Heirloom Market at Comstock Ferre


Most gardeners around here make an annual spring pilgrimage to Old Wethersfield and the circa 1811 Comstock-Ferre, a nationally known source for heirloom seeds. These days, there’s lots more in store if you make the trek. Spiro and Julia Koulouris, an enthusiastic and talented young couple, have taken the reigns and reimagined the historic property as a seed-to-plate destination. Yes, the old brick building is still lined with rack upon rack of unusual seeds, but in the back you’ll find an organic grocer stocked mainly with local goods, and a sweet cafe serving up breakfast and lunch (Julia is a culinary school graduate). The concept is that eventually the produce on your plate will have started from seed on the property (you can’t get much more local than that!). It’s a delightful and delicious day trip: after perusing the seeds and handy reference library, I chowed down on a house-made biscuit stuffed with bacon, egg and cheese with a perfectly poured cappuccino. Just as I was finishing up, a tray of pancake donuts drizzled with maple glaze and studded with candied bacon made an appearance. Really?? I somehow managed a bite or two. Healthier-minded folk can stick with fresh juices (orange, carrot, pear and turmeric concoction was the specialty of the day) or a gluten-free Morning Glory muffin. Next trip I won’t resist the American Pie Grilled Cheese stuffed with apples, cheddar and maple sriracha! Later in the Spring you’ll find a demo garden out front and raised beds are in the works to grow everything destined for the cafe. Save the date: a grand opening barbecue and festival is planned for May 27th.