Strawberries ready to pick at Pell Family Farm

Reminder Publishing submitted photo

SOMERS — Since 1930, the Pell Family Farm has provided the community with quality trees, shrubs and strawberries. Today, fourth-generation farmer Tracy Pell works with her father Edwin to manage the needs of the farm and provide the best products.

“Quality sets us apart,” said Pell. “My father only grows [strawberry] varieties that are sweet and that he would eat for breakfast. He cares about his products. He transplants arborvitaes and other evergreen trees when they are around 5 feet tall, so the larger roots get cut and the tree grows more [of the] smaller fibrous roots, so the tree will be able to take up water when it is planted.”

The farm focuses on strawberries, trees, shrubs and Christmas trees. The farm primarily grows arborvitae for privacy hedges but also has a mix of other shrubs, flowering trees and other evergreen trees. Some of the privacy hedges include Green Giant Arborvitae, Dark American Arborvitae and Emerald Green Arborvitae. Trees include Birch, Bloodgood Japanese Maples and Sugar Maples and flowering trees like Dogwood and Weeping Cherry.

“They are hardy to the area and adapted to the New England climate, so they have a great success rate,” said Pell.

That success with trees carries over to the busy Christmas season. The farm is a cut-your-own tree farm with a wide selection of trees to choose.

“There are thousands to choose from and they are all hand sheared every year,” noted Pell. “Families find their perfect tree and cut it themselves for the freshest selection.”

In the early summer, customers enjoy the family’s sweet strawberries. Although the farm no longer offers a pick-your-own option.

“My father started growing strawberries because he liked eating them,” explained Pell. “Our strawberry season starts mid to late May and lasts through October. A comment I often hear is that our strawberries remind folks of the strawberries they ate as a child — juicy and red in the center.”

During the Great Depression, Pell’s grandfather, Edwin Pell Sr., took over the farm from his father while still working his 9 to 5 job at Hamilton Standard. Maintaining more than 45 cows — more than most other farmers at the time — meant that days began before dawn and ended at midnight.

Throughout the years, Edwin Pell Jr. has worked to maintain that same work ethic. These days, his daughter Tracy Pell works side by side with him.

She grew up gardening with the family, then spent nine years as a special education teacher before deciding to work at the farm. Tracy Pell’s brother, Kevin, worked on the farm for some time before exploring other opportunities.

Pell Family Farm is located at 62 Kibbe Rd. in Somers. For more information, visit pell-farms.com or the farm’s Facebook page.