CONNECTICUT FOOD & FARM MAGAZINE, FALL 2018

White Flower Farm Blooming Beautifully in the Litchfield Hills

In the late 1930’s, two important figures in journalism history traded the commotion of New York City for several serene acres in Morris, Connecticut. He was William B. Harris, the senior editor of Fortune Magazine. She was Jane Grant, the first female journalist for the New York Times, the co-founder of The New Yorker, and a prominent figure in the women’s liberation movement. After settling into their tranquil farmhouse, they began acquiring acres of adjacent property. What started as a garden intended for cut flowers, blossomed into White Flower Farm, which has been in continual operation since it was founded in 1950.

CONNECTICUT FOOD & FARM MAGAZINE, SPRING 2018

THE GOLDEN YEARS OF HORSES AND HEROES

Like a lot of young girls, I fell in love with horses the first time I set eyes on them. Lucky for me, my older sister was a devoted equestrian, so as soon as I could, I tagged along on barn trips. I spent the day kissing horses' noses and playing with alfalfa-scented barn kitties, and as I grew older, I even learned to love the physical demands associated with horse care.


Connecticut Food & Farm Magazine, WINTER 2018

CHASING THE HOLIDAYS

We start each winter optimistically, welcoming the snow to cover our barren landscape with gorgeous blankets of twinkling white flakes. With the same enthusiasm we prepare for the holiday season, attempting to bring Norman Rockwell paintings to life: joyful gatherings around a perfectly plucked pine-scented tree, teeming with gifts in front of a roaring fire. We welcome the New Year with friends and family, celebrating all that we are grateful for.


Connecticut Food & Farm Magazine, Summer 2017

LE LAIT MAGIQUE AT THORNCREST FARM

As retailers, Kimberly and Clint Thorn put themselves at what should be a disadvantage. Five miles north of Litchfield center, atop the crest of Town Hill Road, rests Thorncrest Farm, its immaculate, family-built barn, their inviting chocolate shop named Milk House Chocolates, and a herd of Holstein and Jersey cows living a life better than Riley could have imagined.


LITCHFIELD MAGAZINE, MAY/JUNE 2018

BANTAM LAKE AND ITS PAST: DEEP DIVE

At 948 acres, Bantam Lake is Connecticut’s largest natural lake. If its shoreline could talk, here is what it would tell you about its history. At the end of the 18th century, the land surrounding Bantam Lake was used for farming and agriculture. Most of the land was cleared for this purpose, save a single pine tree on a hill above the east shore, aptly named Lone Pine Hill (now known as Apple Hill). This was the site of a grand picnic party for upwards of 400 attendees in 1859, to celebrate the town of Morris “setting off” (incorporation). 


Connecticut Food & Farm Magazine, Spring 2017

ZERO PROPHET COFFEE: NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE

After repeatedly hearing the name Nick Benson, it was time to investigate this Connecticut micro-coffee roaster.  In late January, photographer and coffee enthusiast Jake Snyder and I went to see what the fuss was about.


Connecticut Food & Farm, Fall 2016

FROM NEW ORLEANS TO NEW MILFORD:
GETTING TO KNOW CHEF JOEL VIEHLAND

Did you know we have a celebrity chef in our midst? Chef Joel Viehland has planted roots in Northwest Connecticut and by early 2017, will have two establishments for his patrons to enjoy. Here is a little about his history, experience, and what he is doing to promote local food and farms.


Connecticut Food & Farm, Fall 2017

Connecticut holiday Gift Guide

When I was peddling my jewelry line, I traveled Connecticut's event circuit. In retrospect, the highlight of these experiences was working alongside so many incredibly talented and gracious artists. Products made right here in Connecticut are consistently impressive. In advance of the holiday season, I offer what I consider the best-in-class Connecticut handmade products - perfect for a great gift giver. The objective is to give items that are functional, unique, and exceptionally made; my priorities are provenance, detail, and excellence. These Connecticut artists offer all of that in spades.


LITCHFIELD MAGAZINE - NOV/DEC 2016

WHAT'S YOUR BEEF?

I like beef, but I’m a little concerned about where my beef has been before it gets to me. Buying beef close to its point of origin is ideal, but just where is that point of origin? And what do all those labels mean? 

For starters, meat labeled USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) prime, choice, or select steak simply refers to its post-cut physical qualities. These ratings play no role to indicate the animal’s breed or how it was raised, fed, or treated.

 


LITCHFIELD MAGAZINE - NOV/DEC 2016

PERCHED IN NEW PRESTON

Woodbury native John Bourdeau is bringing something unique to the village of New Preston. Owner and executive chef of the popular Main Street Grill in Watertown, Bourdeau brings an eclectic style to his newest venture, patterned after an authentic European wine bar. The Owl, which opened in late September (in the former Oliva space), promises its patrons a cozy, intimate setting where they can relax with a glass of wine or craft beer.

