It was a damp drizzly day, but contestants, judges and onlookers alike huddled under the apple tent for a battle of baking. There were children and adults, veterans and rookies, and even a husband and wife pitted against each other in the quest for the pie plate trophy, gift cards, and a coveted seat on next year’s judging panel.
Across the spread of eighteen pies there were many varieties of apples used, some with a crumb topping, others sporting a traditional two-crust appearance. The three judges were excited to dive in: our own Head Chef Todd Heberlein, pastry chef Denyse Corio, and Sam Hendler from Jack’s Abby in Framingham.
Out of all eighteen pies, the pie that rose to the top was one made by eight-year-old Ben Yountz. As the youngest-ever first place winner, Ben and his family were thrilled to be champions! The entire Yountz family pitched in with the making of the pie. Ben’s mom Heather helped with the baking and his little brother Luke drew the face on the ginger man poking out of the crumb topping. It was truly a family affair with four generations present at the contest: Granny and Grandma had even come all the way from New Jersey to take part in the festivities!
This, however, was not the Yountz Family’s first rodeo. This was their fourth year entering our pie contest, and this time they weren’t walking away without a trophy. They even made seven test pies in preparation! Our judges loved Ben’s Gala apple pie, commenting on the gingerman decoration and the subtle ginger flavor. The judges also loved the crumble topping and appreciated the fact that the young chef left the skin on the apples, giving them great texture!
Ben and his family won a $150 gift card to Volante Farms, a Volante Farms cookbook signed by Chef Todd, a bucket of gear and $50 gift card to Jack’s Abby in Framingham (which his parents were excited about), a pie plate trophy, and a spot on next year’s judging panel!
Second-place winner Jen Bonniwell was thrilled to nab a place on the podium as well. Like the Yountz family, she had been competing in the pie contest year after year but to no avail. As a matter of fact, each year Jen joked with Ben’s mother Heather about how their crumb-topped pies were the “stepsisters” of the apple pie contest – they never took home top honors! This year Jen decided to go for a traditional two-crust pie filled with Granny Smith, Cortland and Gala apples which earned her second place. The judges called this a quintessential all-American pie with a fantastic crust and great flavor. She took home a $75 gift card to Volante Farms and a Volante Farms Cookbook signed by Chef Todd Heberlein.
Red Jonagold apples and caramel were the key ingredients in Virginia Borrelli’s delicious third-place pie. Virginia is a talented baker at only twelve years old! The judges raved about the caramel flavor and sweet apple filling, and all three judges commented on how delicious the crust was. Perhaps the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because Virginia’s dad Matt is a former Volante Farms employee! Virginia took home a $30 gift card to Volante Farms and a Volante Farms cookbook signed by Chef Todd Heberlein.
All in all it was a fantastic day under the apple tent. Thank you to all who participated in this year’s contest, your hard work is very much appreciated! And a special thank you to all our judges who had to endure ALL THAT PIE! Somehow, they managed. Happy fall, everyone!
Thanksgiving & Turkey Orders
It’s Turkey Time!
We are now accepting orders for Thanksgiving turkeys, sides, and desserts. Use our handy online store to place your order here!
Once again we will be carrying fresh, never frozen turkeys fromStonewood Farm in Orwell, Vermont. Stonewood’s turkeys are never subjected to growth hormones, preservatives, or antibiotics, and are humanely raised. This all natural process means that you and your family can enjoy a clean, safe, and unbelievably tasty meal this November. Quantities are limited so order yours today!
All orders must be placed on our website this year. If you would like to come in to the farmstand we will assist you in placing your order at our Thanksgiving kiosk!
We are requiring a $20 per turkey deposit, payable online. There will be no deposits required for pre-ordering items from the kitchen and bakery. All items in the webstore have the retail prices in the item description. Please keep in mind that pre orders for kitchen sides are for large trays that serve 10-12. Any smaller amounts will be available a la carte on a first come first served basis in the farmstand.
To order your Turkey and other Thanksgiving Side Dishes, please click here.
We are excited to announce our biggest Pumpkinfest yet. Once again the push is going to be to carve as many pumpkins as possible for our evening Pumpkin Stroll, but this year we have added entertainment for the whole family all afternoon. We are also celebrating the traditional close of our 100th growing season, with a Centennial Harvest Party. For the 5th year Volante Farms will donate all the proceeds of this event to Boston Children’s Hospital. We were honored to receive the Rising Star Award from them this year for our strides in fundraising and we hope to keep rising!
