Other CT Grown Products
As a coastal state, Connecticut has a vibrant aquaculture industry. The state’s shellfish grounds are particularly strong, with nearly 80,000 acres under cultivation for species like Eastern oysters and northern quahog clams. Connecticut aquaculture also includes commercial fisheries that bring in fresh catches of fish, squid, lobsters, and more, as well as a growing number of kelp farms. For more information on Connecticut aquaculture, visit the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Aquaculture.
Connecticut has experienced significant growth in its craft beer industry, with about 100 independent breweries now located in Connecticut. These breweries often operate with local agriculture in mind, partnering with CT Grown farms to acquire barley, grains, malts, and hops. For more information on this relationship, click here.
Connecticut families have long enjoyed the tradition of visiting a local farm to pick out their Christmas tree. More than 500 farms in Connecticut grow Christmas trees on more than 5,000 acres, inviting visitors to either cut their own tree or browse a selection of pre-harvested options. To learn more about Connecticut Christmas tree farms, click here.
CT Grown farmers aren’t just raising food for people. Several farms are dedicated to the production of forage crops like hay, haylage, grass silage, and baleage, all of which helps feed livestock within Connecticut.
Greenhouse and Nursery
The most prominent crop in Connecticut agriculture, greenhouse production ranges from tiny nurseries to enormous operations that pack and ship flowers nationwide. Perennials, annuals, flowering shrubs, bedding crops, and more are grown outdoors during warmer seasons and year-round in greenhouses. You can even pick your own flowers at some CT Grown farms each spring!
Nearly 80 farms in Connecticut produce hemp crops under the Connecticut Hemp Program, which is run by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) regulates products intended for human ingestion, inhalation, absorption or other internal consumption or external use manufactured from hemp or hemp-derived ingredients including CBD products for human use. Hemp, a non-intoxicating cannabis variety, can be used for a wide range of CDB products as well as items like rope, paper, and textiles.
Note: Hemp is distinct from marijuana, which is legal for recreational and medicinal use in Connecticut but is not considered an agricultural crop.
Maple syrup production begins in the late winter, when the freeze-thaw cycle created by frigid nights and warming days stimulates the flow of sap in maple trees. This maple sap is then boiled to evaporate the water and increase the sugar content. About 200 farms in Connecticut produce more than 17,000 gallons of maple syrup a year, along with maple products like candy and maple cream. For more information on maple production in Connecticut, click here.
Craft distilleries in Connecticut create batches of rum, vodka, gin, liqueurs, and other spirits. These distilleries often partner with locally sourced ingredients like apples, herbs, and maple syrup to lend flavor to their batches.
The growing conditions in the Connecticut River Valley are excellent for tobacco, and this was once a major cash crop in Connecticut. Although the tobacco industry has waned considerably in Connecticut, there are still about 2,000 acres in Connecticut dedicated to growing this product. Tobacco farms produce both Connecticut shade tobacco (which creates light, sweet smoke) and broadleaf tobacco (with a darker, richer flavor).
Fertile soils and a temperate climate make Connecticut an excellent place for vineyards and wineries to call home. There are 45 licensed farm wineries in the state, producing fine award-winning vintages each year from locally grown grapes. Learn more about Connecticut Wine Country here.
Connecticut has a considerable amount of woodland, with an estimated 57 to 60 percent of the state covered by forest. TheConnecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture have an agreement to include products from Connecticut’s forests with a CT Grown label for forestry products. Locally sourced wood is used for a variety of items, including lumber, flooring, furniture, and manufactured items.