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Savvy in the Soil

With farms becoming increasingly popular, farmers business juices are starting to sizzle



Imagine if a local farmer delivered a bag of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to your office once a week and your employer helped foot the bill. Or maybe you’d prefer home delivery? What if this year you could get your hands on freshly harvested vegetables in the dead of winter?

February is high season for CSA sign ups. With CSA membership, families pay an annual fee for a share at the start of the growing season and get a season’s worth of whatever grows on the farm, to be picked up weekly. Farms say interest for fresh, local produce is strong; however, one of the constraints on CSA membership is flexibility. This year farmers are looking for ways to make buying locally grown produce convenient for more families, more weeks of the year. 

 “When running a CSA in Fairfield County, the fact is that people are so busy it is difficult for families to pick up on the right day, let alone any day,” says Joe Keller, owner of Ridgefield’s The Garden of Ideas, which is entering its sixth year with a program and has about 100 members. So last season, after a Darien customer approached him on the idea, Keller piloted a home-delivery program to 33 Darien homes. Keller delivered the local produce in a cooler bag left in a specified place outside each home, and charged an additional $3 each week. “It worked well,” he says. “If people are willing to pay for fuel costs, it is good for them, and it helps me maintain the members.”  

Simpaug Farms, in Suffield, has found the same need for flexibility. “Some people can’t get away and can’t do weekends,” says Jennifer Trillo, Simpaug sales and marketing manager. The farm has CSA pick-up points in Ridgefield, Redding, and Suffield, for its 125 members. The goal this year is to expand into workplace delivery by partnering with local businesses. A company will offer employees CSA shares and Simpaug will deliver the produce to members at work weekly. Some companies even plan to subsidize the share price, Trillo says. “Though the commitment will vary from company to company, they are looking at it as part of their wellness programs.”

In addition to making local produce more convenient to buy, farmers are looking for ways to extend their growing seasons. Veronica’s Garden, in Ridgefield, offered its first CSA plan last season. Owner Bob DiNucci says they kept it small, with 20 members, in order to “under-promise and over-deliver.” This season they have added two hoop houses. A hoop house is a tunnel-like series of metal hoops covered in heavy greenhouse plastic. It uses solar energy and insulation to keep plants warm. This will allow Veronica’s Garden to extend the season and add more crop variation, he says.

Litchfield’s Waldingfield Farm has similar plans. They have added a high tunnel, which is like a hoop house only taller, so they will be able to start crops earlier in spring, and grow them well into fall, says Waldingfield’s Patrick Horan. Last year the farm sold 145 shareholders a 20-week season, and then offered a five-week extension. This year the farm plans to extend its season further. “Our goal is certainly to do an all year round CSA,” Horan says. “By 2014-2015 we will offer a reduced-size winter CSA.”

The Garden of Ideas has five hoop houses, and while they allow some farming of particular crops, a heated environment is required for active growing and harvesting, Keller says. For this reason, he spent this winter looking into geothermal heating systems. While outdoor temperatures fluctuate with the seasons, underground temperatures, insulated by the earth, are relatively stable. Geothermal technology uses an electric pump and tubing buried below the soil to draw heat from the soil and direct it into the hoop house. It requires a pump, which will use “pennies” in electricity, costing much less than a traditional greenhouse heated with propane. He plans to add one next winter. 

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May 2018

The US any Blue Angels headline the Jones Beach 15th Annual Memorial Day Weekend Air Show. Plus The Royal Canadian Air Force Snow Birds, the F22 Raptor the Air Force’s newest fighter...

Cost: Free

Where:
Jones Beach
895 Bay Pkwy
Wantagh, NY  11793
View map »


Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

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SilverSource – the leading resource for older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2018 SilverSource Awards.  The awards...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ eighth annual Juried Member Show opens Saturday, May 26th, with a reception scheduled for Saturday, June 2nd from 4-6pm (due to the Memorial Day...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

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Preview to the 3rd Annual Art Show at the 42nd Annual South Salem Presbyterian Church Memorial Day Fair & Races. A celebration of our local Artistic Community with wine, hors d’oeuvres...

Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at door

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: South Salem Presbyterian Church
Telephone: 914-763-9282
Contact Name: Carolyn Patterson
Website »

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The Pirelli World Challenge series serves up races from all 7 car classes from the Big Dogs (Cadillacs, Bentley’s, Lomborghinis & Porches) to the TC class of Mustangs and BMW 228is, and...

Cost: $60

Where:
Lime Rock Park
60 White Hollow Rd
Lakeville , CT
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Website »

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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The 10K race at 8am that takes you on challenging South Salem hills. The 5K starts at 9:30am. Both races are USA Track and Field certified. The youth Mile Fun Run is at 10:45am and Pee Wee races...

Cost: $15-$45

Where:
Lewisboro Library
15 Main Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Website »

More information

  Memorial Day in Lewisboro will once again be a day of celebration and remembrance with road races, children's games, artists, vendors, artisans, silent auction, food and live music in...

