Come visit us at the Connecticut Country Store!

Come visit us at the Connecticut Country Store!
Smart Folks Shop Local!

Thought for the moment.....

Monday, May 5, 2014

An essay on a New England Spring

Cold mud rivers take their path between my toes as I step through my garden.  The air still has a haunting chill but the desperation to touch the small buds peeking from the branches of my berry bushes and to feel the ground move beneath my feet is stronger than my body's need for comfort.  Or maybe it is that my body now finds a commonplace in cold discomfort after months of unrelenting chills that found me even in front of the fireplace with my blanket and my dogs and my steaming coffee.

There were days in the depth of winter when I found it painful to even breathe.  One pair of gloves under one pair of mittens made my hands frustratingly inept and yet failed to keep my fingers warm.  My snow pants were slid over my jeans which were on top of my yoga pants every morning before heading out.  They made my knees and hips nearly inflexible as I tried to manage the stairs leading into the backyard.  My chest and arms and head were covered by shirts under sweaters and hats under hoods and scarves under bulky winter jackets.  My teeth ached from the cold.  My lips chapped in the wind.  My eyes watered and I was grateful the salt would keep them from freezing on my cheeks.

I would move slowly down the road toward the barn with buckets of water sloshing onto the sides of my little red wagon.  The droplets would make it down to the wagon axle before freezing making the wheels stick as I pulled it forward over large frost heaves.  The goats and sheep would be waiting by the fence.  Their little whiskers glimmering in the morning light, frozen from the condensation of their own breath.  Running in and out of the barn, they would move anxiously wanting to stay warm but not wanting to miss any possible chance for food.

There were mornings when my tears came not only from the wind but from my spirit.  The cold was in my bones and I knew with all of my heart and soul that hell was not on fire at all.  Hell was the absence of any heat.  Hell was the pain in my fingers and the ache in my back and the feeling that I would never be warm again.  Hell, I believed, was a never ending winter.

As I dig in the soil with my small shovel I drop to my knees.  I can feel my jeans soak up the moisture on the ground as I reach into the hole I have dug and pull out more soil with my hands.  Blueberry bushes are standing silently by my side and I talk to them.  I assure them that I will not allow them to get too dry or too much sun.  I gently lift them out of their plastic confinement and put them in the cool ground.  I fill in the sides of the hole with soil using my palms to push down the earth.  A worm is uncovered and I am thrilled because I know it will love my garden as I do.

Each plant is put into the ground with deliberate joy and a sense of celebration.  The spring is finally here and the torment of the relentless winter is starting to fade into a memory.  I stretch my legs with a walk to the barn, pressing down the frost heaves with my naked feet on the way.  The goats and sheep call out their excitement over my visit.  The largest one spins in circles and jumps up on their play equipment.  I can see grass poking through the fertile ground and my eyes squint as my lips curl into a smile.

I stand by the fence and talk to them as they tickle my face with their whiskers and dance around joyfully in the sun.  I turn away and walk back toward the garden to do more spring cleaning. The rooster crows his approval and the dogs bark in jubilation.  My hoe digs at the dried asparagus stalks as I clear them from their bed to allow new sprouts to grow.  I can see them peeking out from the soil tentatively and I know by weeks end they will be everywhere, some as thick as my thumb and all of them sweet as honey.

I set up an old bench and create an arbor from old goat fencing.  I reach my hand up to hold it steady and I can picture the beans crawling up the side.  My eyes squint into the sun as I picture the cucumbers that will hang from the roof.  Sweet melons will cover the ground.  I lay on the grass and imagine the lettuce and cilantro that will hide from the sun under the arbor.  I will pick the herbs and hold them between my teeth or roll them between my fingers while I sit in the shade too.  I will watch the bees pollinate my plants and I will be grateful.  I will praise the sun as it brings life to my garden.

I know now that hell is not the ninety degree weather with ninety percent humidity that I thought it was last summer.  It is not yellow jackets and tics sinking into my skin.  Hell is not broken air conditioning units or hot asphalt or the dark leather seats of my car burning into my legs.  Hell is not the skin peeling from my shoulders or the dark spots on my face or the sweat from my forehead burning into my eyes.  Resting on the bench with my tired arms on my lap I notice a mosquito land on my hand.  I slapped at it and a small spot of blood marks my palm.  Hell is not mosquitoes that find the flavor of my blood irresistible.  Hell is the absence of heat.  Hell is, surely, not a never ending summer.

Friday, July 19, 2013

We are coming to the end of another great season!

If you have the chance to visit one more time we will be open Wednesday through Saturday until the end of the month! 

We are coming to the close of another season and we now have time to reflect on the wonder and wildness of it!  Thank you to all of our loyal friends and family who brighten our every day with your visits.  This year we had more changes to the store with an increase in perennials, bushes, and trees!  We were lucky enough to be able to partake in the availability of trees for ourselves and have grown our small orchard to include 3 types of apple trees, peaches, pears, cherries, bluberries, blackberries, and raspberries!  Now that is my kind of gardening!

Hopefully you had the chance to see the awesome garden tower we had displayed for you.  It is a great product for growing vegetables the easy way :)  If you are interested in learning more about the garden tower or purchasing one yourself, visit

We may be closing the store but we will still be working hard for our community!  I have many cheese making and bread making courses scheduled this summer and fall.  Check them out by visiting

This fall John will continue to provide at home boat winterization services including shrink wrapping.  You can learn up to date information by visiting

This summer and fall, in addition to teaching, I will be working in my art studio part-time. You can check out updated pieces by visiting .  My pieces are also for sale at the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, CT.

Stay cool and be well!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


FINALLY, I have the bread, bagel, and cheesemaking classes scheduled! They are limited to 6 people each so sign up quickly! Learn how to make mozzarella, ricotta, feta, chevre, cheddar, and monterey jack! Learn how to make easy breads or... bagels! There are also 5 dates available for home parties - I bring the teaching to you and 5 friends! You can find the links to sign up for classes or home parties on our events page at!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Re-Opening Date is SET!

MARCH 23, 2013!
We will re-open on the 23rd of this month!  We look forward to seeing everyone again!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall Family Day

Its time for our annual Fall Family Day! This Saturday Oct. 27 from 10am-2pm. The free farm animal petting zoo is coming back, plus free face-painting, free food samples, and a free gourd for kids to decorate! Looks like a pattern developing. Yep, its basically a bunch of free stuff for our customers! Its our way of saying thanks for making 2012 our best yet, and to remind everyone about our unique gifts as we approach the holiday seasons. See you there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Very cool experiment

I was listening to a lecture from Wayne Deyer that was taped live and he had a member of the audience come up and hold out one hand, fist clenched, elbow straight.  He then pushed down on the hand with his finger to test strength.  Then he gave her an envelope to hold to her chest and tested the strength again and it was weaker.  Then he gave her another envolope to hold to her chest and tested the strength and it was strong again.  In the first envelop was equal, the second contained vit C.  I thought NO WAY.  He said another lecturer did this with 1000 audience members and 100% of the time this was the result.  So I tried it on John and got the same results over and over.  This morning I had him try my strength with jelly beans vs Vermont PB and even though I tried like heck to defy this, I could not hold my arm up with the jelly beans.

Please try this and tell me what happens!  I want to know if perhaps subconsciously I'm making it happen...I am a scientist at heart - my first degree was human biology - and I am floored by this.  It doesn't make logical sense to me!

Happy Wednesday!

Silky and Cochin Hut 2011

Guineas in their new flight cage!

Easy Bantam Nesting Boxes

Easy Homemade Bread!