After a one-year COVID-inspired switch to a drive-through format, Wilton’s Ambler Farm is returning to its familiar open festival plan for the 21st annual Ambler Farm Day, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 3 from 12-4 p.m. Organizers have promised a revival of all of the must-do interactive fun visitors have come to love about the day.

Ambler Farm’s Executive Director Ashley Kineon and Special Events Coordinator Laura Guzewicz invited GOOD Morning Wilton to share what visitors can expect this year. With so many new area residents, we wanted to make sure everyone knows just how amazing Ambler Farm Day is and puts the fall festival in the calendar now so they won’t miss it.

Ambler Farm is the gemstone of Wilton. The 200-year-old farm was purchased by the town in 1999 from the Raymond-Ambler family and then a group called the Friends of Ambler Farm have taken over day-to-day management of the 22-acre property. Now an independent organization, Ambler Farm offers educational programs as well as active community engagement and sustainable, organic farming that helps Ambler Farm show off Wilton’s agrarian history and appreciation for open land.

Operationally, Ambler Farm is once again a working farm, producing amazing organically-grown vegetables, fruits, and flowers that are sold at the farm’s own weekly farm stand, at the Wilton Farmers’ Market and the Village Market in Wilton Center. Visitors can spend time with dozens of animals and the organization offers multiple programs for the public to participate in, including summer camp, an apprentice program, live music events, maple syrup production, a holiday greens sale, and many more.

Once a year, Ambler Farm Day brings thousands of visitors to the farm. “It’s really a day for family and friends, old and young alike, to come out and really enjoy a day at the farm,” says Kineon. “As we are a nonprofit, we depend on the revenue generated by our events and our programs. And of course, this is one of the most fun ones that we have.”

Guzewicz agrees. “The day is an opportunity for the community to come together, to connect with the community, and to meet your new neighbors if you haven’t yet. it’s been a rough year, so now you get to come out to the farm in an outdoor space and appreciate the community, your neighbors, your friends.”

Fan-favorite activities making a return include the apple slingshot, the trebuchet — aka the Pumpkin Chucker — hayrides, a hay maze, a bake sale and pie sale, concessions, pumpkin patch, crafts, scarecrow making, live music and more. New activities introduced at last year’s drive-through will be incorporated again, including the dunk-a-local celebrity dunking booth and a pie-in-the-face toss.

All proceeds benefit Ambler Farm.

In Need of Volunteers — and Scarecrow Clothes Donations

The farm needs dozens of volunteers to make Ambler Farm Day. Guzewicz and Kineon say volunteering is a great way for people new to Wilton to get introduced to special place that Ambler is and meet new friends.

“There are such opportunities all over the farm to take part and really feel a part of the team. Without the volunteers, this would not be the well-oiled machine that it has been for 21 years,” Guzewicz adds.

The build-a-scarecrow event is one of the most-loved activities of Ambler Farm Day. Visitors can build a scarecrow and take it home for a memento of fall. And after Oct. 3, it’s possible to drive around Wilton and see Ambler Farm Day-built scarecrows on everyone’s front doorstep.

But organizers can’t make that happen without clothing donations.

“We are collecting scarecrow clothes. You can either do so by dropping them off at the farm (257 Hurlbutt St.). Anytime we’re open every day of the week, dawn to dusk, we accept all clothing sizes, 12 youth and larger — long sleeve shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans, pants,” Guzewicz lists. She suggests either “typical” scarecrow clothes like flannel shirts, jeans and bandanas, or even “something that’s maybe a little more 2020 — either sweats or pajamas.”

Organizers have left a bin outside the White Carriage Barn for clothing donations. In addition, anyone who brings articles of clothing to donate to the weekly Saturday farmstand (9 a.m.-2 p.m. every Saturday) will receive a free Ambler Farm-grown tomato.

For more information on Ambler Farm Day, how to volunteer and about all the other great things happening at Ambler Farm, visit the farm’s website.