Posts Tagged ‘farms’

A New Connecticut Winery Is Born! Lost Acres Vineyard in North Granby CT

October 20th, 2011 by nancyross

At long last, the new winery and vineyard that we have been waiting for has finally opened its tasting room – hooray!  LAV Wine PourLocated in a beautiful area of North Granby, Lost Acres Vineyard is a peaceful and yet festive destination for those who enjoy trying different wines.  Kevin and Michelle, winemaker and proprietors, are some of the most hospitable and upbeat hosts you’ll ever find in this neck of the woods.  Their enthusiasm for their wines spreads throughout the place, and everyone who stops in is sure to enjoy themselves. 

Taste the various reds and whites that they have created, and you will get a feel for what is to come year after year.  As their vineyard continues to thrive, the view from the barn deck becomes more spectacular as the day goes on, with the sun hitting the grapevines and reflecting beautiful hues of green.  Be sure to take advantage of the extras you can purchase in addition to the wine.  Sit back and enjoy a cheese platter to accompany your glass of wine, while overlooking the vineyard.  What could better?

The tasting room is located inside the barn, and what a lovely indoor venue to enjoy while sampling wine.  The post and beam construction of the barn is fascinating, the center fireplace is beautiful, and the art work that is displayed on the walls truly draws attention.  A little tidbit of interest…  Lost Acres Vineyard held an art competition among local artists to choose a label for their wines.  The oil painting that was chosen is hanging in the tasting room for all to enjoy. 

For those of us at the Dutch Iris Inn, the opening of Lost Acres Vineyard means yet another fun place for our guests to visit.  One of the most popular things that our guests love to do is to visit the local farms, orchards and wineries in the area.  Now they have one more stop to make – and only a stone’s throw away!  Lost Acres Vineyard is located at 80 Lost Acres Road, North Granby CT 06060.  They are open for tastings and wine sales on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through January 2nd, 11:00am – 6:00pm.  Keep in touch – they have special events at the vineyard as well.

Hayes Maze in North Granby CT is now open - the best Corn Maze around!

September 28th, 2011 by nancyross

Love a good corn maze?  Try your skills at this one!  A tradition that everyone in town looks forward to is the Hayes Maze located at 151 East Street in North Granby CT.  Stanley Hayes and his family choose a unique design each year, planting and hand-pulling the corn to create the most amazing designs for their corn maze.  Last year, the Hayes Maze depicted several well-known monuments.  Look at the photo here…can you identify the monuments in the corn maze from 2010? 


Hayes Corn Maze

The Hayes Maze has many twists and turns, and you’ll have such a festive time working your way through the maze.  To help you along, there are special stations set up within the maze that have questions for you to answer.  Each answer takes you in a different direction.  Answer the question correctly, and you’ll be on your way through the maze.  Answer incorrectly, and you head off in a dead-end direction.  New this year, for added fun, are 5 paper punch stations that are hidden throughout the maze. 

Want an added bonus to your trip?  Visit SweetPea Cheese, adjacent to the Hayes Maze.  SweetPea Cheese is part of House of Hayes Dairy Farm, and the Cheese Shop is open 10:00am – 7:00pm daily.  There you will find fresh goat milk and cow’s milk, yogurts and award-winning cheeses.  They have a variety of cheeses from which to choose, all freshly prepared on premises.  You can view the cheese preparation through the windows inside the shop.    GoatThe Dutch Iris Inn’s favorite goat cheese is the Chevre made at SweetPea Cheese.  …truly the best you’ll ever taste.  Really.  But we digress…we’ll share more about this cheese destination another time.  Let’s go back to the corn maze!

Bring your family out to the farm for a fun fall excursion.  The Hayes Maze is open Fridays 4:00-9:00pm, Saturdays 12noon-9:00pm, and Sundays 12noon-6:00pm.  If you come after dark for your corn maze challenge, be sure to bring a flashlight with you!  Admission to the Hayes Maze is $7.00 for Adults, $5.00 for Children 5-13 yrs., and Free for Tots (4 yrs and under).  Groups are also welcome, but please call to make arrangements ahead of time.


The Garlic Farm in West Granby CT Is a Unique Destination for All!

August 23rd, 2011 by nancyross

Garlic Farm Braid

The Best Garlic Ever!

