08 July, 2008

Local Food: Collins Creamery Ice Cream

In the 1990's, with bulk milk prices falling, two dairies in Enfield Connecticut took very different approaches to adapting to the new market. Trinity Farms, on Oliver Road near Interstate 91, started processing and selling their milk directly to the public at their dairy and has developed a loyal area following with their high-quality milks and creams, yogurts, and butter.

Powder Hill Farms, owned by the Collins family and located on the other side of town, went in a different direction. In 1997, they opened The Collins Creamery to sell ice cream made on the premises from dairy's own milk. It was a huge success and has not only helped the farm to prosper, it has helped the family raise public awareness of local agriculture. The farm welcomes tour groups and school field trips for a nominal fee, which includes a one-hour tour of the farm followed by ice cream at the Creamery.

The sign at the Creamery says "On the quiet side of town," and there's no doubt; located on Powder Hill Road in Enfield, the farm is surrounded by pastures, cornfields, and tobacco fields. It's off the beaten track to be sure, but the ice cream is well worth the extra few minutes it takes to drive there. They make over 20 flavors, ranging from the simple and delicious vanilla and chocolate, to more complex delights like red raspberry chocolate chip.

Hard ice cream is their specialty, but they do have a softserve machine if that's what you're after, and they'll hand-pack any ice cream flavor you desire into pints, quarts, or half-gallons to bring home.

On a warm and sticky summer evening, there's nothing like pulling into the parking lot at the Creamery and getting a cone or a dish of ice cream to take the edge off the sultry weather. The ice cream stand is near one of the old red barns, and part of the parking area borders a small pasture. Sometimes, a few of the cows are behind the stout wooden rail fence, and they'll come over to the fence to have their heads scratched, eat a handful of clover from your hand, or give you a friendly lick.

The Collins Creamery is pet-friendly, too. Well-behaved dogs (on leashes, please) are welcomed, and one of the items on the menu is the "Doggie Dish," a small portion of vanilla soft-serve ice cream in a cup, topped with a small dog biscuit.

The Collins Creamery
9 Powder Hill Road
Enfield CT 06082


The Collins Creamery Website

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