Viv’s Veggies at Chestnut Farm
By Analiese Paik
Vivian Simons has a farm, a brand-spanking new one right on Lyons Plains Road in Weston. She bought the historic, 14-acre property when it went on the market last year and recently moved into the house, which is under renovation. Last farmed in the 1940s, this former onion field is now providing the local community with the freshest, organically-grown produce around.
Now in year two of production, the land being planted has expanded to about 3.5 to 4 acres, including two pristine greenhouses teeming with early lettuces, arugula and mustard greens. Garlic tops can be seen in the field, and those who can’t wait will be rewarded with spring garlic in 3-4 weeks.
“This year we scoured the seed catalogs-we only buy organic seed – and chose varieties nobody else was growing” said Vivian, a CT NOFA farmer. Expect pineapple ground cherries along with many varieties of cantaloupe, pumpkins and heirloom tomatoes.
I visited on Saturday, opening day, and the farm stand was stocked with bin after bin of early produce, carefully shaded by a canopy and draped with damp muslin to avoid a case of the wilts. Vivian greeted customers warmly and invited an eager child to pick a scallion from the field. “I love meeting the people” Vivian said as she helped customers choose from scallions, leeks, two kinds of arugula, mustard greens, black seeded simpson lettuce (an heirloom variety), spinach, and beta greens, which are baby beet and chard greens.
“If a restaurant wanted to come here and pick up, I’d sell to them” said Vivian. But she’s not interested in making deliveries or going to farmers’ markets or offering CSAs. “Right now we’re open Saturday and Sunday from 12-5 and will add on Friday and Wednesday in full season.” Vivian (Viv as everyone calls her) will be growing flowers too, but no livestock for now.
Ira Krauss, a consulting farmer, shared the names of heirloom tomatoes growing in the greenhouse: “Prudence Purple, Cherokee Purple, Sun Gold, Green Zebra, Black Cherry and Matt’s Wild Cherry. We’ll grow some old heirloom varieties of corn and possibly some popcorn.” Westonites certainly have something to be excited about.
Viv’s Vegetables at Chestnut Farm (The Farm Stand)
Open Saturday and Sunday from 12-5 in May
227 Lyons Plains Road
This is the only area of the farm open to the public. Find Viv’s Vegetables at Chestnut Farm on Facebook.