Featured Personality: JB Woods

Just as the business is constantly evolving, so is our staff! This month we welcomed our NEW Grocery Manager, JB Woods. JB was born and raised in Hamden CT until the age of 10, when he moved to Wallingford. An only child, he graduated from Lyman Hall High School in 2005, with 4 years completed in the FFA program. After high school, JB went to Southern Connecticut State University for two years with a focus in elementary education. He is also a certified firefighter and completed his FF1 certification. JB married his wife Heather in 2016, and other Lyman Hall graduate, and shortly after got their first child, an Alaskan Klee Kai (miniature husky) named Thor. About a year later, they had their son Eli at 30 weeks. Eli was in the NICU for 59 days, becoming  a strong little warrior who continues to surprise them.

JB had been with Stop and Shop since he was 17 years old, starting as a bagger and cart collector. Within 2 years he was promoted to full time 3-12 in grocery. Throughout his 15 years with Stop and Shop he has learned the retail business from the ground up. Positions he has had are Dairy Manager, Frozen Foods Manager, GM and HBC clerk, receiver, Grocery assistant, Grocery manager. He eventually made his way to upper management where he became an Assistant store manager. “As an assistant store manager I became an inventory specialist and went to become a store manager in reserve running stores when store managers were out,” explains JB.

Here at Bishop’s. JB will be overseeing grocery, dairy, frozen, cheese, florist and meat. His past professional experience, positivity, and enthusiasm will make him a great new addition to the team. “I am excited to be part of the Bishop’s Orchards family and grow stronger in my position as the grocery manager. I look forward to building strong work relationships with the staff and using my knowledge and expertise to help benefit the company.” With his knowledge in the industry, JB hopes to bring an overall better flow to the sales floor and helping to make it easier and more convenient for our customers to shop. “I hope to make Bishop’s more efficient with ordering and increase product availability for customers.”

Outside of work, JB enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and fishing, and spending time with his family. In the last few years, he joined The Run 169 Town Society whose goal is to run a race in each town of CT, totaling 169 towns. Currently he has completed 74 towns. Family time has been spent in Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, and Florida where his parents have recently retired too. Music is a big part of his life, knowing how to play 4 instruments. His son shares in his love of music and he cannot wait to teach him how to play an instrument one day.

Holiday Traditions Baked Here!

It’s that time of year again when the holidays are quickly approaching and our lives become more chaotic each day! We are gearing up for Thanksgiving here at Bishop’s Orchards and that means delicious and freshly baked pies! Make Bishop’s a part of your holiday traditions with local flavor! We strive to make the holidays as convenient as possible by providing Grab N’ Go pie orders. No prep work or baking needed, simply order anything you want from fruit and nut pies, to cream and no sugar added pies.

Stay traditional with Apple, Pumpkin and Pecan pies, and then pack a punch with Crumb Pies and berry blends like our Fruits of the Farm! Cream pies are easy as well, and kids always love the custard/cream fillings. We have Key Lime, Chocolate Cream, Lemon Meringue and Banana Cream. Take them out to thaw an hour before you serve and scoop some Bishop’s own ice cream alongside! Also in the freezers are a few of our frozen fruit pies. Keep them in the freezer until the day of when you can bake it fresh and have the smell wafting through your home! No sugar added pies are available in a few of our popular flavors like Apple, Fruits of the Farm and Peach. Indulge during the holidays while refraining from non natural sugars.

New side dishes will be coming out from Chef Michael. These will include diced butternut squash, stuffing and cranberry sauce made from BISHOP’S OWN CRANBERRIES

from the bog in Killingworth. Seasonal flavors can be brought straight to your table without any work on your part!

All pies and side dishes are baked fresh daily thanks to our 24 hour Bakery Department. Planning for special holidays or events can be made simple by submitting your order online or by giving us a call at 203-453-2338!! Let us know your pick-up date/time so we can guarantee your items! As with every year, we look forward to being a part of your festival spreads with friends and family!

It’s Been a Busy Season…

With the farm in its busiest time of year, updates have been hard to gather. LOTS have been going on and as we move towards cooler temperatures, it is easier to reflect on this year’s harvest. Despite a miserable and wet spring/early summer, we ended up having a dry and cool summer and fall. At times this summer we wished it would rain, but we were able to manage. Peach season ended early October but boy were the flavors better than ever! With it being so cool this summer, we really didn’t expect the peaches to have as much as flavor as they did. Usually the best peaches come from hot summers, but that premise must be wrong because they were outstanding this year! 

