Farming finds new life along Route 7
Two New Milford businessmen have re-established their roots on Danbury Road (Route 7).
Dean Schultz, the head of the Larson farm family, and Cosmo Mazza, the owner of Cosmo's Landscaping, have entered into a joint lease on the property at 548 Danbury Road once called home by the old Shoo Fly Farm, and the New Milford Berry Farm, across the four-lane highway.
Mr. Schultz has already planted a haunted corn maze on the west side as an agri-tourism venture. He will be moving the farm stand on the berry farm side back farther from the road, establishing a larger parking area.
He plans to start offering fresh produce there by mid-July. This fall, a pick-your-own pumpkin patch will be ready at the site.
"It's nice to see the Larson operation all happening in New Milford again," Mr. Schultz said Wednesday. "With fields in on the Davenport property on Ridge Road, and now this location, we're completely established back in town, and it's good."
Mr. Schultz is a third-generation farmer. His grandfather owned Larson's Farm, where New Milford High School now stands.
He originally established the haunted corn maze in 2000 in Brookfield and it has become a local tradition.
Mr. Mazza plans to place a 3,456-square-foot greenhouse, a 12,500-square-foot outdoor plant stock area, associated parking and outside plant and equipment storage areas on the north-west portion of the old Shoo Fly property for a garden nursery with retail plant sales.
He will be planting a portion of the property with trees and shrubs for his landscaping operation, Cosmo's Landscaping.
"Mr. Mazza has wanted to find someplace along Route 7 to showcase his business ever since the state took his location at 376 Danbury Road," Mr. Posthauer said.
Mr. Mazza's property at 376 Danbury Road, where he had Cosmo's Garden Center, was taken by eminent domain by the state for the widening of Route 7 in 2004.
The property Mr. Schultz and Mr. Mazza have leased encompasses 86.82 acres. It once was the site of a farmhouse, several barns, silos and sheds.
In 1999, the main farmhouse was demolished following a fire and, in 2006, the remaining structures were removed by court order.
Mr. Schultz and Mr. Mazza plan to establish the location as an agri-business location.
Mr. Schultz has planted a four-row deep "fence" of sunflowers along the road frontage of the property and a sunflower "fence" around the planted corn maze.
"I've put in some 15,000 to 20,000 sunflower," Mr. Schultz said. "It should look good when they all come up."