Updated: Feb 15, 2022
The biggest farmstand in Eastford, and it's been running with the Buell family know-how and ingenuity for a while!
Walking into Buell’s Farm Stand in Eastford, you’ll be greeted by smiling teens from the nearby area who have been hired to help out with all the many tasks of keeping up a busy farm store. Though they’re busy restocking, they pause to say “Hello” and welcome you with a friendliness you know they’ve learned from the Buells themselves. Meanwhile, Patty Sandness is working away in the office upstairs while bouncing the newest grandchild on her
knee. Jeff works quietly behind the store counter washing and sorting for a wholesale order. Everybody has a place and a task, and you know when you walk through their doors this is a family venture.
But just because they’re busy during the day keeping up with all their tasks, doesn’t mean they won’t stop for a chat. Jeff takes a moment to finish up the apples and walks over to share a little more about the farm. Being a small fruit and orchard farmer has plenty to keep him busy, but you can see his joy come forth when he gets the opportunity to share about what makes Buells Orchard so special.
The business started back in 1889 by ole’ Henry Buell and the family has continued to keep it humming ever since then. Jeff and his brother Jonathan are now the 4th generation leading the farm. They’re work couldn’t happen however without the support of their wives, and their sons, Greg and Mark, to carry on the family tradition to the next generation- toddlers that currently run from tree to tree tasting apples and berries.
And they have been innovating. They could have just continued to be the “pick your own” farm for the community, but the Buells are always looking for new ways to help their community get local goods. They have their own baked goods in the farm stand, offer dairy products from local farms, have a wide selection of canned and preserved goods from their products and other local business, and they have their cider processing.
Tucked away from the main road is a large building that holds some magic. A good couple years back, the Buells wanted to do something that would make the farm stand apart- so they built a commercial cider processing facility. Not a cheap venture by any means, the pristine facility not only processes their apples into the delicious cider that you can pick up in the stand but many other orchards send their apples over to be processed, pasteurized, and bottled, to in turn, sell in their farm stands. The whir of the machinery can be mesmerizing as you see bottles filled, capped, and labeled all with their unique bottling process.
So, even though this family farm is tucked away in the back roads of Eastford, the cider they make goes far and wide throughout the state (and even beyond) as they help make our wonderful New England crop last a little longer and taste a little sweeter.