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“A Family That Farms Together Stays Together.” ”

Syman Says Farms Specializing in rare breed chickens, dairy goats and rabbits since 2012. Located in Salem, CT

For more information regarding Swanky Sauce, please visit our website at www.getswankysauce.com

www.symansaysfarms.com


Capture your story PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY TO THE AGRICULTURAL & FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRIES CT Food and Farm Photographer specializes in

beautiful photography for marketing‌ capturing iconic photos that tell the story of your business and resonate with your audience. Contact us today to tell the visual story of your farm, food or handcraft business and forge a connection with your customers. Build a more professional and profitable digital brand for websites, social media, ads, and print materials.

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CONTENTS Spring 2017

WINTER CAPLANSON

Volume 8

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In This Issue: 6

A Dog's Age: Working Connecticut Farm Dogs

Jeanine Dell'Orfano

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Counting Sheep

Bobbie Emery

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Connecticut Sheep, Wool & Fiber Festival

Kris Granatek

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Taking the Plunge into Qiviut, Mink, and Cashmere

Laura Graham

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Finnsheep Woolies & Baby Animal Tours at The Hickories

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You're Invited to Meet the Baby Yak

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On the Lamb

Winter Caplanson

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Olie's Pierogi

Gena Golas

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Chef's Picks: An Insider's Guide to the Naugatuck River Valley

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Connecticut's Community Farms

Charlie Colasurdo

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Creating a Cocktail Garden

Caroline Finnegan

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Herb Garden Cocktails with Taprock

Myles Walsh

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Contract Filler: The Benefits of Co-Packing in Small Business

Kelley Citroni

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Zero Prophet Coffee: Not Your Average Joe

Hilary Adorno

Contributors

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Ashley Caroline

Amy Smith

Recipe Index

Sherry Swanson

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Working Connecticut Farm Dogs Written & Photographed By Jeanine Dell’Orfano

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the current and modernizing landscape of Connecticut, there is still a place for working dogs. Purebred dogs have been reared through the ages for specific purposes and according to the standard which allows them to function in that capacity. Some working breeds fall under the title of Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) and are bred to bond closely with livestock, and to guard and protect them while working independently. Others are primarily herding breeds and are raised to move animals from one point to another. On some of our Connecticut farms, LGDs and herding breeds perform vital jobs and help to improve productivity for modern farmers. Livestock Guardian Dogs can guard a variety of animals including sheep, poultry, alpacas, goats, and horses. These canines bond with their stock and live with them year round; they allow their stock to graze night or day, and they lessen the amount of human labor needed to bring their flock indoors every night. Because LGDs are always alert to potential threats, it is not ideal to have them out in busy areas frequented by visitors. LGD breeds are large,

hardy, and imposing dogs. They have coats that are meant to handle inclement weather and extreme temperatures. It is important that they live outside of the home, so that the stock becomes their primary family and responsibility. As Connecticut continues to maintain mature forests, predators such as hawks, eagles, owls, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bears, and fisher cats can thrive. Losing livestock to a predator is frustrating and costly to a farmer. After losing 65 turkeys in one night to a fisher cat, Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Sterling added Blue, an Anatolian shepherd, to their farm. Blue lives outside with 2,500 pasture-raised turkeys. Since his arrival, the Farm’s losses have declined dramatically. Blue likes to rest during the day, but actively guards the turkeys from dusk till dawn when predation is highest. His night shift leaves him out alone with his flock and with access to the barn if he needs shelter. Bandit, the seven-year-old Maremma sheepdog of Six Paca Farm in Bozrah, lives year round with his alpacas. "We would have to drag Bandit into the house if we

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wanted him inside; he would rather be out. He thinks he's an alpaca. He sleeps, eats, and drinks where they do," said owner Linda Adelman. While Bandit did allow me in with the alpacas, this is not the case with all LGDs. LGDs must be well socialized as puppies so that they are able to be handled by strangers when needed, especially for veterinary care. Bandit lives with two other dogs on the farm – a border collie and a poodle. Although Bandit knows the other dogs live at Six Paca, too, he is the only dog that stays with the alpacas, and he prefers it that way. So far, Linda has not lost any stock to predators. 12

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Deciding to add an LGD to your farm requires careful planning and consideration, especially in densely-populated states like Connecticut. Strong fencing is required as the dogs may have a different sense of the size of their territory compared to your property size. They may also bark at night while working. LGDs can prevent guests from accessing your property. Gus, the Maremma sheepdog who lives at Nutmeg Farm in Portland, has understanding neighbors who don't mind if he barks while working. He only works at night due to the large influx of visitors who come to Nutmeg Farm during the ctfoodandfarm.com

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"We would have to drag Bandit into the house if we wanted him inside; he would rather be out. He thinks he's an alpaca. He sleeps, eats, and drinks where they do."

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day for herding lessons, training, and other dog sports. Owner Lynette Rau Melville has been using Gus to protect her flocks of sheep, horses, ducks, geese, and llamas. The situation at Nutmeg Farm is unique; during the day, it is a busy place buzzing with visitors and their dogs, in addition to Lynette’s herding dogs that live on the farm. Lynette is an author, border collie breeder, and American Kennel Club (AKC) Herding Judge who has studied and trained various herding breeds for more than 20 years. In her book Hear My Voice, she describes in detail different herding styles and training methods from all her years of international study. It is amazing to watch Moss, one of her border collies, move 35 or more sheep from pasture to pasture or to the pen to work with students. While Gus protects the animals at night, Moss and his siblings are working the animals during the day. Students can use the ducks or sheep for lessons, and Lynette can focus on the training while her dogs do all the rearranging of stock. Not all herding dogs work in the same way. Unlike border collies which "gather" the sheep, other types of European sheepdogs "tend" to their animals. Our Bergamasco sheepdogs have been students at Nutmeg Farm and have worked with Lynette to train them in the “tending” style – the way they were bred to herd. In Italy, their country of origin, Bergamoscos move sheep 16

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through the Alps from one area of grazing to another, crossing rocky terrain in between. They are responsible for keeping the sheep in line, moving them forward until it is time to graze again. The dogs act as an imaginary fence, moving in a vertical fashion parallel to the sheep. On our own farm, our Bergamascos keep the goats browsing in designated areas until it is time for them to return to their pen. Then, one of our dogs will gently guide them forward and in for the night. Bergamascos also double as flock guardians; they will protect their flock from a perceived threat, but it is not their main duty and they will choose their human shepherd over their flock when it's time to settle in for the night. A major goal at Alp Angel Bergamascos is to continue breeding those that have retained their herding instinct so that their form will always follow their function. We have bred seven litters throughout the last 11 years, and we are lucky to have access to Nutmeg Farm and our own livestock to help preserve the function of our dogs. It is important when breeding working and herding dogs that aside from conformation, function and movement are also considered; it is imperative to continue to use dogs for their purpose, even in a changing world where many of their jobs are becoming obsolete. It will depend upon the up-and-coming young farmers and breeders to continue employing these important dogs and to assess their instincts and abilities, or there will be no way of knowing what good breeding stock looks like, thus contributing to the demise and eventual end of a dog day at work. ctfoodandfarm.com

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Counting Sheep by Bobbie Emery Photographs by Winter Caplanson

Like trying to retrace any of life's peripatetic journeys, I look back and marvel at the path that led to me to becoming a farmer. I’d like to think that there were logical decisions somewhere along the way, but honestly, it was as well thought-out as falling in love – a fork in the road or a moment in time when I zigged instead of zagged. It started innocently enough; I was working as a construction manager at Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington. While overseeing various restoration projects, I became mesmerized by the Museum's quintessential New England agrarian landscape. Somehow, despite being completely clueless, I set about convincing the Museum's Executive Director that the property needed sheep. I was sure it would cut down on mowing, win an ongoing battle with invasive plants, and, most importantly, make the property feel complete. I waxed eloquent about the benefits, but was told succinctly that the Museum couldn’t afford sheep or their fencing, food, and care. In response, I offered to purchase three sheep, fence them, and care for them – after all, how hard could it be? It's been 13 years, several hundred sheep, and a few endless nights since then. I now know the answer to that question, and oh so many more! I know when a ewe is going to lamb, and when she needs my help; when a lamb needs to be bottle fed, and when