Our main focus lately has been on the apples. Vegetables in the ground are mostly late season, so weeding and care for is less. Kale looked great and will be one of the items continued in our Fall CSA Program. Most of our late season crops we look to get in the ground around August first, to allow them to mature properly before cold sets in. 

Can you guess what this crop is?! It’s asparagus! Once spear cutting is done in the spring, the plant goes to “fern,” allowing the crown of the plant to continue to be healthy and variable for future years harvest. These ferns will die off with the frost and will be cleaned out of the field next spring before the next seasons spears grow.

Raspberries had quite the season with pick your own just now wrapping up. Even the rain/wind storm on 10/16 couldn’t stop it! It was the best raspberry year we have seen in a very long time. The cooler, drier weather that isn’t so favorable to summer crops like tomatoes, is just the kind of weather raspberries like. Brussel sprouts are now ready. They are one of those items you buy in the store and could not imagine what the plant looks like. This plant loses many of its leaves, but normally the large leaves block any view of the sprouts. Beets have been a rising favorite as more and more people are starting to give them a try. They are continuing to grow in the ground since they were planted later in August than originally planned. Beets will be incorporated into our Fall CSA Program as well.

Muy Caliente!!

July has been a month with lack of rain, but plentiful of crop! We were grateful to finally have some rain at the end of this month. Things were getting really dry and even the trees needed a good watering. Peaches especially need water and with the proper water timing, will size substantially a couple weeks before harvest. Peaches swell very quickly as we get closer to harvest, unlike apples which grow at a consistent rate. We are in the process of summer pruning our peach trees, which allows more sunlight into the tree, to the peaches, so that they can change from green to yellow with more color. We grow many varieties of peaches, with our earliest variety coming into the farm market within a week. As far as pick your own, we are looking at opening day more towards the beginning of August.

There have been an abundance of blueberries ripening due to the heat we have been experiencing. We have a really nice crop with pick your own in full swing. There are ample berries for both pick your own and the farm market, so come on out and get some! Raspberries are coming along well. We frequently get the question as to why we do not have them earlier in the year, more specifically in June. The reason is because our raspberries are considered “fall” berries. It really has nothing to do with the variety itself, but more about the way they are pruned. Most farms will alternate pruning canes, leaving some of last years canes. By doing this you get “summer” berries which are available sooner. Here at Bishop’s we cut our canes down to the ground in winter, leaving them to essentially start all over again and bring us later into the season. Our berries will start arriving into the farm market hopefully middle of August. 

We are planting caliente mustard. This is something we used to incorporate for an organic matter, as well as a natural fumigate to control soil bourne diseases and organisms. We have also begun renovating strawberries on the farm. Strawberries only have production profitability for 3-4 years, but every year you still need to mow the tops of the plants down, and then use a cultivator to cut and narrow the rows to maintain. Apples and pears are looking great for the fall season, we are just holding out for more rain from good ole’ mother nature! If you feel obliged, do a rain dance with Bishop’s Orchards in your thoughts!

Taste, Eat & Enjoy at the Shoreline Wine Festival!

August can be a dreaded month with heat waves and lack of rain, so here at Bishop’s we make sure to have something to look forward to!! The wine will be pouring August 10th & 11th at the 2019 13th Annual Shoreline Wine Festival! We are less than a month away from this two day festival, filled with delicious CT Wine, food trucks, live music and local artisans. Celebrate fine wines from Connecticut Wineries and Vineyards from all over the state with the backdrop of your host & sponsor, Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market and Winery in Guilford, CT. Other wineries participating in this year’s festival include Hopkins Vineyard, Jonathan Edwards Winery, Jones Family Farm Winery, Paradise Hills Vineyard, and Sunset Meadow Vineyards.  Enjoy fine wines that offer a range from grape wines to fruit wines.

This festival has grown quite a bit since its first year, now hosting around forty vendors and seven to eight food trucks. One of the many benefits for attendees at the Shoreline Wine Festival is that all wine being sampled at the Festival, is also available for sale that weekend to take home with you. Enjoy a tour of the Bishop’s Orchards Winery while you listen to live music and entertainment. There are plenty of vendors to check out, specializing in jewelry, home improvement, pantry goods and more! Food offered at the event is from our food truck line, at an additional charge. Food trucks will include tacos, steamed burgers, steak sandwiches, gyros, farm to table and pizza.

