By Analiese Paik
Winter has arrived and many farm stands have closed for the season. Sport Hill Farm in Easton and Garden of Ideas in Ridgefield will be open through Thanksgiving. The Hickories in Ridgefield is now open Friday-Sunday only from 10-5. The Farm Market and Bakery at Holbrook Farm remains open from 9:00am – 6:00pm, Monday through Saturday (closed Sunday). Warrup’s Farm is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10-5 until they sell out of winter squash and maple syrup in beautiful gift bottles.
The following farm stands are located on family or community farms that are either certified organic or are committed to using organic growing practices. Each spring and summer they open their farm stands to the public to enjoy the healthy vegetables and fruits they’ve grown for the community. As mentioned above, quite a few are open through late fall.
Ambler Farm, Wilton (follow organic growing practices) Closed for the season.
257 Hurlbutt Street, Wilton, CT, 06897
Follow the farm on Facebook.
Closed for the season. Shop the farm stand each Saturday from
10:30-4:00 9:00 am – 2:00 pm through early October. This farm also participates in the Wilton Farmers’ Market each Wednesday. Check their website for upcoming classes and events at the farm.
Close your eyes and imagine the quintessential New England farm you’ve read about in books. Picture the rolling fields and stone walls adorned with a farm house, red barn, ice house, and white carriage house. Open your eyes and you’re at Ambler Farm, a gem of a 200-year-old working farm in Wilton where Farmer Ben grows organic produce.
A community farm open 365 days a year, Ambler Farm in Wilton holds a regular farm stand on Saturdays from 10:30-3:00 from late May through early October and is a regular vendor at the farmers’ market at the Wilton Historical Society (currently closed for the season). During the spring Ambler takes orders for a wide variety of vegetable transplants, including heirloom varietals, easing the work of backyard gardeners. The summer brings tables piled high with freshly picked organic cucumbers, peppers, onions, summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant, beets, basil, cilantro, Swiss chard, garlic and more.
The Friends of Ambler Farm have made it the farm’s mission to celebrate Wilton’s agrarian roots through active-learning programs, sustainable agriculture, responsible land stewardship, and historic preservation. Their high quality, hands-on learning programs for children and adults take place year round and include popular summer farm camps. Special events like their annual farm-to-table dinner and annual Ambler Farm Day, are important fundraisers which help sustain educational programming. Among my favorites seasonal events are the honey harvest and maple syruping. If you haven’t yet tried their estate maple syrup, grab a bottle for yourself and another as a gift. Check the farm’s event calendar and sign up for their e-newsletter to stay informed. To learn more, read our feature article about the farm.
Garden of Ideas, Ridgefield (Certified Organic)
647 North Salem Road Ridgefield Connecticut 06877
Open 8am to 7pm daily March through Thanksgiving. The farm stand is located behind the barn and easily accessible from the parking area. The farm also participates in the Ridgefield farmers’ market.
Open daily from March through Thanksgiving, this one-acre family farm goes “beyond organic” standards, and even employs some principles of biodynamic farming, to provide their customers with the most environmentally friendly and nutrient dense produce possible. Garden of Ideas promotes plant biodiversity by growing a large variety of crops, including immensely popular heirlooms, alongside beautiful non-edibles that bloom sequentially to supply their bees with nectar throughout the season.I like to call this sanctuary the Garden of Eden because it’s so beautiful and tranquil. Visit our Garden of Ideas photo album on Facebook to see gorgeous photos from our Summer 2011 visit.
In springtime, the farm sells seeds and starter plants to help you get your own backyard garden started. Join the 2012 CSA waiting list if you live in the area.
Guy’s Eco-Garden, Shelton (Certified Organic)
Shelton, CT 06612
Open dawn to dusk August through early November. Closed for the season.
Holbrook Farm, Bethel (follow organic growing practices)
45 Turkey Plain Road (Route 53 South), Bethel, Connecticut 06801-2874
Tel (203) 792-0561
Fax (203) 744-6748
Open daily 9-6 except Sunday, when they’re closed. This market remains open in winter months.
Holbrook Farm Market & Bakery is located inside the big red barn and feels more like a mini grocery store than a farm stand given the diversity of product available. Fresh produce is displayed in the open cooler and adjacent shelves along with a wide variety of fresh-baked goods including artisan breads from Bantam Bakery. Eggs from the farm’s free-range chickens and dairy products from several different farms including raw milk from Stonewall Dairy in Cornwall, pasteurized milk and cream from Arethusa Farm in Litchfield, and fresh goat’s milk from Butterfield Farm Dairy in East Granby, can be found in the double refrigerator cases. Cheese fans will rejoice in seeing favorites like Cato Corner Farm and Beltane Farm along with Sprout Creek Farm from NY, which makes both goat and cow’s milk cheeses. I tasted a selection of Sprout Creek’s cheeses twice recently and found Sophie, a bloomy rind goat’s milk cheese, to be a standout.