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a ram is going to charge; when the whole flock is plotting an escape; how not to “fix” the electric fence; and, I know the phone number of the Animal Control officer when it shows up on my caller ID. I have learned about pasture, fencing, and predators; studied nutrition and forage analysis; and discovered the logic of rotational grazing. The one question that still perplexes me is how I got here – where I am now – with 100 sheep, two sheep dogs, 10 pigs, and a belfry full of chickens? Construction has long since taken a backseat to farming – a transition my chiropractor referred to as “going from dumb to dumber” and my tax accountant calls my “hedge against the possibility of ever retiring.” Equally incredulous was the doctor who, after helping me unravel a life-threatening disease, noted that while “the rest of my patients find comfort in Jesus, you just keep collecting farm animals.” Someday, it’s possible I will fall out of love with farming, but it's hard to imagine. The ability to spend my time quietly among the animals and watch the seasons come and go is worth the recurring stress of wayward flocks, vindictive rams, and frozen water troughs. The satisfaction of preserving and restoring farmland is no less satiating than restoring an historic building. The regenerative nature of rotational grazing is oddly reminiscent of the progression of a well-managed construction project. Slowly but steadfastly, changes unfold, progress is made, and a vision is realized. In the 30 plus years that I worked in construction, the vast majority of crews I supervised did excellent work with minimal coercion, but the animals are much calmer, far quieter, and seem to respond better to the threat of “be nice or be dinner.” The pay in construction is considerably better, but the dividends of farming are nothing short of divine. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Clatter Ridge Farm in Farmington raises sheep, pigs, and chickens. Bobbie’s flock of sheep produces high-quality fiber products including roving, yarn, lamb’s wool scarves, rugs, socks, and blankets, all of which can be found in Hill-Stead Museum’s Shop.

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Wondering where to start? o Just as there are with children, there are a variety of ways to raise sheep. The first thing to decide is your goals (for the sheep, not the children). Do you envision keeping sheep a hobby or an incomeproducing endeavor? Are you looking for dairy, meat, fiber, or just a flock of lawn ornaments? o Choose breeds that best fit your needs, and make sure those breeds will prosper from the way you intend to raise them. I prefer the heritage breeds as they tend to fit in better with my philosophy of farming. Many of the “improved breeds” would not do well under my care. Over the years, I have purchased breeding stock from other shepherds whose flocks and shepherding styles complemented mine. Since I am not going to enter any of my sheep in competitions, I don't need registered purebreds; I pay more attention to their productivity than I do their bloodlines. o Learn as much as you can from other people's mistakes. The Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association is a great resource with a comprehensive list of breeders and workshops. o To learn more about grass farming, I recommend The Stockman Grass Farmer, a wonderful printed monthly newsletter. o On Pasture is an electronic newsletter with links to an array of pertinent topics. o For more information on restoration/ regenerative agriculture, I highly recommend Mark Shepherd's book Restoration Agriculture. o Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions; I can be reached by e-mail at clatterridgefarm.com or on Facebook.

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Connecticut Sheep, Wool & Fiber Festival by Kris Granatek

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Winter Caplanson photos


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or many, the last Saturday of April marks a special day – the start of “festival season” in the fiber world. It is the day we come together for the first time in a season that stretches spring through fall, to share in the delights of our craft. The 108th 2017 Connecticut Sheep, Wool & Fiber Festival, held at the Tolland Agricultural Center Saturday, April 29, brings together the farmers whose sheep, goats, alpacas, rabbits, and other animals supply fiber with dyers, spinners, weavers, knitters, and fiber artists. CT Sheep and Wool, as it’s commonly called, is a chance to shop. Everything a fiber lover’s heart desires can be found at the Festival, from raw fleece just-off-the-sheep, to handdyed fiber and yarn, to knitting needles, spinning wheels, and looms. The uninitiated might see booth after booth of similar products. The reality is that each one is a little different. In one booth, you might find sheep’s wool from a local farmer, both in unspun roving or finished yarn, natural in color. Touching it reveals a sturdy coarseness – it might be Romney or Lincoln. The farmer can tell you the name of the sheep that the yarn or fiber came from, and help a customer decide how to spin, knit, weave, or dye it to get the finished product they want. Across the aisle, there’s a booth of colorfully-dyed yarns, knitting patterns, and finished garments. The yarns have been carefully hand-dyed by the booth’s owner, packaged into kits with just the right pattern, ready to be snapped up by knitters. In the next building, you might find hand-sewn bags to store a project in the works, spinning wheels from all over the world, looms for weaving rugs or fabric, or handmade buttons and jewelry. Wander further and you’ll discover other local treats: maple products, handmade soaps, herbals, CT cheese, and lamb. All of the vendors (more than 50) are small businesses, the majority from CT, and a few from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. Most return each year. The Festival has become so popular that there is now a waiting list for vendors to get a booth space. Whatever the product, the Festival is an opportunity to find new things and connect directly with the farmer or craftsperson who produces them. Local farmers and 4-H youth bring their animals to share them with the public and teach about the breeds that produce the fibers the attendees

