Home and garden goodies at Sunny Farm on New Britain Avenue
This year the summer fitness series is focusing on eating right and exploring the wonder world of our local farmers markets. Last week we took a closer look at Wethersfield’s weekly market and this week we will explore the locally grown options in Rocky Hill.
The Terrier-town doesn’t have a traditional weekly farmers market, but it does have a few options that sell farm fresh items seven days a week.
Fair Weather Acres, located at 1146 Cromwell Avenue, is the epicenter for locally grown goodies, selling over 200 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and fruits, along with many other healthy and tasty packaged foods from vendors around Connecticut.
The local business was established by the Collins family, which began farming in the Connecticut River Valley over 100 years ago, starting as a dairy farm before eventually focusing on fresh produce. After years of successful crops, third generation farmers Chris and Mary Collins, along with their son Billy, started Fair Weather Acres in 1988 and began as a wholesale vegetable grower, selling peppers to local markets and focusing on their passion of growing green beans.
In 1997, Fair Weather Acres moved back to the original Collins Farm location on Cromwell Avenue where they have continued to be the largest green bean grower in New England.
The Collins family in now in its fifth generation of farmers and continues the same excellence standards and services that have helped the business thrive for the past three decades.
A visit to the farm stand is like visiting a farmers market and there are many regulars that come on a weekly basis. Not only do they have the traditional fruits and vegetables, but they also sell Gifford’s Ice Cream, pies from Granny’s Pie Factory, Hartford’s own Pan De Oro tortilla chips, and several other favorites from around the state.
The local establishment also sells grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and other local meats, eggs, and dairy products.
During the spring and early summer, the farm stands if home to over 300 varieties of flowers, hanging baskets, herbs, and vegetable plants. The massive and picturesque floral collection is visible from Cromwell Avenue and the smell alone is worth the trip.
The summer months are also when the farm market joins the growing trend of community farming through their own CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). A CSA is a way for consumers to buy local, seasonal produce directly from a farmer in their community. It’s basically a farm share where the farmer sells a share at the beginning of the growing season and consumers get fresh produce on a weekly basis throughout the season. The farmer then is able to use that money to purchase seeds and supplies ahead of the season, saving on costs. Fair Weather’s CSA is a 16-week program that begins in June, with weekly pickups of seasonal items for families to enjoy.
The farm fresh fun goes into the fall season when Fair Weathers Acres puts on their annual Fall Festival, which takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10 County Line Drive in Cromwell. The festivities run from mid-September through the end of October and features live animals, hay rides, a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, and much more entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.
During the holiday season the farm stand comes alive with Christmas lights and decoration, selling wreaths and other seasonally festive décor.
For more information about Fair Weather Acres, visit the website at fairweatheracres.com. You can also call 860-529-6755 or visit the farm stand Monday – Friday from 8 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 8-6, or Sunday from 9-5.
Gilbert Farm, located at 790 Elm Street, is another good option for farm fresh options. The local farm stand is another locally owned family farm, specializes in farm to table fruits, vegetables, and much more.
They too are open seven days a week from the spring through the holiday season. The farm keeps their fresh vegetables and various hanging baskets on display and locals flock to their locations on the corner of Gilbert Avenue and Elm Street, especially during corn season when the farm brings in loads of the freshest cob Connecticut has to offer.
For the best in local home and garden, check out Sunny Farm located at 259 New Britain Avenue. The wonderfully manicured roadside business earned the 2017 Best Home and Garden award in Rocky Hill. The farm is open Monday through Saturday from 7-5 and their knowledgeable staff will help you with all your flower, tree, and landscaping needs. They also have a huge selection of yard ornaments and shrubs.
All three locations offer locals the convenience of getting farm fresh produce at any point throughout the summer season. If you’re new to the area or are just rediscovering Rocky Hill, you will not be disappointed by the fresh produce that surrounds us.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin