Come visit us at the Connecticut Country Store!

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

Thought for the moment.....

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Mom and I fed the bees, fed the goats, picked 2 pints of strawberries and enough rhubarb for a pie, and worked on mom's facebook page!  We had a great time, well, I did- haha!  Not sure how thrilled mom was to feed bees.  She didn't flinch, though, didn't look scared in the least!

John and I are working on a plan for our next Family Day which will be in June! I will post as soon as we verify the date! We will have the petting zoo again and might even have a face painter :) So many fun plans for the summer! I can't wait to share them all. My favorite thing about running the Connecticut Country Store is meeting all the neighbors and friends in our area - awesome people! Be well!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 25, 2010

Sorry we've been so quiet! We've been very busy preparing for upcoming family events and bringing in produce and keeping up with all those plants! Next weekend will be full of treats for your Memorial Day Celebrations! Get your nitrate free, pasture raised, grass fed hot dogs, kielbasa, keli dogs, and knockwurst! Superb for grilling, no preservatives, the best bbq food in CT!!!!

We'll also have stripped and Canadian bacon and eggs for camping!  AND delicious pastries!  You can't forget to pick those up to top off a wonderful weekend celebration!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

It was a very busy weekend with lots of fun! Yesterday was a sad day when i went to feed the bees and found that colony #2 had abandoned the hive. Noone was left behind, not even any dead bees could be found. I will get another colony to replace them on the 4th. Colony #1 is doing well, I will check on the queen tomorrow to make sure she got out!  I will have much more exciting things to say tomorrow after a little sleep!  Be well!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bee Installation videos on youtube!

I put videos of the bee installation on youtube for your viewing pleasure!  It was so exciting, I wish I had more to do!  Tonight we will remove the top layer and thier cage.
If you are in the area and interested in beekeeping the Connecticut Eastern Beekeeping Association teaches 4 classes at UConn annually that are fantastic. Then they have meetings throughout the year that help you to manage your hives. Also, if you take the class you get free shipping on your hives which saves you more money than the course costs. win win!
The site for the CT Eastern Bee Association is Adam Fuller is the president of the eastern CT beekeepers association, his site is They have meetings every month so you could even join now!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 13 2010 the beehives are ready!

Today's suggestion is to become PRO-ACTIVE!!!! I don't have to tell you how John and I have done that! Everything counts!

Its going to be a nice day and tonight the bees will go in thier new homes without the threat of freezing! I will post on this album tonight with pics. The store is doing great, lots of flowers, herbs, vegetable plants and ground cover! Come and get your feast started!!!!

Here are pics of the hives getting set up!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New fun pics!

12,000 (of 24,000) bees!
A few escapes!
They'll climb anything, anywhere, anytime!
My little sweet Cupcake!
Sweet Cupcake being bad eating my blackberry bushes!
Buttercup smelling the flowers!

May 12, 2010 Bees!

The bees are now at Arrowhead farm (pictures to follow, I've got to get the camera cord!) but we did not set them free last night. Adam from AZ Apiaries suggested we wait until Thursday because of the weather. They are buzzing in my pottery cubbord in the basement! And yes, I did get stung, but no pics because it wasn’t a good sting and there wasn’t anything to share! See you at the store!

Today's Earth Handbook is about being conservative when washing your car. Before this adventure my husband washed my car every other week! Now that we work constantly :), we rarely get it in. When we do, however, we will focus on using a bucket and not being wasteful with that water! Check out this book written by Christine McCartney & Samantha Booth, get the details and get GREEN!

Be Well!!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

John and I with baby Buttercup :)

Sustainable Living Practices 3

All the pies are gone, look for more this weekend :) Today is a big day at Arrowhead farms - the bees are coming! If I don't find my camera, I will borrow one! I set up the hives this morning while the goats played with Dori (my older catahoula leopard dog). The store is doing great and everyone is getting thier landscaping done with the brown and red mulch!

The Earth’s Handbook for the 9th was about making your own soaps! Natural healthy wholesome soaps from home. If you don’t have the time, check out our wonderful lotion soaps and goat soaps at the store – you can’t go wrong! And now we have goat soap wrapped in wool which moisturizes while it exfoliates and gives a great lather for shaving! Check it out!

The Earth’s Handbook for the 10th was about becoming more aware of your energy use. A big problem John and I have at home is our old windows. We can’t afford to replace them right now, so in the meantime we use plastic and heavy drapes to keep the drafts from blowing through. It makes a huge difference. We also installed a fireplace in the basement to help with the heat in the winter and it works wonderfully. We counteract the dryness by venting our dryer into the house during the winter to keep the air moist and smelling nice!

Today’s tip is about reshaping your clothes instead of throwing them away. I’m not sure I’m skilled enough for this. I do donate my clothes, though, and that helps, too. Or I turn them into rags so we don’t use paper towels up cleaning!

Be Well!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 8, 2010

We've got strawberry rhubarb, blueberry, mixed berry, apple, and white chocolate raspberry mousse pie, blueberry cake, and chocolate ship cookies - YUM! Along with everything else awesome in the store, of course! The only thing we won't have is the goats. Lightening storms and metal cages don't mix!

Today's Earth Handbook tip is to line dry your clothes, it saves money and conserves energy! Of course, today is a poor example as I wouldn't recomend hanging your clothes during a thunderstorm, but on nice days it is a great idea! I have a retractable clothes line that I love. Its easy to put away with company or when my father-in-law mows the lawn (yes, we are that lucky). It saves money and it is a nice relaxing chore!

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

TGIF! I love the weekends when I get to hang out in the store and talk with all of my new friends! We've got a lot going on this weekend and tons of wonderful plants. The goats will be visiting and the bunnies will be there, as always. Lots of fun origional gifts and those delicious pastries!

