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:
Award-winning photo of the barn by Ray Pioggia.
Farm Stand and Ice Creamery
In 2013 The Friends began work renovating part of the lower level of the big white barn as a three season farm stand and creamery.
The project is expected to be completed this year and should bring a steady stream of visitors to the farmstead from Summer through Fall.
The original creamery.
The farm stand will sell products from Hilltop and nearby farms. In addition to herbs, sunflowers, honey, berries and other products that can be grown on the property, we plan to sell dried herbs, soup and dip mixes; jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys, and honey; apple cider and apple cider vinegar. We also expect to offer crafts created by local artisans.
The creamery will serve gelato made at Hilltop Farm using milk and cream purchased from local farms. In addition to favorite flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, the creamery will feature flavors from seasonal fruit. Guests will be able to enjoy their treats at outdoor tables overlooking a children’s play area and the agricultural fields of Suffield.
Restoration of the Chicken Coop
Restoration and completed project photos of the chicken coop by Ray Pioggia.
During the summer of 2020 we undertook the restoration of the Hilltop Farm chicken coop, which was in poor condition.
We rebuilt the roof, eaves, sills and doors. Our former Board President, Tom Wardell, who has years of experience repairing old structures to their original glory, restored nine of the windows. For 15 others that were too deteriorated, he replaced their wooden sashes and glazed in the original glass.
We repainted the entire exterior.
The project was overseen by Vice President Ray Wilcox.