The time has finally come to open up our Little Red Bar[n] for our Summer & Fall season! Feel good at Bishop’s and unwind as you kick-back and relax. We love seeing family and friends gather on the farm patio for afternoons and evenings filled with good food & drinks, good music and straight up good vibes! The property will OPEN for the season on Friday, 5/26, at 4:30pm. Thursdays – Sundays, through the end of October. The field adjacent to Bishop’s Farm Market will be in full swing with wine, beer, froses, BBQ and more! Adirondack chairs, wooden picnic tables, and patio furniture line the property, with our sailcloth tent dazzling in twinkly lights.
A New Direction With Change
Feel good about change!
As our family continues to grow, so does our business and the desire to provide every customer with a fun and enjoyable experience that creates memories to last a lifetime. With change being something we all can dread, we are excited about our new and improved layout for the fall, and hope you will Feel Good about it too! Let’s start with the biggest and most noticeable change to come…
Stay Connected with the Farm
Does your seasonal bucket list include fresh strawberry shortcake, making berry jam, or even looking for something to do with your kids, family and friends? Are you concerned about missing the short pick-your-own windows that seem to get shorter as our days get busier?
Feel good about being the first to know what’s ripe (and what’s happening) on our farm with short and simple text alerts from Bishop’s Orchards.
As personal as all other aspects of what we do, these infrequent notifications will share weather updates, crop status, and other need-to-know details to ensure you have a great experience at our farm/farm market— which is our top priority.
How to enroll? All current Rewards Customers (with mobile numbers) will receive an opt-in text and invitation to enroll in notifications. For those not yet registered with us, you will be able to text to instantly enroll and we will be sharing details on how to do so, in the next few weeks.
Not sure if we have your mobile number, or have questions? Stop by our Customer Service Desk or call us at 203-453-2338 to update your account.
Thank you for helping us, help you. – Keith, Sarah, and Carrie
What’s Happening in the Greenhouse
It is close to that time of year where buying dried herbs is out, and purchasing herb plants is in! The greenhouse has been busy and is gearing up to bring over our fresh herb plants and Mother’s Day baskets around the first of May. Michaele Williams, our Farm Manager, cannot wait for you to see how the potted herbs came in. There is nothing better than the smell and taste of fresh, locally grown herbs! Herbs are a great way to bring flavor to your dishes and add a little something extra to your meals. One of the biggest advantages of growing your own herbs is the flavor. You can never get the same flavor from dried herbs that you can from fresh herbs. Fresh herbs also have more nutrients and antioxidants than dried herbs, which can boost your health. You can easily grow them at home in the garden or in their pots. All of our herbs are easy to grow and don’t require a lot of maintenance. Taking fresh herbs home to grow on your own is also a great way to save money. You can buy one plant and get more than enough herbs for your needs. Plus, you won’t have to worry about buying more herbs when you run out. Some of the potted herbs that you can expect to see soon in the farm market are basil, cilantro, oregano, parsley, dill, and more!
Our Mother’s Day baskets are always a huge hit, selling out rather quickly with only 75 made for the season. They make the perfect gift, hosting multiple herbs like basil, dill, oregano, thyme, chive, cilantro or tarragon. All herbs are put into a biodegradable bowl that you can either put right into a planter, or if you want them to grow larger, you can separate them and plant them individually.
So instead of buying dried herbs from the store, try growing your own, with Bishop’s Orchards helping you with the roots!
If you’re interested in learning more about our herbs, give us a call at 203-453-2338. Mark your calendars for May 1st and be sure to check out our Mother’s Day baskets and herb plants.
April Creamery Specials
Spring Into Tasty Features
As we enter a new month and spring is officially here, come try our new creamery specials for the month of April. The Ice Cream Stand is scooping something extra special to really jumpstart the season.
- Cadbury Eggs-plosion Blitz – vanilla soft serve blended with crushed Cadbury mini eggs and caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream & spring sprinkles
- Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshake – cheesecake ice cream, strawberries and crushed graham crackers blended and topped with whipped cream and a graham cracker rim.
- Easter Bunny Sundae – vanilla ice cream with Milano cookie ears, eye sprinkles, and a candy button nose.
- Spring M&M Cookie Sandwich – vanilla soft serve stuffed between two M&M sugar cookies.
Apple Brandy & New Hard Ciders Released!