Today's Earth Handbook tip is to 'Call in a favor'. We are very good at this! Without the help of family and friends, we wouldn't get half of our chores done! It also makes tasks fun, its great to be able to hang out with friends and family and get the job done! When I have a big project like the bees or the goats I pick a partner. This way we can learn more, share some of the work, and both enjoy the results! By inviting someone with experience you can also save yourself a lot of headaches and waste!

Be well!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6, 2010

I can't believe its already Thursday - where does the time go? It sounds like the rain will water some of the plants this afternoon which will save us a lot of work! The flowers look great and we'll feed them this week so they will be all set to make mom smile! We also will be featuring a new artist this weekend who turns wood bowls - they are gorgeous!

Today's Earth Handbook focuses on composting. Over the past year I've been planning and replanning my composting method. Now that the goats and bunnies are here I have plenty to compost and still no bin, so this month I vow to take action! My left over foods will still go to the chickens at Tad's but anything that doesn't will be heaped into my bin. I will let you know how it goes!

Be well!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

The Catahoula's (dogs) met the goats this morning and it went very well. We introduced them 1 at a time and had the goats safely in thier pen. They were very curious and Roxi cried a little because she couldn't get in the pen with the goats. I think we will take the time over the next few weeks to introduce them regularly and seperately to get them used to the goats while the goats are safely in thier pen.  This way when the goats graduate to living outdoors, the dogs won't bark and go crazy at them.  So far so good.

Today's Earth Handbook discussed the 'Humble Honeybee' and how the cooperation of the colony works to survive. Unfortunately they are not surviving and this posses a real threat to our food production. This year John and I have chosen to raise 2 colonies of bees in our back yard (with the help of my friend Jeff and the Eastern Connecticut Bee Association). I took classes on the UConn campus to help me learn how to raise the bees and keep them healthy. It was a lot of learning and I'm sure I couldn't be ready and will learn a lot this first year. I pick up my colonies on May 11, 2010 - just a few more days!!!!!!!!!! (I'll have to start getting up at 4am!)

Enjoy this beautiful day and Be Well!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010

Today is going to be beautiful! The goats are playing in thier pen, the rabbits are out getting exercise, the dogs bellies are full, and the cat is laying in the sun. Today we are able to restock our awesome T's just in time for warm weather (thanks mom!). We will also stock up on more Hosmer Mountain to cool down all of you hard workers! Be well!

Sustainable Living Practices 2

Today's Earth Handbook's suggestion is to shop intentionally. I learned a lot about this watching Food, Inc. It was a very disturbing movie about the foods we eat and where they come from and how they're produced. I haven't bought meat from the grocery or at a restaurant since! The conclusion at the end of the movie is that every time we purchase something we are voting. Our letters of disgust to the mass producers of meat will do nothing in comparrison to our choice to buy grass fed, pasture raised, kindly treated meats. This is not only in support of the more ethical treatment of animals but it is also a healthier choice for you and your family.
That rant was just a focus on meats, however it is true for everything we buy; everything we choose to buy is a vote - EVERYTHING! Where it was produced or manufactured, how it was produced or manufactured, how this affects the environment, even what kind of packaging it comes in! So shop intentionally, think about purchases and how they affect your world and your family. And support your own community by buying locally and supporting small business.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3, 2010

11pm and I'm still not in bed, that is not good!  We got a lot done tonight, though, so I'm happy :)  The bunnies have a new playpen that will be easier to clean and we have plans to get them a doublewide to put in the basement this week to help them tolerate the temperature change - it is much cooler down there!  Meanwhile they've been living on ice packs and plenty of water!

The goats are well and drinking 48 oz of milk a day each!  They've also started to drink water and some grain.  The hay is slow but I've noticed its been eaten a little.  They got the chance to play in our large garden yesterday (they don't really know how to eat plants yet) and they LOVED IT - running around and clicking thier heels like crazy little girls!  They are so much fun to watch and enjoy!

The dogs are happy that I got them treats this week and that I'm letting them sleep with a fan during the day.  The cat is always content sleeping in the basket my sister made her (which will be coming to the store soon for sale!)

Tonight I spent some time with a new artist I will introduce tomorrow - VERY EXCITING - beautiful work, wonderful people!

Be well!

Sustainable Living Choices

One piece of our mission is to talk to people about sustainable living practices.  Sustainable is a new buzz word that can have many definitions.  For our purposes we are focusing on practices that can support our environment while helping ourselves to be more self-reliant.  This often comes with the benefit of saving us money as well!

One sustainable choice we made this winter was to vent the dryer hose back into the house to provide extra heat and moisture to the air (I covered it with a stocking)- it worked great! Now its time to send that heat back out if I need to dry clothes on a rainy day. Otherwise its the laundry line! I know it sounds strange, but I love taking the time to hang out my laundry - it is like a nice pause in the day where you can relax your brain.

According to the Earth Handbook today, May 3rd, one posititve choice you can make is to share a ride whenever possible. This winter my husband and I sold his truck and used only my VW wagon which actually worked out pretty well! This summer I will try to take my motorcycle to work whenever I can. I can usually commute for over a week on 3 gallons of gas!

May 3, 2010

Awesome weekend, we met some really wonderful nieghbors and got a lot of work done! It was a hot one this weekend and next weekend is supposed to get hotter! The flowers love this and the hanging pots are beautiful and are an easy plant to take in if its going to frost (yes, it could still happen!) - only $14.99 - what a deal! Get yours this week for mom!

Silky and Cochin Hut 2011

Guineas in their new flight cage!

Easy Bantam Nesting Boxes

Easy Homemade Bread!