August 28, 2019
CONNECTICUT GROWN PEACHES, PEARS, AND PLUMS
Bureau of Agricultural Development and Resource Conservation
Connecticut grown peaches, pears, and plums are in season. Now is a good time to visit a Connecticut farm to buy some of these delicious fruits directly from the farmers that grew them or pick your own right from the tree.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) has a listing of 100 Connecticut pick-your-own farms available at https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/ADaRC/Publications/Connecticut-Pick-Your-Own-Farms-By-County.
Connecticut farmers are also bringing fresh peaches, pears, and plums to farmers’ markets across the state. A list of more than 100 Connecticut farmers’ markets is available at https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/ADaRC/Publications/Farmers-Markets.
Stone fruit—a fruit with a stone, or pit, in the middle—is a significant economic driver in Connecticut.
According to the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture, fruit and tree nuts accounted for more than $25,000,000 of Connecticut farm sales in 2017. According to the Census, 508 Connecticut farms sold fruit and tree nuts in 2017, which was 9.2% of Connecticut farms with sales.
“Peaches have been really good with really good flavor this year,” said Doug Bussa of Bussa Orchards.
Doug grows about 20 acres of apples, five acres of pears, and five acres of peaches on his farm in South Glastonbury.
Doug said his clingstone (early) varieties of peaches were a little small but his freestone (later) varieties are doing very well.
“Now we’re in the height of peaches,” said Doug. “It’s a good time to do some canning and make some pies.”
Doug said his pear and plum crop has been light this year due to a cool wet spring. So customers should get out to the farms soon.
“Both pears and plums are a very small crop this year,” said Doug. “There was poor pollination weather in the spring.”
Many customers who visit Connecticut farms to buy peaches, pears, and plums also take advantage of the other opportunities offered by the farm.
In addition to peaches, pears, and plums Belltown Hill Orchards in South Glastonbury also sells fresh vegetables from their fields; their homemade jams, jellies, and preserves; as well as pies, cookies, and apple cider donuts made fresh in their own bakery.
Belltown Hill Orchards is a diversified fruit growing farm which started in 1910 on only seven acres of land. In the past 108 years the farm has expanded to 150 acres with apples representing approximately half of the total production acres and various other fruit including stone fruits making up the other half of the farm. Belltown Hill Orchards markets their fruit through their onsite farm market, pick your own, and wholesale retailers. Go to https://www.belltownhillorchards.com or call 860-633-2789 for more information about pick-your-own availability at Belltown Hill Orchards.
Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, offers pick-your-own peaches and includes a market offering fresh seasonal produce and baked goods made in the farm kitchen for sale. The farm also offers its own hard cider for sale in addition to other agritourism attractions like a sunflower maze and a corn maze. For more information about Lyman Orchards go to http://www.lymanorchards.com.