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.

Events

From Bishop Kids programs to fun nights out at our Paint-and-Sip, there’s always something going on at Bishop’s Orchards. Our popular, annual events include the Shoreline Wine Festival (did someone say food trucks?!) and themed corn maze. Check out our events calendar and plan ahead — don’t miss a thing!

Pick your own

For generations, Bishop’s Orchards takes pride in growing the highest quality produce, from our family to yours. Throughout the growing season, join us for a unique and family-friendly experience on our heritage farm. From asparagus to pumpkins, and everything in between, we are one-stop-fresh for all your pick-your-own needs.

It’s Grilling Time!

Now that it’s summer, it’s finally time to dust off that grill and get cooking! Make Bishop’s your one stop shop this year for all your grilling necessities! We supply everything that you need for your summer night BBQ. From fresh produce to hot dog and hamburger buns, we have you covered. We are excited to announce that our delicious Bishop’s own prepared grilled meals are back in the market! These grilled meals are sure to please, and come with everything that you need to make a wonderful dinner!

This year we have worked hard on our recipes, and have selected five great options for you to enjoy. Each tasty meal features a different flavor profile, and is sealed in an airtight bag. Cooking instructions are found on the back of the bag, making it quick and easy to grill at home. Meal portions typically feed between 2-4 people.

Our Grilled Meals

Tequila Blood Orange Pork Loin– This meal is fun and unique. Delicious pork loin and fresh cut blood oranges are marinated in a blend of tequila, garlic, parsley, chipotle powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil! Looking to add more? Pick up some potatoes and grill them for a yummy side dish!

Apple Balsamic Chicken- Looking for something classic and healthy? Try this meal. Boneless chicken thighs are marinated in chicken broth, our own apple cider, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme and garlic! Grab some fresh zucchini from the market, and grill them for a great tasty vegetable side.

Autumn Apple Chicken- You may recognize this meal from our winter crock pot selection. It is so popular that we decided to make it in to a grilled meal! This dish has a bunch of tasty flavors all in one marinade. Boneless chicken thighs and fresh cut apples are mixed with our own apple cider, BBQ sauce, olive oil, honey, garlic, onions, salt and pepper. This meal pairs well with Bishop’s hard cider. If you haven’t had a chance to try our hard cider yet, stop on by for a tasting.

Orange Cilantro Chicken– This recipe is perfect for the summer because the chicken is marinated in orange and lime juice. It also includes cilantro, salt, oregano, and jalapeño. What an interesting combo! Compliment this dinner with some fresh Bishop’s own asparagus. Coat the asparagus with olive oil, add salt and pepper, and grill it.

Grilled Steak Marinade – No summer BBQ is complete until you add steak! This meal features high quality flank steak marinated in soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, basil, parsley and black pepper. Grill up some red and green peppers to go with it.

 

With all of these options available, make it your goal this summer to try each one! Also check back because we are always coming up with new ideas, and we may just add more grilled meals to our menu! As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments, so stop by and let us know how you are enjoying these meals!