Our first ever Apple Brandy is bottled and ready after 2 years of aging! A portion of our apple crop has taken a different journey then ever before over the last 3 years. From our drumlin orchard soils, nutrients have traveled through xylem and phloem, forming blossoms that grew into tasty apples, which we juiced and fermented into hard cider. As Winemaker and Cidermaker I veered off the known path, and partnered with Fifth State Distillery, who distilled our hard cider to make our delicious 80 Proof Apple Brandy. What better project during COVID that is now ready to share? Our December special intro pricing is 2, 750ml bottles for $50. One for you and the other for a gift of ‘local’ to a special friend or family member.
In 2005, Bishop’s became the 16th licensed CT Farm Winery (there are over 40 in 2022), and in 2008 was also licensed to make Hard Cider. CT Farm Wineries are permitted under Ct General Statues Sec. 30-16 “the scope of operations of the holder shall be limited to wine and brandies distilled from grape products or other fruit products, including grappa and eau-de-vie.”
We assigned the distilling expertize to Distiller Robert Schulten of Fifth State Distillery for our first ever Brandy, an outcome of his distilling some of our other wines into hand saniziter during the first year of COVID to assist with the santizer shortage. So now from ‘tree to glass’ has a new meaning at Bishop’s compared to Grandpa’s making fresh apple cider in the same location over seven decades ago.
As we released our Brandy this week, we also celebrate our new Hard Ciders! We have just released two new Hard Ciders and two ‘Perry’ Pear Ciders, all made from Bishops Orchards grown fruit. Our Spiced Hard Cider is a reflection of our popular Farm House Hard Cider, infused with our mulled cider spices. A smooth finish makes this semi-sweet cider a delightful drink to enjoy during the fall and the winter months. Our Scarlet Hard Cider is a blend of our Farm House Cider and local Killingworth Cranberries. The Scarlet Knight cranberries give this cider a tangy, zesty yet semi-sweet finish rich in taste and with the cranberry hue. This cider is perfect for the holiday season, enjoyed by the fireside or at mealtime when paired with turkey, or with a snack of a Bishop’s freshly baked pie with our Ice Cream.
All our Wines, Hard Ciders and Brandy are Gluten Free. The Ciders are sold in 4 packs of 12 oz cans, as well as a mixed variety 4-pack. Save with our Special offer through New Years… buy 3, 4-packs, or any combo of our Wines and Hard Ciders, and $ave $1 off each item.
Our sparkling hard ciders are light, refreshing and fruit forward. With a crisp and clean finish, you will be pleased to experience our new blends. Be on the lookout for more varieties of Ciders out soon: Duke Hard Cider (Blueberry) and Golden Hard Cider (Golden Delicious and Russet varietals), which will join our existing line up of Farm House (our flagship cider), Crosby (Black Current blend), Lillian (Berry Blend) and Burton (dry, heirloom apple blend). Our Peach Brandy is still aging with our release date unknown.
Continue to follow our journey and discover our new and exciting blends. When our Little Red Bar[n] venue re-opens in the spring, you can enjoy these on-tap. As our capacity increases, we can sell to select liquor stores and restaurants. Let us know your favorite locations, or tell the to contact us for these products. For more information and individual descriptions on all hard ciders, our brandy and wines, please visit our listings.
… and the Kitchen Continues to Grow!
Over the past two years we have witnessed so much growth in our business, especially in our Kitchen and Bakery Department! We have seen so many new meals, all of which hand made here, by some amazing new faces! Along with our Head Chef Ian and Sous Chef Kevin, our other Sous Chef, Frank Connors, comes with quite the experience, having started in the industry when he was still in high school.
Frank attended Emmett O’Brien Tech School in Ansonia, where he focused on culinary arts. He got into cooking out of necessity. Having parents who worked 2nd and 3rd shift jobs, he knew that working in a restaurant would keep him busy and fed. He got a job as a dishwasher that lasted 3 days. The prep cook had quit so he was thrown into this new roll. Once in this role, his enthusiasm grew and his true passion came from trying to make different and new things. He took a job at Rapp’s Paradise Inn in Ansonia for a year, until his high school chef reached out to get him into Oak Lane Country Club in Woodbridge. He remained there until after graduation, when he took a position as a seafood line cook at Gennaro’s Restuarant on State Street in New Haven.
