Feb 142014

Friends and supporters of Blood Farm in Groton, Massachusetts will come together February 27 at a music and food filled fund raiser for the Blood Farm Employee Assistance Group. They’ll be listening to the Groton-based Gary Wilson Blues Project play the blues with special guest Julius Borges, noted Groton luthier and musician.

The Barn at the Gibbet Hill Grill is hosting the event, providing a large selection of reception foods from its renowned kitchen, and making a donation to the fund. There will be a cash bar. Other members of the Groton food and restaurant community are providing desserts: Bliss Bakery, The Blackbird Café, The Farm To Table Cafe at Groton Wellness, and The Main Street Café.

State Representative Shelia Harrington (R-Groton) is the lead organizer, and a member of the network of customers, farmers, foodies, and town and state officials that has come together to help the Blood Farm “family” of employees survive.

“When I was asked to be a part of the effort to help the Blood Farm employees, I jumped at the opportunity,” Harrington said. Blood Farm is such an integral part of this community, and has been for hundreds of years. It’s one of the only certified butcheries in the state, and it employs more than 20 people. We need to do everything we can to support the employees of Blood Farm while it is being rebuilt. We owe it to them.”

The music, food, and festivities begin at 7 p.m. on the 27th, and last for two hours. Donations will be collected at the door of the event. Organizers are requesting a donation of $20 or more per person. The Gibbet Hill Grill is located at 61 Lowell Road (Route 40), in Groton.

Since the December 29, 2013 fire that destroyed the Blood Farm butchery, most of the business’s employees have been unemployed since the fire. Their skills are specialized and not easily transferable, but they are the heart and soul of the business. Keeping that group of skilled employees together is a key to helping Blood Farm succeed after it rebuilds.

The Blood Farm Employee Assistance Group web site, www.bloodfarmgroton.com, has details on the fundraiser and the larger the effort to assist employees until the business reopens in the fall. The Groton Community Foundation, led by locavore restraunteur Steve Webber of the Webber Restaurant Group (Gibbet Hill Grill and Barn, Scarlett Oak Tavern, and other properties), is overseeing the collection an disbursement of funds.

Because Blood Farm was one of just two FDA approved slaughterhouses in the state, and because of its reputation for high quality meats, the business attracted farmers from Maine down through Connecticut as customers for its meat processing. The quality of the meats, the atmosphere of the retail store, and the staff’s ability to custom cut and prepare almost any cut of beef, pork, or poultty earned it a devoted following in the gourmet and foodie communities. Blood Farm also bought and processed hard to find meats — 4-H rabbits and lambs, goat (highly prized in Boston’s immigrant and ethnic communities), and was known for its preparation of hunter’s deer.

The Blood Farm Employee Assistance Group core organizations and businesses include:

  • Blood Farm
  • Groton Board of Selectmen
  • Groton Board of Trade
  • Groton Community Foundation
  • Pizzeria Maria
  • The Groton Line (media sponsor)
  • the Technology Front

For more information, visit the Blood Farm Employee Assistance Group web site at www.bloodfarmgroton.com or its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blood-Farm-Employee-Fire-Assistance/276627105822898.