If you drive past Buttonwood Farm in out-of-the-way Griswold in summer, the first thing you’ll notice is cars, parked along the sides of an otherwise bucolic country road and slowing down to turn into an already packed lot. The second thing you’ll notice is fields of sunflowers stretching as far as the eye can see, and onlookers gathering to take in the improbable scene. Only then will you notice the long line of people winding across the lawn, patiently waiting their chance to reach the small ice cream stand.
The sunflowers are there because every July, Buttonwood Farm holds “Sunflowers for Wishes,” selling the yellow blossoms to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut, which grants wishes to children facing life-threatening medical conditions. The people are there because in a state known for farm-fresh dairy products, Buttonwood Farm’s ice cream, offered in dozens of inventive flavors, is among the best.
And if you visit in the fall, the sunflowers may be gone, but the hayrides, corn maze, and pumpkin patch will be in full swing.