Monthly Archives: May 2008

Farmer’s Market

Since I grew up on a farm and spent lots of time working in our farm market (there’s a reason they nicknamed me “Abbie-on-call”), I have always been able to get fresh, local food.  Because of that, I had never felt the need to visit a farmer’s market.  But since I’ve been looking to support local farmers and buy locally grown foods, I decided to check out Madison’s farmer’s market today, rationalizing that I could buy things that our market doesn’t have right now.

Overall, it was a very pleasant experience.  After a really tough day at work, it was nice to escape to the outdoors and enjoy the warm weather.  Since my mom teaches at a close school, I met her there and we walked to the farmer’s market.  There were lots of children and dogs, and not as many vendors as I had expected.  I was in the market for some honey after using up what I had left of Aunt Wendy and Uncle Dave’s honey from last year.  I ended up finding some honey from Riverside Apiaries in Marlborough, CT.  It’s a big 32 oz. jar for only $10, which I thought was a really good price.  I also bought some “Nehantic Abbey” cheese from Beaver Brook Farms in Lyme, CT.  It’s creamy and sharp, and of course I had to buy it because of the name.  I rounded out my items with a fresh baked baguette and some beautiful Buttercrunch lettuce.  Of course once my own lettuce is ready, I won’t need to buy it.

I even spotted famous chef (and Madison resident) Jacques Pepin, but I couldn’t muster up the courage to say hi to him.  He was buying asparagus, and I imagined walking over and saying his catch phrase “Happy Cooking!” or, “Hi, my father-in-law built your stairs!” but I didn’t…  Anyway, he has a cute little black dog.

So although it was a nice atmosphere, with music, kids, and dogs, and although I got some nice items, I couldn’t help but wonder where the local farmers were.  The ones from towns close by, who didn’t have to burn a whole lot of fossil fuels to get there.  I think I need to check out the Dudley farmer’s market in Guilford.  Maybe next Saturday morning I’ll head down there to see if there’s anyone there with products from closer to me, and visit with my sister-in-law Melissa, who sells clams and oysters from her and Chris’s aquaculture business, C.W. shellfish.  That is of course unless I’m working at our own farm market.


Filed under Food, Gardening, Local Agriculture, Outside, Sustainable Living

Zucchini Berry Bread

I found this recipe for zucchini bread on Food by Carrie, and modified it to fit what I wanted to make.  Carrie’s site is great, with lots of information on the ingredients, why she uses them, and what’s healthy about them.  Here’s my variation:

Zucchini Berry Bread

Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl and set aside:

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/2 cup local honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs

In another bowl, combine the following:

  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Gently stir in:

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 F for 1 hour or more until a toothpick comes out clean.  The honey makes the bread brown a lot, so if it gets too dark for your taste, cover it with foil.

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Filed under Food, Gardening, Home, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living

Bookworm Challenge

Another challenge!  After signing up for Crunchy Domestic Goddess’s Five-Minute Shower Challenge yesterday, I decided to sign up for the “I’m Still a Bookworm” challenge from Grean Bean Dreams today!  Since I read all of the time, especially over the summer when I’m not teaching, and I just finished my latest read, Michael Pollan’s Second Nature, this challenge came at the perfect time! 

I’m planning to read Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon.  The only problem is… I like to read in the tub! How am I supposed to conserve water and read! This will be a challenge!



Filed under Sustainable Living

Water-Saving Challenge

I just signed up for Crunchy Domestic Goddess’s Five-Minute Shower Challenge!  The challenge is to take five-minute showers throughout the months of June, July and August to conserve water.  I learned all about navy showers at the Island School, so I know I can do it!  My long hair will make it difficult, but I’m up for it.  I had been feeling guilty lately about all of the water I’ve been using on my gardens, so I see this as my way to cut back elsewhere.

I’ve also been known to take a long, hot bath with a good book, so I’m hoping I can cut those out, too.  Good thing that wasn’t explicitly a part of the challenge…

I hope you can challenge yourself to sign up!


Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

Memorial Day Picnic

We got some furniture for our deck! And we also got some delicious flounder from Ed’s brother Chris.  The fish was so big that I had to cut the fillets into threes! It was swimming around this morning and I fried it for supper tonight! You can’t get better fish than that!  We also had some delicious Bibb lettuce from Chris and Melissa’s garden.  Thanks guys! My recipe for fried fish can be found here.

It was a nice, relaxing picnic for just the two of us.  Now I want to eat supper outside every night!


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Filed under Food, Gardening, Home, Outside, Recipes, Sustainable Living, What's for Supper?

Feeding Fish

Tonight, my mom and dad invited us over to watch them feed the fish.  They have 200 trout in their pond, and feeding them has become an event.  The weather was so beautiful and it was amazing to watch the fish feed at the surface.  The pictures speak for themselves.

Nate, Ed and Dukie feeding the fish off the dock.

No, that’s not an optical illusion.  Mom’s really that short, and Nate’s really that tall.

Fish jumping to eat!

Dukie likes fish food, too!

Dad and Duke.

I love this one.

Duke and I watch from the bank.

The covered bridge in progress, on the other side of the pond.

Nate and Ed check out the construction.

This will be a great spot for a picnic when the grass comes in.

Walk through the apple orchard to check on the Macouns. (Not ready yet…)


Filed under Food, Local Agriculture, Outside, Sustainable Living