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Six Generations of Jones’ Have Kept The Farm Running

Think about it. Six generations of Jones have tended to this beautiful acreage in Shelton, Connecticut.

Much of the state knows the Jones Family Farms as a place to grab your pumpkins for Halloween, or strawberries and blueberries and to cut your own Christmas tree.

The x-mas tree biz started out as a 4-H project in 1947, see what can happen?

Each year about 12,000 trees are cut by families from around the region and taken home to be adorned, but that’s not all that is going on here on these 400 acres of lusciousness, not by a long shot.

Did you know that you can take cooking classes in their brand new building called The Harvest Kitchen?

Twelve at a time  gather fresh ingredients from the farm and then learn how to cook it up into something scrumptious. An example; asparagus ice cream.

At your service for classes are Jean Crum Jones, a member of the family and a registered dietitian and nutritionist, Chef Sherry Swanson who was classically trained in French and Italian cooking techniques, and Farmer, Allyson Angelini who manages the vegetable garden.

This is a great place to do some team building. Think about that the next time you’re looking for a venue.

Oh, and Sherry is also a certified sommelier which comes in handy now that the Jones farm is in the wine business.

The grape plants went in the ground in 1999, currently the farm has 6 acres of grapes and puts out about 40,000 bottles about a dozen times a year.

Turns out the soil in this region is perfect for many varietals of grapes, right now the star is their Pinot Gris and their Cabernet Franc.

We took a tour of the whole farm today, scenic vistas and all and traveled among the vineyards. Our tour guide was Jamie Jones, he’s sixth generation. He’s a Cornell grad and brought the wine making to the farm about 6 years ago. There are about 30 wineries in the state, 23 of which are members of the Connecticut Wine Trail. By the way, Jamie and his wife are raising two seventh generation Jones with another on the way.

The farm got its start about 150 years ago with Jamie’s great, great, great, Grandfather from Ireland. Jamie said he settled there because it reminded him of his homeland. At one time the farm had 40 dairy cows too, today the milking room and barn are the new modern tasting areas.

We heard about so many stories on this day including the fact that in the late 1950’s the U.S. Army decided to take some of the Jones farm for a price to put up three buildings as a command center for nearby Nike Air Defense Missles sites in Connecticut, just in case. The family along the way bought the land back and two of the buildings are now used for making wine,  the third brick flat-roofed  non-descript structure which was housing for soldiers, is now storage.

Raise your hand if you knew about missle silos in Connecticut. I know right?

This was a great learning experience about food and wine making. As the grand daughter of a dairy farmer, I felt right at home. You will too even if  you don’t have farming in your background.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Ann Nyberg

11 Comments

  1. Marion
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I live in Seymour and never realized how diversified Jones Farm is. I know where to take the grand kids for a day! :>)

    • Annie Mame
      Posted May 22, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

      Marion, you’re going to love taking your grand children there. It’s just beautiful.

  2. Posted May 23, 2010 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    All I have to say Annie is that you are amazing. I looooved this place and Noah and I looooved visiting it with you. And you have completely brought it to life on this post that I hope countless people read and enjoy.
    Love you Annie Mame.
    xo,
    k.

    • Annie Mame
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Kendra, that was really fun wasn’t it? A real escape, but not far from the real world. I’m thinkin this would be a lovely place to do a beautiful video.

  3. donna
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    What a lovely place – I will be sure to visit!

    • Annie Mame
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Donna, if you’re thinking like I’m thinking you’ll get 11 of your girlfriends and go walk on the farm ,gather up your ingredients and do a cooking class. I’m strategizing about this as I write this. 🙂

    • Annie Mame
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Pick a sunny day and walk the farm and then try the great wines, rally good.

  4. joe s
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Ann:
    Thanks for another great post. Farmers of all types can use all the help they can get.

    The dairy industry in the Northeast U.S. is in crisis. Some New England states provide financial support, including direct subsidies to milk producers. For many farmers this is not enough, as costs of production exceed the price they receive for their product.

    Some farms are able to diversify, or reduce herd size to survive. Others operate at a loss until they run out of cash, then go out of business.

    In Massachusetts, the number of dairy farms has declined from 829 in 1980 to about 180 now. In Connecticut, 663 in 1980, now 152.

    Dairy farming as a way of life in this area is fast becomming a thing of the past. Time marches on.

    • Annie Mame
      Posted May 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Joe, interesting words as we were all discussing the subsidies or lack there of at the Jones Farm on Saturday. Those bumper stickers cropping up all over “No Farms, No Food” should be taken to heart. That campaign needs to get really ramped up.
      Thanks for writing in.

  5. Posted May 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    It is the dairy farms that are responsible, in part, for the beautiful landscape that is Connecticut. Without these farms not only would we miss the local dairy products but the beauty as well. Thank you Annie for helping to spread the word.

  6. Posted June 5, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I live in Seymour and never realized how diversified Jones Farm is. I know where to take the grand kids for a day! :>)