Farm History - Roses for Autism
The Pinchbeck Rose Farm is an historic agricultural center located in Guilford, Connecticut. Founded in 1929 by William Pinchbeck Jr., great grandfather to fourth-generation farm owner and Head Grower Tom Pinchbeck, the rose farm sits on 38 acres of a 118-acre property and which houses 150,000 square feet of greenhouse space between its 2 colossal glass houses. While the farm closed down business briefly in 2008 when foreign competition overcame the family business, roses have been growing in the greenhouses for more than 80 years, producing more than 200 million blooms to the delight of customers. Tom Pinchbeck was delighted to reopen operations in 2009 as a new enterprise - Roses for Autism - in conjunction with Ability Beyond.
Today, the Roses for Autism social enterprise is led by Michelle Ouimette, Managing Director, and Tom Pinchbeck, Head Grower. In addition to our greenhouse flowers, we have a large outdoor cutting garden featuring snapdragons, iris', and many other wonderful blooms.
"In some ways we're sort of a reincarnated Pinchbeck, but in most ways we're a new business." - Tom Pinchbeck, Head Grower
What does the American Dream look like?
During the boom time of the Roaring 20's, it looked like 5 colossal greenhouses to founder of the Pinchbeck Rose Farm, William Pinchbeck Jr., back in 1929. That's when his "rose-colored" vision of supplying the wholesale market from New York City to Boston propelled him to purchase property in Guilford, Connecticut, midway between the two massive markets he hoped to serve.
A seasoned florist, Pinchbeck contracted with Lord & Burnham Co. to build the first of the 5 glass houses with a stunning footprint of 81' x 1200' (1/4-mile long). This structure - which remains the largest single-span greenhouse in the U.S. - holds historic significance not only for its size, but for the generations of Pinchbeck men and women who put it to work for more than 80 years, perfecting the American rose in the process. A second glass house half its size was added in 1936, representing altered plans in the wake of the Great Depression.
At the height of production in the early 1990's, under third-generation farm owner William W. Pinchbeck, the Pinchbeck Rose Farm employed 40 full-time and part-time workers and housed 90,000 rose plants that produced 3 million roses annually