KidzFest, an urban farm and free tax preparation

From left, John Esposito, Paolo Barros, Marc Neito and Winthrop Baum in Baum’s new urban farm. (Contributed)

NORWALK, Conn. – An urban farm in Norwalk; KidzFest moved to Sunday; free tax help offered in January.


The 7th Annual KidzFest rescheduled

The KidzFest Touch A Truck has been rescheduled to Sunday, due to the weather forecast.

The Kidzfest announcement.

The Human Resources Council fundraiser for the Children’s Connection Child Advocacy Center’s had been scheduled for Saturday. Now the family event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Taylor Farm Park, and according to a promotional email will feature:

“ALL OF THE SAME TRUCKS (lots of them!), ACTIVITIES (face painting, crafts, coloring), GAMES & PRIZES, CHARACTERS (spongebob, daffy duck, pink panther, ducks, cats, Storm the Sound Tiger, the easter bunny, Elmo and more!) MUSIC (Star 95.9 the Fox, John Voket the master DJ), FOOD (Mestezo Grill!) AND DANCING WILL TAKE PLACE!!!!  THE EAGLE 3 HELICOPTER WILL BE THERE FROM 10-1130!!!  PERFECT FAMILY FUN EVENT!!!!  $5 PER PERSON!”

A costume parade is planned for 1 p.m. Again, entry is $5 a person. This benefits the Children’s Connection Child Advocacy Center’s work to support children who have been sexually and physically abused in Fairfield County.



Urban farm harvests second crop, farmer’s markets planned

There’s produce growing inside 25 Van Zant St., where owner Winthrop Baum has worked for several months with his team, Paolo Barros, Marc Neito and John Esposito, to build an Urban Farm, according to a press release.

Lettuce growing in Bee Baum Apiary Urban Farm. (Contributed)

Baum, president of Bee Baum Apiary, and his team have created a hydroponic growing system to nurture organic vegetables, recently harvesting their second crop of nine types of lettuce, such as green butter lettuce, sweet green crisp, butter head and other samples of gourmet lettuce types, along with basil, arugula, cilantro, peppers and tomatoes, the press release from Skye Riss said.

“My idea stems from a desire to turn underutilized space and make it productive,” Baum is quoted as saying.

Sprouts grow via specially designed systems of piping through which nutrients recirculate, and as they grow to full size, the roots grow very long and deep through the piping, the release said.  Special lights provide natural sunlight to fuel the plants growth. Every five weeks, Baum and his development team expect to harvest pristine and vibrant produce. “That’s 10 crops a year, as compared to three grown in conventional methods in California’s rich Napa Valley,” Baum is quoted as saying.

“It’s grown in a controlled environment so it gets 16 hours of ‘sun’ every day,” lead technician John Esposito is quoted as saying. “It never rains, it’s never cloudy and it’s grown in a nutrient-film technique, which is a solution of nutrients and water that pass underneath the root growth system which nourishes the plant, and we do a five-week program, from seed to harvest.”

Winthrop and his team expect to also be having a farmer’s market every Saturday and sell their harvests to families and select restaurants, the release said.

“In the near future, I can see urban farms in every city and large municipality,” Baum is quoted as saying.


Free tax preparation

IRS-certified volunteers are once again set to provide free state and federal income tax preparation and e-filing at Norwalk Public Library System locations.

The no cost, full service VITA/IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance Program, offering special attention to seniors and low to moderate income households, is available Jan. 31 through April 13 with this schedule:

  • Thursdays, 1 to 8 p.m., Main Library, 1 Belden Ave., no appointment needed
  • Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., South Norwalk Branch, 10 Washington St., no appointment needed


Bring all 2018 tax report forms (W-2s, 1099s, brokerage statements, etc.); Social Security and official photo identification; health insurance documentation (Form 1095-A from Access Health CT Marketplace or private plan identification).

“Across the nation, along with its companion AARP program, more than 65,000 volunteers provide this service at more than 9,000 sites,” a press release said. “In Connecticut alone more than 52,000 federal returns were prepared and e-filed, in addition to an equal number of state returns and many amended filings.

“Last year some 1,200 returns were filed at the Libraries with more than $1.5 million in refunds being returned, 48% of which were from tax credits such as for earned income and education,” the release continued. “By again offering this service through the Norwalk Public Library System we aim to make tax filing more convenient, and more available, to residents.”

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