East Haddam, CT
David Alan Hospitality Group is a preferred caterer at Smith Farm Gardens.
The Smith Farm property was originally purchased in 1718 by Matthew Smith. The home was constructed in 1778 and the land was used for many years as a small family farm. Over the years the house was neglected and fell into severe disrepair. In 1985, Mal and Peggy Winkley purchased the property with the intent of providing a healthy, country environment for their family, which included 5 children.
In addition to enjoying a spacious property set in the country, Mal and Peg’s vision was to develop an organic farm for the nascent Adult Vocational Program (AVP), a non-profit business created by the Winkleys that provides meaningful and healthy work opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. The program and property have evolved over the years and are now a hub for a variety of activities. The organic farm sells produce to the local community, taps the maple trees in the early spring, and produces cider in the fall. The property is also used for processing wood in the winter, which is sold as cord wood and small bundles of firewood. The AVP Inc. Landscape Program uses the restored garage for its operation. This team contracts with local homeowners and is also responsible for maintaining the beautiful grounds that are visible everywhere on Smith Farm.
In addition to returning the property to a functioning organic farm and orchard, the Winkley family took on the task of renovating the dilapidated house. Utilizing the talents of the Winkey family, the project turned into a labor of love. The entire family dedicated countless hours assisting with various aspects of the renovations, which included demolition, carpentry, painting and masonry. During the rehab process, careful measures were taken to maintain the historical architecture and craftsmanship of the colonial time period.
The main house restoration included the addition of an 800 sq ft “great room”. With a 15 foot vaulted ceiling, built in bookcases, french doors, floor to ceiling windows, and a fireplace, this elegant gathering space is a focal point of the home. The interior of the house showcases exposed chestnut beams on the third floor, detailed moldings/ paneling throughout, and original hardwood floors, while the exterior has columned porches, brick walkways, stone patios, and traditional architecture. The 5,000 sq ft house contains 6 fireplaces, 6 bedrooms, and 2.5 baths.