“Good fences make good neighbors”
– Mending Wall, Robert Frost
While this saying has been integrated into the lexicon of contemporary culture, no one has addressed the question that logically follows: What then do FANTASTIC fences make?
For me, the answer is just over the hill from my still-pretty-new-very-old-house in Litchfield County at Maple Bank Farm. And they are GREAT neighbors!
One of the oldest family-run-farms in the United States, Maple Bank has maintained a delightful farmstand since the 19th century, offering organic produce, dairy, meat and fresh baked goods. And it is less than two minutes away from my house…
One of the most joyful and satisfying activities that happens every weekend at my still-pretty-new-very-old house in Litchfield County is eating, and eating really well.
I have had many guests, and it seems that we almost always are thinking about food: either the food we just ate, the food we ate the night before, or the food that we will be eating next!
One of the real surprises for me about the location of my house is the availability fantastic organic produce, great breads and other baked goods, incredible dairy, meat and even fish – all available within 15 minutes!
Our first stop when food shopping is less than two minutes away…
Maple Bank Farm’s roadside market is set against a backdrop of sloping hills, often with livestock roaming looking for snacks. The sheeps and cows are contained by a spectacularly stacked wood split-rail fence.
Originally a subsistence farm with cows, sheep, and pigs, Maple Bank Farm has expanded to 83 acres providing fruit, vegetables, wool, and much more. In the early 1900’s, the family run farm began growing products for the market, a tradition which thankfully continues today. In addition to their home grown produce and home spun yarns, the farm stand also carries dairy products from Arethusa Farm, organic meats, and freshly baked breads and muffins.
On to our second stop!
Another great neighbor is about ten minutes away in Woodbury, Connecticut: the remarkable New Morning Market (some of my house guests have asked to go to the market just to see it) and not one of them has been disappointed by the clean, well organized, organic, non-GMO, holistic, friendly and ethical market.
The fresh and organic food is remarkably available within minutes of my house. And I do go there every weekend.
But perhaps the best food shopping destination (giving away my sweet-tooth) is Flour Garden Bakery, which is within a 100 yards of New Morning Market – and they are another great neighbor!
In a modest and unassuming storefront in a small row of stores in Woodbury, the Flour Garden Bakery has ‘rocked my world’, and the world of every one of my weekend guests.
Earlier this summer we extolled the virtues of the Strawberry-Rhubarb and Apple Pies. The when peaches came into season, Bob the bakers’s brother provided fresh organic peaches for their killer Peach Pie. And now that the weather has started to turn towards fall I have become a convert to the Pecan Pie – which has induced an “oh my God!” with every bite….needless to say, it is a hit!
Now that I have shared some of the wonderful food shopping provided by my ‘neighbors’, I should mention Arethusa Farm, as all summer long my guests and I have been enjoying Arethusa Farm milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream – all made right in Litchfield County.
Arethusa Farm founded 1999
I recently visited the farm, and had lunch at the restaurant they opened last summer – Arethusa al tavolo in Bantam, Connecticut – it is wonderful!
But more on that Friday….