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covet. There are demonstrations from fiber artists and farmers throughout the day. Festival-goers can watch sheep-shearing, spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing, and bobbin lace-making. Spinning lessons are offered by the Nutmeg Spinners Guild. Vendors are often more than happy to demonstrate their products. You might discover a new fiber to try, learn a new technique, or fall in love with a whole new craft. There’s an opportunity to see the sheep, learn about different breeds, and see how fleece becomes cloth from start to finish. For the Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association (CSBA), which puts on the Festival, the opportunity to connect people to the sheep breeds that produce the wool we wear is critical. People often think of the historical aspect of the sheep and wool industry; the Festival highlights this history while showing people what the present-day industry looks like. By emphasizing wool and wool blends for daily use, CSBA helps us to understand why we still have sheep in Connecticut. It raises the value of wool by individuals and promotes the industry. The Connecticut Blanket Project is a great example of the CSBA’s efforts to promote CT-grown wool both at the Festival and year-round. The local shepherds who are members of CSBA contribute wool from their sheep; the wool is then cleaned, spun into yarn, and woven into blankets before being returned to the members for sale at their farms. Each year, there is a different pattern of natural dark- and lightcolored wools for the blanket. Sizes are available from baby blanket to king, and come packaged with a certificate noting the farms involved. Since its inception in 2003, more than 2,000 blankets have been produced by Connecticut sheep farmers. Blankets will be available for sale at this year’s Festival. Lamb products have an equally-important role at the Festival, as many Connecticut breeders raise dual-purpose breeds that produce both wool and meat. Professional concessionaires offer lamb stew, kabobs, and burgers. Local farmers have lamb’s and sheep’s milk cheese for sale. Melissa Higgins, this year’s Festival chair, points to this as an example of the vendors’ and volunteers’ dedication to the sheep industry. Everyone involved is there to promote sheep farming and production of local products. Melissa Higgins goes on to describe the Festival as an educational opportunity for the whole family. In addition to meeting the animals and seeing the fiber products, there are family-friendly activities throughout the day. The Activity Center for Children will have a make-and-take style project 30

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WHATEVER the PRoduct,

the FESTIVAL is an

OPPORTUNITY to find NEW THINGS CONNECT

&

DIRECTLY with the or

FARMER

CRAFTSPERSON who

PRODUCES them.

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made with wool. In the field on the Festival grounds, there are herding dog demonstrations where guests can watch sheep dogs in action. There’s food, live music, and plenty of space to relax with the family and enjoy the festivities. Beyond learning something new, CT Sheep and Wool is about connection. For knitters, spinners, and weavers, linking up with each other and with their favorite vendors is a highlight. It’s not uncommon to see groups coming by the car full, making a day of it. There’s time for “stash enhancement” (also known as shopping), watching the demonstrations, and finding a spot to relax and play a bit while catching up with friends. The day that begins with breakfast often ends with dinner at a favorite local restaurant, knitting tableside, comparing new additions to the stash, and quite possibly, a new passion for fiber craft.

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into Qiviut, Mink, and Cashmere

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by Laura Graham Photos by Anna Sawin

It was a dark and stormy afternoon; I gripped my steering wheel with both hands as my windshield wipers flicked furiously back and forth. The GPS arrow started spinning around crazily and lost its signal. I thought, "I have no idea what this place looks like!" A wool mill? I envisioned the large brick buildings of former textile mills along the rivers of New England, but I was far from the seashore or any rivers. I was off in the quietest corner of Connecticut farmland, in the town of Eastford. Siri eventually chirped that I had arrived. Two farmhouses flanked a driveway, but neither looked like a mill to me. Farther up the dirt driveway was a barn-like structure with an "Open" sign shining in one of the windows. I knocked firmly on the door, stepped inside, and was immediately surrounded by brightly-lit walls laden with richly-hued skeins of yarn and knitted garments. I shouted "hello" over the din of the machinery and Deirdre Bushnell – one of Still River Mill’s owners – came out to greet me. Slender and jaunty, she gave me a playful smile and patiently and enthusiastically answered all of my questions about their truly extraordinary operation. As she walked ahead of me, I smiled to note that her long, dark hair was twisted into a braid like a two-ply yarn. Deirdre and her husband Greg are highly-trained engineers who were living in Glastonbury with jobs about which neither was passionate. As a knitter, in the early 1980's, Deirdre had taught herself to spin wool and knit; she acquired five sheep, popped them into her suburban backyard, and started spinning her own sheep's wool. She discovered that creating the roving – long, narrow, bundles of unspun fiber – was labor-intensive and that her sheep were producing at a rate that exceeded her need. Deirdre began to look around for a commercial wool mill that would make roving for her out of her sheep's wool. This proved difficult; either the minimums were too high, or the smaller mills would combine your wool with others. You would get the same weight back in fiber, but there was no guarantee it would be of the same quality. In 2002, Deirdre and Greg fell in love with a farm property in rural Eastford and decided to move there with their three children. Deirdre researched what it would cost to buy small-scale mill equipment and proposed to her husband that she leave her engineering job and open an artisanal wool mill that would service the growing