Frank stayed at Gennaro’s over a little over a year. He then took a job at Brookside Inn in Oxford and stayed for 16 years! He grew within this family run business, knowing the ins and outs and capable of running the business himself. “I loved working for a family business and felt like a part of the family myself,” says Frank. “If they hadn’t closed and moved away from Oxford, I would have stayed forever!” When his stint at Brookside ended, he became a part of the opening crew for GW Carson’s in Branford. He trained the opening crew and spent two years as their line cook, before moving on to a new adventure.
Frank’s friends were opening Entray on the shoreline and they wanted him to take charge as the head chef. Entray was built around homemade prepared meals, but unfortunately did not last long. When the business fell under, he moved on to Madison Beach Hotel where he was a Sous Chef for over 6 years. When the pandemic hit, the restaurant closed and when they finally reopened, he felt it no longer the right fit for him anymore. After deciding to move on and taking some time off, he found his way to Bishop’s Orchards!
As a newer member of the Department, he is excited to bring new ideas and recipes to the table, lending a helping hand to all. His favorite dish, and has been since he was six, is pizza. He has worked cooking with all cuisines, but he loves cooking all cuisines especially those different and unique like Asian Cuisine. Through his variety of experiences, he has come to know one thing… that experiencing failure helps to make the highlights stand out that much more. “I love being back in a family run business again, especially right after leaving the corporate field. They just understand it and help you make the balance possible.”
With over 27 years of experience, we are so honored to have Frank a part of our establishments. Be on the look out for more of his famous dishes, still to make their way into the Farm Market. In the meantime, you can probably find him cruising around Branford with his wife and step daughter… and their Pomeranian Oaklee.
“COVID hitting and changing my direction was difficult, but maybe the best thing that could have happened. Having daytime hours instead of evenings in the restaurant gives my family more time together. We all got to know each other again and reconstruct our family dynamic.”
Au Naturale Egg Decorating
With spring season blooming, Easter is just around the corner! It’s time to say goodbye to harsh colorants and synthetic dyes, and create Easter egg decorating memories with ingredients right from our farm market—or your kitchen! Follow along as we use fruits, vegetables and spices to show the power of natural dyes and provide a safe alternative for Easter traditions. Prepare your eggs ahead of time by hard boiling them in a large saucepan, filled with cool water. Slowly bring it to boil on medium heat. Once the water has boiled, cover the pot and turn off the heat. After letting it sit for 10-15 minutes, move your eggs into a strainer and run them under cold water for one minute.
Choose Your Colors Based on Food Item:
Red Beets = Red/Pink Dye
Turmeric, Yellow Onion Skins or Carrots = Orange/Yellow Dye
Spinach or Green Apple Peel = Green Dye
Red Cabbage or Blueberries = Blue Dye
Raspberries or Blackberries = Pink/Purple Dye
Prepare Your Dye
For fruits and vegetables, add ½ – 1 cup of them chopped, with 1 cup of water. Bring water and chopped veggies or fruits to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. For spices, use a 1:1 ratio of dried/powdered spice to water. For example, turmeric creates a vibrant yellow/orange color with 3 tbsp spice and 3 cups boiling water. Make sure spice powder is mixed well with hot water or the powder may settle at the bottom of your container. If this happens, stir dye a few times throughout the egg dying process. Remove pan from heat and let liquid dye cool to room temperature. Once cooled, use a strainer to pour liquid into mason jars or bowls, removing any food pieces. For a chunky, textured egg dye, leave food in containers. Food pieces give an awesome speckled appearance. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or cream of tartar into each bowl or jar of dye.
Add hard boiled eggs to the dyes by fully emerging. Use stickers, glitter and rubber bands to create patterns and festive decorations! Refrigerate eggs in containers for 12 to 48 hours depending on how vibrant you wish egg colors. When eggs are dry, remove rubber bands and decorative embellishments to see your creation!
Time for a Reset
For the first time in 2 years, my family decided it was time to take a vacation. While we have been to places around New England over the past two years, we have been missing our “bigger” getaway trip. This to us means getting on a plane and actually escaping our everyday lives and hitting the reset button. The last time we got on a plane was exactly one week before the “world shut down” in March 2020, almost two years ago to the day.
We decided back in January that it was time to plan something. We knew we wanted warm sunny weather, a beach, and limited cell service. Between work and school, we all needed to disconnect from technology (as much as possible) and just enjoy each other’s company as a family. So off to the Caribbean we went! We just returned from a week in paradise and we all feel so rejuvenated. There is something so cleansing about just taking time off to escape and reset our minds and bodies.