The Garlic Farm in West Granby CT is a destination not to be missed!  In June, they tease you with their harvest of garlic scapes (stay tuned for more on that subject next June), and then the big season soon begins thereafter with the most wonderful bounty of fresh vegetables and, of course, GARLIC! 

The Garlic Farm market is located in a vintage barn on the property, with beautiful fields of pick-your-own zinnias out back.  Bushels and baskets overflow with bright colorful vegetables, all of which are grown pesticide-free in accordance with the Northeast Organic Farming Association. 

Garlic is sold by the head, by the bunch, by the pound or by the bag, and garlic braids are available in late summer.  At the Dutch Iris Inn, we use all of the Garlic Farm’s delicious produce in our breakfasts as often as possible.  As a matter of fact, we always use locally grown and seasonal ingredients to start your day at the inn – everyone becomes a locavore at our breakfast table!

When you visit the Garlic Farm, you will find freshly harvested vegetables as they become available throughout the season:  onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, hot and sweet peppers of many varieties (love those cubanelles!), eggplant, tomatoes (heirloom and modern – try the Fourth of July sweeties early in the season and the German Stripe beauties later on – heavenly and tomato-y!), summer and winter squash of all kinds, pumpkins, basil and more.  As for the garlic, it is flavorful beyond belief.  Once you taste it, whether fresh in vinaigrettes and the like, cooked into savory dishes, or roasted and spread on fresh baked bread, you will truly be amazed at the difference locally grown garlic makes. 

Garlic Farm Barn

The Garlic Farm Barn

…and speaking of bread, Collinsville Bakery offers some of their special breads at the Garlic Farm as well.  One of our favorite summer suppers to make at home is a Caponata Panini, full of sautéed Garlic Farm produce, sandwiched and grilled on Collinsville Bakery bread.  Yum! 

Selected conventionally grown produce from nearby family farms is also available, including sweet corn, berries, melons and seasonal orchard fruits.  So, what better way to spend your day than to come out and support your local farms?  Visit the Garlic Farm at 76 Simsbury Road in West Granby CT, open daily into October from 10am – 6pm.  They are just 8 minutes away from the Dutch Iris Inn …we’re spoiled by being so close!

Celebrate 20 Years of Farm Fresh Ice Cream at the Gran-Val Scoop!

August 11th, 2011 by nancyross

The Gran-Val Scoop - Dairy & Gourmet Ice CreamThis nearby farm has been family operated since 1903, and the Brown Family has made this ice cream hot-spot a favorite among the locals.  The Gran-Val Scoop is located in Granville MA – the town just north of the Dutch Iris Inn (Granby CT).  In 1991, the family started making its own homemade ice cream from the fresh milk produced on their dairy farm.  They make over 24 flavors of gourmet ice cream using many local ingredients like maple syrup, wild blueberries, peaches and more.  “The Scoop” also offers frozen yogurt, sherbets and sorbets (sorbets are dairy-free).

The farm continues to raise milk cows and a variety of other animals, such as sheep, goats, chickens, llamas, and rabbits.  Kids and adults alike enjoy visiting the animals and feeding the goats.  We enjoy every visit, and we visit often!  For those that know The Scoop and all if its animals… Taco the Donkey is currently out of town on a breeding project.  You can follow him on Facebook – yes, donkeys like to keep in touch, too!

5th Annual Maple Festival at Sweet Wind Farm, East Hartland CT

February 28th, 2011 by nancyross

Join in the fun on Saturday March 12th, 2011, from 10am-4pm.  Festivities at Sweet Wind Farm include maple syrup and sugar making demonstrations, narrated slide show,

video, story time for kids, sugarhouse tours, cooking and recipe class, food, free syrup samples, tree tapping demonstration, sugar-on-snow, and more!  Various maple products will be for sale.  As always, this event will be a fun and educational day for you and your entire family!  Free admission.  Sweet Wind Farm is located in East Hartland CT, just minutes away from the Dutch Iris Inn.

Backyard happenings at the Dutch Iris Inn

August 6th, 2009 by nancyross

Despite the rainy start to summer (which we New Englanders are tired of talking about…), we have had a wonderful crop of blueberries and blackberries bursting their way onto our breakfast table! Tomatoes are a different story, but our herbs survived and are now enjoying the sunshine. Peaches from our local orchards (and our neighbor’s backyard) are also finding their way into our breakfasts these days, and the apple crop is predicted to be one of the best this year. Let our farms and orchards welcome you to all that is Connecticut Grown!