Do you ever have friends or family over from out of town and it’s up to you to come up with something to do that’ll appeal to them all? Where can you go that Dad can find something for his sweet tooth; somewhere that your cousin can fill her basket with local fresh fruit, veg and heritage breed meat (and hopefully offer to cook later, jeez)? Where is there a place that your hyper niece can get rid of some of that energy by running through a whopper of a corn maze…and everyone can get their shop on and enjoy some top shelf gourmet lunch? Ding-a-ling. We have the answer! Morris Marketplace at South Farms in Morris. Pack up your car and take a little trip to see all that this gorgeous spot, smack in the middle of Morris, has to offer.
We met Ben Paletsky, tall, rugged and handsome, and 4th generation proprietor of South Farms. Ben is the mastermind behind bringing a new lease of life to the farm, which has been in the family since the late 40s. It’s not easy to keep small farms viable in this day and age, but Ben is doing it. Having gone to school for marketing and engineering, he’s putting his knowledge to good use as he thinks outside the box to come up with ideas that bring people from near and far to enjoy some of the magic that farm life has to offer. One such idea was to bring neighboring farms and local artisans together at The Morris Marketplace on South Farms, offering the public the convenience of one stop shopping at this farmland destination.
The Morris Marketplace is open every Sunday from 11 to 2pm between June and the end of October (possibly longer depending on the weather) and like their website says, it’s not your typical farmers market. It’s unquestionably a foodies paradise of food trucks; Amanda Bakes, Bantam Bread, Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes and the Winvian Food Truck, were some of the ones we checked out. Besides eating your way around the market you can buy goodies to go. Locally grown fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses, syrups, pies… you get the picture. Peruse the stalls selling soaps, olive oils, Bloody Mary mix, yarns, and jewelry. Vendors aren’t always the same and there are often guest artists. Go and be pleasantly surprised each visit.
In addition to The Morris Marketplace, South Farms also has an incredible event space available for rentals, The White Barn. One of the spaces, The Parlor Room – originally the milking parlor for the farm’s dairy cows, is now a fabulous large space to have a dream wedding, or perhaps a class reunion, a bar/bat mitzvah, an auction…when you see it you’ll start to think of any reason you can throw a party. We’re already daydreaming about throwing our one-year Blog-aversary there. A classy farm venue, it’s the details that make it stand out. Rough barn wood walls paired with modern lighting and trendy steel accents; it’s both sophisticated and whimsical; we’re in love! Ben has repurposed some of the farm’s equipment in the most unique and awesome way. It’s worth the trip just to check out some of the lighting features and the bathrooms (particularly the men’s) – we kid you not!
The last thing we want to mention is the corn maze. So much fun! You can choose between the 0.3 mile route or the 1.7 mile. The maze can be enjoyed on Sundays or by appointment. Teachers – what a fun thing to do with your class! Grab a map at the entrance and go find all 6 checkpoints and try to beat our record speed 😉
Lora’s favorite: The vibe of the farm. People were so easy to chat with and happy! So great for connecting and interacting with locals.
Bev’s favorite: Being in the middle of the cornfield and looking up at the perfectly blue sky…and my cupcake from Hardcore Sweet – you need to check out their crazy flavor combinations – winner of season 9 Cupcake Wars!
South Farms, 21 Higbie Road, Morris, CT 06763.
Ben has tons of ideas for the future that we’re excited about. The best way to keep up to date with all that’s happening is on their Facebook page.