Festivities start at 1:00 pm with the beginning of our Carving Party. You are welcome to make as many jack o lanterns as you want for the afternoon. We hope you will take your photo with it and post it to Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, to show everyone the great work you’ve done.
Also happening from 1 – 2 pm Big Joe the Storyteller will join us in the greenhouse. Hailed as “One of the best in the business” by the Boston Globe, Big Joe has been delighting children and families for many years with his exciting storytelling show. With a huge collection of original and classic tales as well as a box filled with puppets, props, and surprises, Big Joe has added lots of humor to events across New England! If you love stories, you will love the unique and wonderful experience of seeing Big Joe the Storyteller! http://www.bigjoe.com/
From 2:15 to 3, Hilarious, high-energy kid’s entertainer The Stupendous Mr. Magichead will perform Mr. Magichead’s Squash of Mystery, aka “Popular professional Performer Proudly Presents Pleasing Pumpkin Prestidigitation” This children’s magician continues to travel near and far bringing laughter and amazement at hundreds of shows a year to kids of all ages. See pumpkins appear before your eyes, float, then vanish into thin air and more! http://www.mrmagichead.com/halloween.htm
To close out the afternoon, from 3:15 – 5 pm Thomas from Jammin with You will present A Smashing Mash at Volante Farms Pumpkin Fest. A seasoned performer, Thomas’s quick wit and musicianship make him a hit with children of all ages. http://www.jamminwithyou.com/
Around 5 pm we will toast our 100th Harvest with birthday cake from our pastry department and a glass of your choice of champagne, sparkling cider or ice cold milk. We expect a visit from Gov. Baker and other local dignitaries for this toast. We also hope to share this event with the many members of the community who have made these 100 years a success for us, from customers, current and former employees, our neighbors, and everyone who appreciates the value of a family run farm in their neighborhood.
We will begin lighting the jack-o-lanterns around 5:30, and hope you will all join us for the stroll around the farm to see everyone’s handiwork as the official stroll kicks off at 6 pm.
During the entire afternoon Needham Bank will again be sponsoring Face Painting and a Photo Booth.
We will have Volante Farms Donut Holes, Apples, and Cider available all afternoon as well. So please consider stopping by and carving a pumpkin for our display while you enjoy some of the fantastic entertainment we have lined up this year. And be sure to stick around for the birthday cake and toast.
We ask only for a $10 donation to include all the festivities and pumpkins you can handle. Children under 2 are free. 100% of your donated funds will go directly to Boston Children’s Hospital.
Please contact us with any questions and we look forward to seeing you at this year’s Pumpkinfest!
For More Information:
Bring in your home-cooked apple pie and our local celebrity judges will taste and evaluate it! Please provide your recipe and most importantly, which varieties of apples are included. Pre-registration (required) and pay attention to the very few rules below!
Apple Pie Contest Rules:
APPLE PIE BAKING CONTEST
Saturday October 14th @ 11am
Bring in your home-cooked apple pie and our local celebrity judges will taste and evaluate it! Please provide your recipe and, most importantly, which varieties of apples are included. Rules:
2nd Prize: Gift Cards
Other prizes may be awarded as earned, for innovation, presentation, and more!
Each participant will receive a 10% coupon
good for that day!
We are excited to offer 3 month CSA shares for $300. This includes 10-12 lbs of local meat once each month, butchered and sealed, all frozen at time of pickup. A typical share consists of 2-4 lbs of ground meat, 3-5 lbs of roasts, and 5-6 lbs of steaks/chops.
Since this is our first-ever CSA, our early adopters can expect some awesome freebies, too!
Once a month we will get a delivery of fresh whole hogs, beef, lamb or chicken. We will break them down into home kitchen-friendly cuts and divide them up among the CSA share boxes, making sure everyone is receiving more or less the same amount of ground meat, roasts and chops.
Since some cuts are very limited (such as hanger steaks, tenderloin, etc.) we are unable to take requests for specific cuts but we will ensure that nobody gets the short end of the “hog”. Organ meat and off-cuts are available upon request for an additional charge.
By buying whole animals directly from the farmers who raise them, we are able to support local agriculture and ensure that our adventurous home cooks have direct access to humanely raised local meat, all while keeping our prices fair for the farmer and for you, our customers.
Royalton Farms is family owned and operated, providing local pork that is raised safely, humanely, and sustainably. They employ a highly-managed rotational grazing program for all their pigs, resulting in a better end product.