Entertainment is provided by Music in Motion DJ/MC services and renowned local band, “Old Hickory Boys.” This year’s festival could not happen if not for the support of our sponsors. Our sponsors brought in over $20K to help fund the event. Sponsorships include Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets, Foxon Soda, Mosaic, Proforma, Miranda Creative, WTNH, and Shore Publishing.

Tickets for the event may be purchased ahead of time online and at Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market at a discounted rate. Prices for tickets are $30 for Adults and $10 for Designated Driver Tickets. Starting August 3rd and at the festival gates, Adult ticket prices will go up. Entrance into the festival, as well as a tasting ticket, wine glass and attendee gift bags are all included in an Adult Ticket. Foxon Soda is our Designated Driver Sponsor, giving soda and water free of charge to all DD ticket holders. The hours of the event are Saturday, Aug. 10th, 12 pm – 7 pm and Sunday, Aug. 11th, 12 pm – 6 pm. For more information visit our website at www.shorelinewinefestival.com.

 

 

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer Fun on the Shoreline

As the song says, dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer, because this season, the best days of summer fun start and end at Bishop’s Orchards!

With our Ice Cream Stand now open, there is no better place to beat the summer heat than on the shoreline, and no better way to complete the experience than with what we have to offer.

You can start the day before the temperature is at its highest point with a trip to our main orchard to Pick Your Own blueberries – which are entering peak season. Later this summer, peaches and raspberries will also be available for picking. Hours and locations differ daily, but typically include half days on weekdays and longer hours on weekends, weather and crowds permitting. Before heading out, please call 203-458-PICK for updates. Pick a little for snacking or take some home to freeze or make homemade jams or sorbet! It doesn’t get any fresher than straight from the farm, so add a Pick Your Own trip to your summer itinerary.

After an early morning trip to our orchard, you can head to a local beach, like Jacob’s Beach in Guilford or Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, to cool off. Remember, no picnic lunch on the sand and by the sea would be complete without a little lunch or snacks gathered from our Farm Market on the way. When your time at the beach comes to a close, head downtown to enjoy a farm-to-table meal or other unique culinary experience at one of our popular local eateries, such as Bufalina – offering wood-fired pizza – South Lane Bistro, or Ballou’s Restaurant and Wine Bar.

End your day where it began, and let the Scoop Crew at Bishop’s help you figure out what flavor will be the perfect cherry on top of your summertime outing.

As promised, our Ice Cream Stand is now open daily in Guilford off the side of our Farm Market at 1355 Boston Post Road in Guilford. We have a brand new large patio with umbrellas for shade, ready to accommodate plenty of families looking for a sweet treat.

The Ice Cream Stand is open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. We offer 25 flavors including soft serve and hard serve ice creams in cups or cones. Sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches and our specialty, the Bishop’s Blitz, are all delightful dessert options!

Try some of our most popular flavors – such as Maine Wild Blueberry, Moose Tracks or Unicorn Delight – or perhaps select a low-fat frozen yogurt or non-dairy flavor. We’re prepared to accommodate dietary needs so just ask a Scoop Crew member for assistance. Our varieties change day to day.

While summertime is a great time to cool off with an ice cream cone, the Bishop’s Orchards Ice Cream Stand is open all year round. Since you’re already coming to the Farm Market for your grocery needs, why not add a scoop or two into the equation?

For now, with summer in full swing, every concert on the green or outdoor expo can be part of an agenda that starts and ends at Bishop’s Orchards and is full of flavor and summertime sweetness courtesy of our creamery! Roll out those lazy, hazy crazy days of summer at Bishop’s and you certainly will wish that summer could always be here.

Fruits and Vegetables From The Farm

Here on the farm we are always busy. This season has been a little tougher than most as we seem to always be working to get everything done in between rainy weather. The rain can be a blessing while also a curse. Large amounts of rain have kept us from needing to irrigate, but we are having to work around wet grounds, with equipment getting stuck. Some of our vegetable crops had an issue setting due to the rain, so we had to replant. Our own squash and peppers were some of those crops.

For well-established crops, the rain is great to have, especially in our strawberry fields. We have lots of berries coming into the farm market and pick your own has been able to sustain plenty of hours. With a later variety called Malwina, we expect for strawberry picking to last into July. Our blueberry crop is coming in strong and healthy, with the second week of July looking to be opening day for pick your own. This year’s crop should last into early September. Peach thinning in the orchard continues to go well.

