Thursday, July 12, 2012

Support Your Local Family Farm


The menu for the farm dinner at Dondero Orchards Wednesday night

One of the great joys of summer is the availability and variety of locally grown produce.  If you're like me and don't grow anything edible in your own garden, most likely you're frequenting local farmer's markets and farm stands to get your weekly fix of native produce at its best.  What a fabulous time of year!  But what if you could get that same local bounty converted into a swoon worthy dinner and served to you in a hillside orchard as you listen to live music and watch the sun set?  Sound too good to be true?  Well it's not.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend raved to me about a farm dinner she had attended at Dondero Orchards in South Glastonbury.  If you've been reading this blog then you know I'm a huge fan of fresh, well prepared food.  Toss in atmosphere and a unique location and I'm first in line.  The dinners are being served in Dondero's orchard on Woodland Street every other Wednesday night through August.  Last night I joined my friend and her parents for my first of what I hope will be many farm dinners.

Despite typical July temperatures in the upper 80s, low humidity combined with a light breeze made it an absolutely perfect night for dining al fresco.  South Glastonbury is a beautiful New England town located on the banks of the Connecticut River just southeast of Hartford.  Despite the neighborhoods of McMansions that dot the landscape, South Glastonbury has managed to maintain a rural farm community type feel. 

Dondero Orchards is located at 529 Woodland Street in the hills of South Glastonbury.

I was told that if it rains, they will move the dinner into the greenhouse.  Now wouldn't that be cool.


The retail shop at Dondero Orchards in South Glastonbury.  In addition to fresh produce (both picked and PYO) they also sell their own baked goods, homemade salsas, pestos, jams, pickles and other assorted items.



Sandwiched between a fresh peach smoothie and a huge salad drizzled with cilantro and pesto viniagrette was this tangy grilled shrimp salsa appetizer served with a side of tortilla chips.



For the main course(s), a tender, juicy barbecue chicken leg, asian scallops, pulled pork laced with apple butter, homemade cole slaw and some of the best corn bread I have ever eaten. 


A singer and guitar player provided perfect background music.


This little guy was not to be deterred.


Dinner is cooked at the farm and served on picnic tables on the lawn next to an apple orchard.


An absolutely scrumptious warm blueberry cobbler with ice cream rounded out the meal.  Trust me when I tell you I wanted to lick the plate.


Watch the sunset over Hartford County while dining at Dondero Orchards.

For more specific information on the dinners and how to make reservations, check out Dondero's website or Facebook page.  The next dinner is July 25th.  Maybe I'll see you there.

12 comments:

  1. This has to be Glastonbury's best kept secret - wonderful fresh food, perfect location and everyone is so friendly! Hope to make it back on July 25 for the blueberry smoothies, stuffed clams and other summer treats!

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    1. They got me at lobster mac and cheese, Ann! I'll definitely be there.

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  2. Wouldn't I just love to meet you there! Looks splendid!

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  3. Wonderful! I grew up in S. Glastonbury near Matson Hill. I loved this post. Thanks for the trip "home".

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    1. You should check out the next dinner, Laurrie. It was a great way to break up the week.

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  4. All the elements for a delightful evening.

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    1. I love finding interesting things like this to do-especially when they involve food :).

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  5. Man o man, I could eat shrimp all day long, every day..and all the rest looks mighty tasty as well..!

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    1. And it was BYOB. I brought wine and glasses. Some people had whole setups including a chiller. The next dinner is the night after I get home from IU-perfect timing!

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  6. How fabulous Sue. Looks like a great time was had by all. Wish we lived closer. I'd love to go to this.

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  7. Well Deanne, you're closer than I am! If you can't make it to IU, maybe this could be your special treat....

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