Their Berkshire Pork is known to be England’s oldest pig breed. The juiciness, flavor, tenderness, heavy intramuscular marbling and high fat content make Berkshire Pork the “Kobe beef” of the pork industry.
Weatherlow Farms encompasses 200 acres of pasture, field, and woodlands. Their animals are always on high quality pasture and treated with respect. They believe their biologically active soils are the secret to delivering beef that is packed full of vital nutrition. Their farming practices allow them to honor the special relationship between optimal soil health, animal health and human health.
Handling everything from start to finish, the folks at Featherbrook Farm specialize in poultry. Owner Tad Largey hand-feeds his small flocks, processes his birds humanely (which he believes adds to the flavor in the end), packages them safely, and delivers orders to our farm himself. His chicken is said to have the same melt-in-your-mouth qualities as filet mignon!
To celebrate this centennial year, the Volante family is marking the monumental occasion with The Volante Farms Cookbook: A Century of Growing.
Fresh from Italy, Peter Volante got his start in 1917 by trucking his homegrown produce from his Newton farm to Boston’s city markets each morning. (In 1962, the family moved their operations and home to what they called “the sticks of Needham.”) Today, the community comes to the farm, which features acres of productive fields, state-of-the-art greenhouses, and a massive, year-round farmstand overflowing with all varieties of fruits and vegetables and outfitted with a full-service deli, bakery, and ice cream counter.
The Volante Farms Cookbook offers a fresh, behind-the-scenes look at the farm’s exceptional bounty along with wisdom for maximizing those homegrown flavors. The cookbook also shares the four generations of family history that led to the farm’s extraordinary success and longevity, with stories, photographs, and the Volante family’s heirloom recipes.
“Our dedicated staff and the support we’ve received from the community have helped our business succeed for the last century,” says Teri Volante Boardman. “This book is a tribute to that.”
Enduring fluctuating economic climates, competition from nearby grocery chains, and a shifting agricultural landscape, Volante Farms remains as popular as ever, attracting gardeners, local food lovers, and large lunchtime crowds. In recent years, the family has invited the community to dine with them at their beloved Dinner in the Field series—an event that sells out within hours each year. Fans of the farm will find that same level of inspiration and creativity in the cookbook. Packed with over 100 recipes for vibrant salads, hearty soups, inventive dinners, and plenty of fresh flavors, the cookbook serves as a delicious field guide to using the homegrown produce from Volante Farms or from your local family farmstand.
For Press and Publicity information, please contact Caitlin Dow, Publicity and Events Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. (617) 423-0840
To kick off our Centennial Year at Volante Farms and to close out our 5th Annual Rally for Rosie’s Place, a fresh food drive we run every March, we are hosting a Pancake Breakfast on April 1st in the greenhouse, to coincide with the beginning of the spring planting season. Please come join us on Saturday morning for pancakes- 3 for adults, 2 for children- with syrup and butter, bacon, OJ & Coffee. Help us start our year long celebration with a fun morning in the greenhouse for a great cause!
The proceeds of the breakfast will also go to Rosie’s Place, joining the donations of fresh food from our customers matched by the farm all month.
Tickets are $10 for Adults, $5 for children under 10,
We will have 4 seatings; 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, and 10:30
Just because we are in the middle of winter doesn’t mean your access to local food is shut down! We continue to have homegrown and local produce on the produce floor, even now deep into January. In addition to our homegrown leeks, there are amazing locally grown roots like radishes, carrots, turnips, and beets, as well as apples, acorn squash, fingerling potatoes, cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, fresh greens and even local heirloom tomatoes from a number of area growers, including
to name just a few.
But coming up next weekend, January 28th from 11 am to 3 pm we will be focusing on the other local food makers in our area. In what sounds to be our largest Local Food Fest yet, with over 40 of our small local businesses in attendance, our vendors and makers will be sampling their creative and artisan made foods for you. Please stop in and hear their stories and meet the farmers and chefs behind some of your favorite Volante Farms finds. Many of them are brand new to our shop and several have been with us through the years.
Please join us for this free event as we celebrate the local flavors of our region. Slated to be in attendance so far:
Easy online gifts for the foodie in your family. Join us for some of our exciting upcoming events here at the farm this winter, or treat your loved ones and those you want to show your appreciation to a gift card that will get them all the sandwiches or spring perennials they desire or a gift basket full of gourmet and local food & wine. We want to make it easy!!