Our early plants like kale and peas are doing well, with some already being used in our CSA program. Tomatoes will be coming into the farm market soon, with grape and cherry tomato pints always being a favorite. Other produce to look out for that are Bishop’s own are sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and brussels sprouts. These are all now in the ground and handling all this rain well.

Pick Your Own Has Officially Opened!

The most wonderful time of the year is here at Bishop’s Orchards! School is out and Pick Your Own is OPEN!! Customers and staff are always eager to start, but we must wait for the PERFECT time to open the fields. Every year we start with strawberries, the shortest but most delicious season! Our berries are soft and delicate but packed with juicy flavor. Picking hours right now are sporadic, generally half days Monday-Friday and extended hours on weekends. We are hopeful that the season will last up to 4th of July, giving us a brief break before we open pick your own blueberries.

Blueberry picking is a longer season here on the farm. Just like our strawberries, the blueberries grow in several varieties that continuously ripen throughout the season. Pick your own blueberries generally starts around mid-July and remains open through late August. They have a longer availability for picking as we rotate picking areas from start to finish. The best thing about our blueberries is their sustainability. Whether you want to enjoy them fresh or frozen, these berries can last the longest. Pick them in bulk so you can freeze some to enjoy over the year, while baking a few fresh treats now.

While spending time with family and friends at Pick Your Own, make sure to share your experience with us socially online!! Tag your photos on Facebook and Instagram with “#PickBishops” and you might just see your photos featured on our site! What is the importance of a hashtag you might ask? Hashtags are used to categorize online content, making the detection of new or related content easy to do! At Bishop’s we enjoy using our customer’s materials as a way of promoting our family friendly experiences on the farm. Whether that be an image off Facebook, or a blog written about a CSA Share! If you see something you posted, reused by us, it was most likely found because of your hashtag!

During the summer, our PICK line can be used to stay informed on what season we are in and picking hours. Call 203-458-PICK for directions and prices. Before we know it, we will be opening peaches and raspberries in August! Visit us online for a calendar of seasons.

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for ICE CREAM!

For a number of years, we have been talking about “what’s next?”  What is the next thing we are going to do to offer our customers and visitors?  While

we are always adding/growing new varieties of apples, planting new crops, and expanding our product lines in the farm market, we were looking to do something else.  Something that fits in with the Farm Market that people will look forward to and enjoy coming.

As my sister and I have grown up watching the company evolve through the years, we have always asked ourselves, what is going to be our mark?  What changes are we going to bring to the company?  While we have a number of things in the works, some small but impactful, there have been a couple bigger ideas that we hope come to fruition (pun intended) within the next 5 years.  While we continue to plan for some of those “other” things to happen, one plan is already underway and we are about to take-off!

A few years back we started making our own Ice Cream.  We are making Ice Cream almost daily and have over 40 flavors that we sell by the quart in our Farm Market.  One of the most popular ones being our “Fradiani Frenzy,” which we started making when Nick Fradiani from Guilford was competing and went on to win American Idol in 2015.

Since Ice Cream was already something that we were making, we figured, why not expand on that?  And so, the idea was born!  Many of our other farm colleagues around New England have expanded their offerings over the years to have Ice Cream stands on their farm.  It seems to be a popular destination for people as they come to visit the farm, pick their own fruit, shop in the farm market and/or come for Ice Cream.   Now we just had to figure out where we were going to do it.  After all the brainstorming, we figured it would be best to build it into the existing farm market building and be able to offer it all year round!

We started construction at the end of May and we are just a couple weeks away from opening!  We are putting in walk-up windows, an outdoor patio, and we have some new equipment coming to offer some fun Ice Cream treats!  For those of you who have been shopping with us the last month and have seen the construction happening first hand, thank you for your cooperation and patience as we have moved things around on you!

We are excited to be making “our mark” and offering something that everyone loves!  We will have something for everyone! We will have Hard and Soft Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, Vegan Ice Cream (we want to make everyone happy), and other Ice Cream related treats as well!  So, as the summer season kicks off, our Ice Cream stand will soon be open for business and ready to help you, your family, and friends to cool off with a sweet treat!

Make sure you follow us on Facebook and watch for out for our Grand Opening!  We hope you come by and check it out, and then come back for more!

What’s fresh

When you first walk into our Farm Market you will be greeted by fresh produce. From our own asparagus and potted herbs in the spring to apples right off the tree during the Fall, we have items that are grown on-site and shipped in from local farms so you can be sure your produce is grown fresh.