The orchard will benefit people by providing nutritious fruit grown without chemicals. It will benefit the environment by not using poisons and by providing a habitat that will nurture native species such as birds, amphibians, reptiles and beneficial insects.
What We're Working On and Why
The Friends are working to preserve the fertile, ecologically diverse and historic Hilltop Farm, including its soils, native plants, wildlife and buildings.
The National Park Service recognized the farm’s historic significance by listing it in the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
With almost 2500 feet of Connecticut River frontage; 70+ acres of woodlands, grasslands, wetlands, cropland, and grazing land; nesting American bald eagles; 10 buildings and thousands of feet of fencing, the farm requires much oversight and maintenance.
Exciting projects are currently underway to revitalize the property and create the infrastructure needed for an educational center:
Plans are underway and funding is being sought for a sprinkler system on both levels of the large white barn. This is required in order for us to be able to hold large public events inside the barn. LEARN MORE
In 2014 the Town of Suffield secured a $250,000 grant though the Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) to help The Friends restore two of the farm houses on the farmstead. LEARN MORE
A hidden door in the back of the chicken coop leads to The Secret Garden, an acre which is becoming Hilltop Farm's contribution to the Connecticut Fruit Trail. Heirloom apples will join the rejuvinated berry patches to create our orchard. LEARN MORE
In 2013 The Friends began work renovating part of the lower level of the big white barn as a three season farmstand and creamery. Completion of this project will bring a steady stream of visitors to the farmstead from Spring through Fall.. LEARN MORE
Northeast Utilities/Connecticut Light & Power is partnering with The Friends to mitigate wetlands, restore grasslands and eradicate invasive species in several areas of the farm. LEARN MORE
Through a contract with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, we are developing and improving wildlife habitat in the agricultural lands. LEARN MORE