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The Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers of Summer Have Arrived

E. Draghi and Sons Farm Stand in South Glastonbury is an Iconic Summer Stop

July is high summer, that tipping point where farm stands are overflowing with abundant blooms in every color and a cornucopia of summer fruits and veggies are now making their debut. 

For the folks at E. Draghi and Sons Farms in South Glastonbury, this time of year is the culmination of months of planning and planting for the farming family, which owns and operates a popular farm stand at 80 Main St. 

But to call it a ‘farm stand’ is an understatement that doesn’t cover the incredible diversity of fresh foods, plants, bakery goods and flowers Draghi’s creates, grows and sells at its Route 17 facility. 

But first, a bit of history about the family and its business. 

In 1917 Angelo Draghi and his wife, Josephina, bought a farm on Foote Road. Dotted with fruit trees, the land reminded the couple of the Italian countryside where they once lived. 

Angelo, and later his sons, cleared the property enough to plant dozens more apple trees and settled into farming his orchard with his family. 

The farm passed to two of Angelo’s and Josephine’s sons who expanded the business to include off-site farms and the purchase of the farm stand in 1968. The family later built a cider mill at the stand.

“Initially, we made tons of cider,” says Cheryl Draghi, the third generation Draghi to work in the family business. “When I was little I used to help out by jugging cider, both gallon and half-gallon jugs. We made cider for lots of local businesses and for the Apple Festival.” 

By the late 1970s the business was owned by two of Angelo’s sons, Gino (Cheryl’s dad) and his brother Andy. Cheryl’s brother, Darrell, bought out his Uncle Andy's share of the business and became partners with his dad, Gino. Together, they expanded the farm stand, added greenhouses and began selling a wider diversity of goods. 

Draghi’s grows plants and flowers at its six greenhouses on the hillside behind the farm stand. The business sells a great many other products as well. There is a small store where customers can buy basic goods such as eggs, milk, bread and cheeses. 

“Our pantry shelves are lined with a large variety of Connecticut and Vermont Maple Syrups, local honey, jams, jellies, no-sugar preserves, fruit spreads and butters, salsas, pickled vegetables, salad dressings, marinades, relishes, mustards, dessert toppings, old fashioned candies, maple candies, fudge, a variety of nuts and dried fruits, a large selection of spices as well as an assortment of Stonewall Kitchen products,” the company’s website says. 

More recently the farm stand has been selling frozen meats, including beef, pork and chicken, to round out the offerings. 

The family also sells a wide variety of homemade jams and jellies and there is an on-site bakery where Draghi’s two bakers each day churn out cakes, breads, cookies, quiches, pies and much more. They also sell dairy products, eggs and homemade ice cream. 

While fruits and vegetables are available in the store year-round, the farm stand begins selling native fresh produce in May, starting with asparagus and spinach and other early spring crops. By mid-summer the stand is brimming with fresh, local produce, a lot of it grown by the Draghis themselves.  

Darrell’s and Cheryl’s parents, Gino and Sandy, still live on the family homestead on Foote Road and both still help out around the farm stand. 

“All of this is really a wonderful group family effort that we cherish," Cheryl says. 

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