Enjoying The Connecticut Farm
Hey, Hi, Hello There Local Connecticut Readers! I’m Shannon, the Owner, Lead Educator & Enthusiastic Gardener behind @threerootseducation. Three Roots is an organic art & garden education center in Ridgefield, CT. We have been open since May & in that time we’ve had 20 Workshops, 8 Articles, 2 Birthday Parties, and a Baby Shower! (It’s been a busy season) I am SO excited to be with you today sharing all you need to know on Connecticut Farms! Before we dig in, a big Thank You to Local Connecticut for this amazing opportunity, and platform to share some of the best kept secrets about Connecticut, and our farms.
For the Love of Farms
I was born and raised in Connecticut. I moved to Nashville for college and whenever there was a chance I happily proclaimed Nutmeg State residency. There are many things to love about our state, but my favorite is the farming, and growing culture we have fostered. From the historic onion farms of Westport, to the picturesque apple orchards in Bethel, there is no shortage of agriculture here, and that is something to be proud of. I grew up in a family of gardeners. My great grandfather grew tomatoes, cucumbers, and more in a raised bed. One grandfather had sunflowers the size of his garage, and the other had over 5 raspberry varieties in his rocky driveway. My godmother owns a Christmas tree farm, and my parents always keep an overflowing flower bed. I have had NO choice but to love gardens and farms. After moving back from university I found myself in a precarious situation. My post grad plans had fallen to bits, and I needed a job. So, as any unemployed twenty year old does I wandered into a farm market in Westport so I could plan for an upcoming dinner party.
Double L Market - A Haven for Farm Fresh Food
While in Double L Market, located at 730 Post Rd. East, the owner Lloyd came over and began asking what I was making. In our five minute conversation I had a job interview, and within a week a job at his market. If you’ve ever been in Double L you know how special this market is. Sourcing from local farms as often as possible you should not be surprised if during a visit Lloyd is either on the phone with a farmer, or talking with on one the loading port. This magic store is a farmers market year round, and a shining example of Connecticut farms. Part of my time at Double L involved working for one of the farms highlighted at the market, an experience I couldn’t be more grateful for. Anyone looking for spectacular produce, provisions, and conversation needs to find their way to Double L .
Grant Farms - A Retirement Dream
I spent summer 2017 working with Tom & Nancy Grant of Grant Farm in Weston CT. Nestled on 10 acres of pristine land Nancy & Tom Grant are exactly who I want growing my food! Tom, a retired banker, and Nancy a retired flower farmer live, work, and enjoy life in their 17th century farmhouse. What started as a retirement project for Nancy, has turned into a second business for them both. Growing raspberries, blueberries, onions, apples, tomatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, lettuce, peppers, beans, and MORE one can easily get lost in their lush fields. Arriving every morning at 5am I spent a hazy and warm summer soaking in all I could about Connecticut farming from Nancy, and hearing decades old stories from Tom. A visit to their farm is not complete unless you leave with an overflowing basket of produce, and have seen Tom & Nancy lovingly banter about what needs to be done next. While there I learned not only about work ethic, but why it is VITAL to love the land you are on, and give back at least half of what it gave you.
Patch’s Hillside Farm - A Family Affair
Forestry farms don’t get enough love! Yet, each year millions of us visit them to gather holiday trees and wreaths. Growing up my godmother would tell stories about her parent’s Christmas Tree Farm in Cheshire, CT. When the farm closed down we noticed a change in Ellen, then three years ago she surprised us all (just a little) when she announced she purchased a NEW tree farm in Hebron, CT. It’s hard sometimes to believe that in a harsh Connecticut winter even our trees continue to grow, and that is what I find most amazing about Connecticut farms. Despite our humid summers, crisp falls, harsh winters, and watery springs we ALWAYS manage to produce amazing agricultural yields. Ellen runs the farm with her nephew Patrick, and it’s always Christmas season when you are with them. Spend an afternoon in June with them clearing the tree fields and you will find yourself singing holiday tunes in the middle of a summer heatwave. Swing by this hidden gem for firewood, award winning wreaths, and good old fashion tree chopping fun!
Three Roots Education - A Parking Lot Plot
I’ve told you about some of my favorite farm spots, it’s only fair to share about my own. While I do not yet own my sprawling raspberry and zinnia farm, I am the proud owner of Three Roots Education & our parking lot garden plot. In my 8ft x 3ft section of space I grow brussel sprouts, arugula, zinnias, cucumbers, raspberries, swiss chard AND carrots. I make due with the space I have, and spend at least thirty minutes in here a day getting dirt under my nails, and cabbage in my hair. I love my garden because it’s a community. The woman who lives above my workshop brings her dog to look at the flowers everyday. The glass shop owner across the lot questions my produce choices daily, and the mail woman shakes her head whenever I begin to plant something new. My garden is a conversation piece; but, so is every garden and farm I mentioned. Don’t let our weather patterns, inclination towards business careers, and polo shirts fool you. At the end of the day Connecticut is full of green thumbs who just want to make the Nutmeg State Proud.
If You Are Interested in Any of The Locations mentioned Today their tours & contact Information are below. I am also including a few other favorite CT farms that are worth a trip. Cheers to the Garden! Hope to see you in one soon!
Double L Market
730 Post Rd East Westport CT, 06880
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10am - 5pm Sun. 10am - 2pm
(Find Their Produce at Double L)
Three Roots Education
15 Danbury Rd. Ridgefield CT, 06877
M - S 10am - 5pm - Visit Website for Workshop Information
Patch’s Hillside Farm
372 Burnt Hill Road Hebron, CT 06248
Hours: After Thanksgiving: Fri - Sun. 9am - 4:30pm December Sat & Sun 9am - 4:30pm
Blue Jay Orchards
125 Plumtrees Rd. Bethel CT, 06801
451 Sporthill Rd Easton CT, 06612
529 Woodland St. South Glastonbury CT, 06073