Resets are needed in many ways and for many reasons, and there is a true reason behind the term “Spring Cleaning!” A few months back in one of our manager’s meetings we started discussing doing a “reset” here in the retail market. While we are constantly bringing in new products, we often find ourselves limited on space as to where these new items will go. For staff and customers, our brains get so used to the way things are that we get stuck in our habits and don’t always see everything around us, but rather the things that we are used to. The kitchen and bakery staff have been busy creating new dishes and desserts, and the grocery department has been selecting and purchasing many new items to bring to the shelves. Hence, one of the reasons for needing a change in the store. Something fresh and new for both our staff and customers. New products and a slightly new look! This past Sunday night after we closed up shop, some of our team members got right to work and started working their magic.
We know that for some, change can trigger anxiety! We are here to help you and ease that anxiety! It can be frustrating when you go to look for something and it isn’t where it normally is. This is true whether it’s at home or in a store! We are all creatures of habit. To help you, we have placed signs up where things once lived on the shelves to point you in the right direction. Our staff has also been prepared for your questions and are ready and willing to help you too! Don’t give up if you don’t see a product that you are looking for!
We are excited for this change and to be able to offer additional products that we hope excite you! We invite you to give yourself a little extra time to explore our products and to discover something new. Whether it be something you find on your own, or maybe a product tagged on the shelf as one of our “Staff Picks,” we are sure that there is something you will find that will become a new refreshing item in your home!
Happy Discovering and Shopping!
To Close or Not to Close
What’s the dilemma this week? Well, for as long as I can remember, there aren’t many storms, hurricanes, or blizzards that change our hours of operation here at the Farm Market. I have always believed growing up that it would take a severe natural disaster to close the store and cancel our staff from coming in. I am sure that many of you who have lived in Guilford for years can attest to this. It has always been ingrained in us (the generations of Bishop Family members) that we need to be open for our community because you never know when someone needs us, even if just for a gallon of milk or eggs! Over the past decade, it has become a little more lax, and we have had the very occasional delayed opening or early closing, but we usually make the call at the last minute, just in case the forecast predictions were wrong (which we all know is skeptical, especially when it comes to snowfall amounts).
Many of you know Alicia. She is one of our amazing Front End Supervisors and has worked with us for over 25 years! We were talking the other day about how many storms she has driven in to be here and joking about how we never close. She recalled a memory of a big snow storm years ago that was actively happening during business hours. The roads and our store were desolate, and only a skeleton crew was working. She said the roads were terrible and no one should have been on them. Out of nowhere, a little old man pulled into the parking lot and walked into the store. Of course Alicia struck up a conversation with him as he proceeded to the checkout line. He approached her and put two single bananas on the counter. That’s it…two bananas!! Come to find out, he drove all the way from North Branford. In normal weather, North Branford isn’t far, but in a snowstorm??? That could take forever! All for two bananas! To this day, we wonder what was so important that he needed 2 bananas to risk his life on the roads?
So…what to do for the storm this weekend? That is the question that I have been wondering all week. Watching the weather app on my phone, getting the latest news alerts from every news station, wondering “What is Saturday going to look like for Bishop’s?” I laid out the different scenarios on Wednesday to prepare our managers, knowing that we could be making the call at 7am on Saturday morning. But when I woke up this morning to the new models and a forecast that is now predicting 18” to 24” of snow, with the major impact of the storm during business hours, I took the plunge and made the call…(Previous generations, hold onto your hats)! We will be CLOSED on Saturday, January 29th! A snow day for all! I believe this may go down in the Bishop’s Book of History! Making the decision to close the business 24 hours before a storm even hits, unheard of! Although previous generations may not approve of making the call so early, I am going with my gut on this one. It ultimately came down to the safety of our team members as well as all of you. There is no need to put yourselves at risk driving through the storm unless it’s an emergency! I am hoping that you were able to get out yesterday or today to stock up on your essentials like milk, eggs, bread, and of course bananas!! Enjoy the storm in the warmth of your homes, oohing and ahhing over the beauty of the fresh fallen snow. Go sledding and build a snowman or snowperson with your kids. Enjoy the fact that we live in New England and are fortunate to experience what every season has to offer. For those of you who have to be on the roads as first responders in a number of different fields of work, please be safe, and we thank you for your service!
Be well and Be safe!