You can make a complete and quick at-home meal from your shopping trip to Holbrook Farm. After you’ve selected your vegetables, bread and dairy, check the refrigerator and freezer cases for smoked sausages and bacons from Mountain Products Smokehouse in Lagrangeville, NY plus chicken meatballs and turkey burgers made from naturally-raised, free range birds. You can even order fresh fish from Frankie’s for pick up at the market. Visit the product page on their website for a complete listing of vendors and products.
Among the dry goods you’ll find pantry staples including honey, maple syrup, oils, vinegars, salts, and jams and jellies, including an impressive selection from award-winning, artisan producer Winding Drive. Their apple pie jam won first place in the CT Grown category at this year’s CT Specialty Food Awards Competition, but I prefer their peach jam for its pure, peak-of-ripeness flavor. Be on the lookout for Winding Drive’s Habanera Gold Jelly and Roasted Garlic Caramelized Onions spread, both of which tied for second place in the savory condiment category at the same competition.
Sport Hill Farm, Easton (follow organic growing practices)
596 Sport Hill Road, Easton, CT 06612
The farm stand is open daily from 9-5 except Wednesdays, when they’re closed. Hours change throughout the season and the farm stand (in the barn) will remain open at least through Thanksgiving. Visit Sport Hill Farm on Facebook for more updates..
days a week, the farm stand is located inside a state-of-the art barn where visitors can shop in comfort for everything from asparagus and lettuce in the early spring to garlic, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and squash in high summer, to hardy greens, at least three kinds of winter squash, celeriac and pumpkins in the fall. Fruit from local farms and Red Jacket Orchards is brought in as a one-stop shopping convenience. This year the cherries, plums and strawberries were fantastic. Apples, including rare heirloom varieties, and Seckel pears have arrived for fall.
Sport Hill Farm is well-known for their popular CSA, crop cash and Farm to Chef Connect programs, but they offer much more. Campers from the summer farm camp run by The Unquowa School visit the farm to learn where their food comes from. A wide variety of on-farm programs and special events, including canning classes and lunches at the farm, help reconnect adults with out food roots and teach us new skills (private events are welcome). A boutique selection of artisan food products available in the barn includes Fairfield Bread Company’s Flaxette, Peace Tree Desserts’ line of cajeta caramel dessert sauces made with CT goat’s milk, Arethusa Farm’s milk and yogurt, plus organic, vegetarian side dishes and vegan cookies from GreenGourmettoGo.
Closed for the season. The farm stand is open in the main stone barn from 7 am to 7 pm 7 days a week. The farm stand is set up for the honor system, but someone is usually there. The farm stand usually closes by end of October. Expect Jerusalem artichokes in October 2012!
Last year October offerings included arugula, Scarlett Queen salad turnips, radishes, Trombocino Squash, sorrel, Swiss chard, garlic, parsley, oregano, and tarragon picked daily.
Sticks and Stones Farm is a 60-acre organic sanctuary famous for its stone and moss gardens. This stone masonry farm and retreat features a wide variety of habitats—a mountain, meadows, woods, cultivated areas, and fields, and wetlands—all loaded with their associated wild plants and mushrooms. “Wildman” Steve Brill comes to the farm to lead foraging tours three times a year -early spring, summer and fall – as each season offers different wild edibles to scout and collect. The farm offers cabins for rent, and offer year-round events and artists workshops.
The Hickories, Ridgefield (Certified Organic)
126 Lounsbury Road, Ridgefield CT 06877
The farm stand is open Friday-Sunday from 10-5 during winter months.
The farm stand located on Lounsbury Road is the only way, other than a CSA share, to fully enjoy their certified organic vegetables and ground fruit. Limited produce is available through Ancona’s Market. The farm stand will be open daily from 11am-6pm in spring 2012. We will update this post next year to provide you with complete farm stand information.
If you live in Ridgefield, you surely know that Dina Brewster’s USDA/Baystate certified organic farm, The Hickories, is the only farm left in Farmingville. When you hear Dina talk about her CSA families, it’s clear that building community gives her joy and satisfaction. Dina increased the number of CSA shares offered on farm last year to 200 so some families had a rare chance to get a share last summer. Please register directly on the site to join the waiting list for 2012 now. Both fruit and vegetable shares are offered including 113 varieties of vegetables plus strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples and peaches. Share add ons include bread, eggs, meat and locally produced cheese.
Warrup’s Farm, Redding (Certified Organic)
11 John Read Road, Redding, CT 06896, 1.2 miles north of Redding Center, off Route 107.
Visit this farm stand throughout the summer season for organic vegetables and cut flowers, in mid July for organic peaches, and in October for potatoes, garlic, onions, pumpkins and hay rides. Come back in March for maple sugaring demonstrations that the whole family will enjoy. Be sure to get on their CSA list for next season if you live nearby. Warrup’s produce, fruit, and flowers can also be purchased at the Weston farmers’ market on Saturdays where they are a vendor (currently closed for the season).
The farm is also open seasonally for pumpkins and cut your own Christmas trees. Maple sugar demonstrations are typically held the first three weekends in March from 11-5. Warrup’s Farm announced a summer/fall CSA Program last year and it quickly filled up with 30 families. Please click here to add your name to the waiting list for 2012. It’s best to visit Warrup’s website for posted schedules or call 203-938-9403 to plan your visit.