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home-knitters industry. If the company did well, he might join her. She opened the Mill in September 2004, and by January 2005, the demand for her services was so overwhelming, that Greg left his job. Now they run the Mill full-time with three employees and are known internationally for their niche service milling fine fibers. A large portion of the wool and fiber sent to them is from out of state. Traditional sheep's wool is sheared or cut off; others are combed or brushed during the molting season to obtain their soft winter coat fur. Yarn can be made from a spectrum of natural and manmade materials. Still River Mill specializes in high-end, luxury fiber yarn production. What does that mean? You can bring your own raw materials or the Mill can source them for you. Still River makes yarns with mink, cashmere, qiviut, alpaca, and sheep’s wool. Yes, mink – those very soft and extremely feisty, weasel-like animals. They are not killed when the down is removed, but apparently, heavy leather gloves are required when they are brushed. All fibers and fiber qualities have their use, so it is important to identify the quality of wool you have access to before considering what products you plan to make. For example, when dealing with qiviut, (the wool from the Arctic musk ox), Inuits use the most refined fibers, or down, more lovely and delicate than cashmere, to make garments to be worn around the face. The coarser, lower grade wools are used to make heavy covers and rugs. Wool that is good for your feet is not necessarily what you want around your neck and vice versa. I learned this myself when I once bought pure cashmere socks that got holes in them almost immediately. All-natural fiber yarns are luxurious, but are often improved with the addition of a small amount of nylon or a natural, manmade fiber such as bamboo rayon. The blended yarn will handle better, hold up to washing, and be more resistant to friction and general wear and tear, as for use in socks. The first step to transforming your raw wool that is either combed or sheared off your animal, is washing it. This needs to be done well or it lowers the quality of wool considerably. Washing wool requires more soap and water than most people realize. It is essential to acquire the proper amount of cleanliness; Deirdre uses a soap created specifically for the textile industry, specially-formulated to

clean fiber without damaging it or harming its natural luster. The washed wool is then pulled apart by hand and put in the drying room. The Still River Mill drying room is part passive solar and part electric dehumidifiers. Once the wool is dry, it needs to be opened: further pulled apart and fluffed. This is done in part by hand and then placed on a conveyor belt and run through a machine that separates the wool and blows the loose fibers out through a chute into a tiny closed room. Spray bottles of conditioner are used to moisten the fiber after it dries to help keep it supple and cohesive. The humidity of the fibers is as vital to a yarn maker as is the humidity of clay to a potter. The wools are kept in large plastic bags for this reason. The humidity level in the Mill is controlled in order to maximize the effectiveness of working with the wool, not for human comfort. There is an acceptable 15% plus or minus margin in weight in the wool industry; wool packaged and weighed in New England's humid climate is heavier than the same wool shipped and then stored in say, Arizona. The opened wool is then brought from the small collection room and placed in small clumps on another opening machine. It is on this machine where the fiber can be blen ded with other fibers. Clumps of cashmere or qiviut may be blended on this apparatus with fine Merino wool to increase the strength and workability of the fibers. The wool is then carded several times. At Still River Mills there are two carding machines. From the opened wool, the carding machines make roving (the large, soft, fluffy wool ropes that spinners use) or batting for quilts. Once the roving is carded, it is put on drawing frames that stretch out and double the roving to further align all of the fibers. This creates a more consistent, even roving that is ready to be spun. Still River Mill can make roving for you to spin yourself at home, or they will continue the process and spin the roving into a finished yarn. Roving that is sent through a spinning machine becomes a one-ply yarn. Depending on the intensity of the twist, the same raw material can create radically different yarns. Again, having a clear idea of what project you are spinning for is essential. Still River Mill has two spinners that can create ctfoodandfarm.com

