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The History of Scotts’ Farms

THE FAMILY

The Scott family history begins with Winston’s great-grandfather Michael Scott, arriving from England in 1883 to work as a weaver.  In 1894 he purchased 50 apple trees.  Around 1902, his sons Walter and Wilfred began to supplement their work in the woolen mills by farming part time in East Lyme.  Eventually Walter and his wife Lillian, along with their sons R. Woodrow and Wainwright, established their orchards and farm stands on the Boston Post Road in East Lyme, CT.  Woodrow Scott married Jane Meadnis in 1945 and they had nine children - Enid, Walter, Naomi, Woodland, Winston, Wilson, Wayne, Webster and Whitney.  At one time, all seven sons were employed on the family farm, eventually marrying and venturing out on their own.

R. Woodrow, known by most as “Woody,” continued to work with his sons well into his golden years and was actively cultivating the strawberry fields until he was 91 years old.  In 2009, Woody passed away at the ripe old age of 93 with loving family by his side.  Presently, all five of his living sons and many of his grandchildren continue to be involved in farming in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

THE FARM

On May 13, 1884, one year after the Scott family immigrated to America, and nearly 100 years before Winston and Diane would own it, John Smith sold a tract of land located in Deep River, Connecticut to the Connecticut Valley Orchard Company.  The CVO Co. was comprised of two orchards, one in Berlin and one in Deep River.  In the 1890’s, the CVO Co. was the largest fruit farm in New England with 400 acres of fruit and 50,000 trees in production.  George Spicer, one of the principals, leased the farm for a number of years.  In 1926, the CVO Company sold the orchard to Rosalia Kotlenski.  After her husband died, she married the farm manager, Joseph Pytko.  The Pytkos raised sheep and cows as well as fruit and their farm included the land where Valley Regional High School now sits.  “Peach Farm Joe” is fondly remembered for loading up his truck with produce and selling it door to door and roadside.

Winston Scott and Diane Mather married in 1972 and eventually had three daughters - Jane, Emma and Hannah.  They purchased the farm in Deep River from the Pytko estate in 1980 - Joe having passed in 1977 - and along with two-year-old Jane, moved into the old farmhouse and began the arduous task of reclaiming a then overgrown and deteriorating orchard.  By hand, they planted 30 acres of fruit trees, 2.5 acres of strawberries, two acres of blueberries and many acres of vegetables.  

As the years went on, Winston and Diane began to expand their business by raising vegetables on land in the neighboring town of Essex.  They opened a farm stand in 1997 and within a few short years had built the first of four large greenhouses to create what is now Scotts’ Farm and Greenhouses.  The Scotts currently maintain both farms.

All three of the Scott daughters were graduates of Valley Regional High School.  Jane went on to earn a degree from Paier College of Art, Emma from Southern Connecticut State University, and Hannah from Savannah College of Art and Design.  The sisters are the 5th generation of Scotts’ working the land and along with Jane’s husband Scott Lavezzoli, remain actively involved in the farm and family business. Winston and Diane’s grandchildren: Violet, Otto, Clementine (Jane and Scott), Kingston (Emma), Ava, Adam, Reed, Oswald, and Arduino (Hannah and Dennis) are the 6th generation of Scotts who will hopefully continue the family tradition of farming.