Stone Gardens offerings now include CBD, hemp products
Long famous for its local sweet corn, vegetables and farm-raised meats, Stone Gardens Farm is now offering another popular item — Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, and hemp products.
The Shelton-based farm — owned and operated by Fred and Stacia Monahan family who last year created a new farm stand, commercial kitchen and craft butchery to showcase their locally grown and raised products — is now teaming with Luis Vega in the production and processing of CBD products.
Vega, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, was part of advocacy group that played a significant role pushing for the Connecticut policy for hemp legalization. This came to fruition with the state’s 2018 farm bill which made hemp a legal industrial crop.
“I applied for my hemp license and became the first fully owned minority hemp business in the state,” said Vega, who now owns Vega Holdings, LLC, with his wife, Jessica.
From there came the search for acreage to grow the crops, which brought Vega to the Monahans and Stone Gardens Farm.
“I met Fred, and after we talked, he gave me the opportunity to work on his property with his family,” said Vega. “We came in, provided our genetics, which are certified through the state, our labor, and my background knowledge of growing hemp.”
“This is a whole new industry,” said Fred. “(Vega) got the license and was looking for land. He came by one day, talked to me, said he needed land. I said lets try this out.”
The process began last June, when Vega approached the Monahans after the Connecticut legislature passed the law that made growing industrial hemp in the state legal. Vega was a key player in the legislation process in Connecticut, and he and Fred — who share a common bond as Freemasons — joined forces to bring hemp to the forefront of the agriculture industry.
“From there, they planted a couple plots of hemp at the farm,” said Stacia. “The hemp that is grown in the fields is processed into oils to be used in creams, tinctures, soaps, candles and food products. They also grew another type of hemp in their greenhouses, which is referred to as boutique flower that provides a smokable CBD product.
“All of the products available at Stone Gardens were grown and processed right on the farm,” added Stacia. “All products are processed following state regulated standards and strict safety standards. This ensures them bringing the highest quality products to the customer.”
Vega said it was June 1 when the first seed was planted in Fred’s greenhouse.
“From there, we now have a product line of 15 products, white label for five other companies, and are the largest hemp co-op in Connecticut,” said Vega.
Vega has a licensed manufacturing facility on site and cannot be happier to working alongside the Monahans.
“I invested my 401k in this business ... I always knew this is what I’m going to do,” said Vega. “I just did not have my own land. I was the only grassroots, minority applicant, but I was at a disadvantage. I cannot buy land, so I went out and spoke to many people. Thankfully, it worked out here.”
Among the products available at the family’s farm stand, kitchen and butchery is pure hemp oil capsules, premium hemp CBD flower, whipped hemp body butter, organic CBD infused coffee, CBD honey sticks and premium hemp soap.
“This has gone from 0 to 100 overnight ... it’s exciting,” said Fred. “We have locally grown vegetables. We’re famous for locally grown sweet corn, our beef, our chickens and now CBD.”
Stacia said this is just the latest for the ever-expanding operation. The Monahans’ son, 21-year-old Tommy, has taken a leadership role in expanding the “farm-to-table” model in the kitchen and the craft butchery. The family has its own line of tomato sauces available in the farm stand as well as salsas and bloody Mary mixes. Their sweet corn is also picked in the summer and then frozen for use in corn dishes year-round. They have vegetable stock and meat bone broths, which are made using their chicken, beef, and pork bones; along with some varieties of homemade soups all available daily.
“I cannot thank this family enough,” said Vega. “They welcomed me into their home. I hold that very near and dear to myself, the partnership we have established here. We have established a CBD line just for Stone Garden. The community now knows it can get a trusted, locally grown CBD supplement here right in its own backyard. You are literally supporting the same craft butchery and produce place you’ve been supporting your entire life. And you can get your CBD products here now, too.”
Stone Gardens Farm, 83 Saw Mill City Road, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. For more information, visit www.stonegardensfarm.com