CONNECTICUT FOOD & FARM MAGAZINE, FALL 2018

Doughing it well

In 1878, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo: “He who loves much does much and is capable of much, and that which is done with love is well done.” No sentence could more accurately describe Kathleen Cirillo. Her authentic joy and love of her craft are palpable, and have resulted in a fortuitous, but wildly successful subscription-based bread business called Flour.ish.ing.

CONNECTICUT FOOD & FARM MAGAZINE, SUMMER 2018

CULTIVATING OUR ROOTS AT ISABELLA FREEDMAN JEWISH RETREAT CENTER

My local farmers’ market at South Farms has an exceptionally diverse selection of fresh produce and locally made goods. This is where I met a group participating in the Adamah Fellowship who were offering kimchi, pickles, green tomatoes, sauerkraut, other lacto-fermented goods (a pickling method that only uses salt), jams, and syrup. Their enthusiasm for their products was infectious, their positivity was radiant. While completing my pickle purchase (because there is nothing better than a fantastic pickle), I asked them where they were from, and they said in unison, “Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village.”


Connecticut Food & Farm Magazine, Summer 2017

THE TWENTY-YEAR PLAN

John Bourdeau believes his inspiration to become a chef came to him in the form of a fictional character we (of a certain age) all remember: sitcom darling Jack Tripper, the klutzy odd-man-out with two female roommates in Three’s Company. John claims it was because Jack was a chef, but what woman-loving-man didn’t think Jack’s “situation” was clutch?


Connecticut Food & Farm, Winter 2017

THE WIZARD OF WINVIAN

Upon moving to Morris six years ago, I drove by a picturesque property with a simple signpost displaying an image of a white fedora and the words “Winvian: The Restaurant & Spa, Open for Reservations.” My curiosity intensified after learning that Winvian is considered one of Connecticut’s premier destination resorts, and I wondered what lay beyond the tree-lined drive, stone walls, and white gate.


Connecticut Food & Farm, Summer 2016

ARETHUSA: BENVENUTI IN PARADISO

South Plains Rd. in Litchfield hosts 350 acres of the most beautiful farmland I’ve ever seen. This expansive property is decorated with 15 Architectural Digest-worthy barns, providing first-class accommodations to the prettiest, genetically superior, most pampered herd of Jersey, Holstein, and Brown Swiss cows on the planet.


LITCHFIELD MAGAZINE, MAY/JUNE 2018

WHO WERE THE BEECHERS OF LITCHFIELD?

Lyman Beecher was born in New Haven on October 12, 1775. Two days later, his mother died and Lyman was adopted by his aunt and uncle Catherine (Lyman) and Lot Benton of Guilford. Despite Lot’s attempts to make Lyman a farmer, he gave up “in despair, and sent him to college as a last resort.” The last resort was Yale and Lyman graduated in 1798 from the Divinity School.


Connecticut Food & Farm, Spring 2016

tough as nails: the life and labor of a farrier

Farriers and blacksmiths are like rectangles and squares: while a farrier is considered a blacksmith, a blacksmith is not necessarily a farrier. Blacksmiths forge metal (iron, steel) fabricate objects like gates, railings, decorative objects, and tools by forging metal (i.e. iron and steel). Farriers specialize in equine foot care, using blacksmith techniques to fabricate custom horseshoes. While methods and materials have progressed, little else has changed about this 1,500 year-old practice.


LITCHFIELD MAGAZINE - SEPT/OCT 2017

VERY PICKY: a PLETHORA OF PLUCK-YOUR-OWN FARMS

A delightful fall activity in Litchfield County is visiting one of our pick-your-own (PYO) farms. As lovely as a drive on a twisting country road, between rows of timeworn stone walls, discovering beautiful vistas and splashes of fall color can be, stopping at one of these local farms could be the perfect finale on a beautiful autumn day. Consider one of these farms, each offering a unique experience for ready to pick apples and pumpkins.


LITCHFIELD MAGAZINE - SEPT/OCT 2017

WHAT'S THE HISTORY OF AVERILL FARM?

In 1746, a portion of the great Waramaug Reserve in Washington Depot was purchased by early settler Samuel Averill, where he established The Averill Homestead. The 260-acre property, known as Averill Farm, has passed from Averill father to son for ten generations, making it one of Connecticut’s oldest continuously operated farms. 


LITCHFIELD MAGAZINE - JULY/AUG 2016

WHAT IS THE BERKSHIRE ICE COMPANY?

Along the north shore of Bantam Lake, there are a series of manmade concrete pillars and canals that arouse curiosity of visitors and residents alike.

In the days before Sub-Zero refrigerators there was the Berkshire Ice Company (established in 1908), which harvested ice from Bantam Lake to be delivered to the iceboxes of Connecticut and New York City residents. Bantam Lake ice journeyed on the Shepaug Valley Railroad, starting in Bantam through Steep Rock, to the Housatonic line and onward.