Local farmers are stepping up in the pre-growing season by providing produce and pantry staples for area residents. This is an opportunity to promote local farms and to take advantage of their fresh, local products.
The farmers are also offering an alternative for those who are currently uneasy about shopping in supermarkets. Local markets and eateries are offering locally-sourced produce and staples. All are taking precautions to protect visitors from direct contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture made the determination that farms and farm stands are essential services and may remain open. The Easton Agricultural Commission is in the process of working with the individual farms on what they have available to sell to Easton residents and how to stay safe and manage the access to resources on their farms.
The agricultural commission is helping farms who are in the process of creating a strategy for working safely and communicate to the public what they can expect so that social distancing and farm and public health and wellbeing remain a priority.
Following is a preliminary list of farms and markets that are open with information about what they offer, hours of operation and other details.
Shaggy Coos Farm (53 Center Road) is constantly replenishing eggs and pasteurized milk, and they are currently stocked with beef and pork.
“We usually get fresh fish deliveries from Jimmy O’s in Bridgeport on Wednesdays, and we hope these deliveries will continue,” said Brittany Conover, farm manager.
The farm has long employed the honor system; visitors may select products and leave cash in the collection box.
Greiser’s Coffee and Market (299 Center Road) is open for business, but closed to walk-in customers.
Current fresh inventory includes fruits and veggies, dairy, and orange juice. Pantry staples: Pasta, rice, assorted sauces and seasonings, breakfast food, oils, vinegars, cheeses and lunch meat, frozen pizza and usual coffee, sandwiches and sweet treats.
Adrienne Jane Burke, Greiser’s owner, shared a memory as she and her staff are working to fulfill orders in a time of crisis:
“I was an editor in New York City, managing a staff of young people when 9/11 happened. The people working hard at Greiser’s are reminding me of my colleagues back then who bravely and calmly got the job done and continued to serve our customers despite the confusion and unknowns. I love these guys!”
Greiser’s is open Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday to Friday 7a.m. to 4 p.m. Credit card payment is preferred to avoid handling cash. For a complete list of inventory and additional information check out website: greisers.com
Sport Hill Farm (596 Sport Hill Road) opened March 21 with a variety of offerings including, milk, eggs, Gilbertie’s greens, carrots, beets and bread from Fairfield Bread Company.
Owner Patti Popp, named Farmer of the Year by The Farmer’s Almanac in 2018, is eager to “combine local forces,” in a time of crisis. But her concern for the community has made social distancing a priority.
“This is the first time we’re doing something like this and keeping everybody safe is is primary,” she said. As a result, shopping is by appointment only and visits will be staggered.
To schedule a visit or get additional information, Sport Hill Farm can be contacted at: Sporthillfarm.LLC on Facebook, sporthillfarm on Instagram and Sporthillfarm.com.
Sherwood Farm (365 Sport Hill Road) has bread, eggs, potatoes, onions, apples and a variety of sauces. Dairy products include milk, cheese, ice cream and yogurt. Bacon and cured meats are also available.
Cashier Jessica Wyszynski said “more things are coming in everyday.” Sherwood Farm is open on weekends, 7 a.m.-to 7 p.m.
Easton Village Store (440 Sport Hill Road) is no longer offering dine-in options, but take-out is available. Basics are available, some in limited quantity: packaged and canned goods and deli menu are offered daily. Breakfast, lunch and dinner choices, as well as a range of hot and cold beverages are on hand.
“We appreciate people in the community supporting us to help us stay in business,” said Steve Grant, general manager. “Chef Geoff and I are here alone to take care of our customers,” he added.
Open daily, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, Saturdays 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Phone orders: (203) 268-5618 and eastonvillagestore.net.
The Olde Blue Bird Inn (363 Black Rock Turnpike) is also offering take-out breakfasts and lunches featuring all of Easton’s favorites including cornbread and blueberry preserves.
“We are looking forward to seeing our customers and hoping they will stay safe,” said Eva Pogorzelski, Bluebird’s general manager.
Hours of operation everyday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Finally, if you happen to be in upper Easton and have a craving for an omelet, one enterprising high school junior, Conor Glynn, started an egg business several years ago. He’s left a cooler at the end of his family’s driveway on Sherwood Road with an honor box beside it.
Green Acres Eggs, 55 Sherwood Road, $5 a dozen.
As spring arrives and new items are offered from these farms and others, listings will be updated.
The agricultural commission page on the Town of Easton website will serve as an information portal with updates to farms that are open and how they will operate. The intention is to set up Easton farms and farm stands for success and help folks in need of resources know what to expect: What hours of operation, whether pre-order is necessary, whether farms are closed to all but curbside pick-up, whether delivery of goods is available and how to communicate with farms.
— Greg Golda, clinical instructor in the School of Communication and Media Studies at Sacred Heart University, took the photo of Sherwood Farm.