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Entries in Local Farm (131)

Tuesday
Oct042016

5 Things You Should Know About Bees & Honey via Red Bee's Marina Marchese

With cooler weather around the corner and Rosh Hashanah just past, it’s time to reach for your honey pot. If your summer was full of honey-themed cocktails and BBQ’s, it’s quite possibly still on the kitchen counter but if you enjoy honey “only in my tea when I’m not feeling well” it might be in the darkest corner of your cupboard most likely crystallized. No, it is not spoiled and you don’t have to throw it out. Right now, honey is having a moment as the next artisanal food superstar. Partly because bees are disappearing – you’ve heard about colony collapse sparking a beekeeping craze and partly because honey is believed by many to relieve symptoms of colds and seasonally allergies.

Honey is the only food made by an insect that humans consume and although it was found in the tombs of the Pharaohs, honey can last forever if stored properly – in a cool, dry place, yet it will loose its delicate flavors and health benefits over time. Most people think that honey is honey is honey but it’s not. I’m going to help demystify the flavorful world of honey so that you can be an informed honey connoisseur and navigate your way around the delicious and diverse world of natures oldest and only raw sweetener. 

 

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Monday
Sep262016

14 Farms For Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins in CT

Autumn is here and  Connecticut Farms have delicious seasonal produce ready to be harvested!  Last week, CTBites told you where you can pick your own apples.  While apples are delicious, pumpkins truly epitomize the fall.  From jack-o-lanterns to pies to pumpkin flavored everything, the gourd has many uses.  Here are 12 places that offer pick your own pumpkins!  Be sure to call ahead to confirm availability.

  1. Harris Hill Farm, New Milford: On weekends during the month of October, Harris Hill Farm in New Milford opens the farm and its pick-your-own pumpkin patch to the community.
  2. Castle Hill Farm, Newtown: Castle Hill Farm in Newtown has a 4 acre pumpkin patch. They also have hay rides and a corn maze.
  3. Lyman Orchards, Middlefield: Lyman Orchards in Middlefield has a 24 hour hotline so that you can get updates on the crops and conditions.
  4. Bishop's Orchards, Guilford: Great picking of all kinds at Bishop's + a corn Maze on the weekends from 10-5. 
  5. Holmberg Orchards, Gales Ferry: Pumpkins are in season from September-October at Holmberg Orchards in Gales Ferry. On weekends, enjoy a corn maze, tractor rides, cider donuts, and a wine

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Tuesday
Sep132016

2016 Guide to Pick-Your-Own Connecticut Apples

At this time of year, when Connecticut’s leaves start to change colors, eventually rivaling those of a Turkish carpet, there are few pleasures keener than to drive along the back roads of our state to an apple orchard. To choose local fruit, often varieties that are otherwise hard to find, for oneself is a seasonal occasion worth seeking out, worth savoring, worth creating a special picnic for (think rustic breads, local cheeses, and local hard cider if the orchard allows it). If you’re lucky, all of this is set off by sweetly chilly temperatures and a sky of platinum blue---in which case, congratulations. You have officially reached peak autumn.

Our guide to some of Connecticut’s best pick-your-own-apple experiences is here. Readers are encouraged to add their own. Note that this past spring, in the short period during which apple trees are pollinated, weather conditions were very unfavorable; a lighter-than-usual crop has resulted, so bring your flexibility along. As with all such outings, a little thinking ahead goes a long way. Be sure to call ahead for availability, wear sturdy shoes, and choose a good time for your visit. Weekdays are better for a quiet group or one that can’t deal with crowds; weekends will thrill the extroverts.

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Tuesday
Aug022016

Double L Market: Westport's First Farm Stand Turns 30

Lloyd Allen’s Double L Market in Westport is celebrating its 20th year. The market, now in its third location near Hillspoint Road, is the “original” farmstand. Described as “eclectic” it has weathered every storm and outlasted the competition thanks to a very dedicated group of followers. “When you’ve done this for as long as I have you get to know a lot of people and what they want. We want to be able to offer the best!” Allen told me.

“We were a farmstand and farmers market long before anyone else - before it became a thing. We were wild, and on the side of the road, in the open air and having lots of fun doing it.” Although Allen and his staff are no longer on the side of the road, and are now in an enclosed air-conditioned corner store, a little bit of that wildness still remains. “We are still having a great time,” he added. “You meet people who are passionate on both sides of the market - the growers are passionate about producing the best and our consumers are passionate to find and eat the best.”

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Thursday
Jun022016

INDIA, Farm-to-Table Indian Cuisine, Opens in New Canaan: A First Look

Bold…intense…complex…flavors, these are the words that best describe the menu that Master Chef Prasad Chirnomula is serving at his latest restaurant, INDIA, in New Canaan. Chef Prasad is no stranger to New Canaan, or Connecticut. As the owner/chef of the highly successfully Thali restaurants, he announced several months ago that he was closing his flagship restaurant in New Canaan, desirous of opening a smaller, more intimate, restaurant in town. The interior of INDIA does just that, with a relaxed, sensual feel accentuated with flowing silk curtains engulfing many of the tables.