Cost: 0

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: South Salem Presbyterian Church
Telephone: 914-763-9282
Contact Name: Judy Office
Website »

More information

We’ve got the best seat in the house!  Come snack on Cracker Jack’s, sip cool lemonade, and cheer on the marchers from the historic front porch of Old Hundred, conveniently located...

Cost: Free for members

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

SilverSource – the leading resource for older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2018 SilverSource Awards.  The awards...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

More information

Come for an afternoon focused on the wild world of painting! Learn about a number of techniques, from creating a classic still life to finger-painting, as we explore the various approaches painters...

Cost: Free for members or with Museum admission

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ eighth annual Juried Member Show opens Saturday, May 26th, with a reception scheduled for Saturday, June 2nd from 4-6pm (due to the Memorial Day...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

The Pirelli World Challenge series serves up races from all 7 car classes from the Big Dogs (Cadillacs, Bentley’s, Lomborghinis & Porches) to the TC class of Mustangs and BMW 228is, and...

Cost: $60

Where:
Lime Rock Park
60 White Hollow Rd
Lakeville , CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

SilverSource – the leading resource for older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2018 SilverSource Awards.  The awards...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ eighth annual Juried Member Show opens Saturday, May 26th, with a reception scheduled for Saturday, June 2nd from 4-6pm (due to the Memorial Day...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Apocalyptica is best known for their recently re-issued 1996 debut, Apocalyptica Plays Metallica By Four Cellos. The cello-driven rock opus changed the landscape of heavy music for years...

Cost: $45

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 EAST RIDGE ROAD
RIDGEFIELD, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

SilverSource – the leading resource for older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2018 SilverSource Awards.  The awards...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ eighth annual Juried Member Show opens Saturday, May 26th, with a reception scheduled for Saturday, June 2nd from 4-6pm (due to the Memorial Day...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Wednesday, May 30 Author Talk: Margaret Reed and Joan Lownds - The Dogs of Camelot: Stories of the Kennedy Canines, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Before that tragic day on November 22, 1963, the Kennedy...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

SilverSource – the leading resource for older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2018 SilverSource Awards.  The awards...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ eighth annual Juried Member Show opens Saturday, May 26th, with a reception scheduled for Saturday, June 2nd from 4-6pm (due to the Memorial Day...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Jessica Meyrowitz is a knitter, designer, and founder of It’s a... Yummy.  Her company creates products using a custom made, oversized, 100% merino wool yarn.  To truly appreciate...

Cost: $85.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
792 Route 35
@ The Little Red Schoolhouse
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

SilverSource – the leading resource for older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2018 SilverSource Awards.  The awards...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ eighth annual Juried Member Show opens Saturday, May 26th, with a reception scheduled for Saturday, June 2nd from 4-6pm (due to the Memorial Day...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us in the lobby at 7:15pm for an Italian wine tasting by Pera Wines and an art exhibit! The incomparable kings of swing are back with a new album, “Louie, Louie,...

Cost: $47.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield , CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse Marketing
Telephone: (203) 438-5795
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Returning for its third year, Friends of the Ives will present Art at Ives: Juried Fine Art & Crafts Show on Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3 from 10am to 5pm each day. Continuing to...

Cost: Art Show: $5; Wine Tasting: $15 in advance/$20 at the door (Includes art show)

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore five private gardens in Redding, Ridgefield, and Wilton, open for self-guided tours to benefit the Garden Conservancy, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Highlights include a reflecting pool with French...

Cost: $7 per garden; children 12 & under free

Where:
Garden of Ken Eisold
18 Chestnut Hill Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Garden Conservancy
Telephone: 888-842-2442
Contact Name: Open Days Program staff
Website »

More information

Join us for a group hike in honor of Connecticut Trails Day 2018! Connecticut Trails Day (CTD) is part of National Trails Day® (NTD), a nationwide hiking initiative established...

Cost: Free

Where:
Woodcock Nature Center
54 Deer Run Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ eighth annual Juried Member Show opens Saturday, May 26th, with a reception scheduled for Saturday, June 2nd from 4-6pm (due to the Memorial Day...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

The Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Fairfield County bring professional and amateur dancers together in the 7th annual ballroom tribute show.  Dancers from the ages 2 – 80 will take to the...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »

More information

Paper Quilling also known as paper filigree, is the art of rolling paper into intricate and interesting shapes. During this workshop, participants will be able to learn the techniques on basic...

Cost: $40.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
792 Route 35
@ The Little Red Schoolhouse
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

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 This year's annual play reading brings a night of one-act plays performed by professional actors who are near and dear to New Pond Farm. This will be a collection of smart and funny short...

Cost: $40 per New Pond Farm member and $50 per non-member

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Do you wish you could read great literature but fear you just can't fit it in? Do you join book clubs only to find yourself not having enough time to read through the entire book? Do you love a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Danbury Library- Lower Level Meeting Room
170 Main St
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

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