trees for maple syrup in the early spring and produces cider in the fall. The property is also used for processing wood in the winter off season, which is sold as cord wood or small bundles of firewood. The AVP Inc. landscape crew contributes towards maintaining the beautiful grounds visible everywhere on the property.

In 2017, Malcolm Winkley, the patriarch of the family sadly passed away. Mal had a larger than life personality and was known for his ability to bring people together. His huge heart elicited empathy and compassion. As a way of keeping his legacy alive while allowing the programs for the disabled at Smith Farm to continue operating, we have opened the property to the public to be used as a special gathering place.

The following quote from Malcolm truly reflects the light and wisdom he brought into this world, a message we continue to share…

“There are those that seek to divide, condemn and marginalize people who are different from themselves. We, meanwhile, continue to come together with the conviction that all of us have value and by our daily practice help to build a tolerant and inclusive world where all and everyone matters. The work we do is a demonstration project that not only raises social consciousness, but ultimately brings hope and goodwill to our planet.”

In loving memory of Malcolm Winkley (1950-2017)

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(860) 575-3119

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60 Smith Road
East Haddam, CT 06423

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