Chef Prasad invited CTbites to enjoy traditional cuisine from various regions of India, as well as sample many of his creative and inventive renditions from across southeast Asia and Africa. During the visit, this gregarious Master Chef joined us to explain the history, the composition, his vision for the dish as well as the numerous ingredients that were required to meet his high standards. His exuberance was evident in every description, and it translated into each of his creations. After close to twenty different dishes, my appreciation for his talent and the Indian heritage was significantly elevated, this was a culinary adventure. I was also pleasantly surprised when he told us that most are gluten-free, Indian recipes do not thicken sauces with gluten.

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Wednesday
May112016

Ultimate Guide To Berry Picking in CT (2016 Edition)

“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, dear,” my maternal grandmother told me over and over again when I was growing up in the Midwest. Grandma, may she rest in peace, always had berry patches in her backyard for pies to please the most hard-hearted male guest, but if she could have seen the scale and abundance of Connecticut berry farms, she would probably, as we used to say, have fainted dead away. Prairies are not made for berries; woodlands are. Since it’s true that the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach, too, I’ve developed a passion for the annual ritual of visiting local pick-your-own farms for strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

The argument for going to pick-your-own farms, when one has the time, is unassailable. It does not get more local than this, unless, like my Grandma, you want to grow your own (another unassailable idea but beyond the scope of this article). Berries in season are at their peak of freshness and nadir of price, and one also has the satisfaction of knowing that one is supporting farmers in one’s community.

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Wednesday
May112016

A New Era for Bethel’s Holbrook Farm

Founded by John and Lynn Holbrook, Holbrook Farm in Bethel has been family run and operated for the past 40 years. The farm is small by most people’s standards. Although it is situated on 12 acres only two are used for production. From these two acres yield an abundance of produce. While not certified organic, the land is clean of pesticides and herbicides, using plants that attract beneficial insects. Weeds have a special place in the ecological mix as well.

Last week I took a trip up to the farm to meet with Jess Wong, the new manager who gave me a tour of the property. Wong was brought on to manage the property and grow the farm to a new level of productivity. A Skidmore graduate, she dabbled in marketing for a while before realizing that she missed being outdoors and working with her hands. Wong started volunteering at the farm assisting the former manager, handling minor projects and social media

Last December John told her that he wanted to retire and asked if she would run the farm and the market. Wong was elated. She had big plans for the farm which included a new greenhouse and renovating the store. But greenhouses are expensive. Enter Tony Pham and Richard Reyes of Mecha Noodle Bar, and Mezon, and their new program, Eat Justice, a movement of restaurants on a mission to transform taste and tradition to pride and progress.

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Tuesday
Apr262016

2016 Guide to Fairfield County Farmers Markets via Fairfield Green Food Guide

It's that time of year, and Fairfield Green Food Guide always does a great job of keeping people in the know on all things Farmers' Markets. The following is their 2016 Guide to Fairfield County Farmers' Markets. 

Farmers’ markets in Fairfield County, CT will begin opening in May and early June and we will update the listings below (from 2015) with 2016 information as it becomes available. Here are the markets updated so far:

  • Ridgefield will not have a farmers market this year
  • Fairfield may have a second, downtown market
  • New Canaan opened on April 23
  • Westport opens May 19
  • Fairfield @Greenfield Hill opens on May 21
  • Greenwich @ Arch & Horseneck Streets opens on May 14
  • Trumbull opens May 19
  • Old Greenwich opens May 25
  • Darien opens May ?
  • Rowayton opens May 27
  • Stamford opens June 18
  • Black Rock opens June 18
  • Bridgeport Downtown opens July 14

Read the complete article with detailed market information here. 

Wednesday
Jan132016

Tap-a-Tree Maple Syrup Program @ Ambler Farm

It's that time of year again. Sign up for Ambler Farms immensely popular, Maple Syrup Tap-a-Tree program. Sign up quickly...these classes fill up fast. 

Learn the science and history of maple syruping by being a hands-on part of the process at Ambler Farm in Wilton. 

Training Sessions: Saturday, February 6th at 10am or 1pm Learn the science and history of maple syruping by being a hands-on part of the process. There will be two training sessions offered (February 6th at 10am or 1pm); only ONE session is required for training. On that day, participants will choose a tree and hang their bucket that will collect sap. Ambler Farm will send regular updates on the running of the sap so families can come to the Farm to collect sap from their trees. Sap will be boiled down in the Farm’s sugar shack and each family will go home with their very own bottle of Ambler Farm maple syrup.

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Friday
Jan012016

Dinners at the Farm Announces 2016 Season Tickets On Sale

Tickets have gone on sale for the Dinners At The Farm 2016 season!

At Dinners At The Farm, each evening begins at 6:00pm, dinner served at 7:00pm. Tickets are per person and are $125 (Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays), $150 (Fridays and Saturdays). Upon arrival, guests are greeted with an orchard fruit cocktail and passed hors d’oeuvre and then proceed onto a lively tour of the farm with our warm and engaging farm hosts. Following the tour, guests are seated beneath a tent at long candle-lit tables with white porcelain settings where they will savor course after course of freshly cooked food with ingredients just picked from the fields outside the tent. Guests will break bread and raise a glass with the farmers, fishermen, and others who make up Connecticut’s vibrant agricultural community.

Our 2016 season marks 10 years of hosting our celebrated open-air dinners in the fields of Connecticut farms for delightful and delicious evenings of locally grown food, wine, and conviviality. Dates and additional information here.  

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