Down in Glastonbury, farmers see an early uptick in business

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GLASTONBURY -- It's been 44 years, and Woody Scott says Tuesday was a first for him. The long-time owner of Scott's Orchard and Nursery in Glastonbury has never opened his property this early in the season.

The nursery's website states: "Closed for the season. See you in the spring," but spring has already sprung on Scott's 50 acres.

"Crocuses are already coming up and we have beautiful pansies for sale" Scott said.

Just 11 months ago Scott's farm was essentially frozen, socked in under layers of snow and ice, but this warmer winter is a different story.

"I think it could be easily a six- or seven-week difference from last year," Scott said.

In his vast fields, pruning is already underway, though Scott says the peach crop will be compromised statewide, a victim of warm temperatures in February followed by a two-day polar blast.

"We had two very cold nights in February and most of the peach crop in Connecticut was lost because of these cold nights."

Scott believes 75 percent of his peach buds were damaged. That said, apples, pears and flowers should flourish, and Scott thinks, overall, the spring and summer seasons of 2016 look promising.

"I think we are going to have a good year in fruit," he said.

Scott added that the orchard's 15 seasonal workers are also getting a jump start in their jobs, and most will be back at the farm by the end of this week.