History of the Farm


Our home farm (529 Woodland Street) was established in 1911 by Joseph and Mary Ann Dondero who had come over from Italy and lived for a short time in New York before moving to Glastonbury. They primarily raised cows, raspberries, apples and grapes on the farm.

Their son, Edward, (Rugged) the youngest of 9 children, married Doris Starr in 1947 and the two worked the farm with their son, Eddie, and his wife Judy, raising mainly apples. They sold the majority of their produce wholesale, and they started “pick your own” as they really enjoyed working more with the public.

The farm has been passed down four generations and is now being operated by Edward and Doris’ grandson, Joe, his wife Sandy, their sons, Joey Jr. & Nicholas, Anthony and daughter Angelina. Dondero now attends many Farmers markets during the growing season and has two farm markets, a bakery and a 7,200 s.f. greenhouse.

Rugged has taken the time to write the farm history called “The First 100 years”.

In 2011, Dondero expanded with the acquisition of the Mountain View farm location (3582 Hebron Avenue).  This farm was previously owned by Nate and Natalie Sestero.  It had been part of Natalie (Malnati) Sestero’s family for many, many years where the land had been worked as a farm since the late 1800’s.