Offinger tomatoes will be sold at Mother's Day Plant Sale

The town of Wilton may have been forged from an agrarian past, but today the only recognized farms in town are Offingers Farm on Chestnut Hill Road, Millstone Farm on Millstone Road and the town-owned Ambler Farm on Hurlbutt Street. Of these three, perhaps the most unpretentious, is Offingers Farm, with its modest farm stand surrounded by 18 acres of fields and outbuildings.

Presiding over the farm are 94-year-old Adrian Offinger and his son, Don, who describes the farm as a “hobby farm” where “we grow everything we like to eat and sell the excess.” Of this “excess,” Offingers tomatoes are perhaps the most eagerly anticipated by locals. In the dead of summer, a steady stream of cars pulls into Adrian’s driveway to load up on his plump, juicy tomatoes still warm from the vine.

What many people may not realize is that for the past 20 years, the Offingers have been quietly growing a wide variety of tomato plants on their farm and selling them through the Wilton Garden Club at its Mother’s Day Plant Sale. According to Billie Sue Hollingsworth, who handles all of the vegetables sold at the plant sale, the number of Offinger tomato plants sold at the plant sale has grown from a mere 33 in 1994 to roughly 500.

“That first year, the sale started at 9, and by 9:30 we were completely sold out,” she recalled.

This year the Garden Club will sell eight different varieties of Offinger tomato plants, including the prolific “Jet Star,” as well as “Celebrity,” which is a great tomato for beginners, and “Bush,” which can be grown in a container.

“Adrian’s tomato plants are always a big hit,” Ms. Hollingsworth said. “Year after year I have the same customers coming back to buy them, and I’m usually sold out of several varieties by the end of the first day.”

This is the 75th year the garden club will host its Mother’s Day Plant Sale. The sale, which is the club’s primary fund-raiser, will be held on Friday, May 9, from noon to 6, and Saturday, May 10, from 9 to noon, rain or shine at Wilton’s Town Green.