Nutmeggers know that we suffer through months of biting cold to enjoy the other three seasons. But while spring and summer hold their own special joys, autumn is when our region really shines.
It’s not just the fall colors, our neighborhood farms also are overflowing right now with autumnal bounty.
“Fall is always a really busy time for us,” said Sandy Dondero, of Dondero Orchards on Woodland Street. Dondero grows 20 varieties of apples and autumn is the season when the orchards see a lot of visitors. That’s in addition to folks who come to buy pumpkins or sample some of Donderos homemade apple fritters, pie and cider.
“It's been a good season, a lot of people are interested in coming and picking their own fruit this year," Sandy said. For some, getting outside and visiting a local farm is a safe activity during the pandemic. But for others, coming to the farm to pick their own produce is a custom.
"For a lot of people it’s become a family tradition.They like to just meander through the orchards,” Sandy said.
Dondero is one of nearly 30 seasonal farms here that grow or raise hundreds of varieties of produce.
While every season is important to farmers, fall is especially significant because “it's one of the busiest times of the year,” said Chris Bassette, of Killam & Bassette Farmstead.
“We have summer crops and fall crops to harvest while managing the farm stands and over 14 markets we do.”
Some of what is coming into season right now, she said, are pumpkins, winter squashes, cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower. The farm also makes and sells its own pies.
At the Joseph Preli Farm, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the fall harvest is especially important because the farm specializes in apples and Concord grapes, both fall fruits, for its farm-made wines and cider.
“We also do a lot of specialty stuff, things that other farms don’t sell around here,” said owner John Yushkevich. "We start selling in April with raspberries and rhubarb and we sell right through November and December with winter squash and other products." Some of the farm's other unusual produce includes Italian chicory, sunchokes, melons and elderberries.
Here's a list of the Glastonbury farms you can visit.
Beckett Farms— 1269 Main St., 860-659-0848; Fruits, vegetables, herbs. beckettfarms.com
Bednarz Farm -– 118 Wickham Road, 860-633-2942; Organic and conventionally grown vegetables and fruits.
Belltown Hill Orchards — 475 Matson Hill Road, 860-633-2789; Fruits, vegetables, pick-your-own, farm bakery. Belltownhillorchards.com
Bussa Orchards — 101 Clark Hill Road, 860-633-2387; Apples, peaches, pears, plums. facebook.com/BussaOrchards0126/
Butternut Farm — 1654 Main St., 860-633-7197; Eggs, goat products. butternutfarmbandb.com
Carini’s Berry Farm — 470 Chestnut Hill Road, 860-633-3110. Fruits, vegetables, pick-your-own. facebook.com/pages/Carini's
Cavanna’s Farm — 80 Woodland St., 860-659-1856. Fruits, Christmas trees, pick-your-own. facebook.com/cavannasfarm1903
Deercrest Farm — 3499 Hebron Ave., 860-633-4407. Fruits, vegetables, greens, herbs. turnips, apples. deercrestfarm.com
Dondero Orchards — 529 Woodland St., 860-659-0294, Dondero Orchards Mountain View Farm — 3582 Hebron Ave., 860-430-2212. Pick-your-own fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers. donderoorchards.com
E. Draghi & Sons Farms — 80 Main St., 860-633-2197. Fruits, vegetables, flowers, Christmas trees, baked goods. draghifarms.com
Gutt Family Farm — 155 Addison Road. 860-659-4465. Vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, herbs. facebook.com/Gutt-Family-Farm
Horton Farm — 171 A Ferry Lane, 860-633-2235. Vegetables, eggs, jams, canned goods. facebook.com/Hortonfamilyfarms
Joseph Preli Farm and Vineyard — 235 Hopewell Road, 860-633-7333. Fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, seasonal farmstand. josephprelifarm.com
Killam & Bassette Farmstead — 1098 Main St., & 14 Tryon St., 860-833-0095. Fruits, vegetables, meats, herbs, Christmas trees, greenery, goat cheese, eggs. kbfarmstead.com
Littel Acres Farm Market — 535 Griswold St., 860-633-1699. Annuals, perennials, fruits, vegetables, herbs, bakery. littelacresfarm.com
Robb's Farm — 91 Wassuc Road, 860-657-8235. Ice cream, eggs. Includes Graceful Acres with locally grown plants.. riverviewfarmsct.com
Rose’s Berry Farm — 295 Matson Hill Road; Farmstand — 1200 Hebron Ave., 860-633-7467. Pick-your-own fruits & vegetables, Christmas trees, flowers, honey, maple syrup, jams, vinegar, salsa. rosesberryfarm.com
Scotts Orchard and Nursery — 1838 New London Turnpike, 860 633-8681. Pick-your-own fruits, vegetables, Christmas trees. Local cheese, jams, eggs, jellies. scottsorchardandnursery.com
The Old Cider Mill — 1287 Main St.. 860-778-4460. Historic cider mill. Pressed cider, apples, pumpkins, mums, sunflowers, ice cream. riverviewfarmsct.com
Thompson Street Farm — 49 Thompson St., 860-657-4361. Farmers’ Market on Hubbard Green July-Oct. No onsite farm stand, pre-orders for pickup. Greens, herbs, vegetable soaps, jams. thompsonstreetfarm.com
Walnut Ledge Farm — 360 Matson Hill Road, 860-633-2286. Fruits, chestnuts, herbs, vegetables, maple syrup. walnutledgefarm.com
Wind-Gait Farm — 45 Hi-Gait Farms Road, 860-659-3426. Mohair yarns and fiber, goat milk soap. guide. farmfreshri.org
Wind Hill Community Farm — 3006 Hebron Ave., (860) 989-1909. Nonprofit community farm, vegetables, community organic gardening. windhillfarm.org
Woodland Farm — 615 Woodland St., 860-430-9942. Fruit cider, cut flowers. woodlandfarmllc.com
Woolly Acres — 581 Thompson St., 860-430-4503. Organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, eggs. fruits, vegetables, herbs, cut flowers. woolly acres.wordpress.com.