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anything from big, bulky yarns down to fingering yarns; another makes extremely fine lace yarn. Yarn is always described by length per weight, with metric sizing. Its size dictates the type of fabric the yarn will create. Next, the yarn is put in a plying machine – just one can keep up with the three spinning machines. Deirdre chose the equipment and designed the Mill to run at maximum efficiency with a small staff. The yarn then goes through a steamer. In addition to steaming and stretching the yarn into its final form, this machine also counts the yards, leading to the final yards per pound number that is used when selling the yarn. Last of all, the yarn is put into a skein winder that packages the yarn into normally 2- or 4-oz. skeins. Deirdre makes sure that all of the skeins of yarn go through one final washing to provide the customer with a yarn showing its true character and is ready for use or resale. It was time to feed the goats, so Deirdre and I headed out to the shed to see her cashmeres. She explained that many types of goats are used to make cashmere; there isn't only one breed. She obtained hers from a nunnery in New York. They are charming animals, but rather large and with horns. I decided to stay outside the fence while Deirdre fed them. They have a hierarchy in their community of five, so they need to be tethered before the food comes out. Looking at these cashmere goats, I imagine how huge the Arctic musk ox must be, and I try to image brushing one. The Alaskan Inuit tribe originally reached out to Deirdre directly to mill their musk ox wool. Now, thanks to their collaboration with Still River Mill, they have high-quality qiviut fiber to sell at a premium price. Closer to home, I was at Hopkins Vineyard in Warren recently for a wine tasting, and saw some beautiful, brightly-colored yarns for sale. Turns out that the yarn comes from the adjacent Sachem Farm that dates back to 1787. Sachem Farm's single-flock yarns are made from the wool of their bluefaced Leicester and Romney sheep – and the wool is milled and dyed at Still River Mill.

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Finnsheep Woolies & Baby Animal Tours at The Hickories Photos by Ashley Caroline Photography

The Hickories, a 250-year-old Ridgefield farm, raises Finnsheep, a heritage breed celebrated for fine fleeces, excellent mothering, and hardy dispositions. Their fiber is used in the woolen goods available on their website, including skeins of yarn; socks; mittens and gloves; handwoven throw blankets; and, luxurious, queen sized, wool-filled duvets. Wool is a solid insulator but, more importantly, it breathes, and therefore regulates moisture better than down or synthetic down alternatives. The Hickories’ “Nest Warmers” are grapevine balls filled with raw sheep's wool from the Farm's flock. Songbirds will collect the fiber to furnish and warm their nests as they build them in the spring. Hang outdoors under the cover of a porch or overhang. The grapevine provides an easy perch for birds as they pluck the woolen tufts. Share the joys of spring on the Farm! The Hickories’ will host Baby Animal Tours on April 15, 22, 29, and May 6, where you can meet the newest lambs and piglets! Sign up on the website. Space is limited; $10 per person.

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Meet the Baby Yak by Amy Smith

Wild yak roam the steep paths of the snowcovered rocky peaks of the Himalayas in Asia, but two domesticated ones came to call Lebanon, Connecticut home last November. Cedars of Lebanon Farm purchased Findley and Fae, a pair of six-month-old heifer calves, to raise for their fiber and train to pull a cart during the maple sugaring season. A yak’s ability to survive the frigid -40°F temperatures in the mountains is due partly to its thick layers of hair and fiber. Yak produce a fiber that is warmer than sheep’s wool, hypoallergenic because it contains no oil or lanolin, is as soft as cashmere, and naturally resists water. Their fiber is combed out in the spring and spun into yarn, and the average yak only produces a half pound

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Winter Caplanson Photos

of fiber per year. (An Angora rabbit will produce six times as much per year.) Yak can also be raised for their juicy and flavorful meat; it has a full beef flavor without gaminess or a greasy aftertaste. Naturally 95% lean and high in good proteins, grass fed yak meat is one of the healthiest meats produced. A male yak grows for three to four years before it reaches market weight at 1,200-1,600 lbs. By comparison, a beef cow will reach that weight in less than 18 months. The Cedars of Lebanon farm store sells yak meat raised on a small ranch in Virginia, yak fiber from a ranch in Colorado, and items made by female entrepreneurs in Tibet and Nepal. Visitors are welcome to meet their yak on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


