According to Shelly, Botticello Farms really started when she was 13 years old, selling vegetables from her parents’ garden from a picnic table in her yard. Shelly has farming in her blood. Her grandparents moved to Connecticut from Italy and started a small farm, on which her father grew up.
Shelly’s father, Butch, was an electrician by training, but he eventually decided to pursue his love of farming full time. Butch taught his daughter to forgo chemicals unless absolutely necessary and was one of the first farmers to work with the University of Connecticut on an integrated pest management (IPM) protocol. After college, Shelly found it hard to stay away from her family’s farm. She joined her brother, sister, father and brother-in-law after briefly trying out the non-farming, business world.
Today, the family farms almost 400 acres of vegetables and has 19 greenhouses. They grow sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions, summer and winter squash, pickles and melons. They are best known for their sweet corn, which Shelly says is the sweetest in the area, “bringing all those who left the neighborhood back to the farm.” The farm also boasts a thriving a greenhouse business, which starts in early spring and ends with mums in the fall. In addition to selling their produce at their farm store, Botticello Farms sells to Connecticut area grocery stores.