Paul Minor – a Bristol native who runs the farm his great, great, great grandfather opened more than 150 years ago – is finally stepping away from the family business.
Minor’s Farm has for decades been a staple of the community, offering fall festivals each year replete with hayrides, pumpkin patches, inflatable obstacle courses and small trikes and tractors for visiting children to peddle around.
“I run into people all across the country who have ties back to Connecticut who would bring their kids to pick apples,” Minor says, though he notes that he and his father, who passed away in late 2017 at the age of 93, have at times both been forced to funnel Social Security checks and retirement incomes into the operation to keep it afloat.
Back in the 1960s, Minor’s Farm grew apples and peaches, had its own cider mill and ran a small dairy operation with several cows. But years of unpredictable prices and weather – coupled with competition from larger agriculture operations and relatively high taxes in the state of Connecticut – have worn on the family business. Minor’s Farm is now open just a month and a half out of the year, and, at 69 years old, Minor says the money and time required to keep the operation afloat just doesn’t make sense for him.
“I got to thinking about my memories. This last fall, we had a decent fall. It wasn’t that bad. And all of my grandkids and my brothers’ grandkids were able to come up from Virginia and North Carolina, and they got to experience all of our activities,” Minor says. “They got to see the games and the kids are having fun. My grandkids are going to have a last memory of the farm, and I want to go out on a high, not a low.”
Read the full story by Andrew Soergel with U.S. News & World Report here.