Sustainable Connecticut Magazine Launches, Celebrating Sustainable Farmer Annie Farrell and Farm-to-Table Chefs

Look for CTC&G at the usual drop sites and enjoy Sustainable Connecticut magazine starting on page 49. Sustainable Connecticut cover photo of Sustainable Farmer Annie Farrell of Millstone Farm by Doreen Birdsell of Doreen Birdsell Studios Photography and Video.

A beautiful new magazine called Sustainable Connecticut has launched. This  special preview in the April issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens magazine (CTC&G) profiles local leaders of the sustainable food movement who are inspiring all of us to change. They are creating a wonderful ripple effect that can be felt throughout the state, and beyond. Perhaps you know some of them or they have touched your lives, or maybe even the food you eat.

Video from WTNH’s Good Morning Connecticut show introducing Sustainable Connecticut magazine on Saturday April 2 with Analiese Paik, Founder & Editor of the Fairfield Green Food Guide, and WTNH’s Steve Villanueva.

Sustainable Farmer Sustainable Connecticut magazine begins on page 49 of CTC&G with a beautiful photo of Master Farmer Annie Farrell of Millstone Farm in Wilton with one of their heritage breed hens.  Annie Farrell, the subject of the magazine’s cover story, has spent her life establishing sustainable farms and sharing her knowledge with others as a consultant. Millstone Farm was founded by Betsy and Jesse Fink and they hired Farrell to help them build “a sustainable farm whose mission it is to build a healthy local food system that enhances the natural and social environment” according to the article.

Betsy is an environmentalist and philanthropist and runs the 75-acre farm which has a small CSA and supplies the highest quality fresh produce to top farm-to-table restaurants including the Dressing Room and Le Farm in Westport, Schoolhouse at Cannondale in Wilton, the Boathouse at Saugatuck, and the Barcelona restaurant group. Millstone Farm regularly hosts teachers, students and educational events at the farm where participants can learn directly from Master Farmer Annie Farrell. If you’re a beginning gardener, don’t miss Millstone’s Backyard Workshop on April 16.

From left to right: Bill Taibe, Ryan Fibiger and seated, Alex Gunuey

Farm-to-Table Chefs & Whole Animal Butcher In the Locavore column “Staying Hungry”, I interviewed a few chefs who are leaders in the farm-to-table movement to share their latest news with readers. James Beard award-winning chef and sustainable food pioneer Michel Nischan presented at TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” and was recently elected to Ashoka’s global fellowship of leading social entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries in recognition of his work at Wholesome Wave.

Bill Taibe, chef/owner of LeFarm restaurant in Westport and a James Beard Foundation award semifinalist for Best Chef: Northeast is finalizing his restaurant’s green certification process and is planning a second restaurant. Alex Gunuey caters farm-to-school meals at the Friends School in Wilton and started Bone A Part to provide discerning canines with gourmet, locavore dog food.

Fairfield County is welcoming two new sustainable food businesses – Mario Batali’s  Tarry Lodge Enoteca Pizzeria is due to open early summer in Westport and Ryan Fibiger, a graduate of Fleischer’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats in Kingston, NY, will be opening a sustainable butcher shop specializing in whole animal (aka nose-to-tail) butchery soon in either Westport or Fairfield. Naturally chef Gunuey will be buying trimmings from Fibiger for his dog food, thereby ensuring that no part of the animal goes to waste.

Lettuce is an excellent early spring crop and easy to care for, just avoid too much sun in high summer advises author Bill Duesing.

In “Spring Lettuce” author and farmer Bill Duesing encourages us to plant some lettuce soon since it’s an excellent early spring crop that likes cool weather. Duesing is Executive Director of the Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (CT NOFA) and recommends planting every 2-3 weeks so gardeners can enjoy lettuce through October. CT-NOFA is not just for farmers (I’m a member!) so please take a look at their upcoming workshops and events-one might be just right for you.

John Turenne, Founder & President of Sustainable Food Systems worked behind the scenes in Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and is a founding member of Michelle Obama's "Chefs move to Schools" initiative, part of her "Let's Move" campaign to combat childhood obesity.

“The Great School Food Makeover” spotlights the success of The Unquowa School in Fairfield in making over their lunch menu to feature locally sourced foods from sustainable family farms. John Turenne, who helped create Yale’s sustainable dining program, left the university to found Sustainable Food Systems and took on the school as his first client. The Unquowa School has embraced Alice Waters’ edible schoolyard philosophy by not only putting in a school garden, but also by partnering with Sport Hill Farm in Easton to offer a summer farm camp that teach kids from early on where their food comes from and how to plant, cultivate and harvest it. Campers prepare a farm fresh lunch with school chef Peter Gorman on Fridays from food they picked that morning.

Pick up the magazine at the usual drop sites for CTC&G or visit the web site for a digital copy at

Enjoy the hard work of our farmers by seeking out the bounty of Connecticut Grown this spring. Foods that are special to the season like Spring parsnips, early lettuces, and fresh goat’s milk cheeses are a treat.

Displayed on the Ch. 8 set are the following CT Grown foods purchased on closing day of the Westport Winter Farmers’ Market:

  • Fresh Spring goat’s milk cheese (chevre) and yogurt from Beltane Farm
  • Soft ripened goat’s milk cheese from Beltane Farm called Danse de la Lune
  • Cow’s milk and yogurt from Ladies of Levita Road dairy farm
  • Certified Organic kale, mesclun greens (mixed salad greens), and flowering tarragon from 2 Guys from Woodbridge farm
  • Certified Organic Spring parsnips, carrots, heirloom tomato sauce and bread and butter pickles from Riverbank Farm
  • Certified Organic mixed baby greens and spinach from Star Light Gardens farm
  • Loin lamb chops and lamb Bolognese sauce from Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm

Please come back and let us know how you like Sustainable Connecticut magazine and what spring foods you’re enjoying now. Planting a garden? Share your garden photos with us on Facebook.

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