By Kathy Brown.
Peter “Nick” DiGioia started Sycamore Farm Meats at 116 Christian Hill Road in Higganum in December 2018 at his family’s fifth generation farm.
The farm was purchased in 1922 by Nick’s great great grandfather, John Watrous. At that time, the farm was an orchard, and Nick’s mother’s great grandfather was the first farmer to grow peaches in Connecticut, according to Peter. Unfortunately, in 1932, the orchard was lost due to an unusually warm March then an extreme cold snap in April. Nick told us that only three trees survived that year: one pear tree, and two apple trees, and all three trees remain on the farm today.
In 2014, Nick graduated from SUNY Cobleskill with a degree in Environmental Energy Technology, with a focus on water resources. But the real story is that Nick took an elective class on meat processing while at Cobleskill, and he enjoyed it so much, that he then worked at Southington Beef, Price Chopper, and Public Market. While there, he saw that there was a demand for local butchers, “so I decided to open a shop at our farm to process local farmers’ livestock and hunters’ venison,” said Nick.
Sycamore Farm Meats offers steaks, hamburger patties, ground beef, pork chops, Italian sausages (hot and sweet), breakfast sausage, pork country ribs, whole and half chickens, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, chicken sausage (hot and sweet), and also eggs raised on the farm. Their Summer Sizzler package, which will be available soon, has items for summer grilling, such as steaks, chicken, pork, hot dogs, and hamburgers.
They also process beef, pork, sheep, goats, and venison for local farmers and hunters. Nick cuts the meat, and his mother, father, and sister all help him in the butcher shop.
In just a couple of years, they have earned a loyal following.
“I got a porterhouse steak that was the best I’ve ever grilled at home,” said customer Kate Anderson. “The owner and employees are very helpful and kind; I am always asked if I am finding everything I’m looking for and they’ve pulled more selections from the back when needed.”