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by Winter Caplanson

On the Lamb Photos by Winter Caplanson & Lisa Nichols

Grassfed spring lamb chops, shanks, racks, roasts, and ground meat are absolutely delicious and can be sourced from a local shepherd at your farmers' market. We asked three Connecticut restaurants where lamb is always on the menu to share their favorite recipe. Cafemantic in Willimantic sources their lamb from Woodstock Sustainable Farm. Cafemantic received a New York Times rating of Excellent. The food there is simply extraordinary; the man behind the magic is Chef Jonathan Hudak. The North Star of his life is food. His mother, Melodie Hudak, recalls, “As a child, Jon was always in the kitchen with me. When he was really young, he had his own drawer filled with kid-safe kitchen supplies and would set up on the floor and pretend to cook. As he got a little older, he was staged on the counter top or in a chair joining in with whatever activity was at hand: cracking eggs, stirring, kneading dough, and of course licking bowls. Fast forward to his teen years and he starting watching cooking shows and would surprise us by cooking dinner on his own. He particularly enjoyed making his dishes look good with fancy garnishes. Once he got his driver’s license, little did we know he was sneaking off to Boston to dine at Todd English’s restaurants. I still don’t know how he didn’t get in an accident driving in Boston as a novice driver!

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Spring Lamb Meatballs at Cafemantic Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS: 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 onion, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 lb. ground lamb ½ c. panko breadcrumbs, soaked in ¼ c. whole milk 1 egg, lightly beaten ¼ c. Pecorino cheese 1 Tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped fine 1 tsp. ground cumin ½ Tbsp. Kosher salt GARNISH: 4 Tbsp. chicken stock or water 4 Tbsp. butter 1 c. fava beans, shucked, peeled, and blanched 1 c. English peas, shucked and blanched Fresh mint Shaved Pecorino DIRECTIONS: WINTER CAPLANSON

“I must tell you about a particular Easter experience with Jon. We had invited a few guests who I was barely acquainted with, and who the rest of my family had never met.  That year, Jonathan, who was maybe 20 or 21, decided that he wanted to cook an entire baby lamb. We planned our menu and ended up with ‘lamb five ways.’  It turned out that it was an overzealous endeavor and the scheduled dinner hour came and not even one dish was ready. We poured more wine and served more appetizers, but a few more hours passed with no lamb. We eventually ate, but there were guest who had to leave shortly after we sat down. The dinner was wonderful in the end, but we still joke about the Easter we invited strangers to dinner and didn’t feed them.” 56

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1. Preheat oven to 500°F 2. In a large sauté pan, sweat onions and garlic in olive oill until soft. Cool. 3. Squeeze excess milk from panko. 4. Mix all ingredients well in a mixing bowl. 5. Test for seasoning by cooking a small patty (in the sauté pan). 6. Form eight 2” meatballs and roast in oven for five 10 minutes, until cooked through and golden. 7. Combine stock and butter in the sauté pan. 8. Over medium heat, stir until butter is melted and beginning to form a loose sauce. 9. Add favas and peas. 10. Add warm meatballs. 11. Stir and cook until butter sauce coats the meatballs and vegetables. If sauce starts to break and look oily, add a tablespoon of water and return to heat until creamy again. 12. Transfer to serving plate. 13. Finish with torn mint leaves and shaved Pecorino.


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Lamb Tagine at The Fez Bar & Restaurant Serves 2

INGREDIENTS: 2 Tbsp. olive oil ½ c. celery, chopped ½ c. onion, chopped 1 tsp. garlic, minced 1 ½ c. lamb, cubed into 1” squares ¾ c. carrot, peeled and cut into 2” pieces ¾ c. potato, peeled and quartered 1 tsp. turmeric powder 1 tsp. ginger powder 1 tsp. cumin 1 tsp. coriander powder ¼ c. flat leaf parsley, slightly chopped ¼ c. cilantro, slightly chopped 1 ½ c. water ½ tsp. salt 1 tsp. sugar Tagine or small (1 quart) Dutch oven Garnish: Preserved lemons, Kalamata olives, and fresh parsley sprigs DIRECTIONS:

LISA NICHOLS

The Fez, situated in the heart of Stamford’s downtown, serves a fusion of Moroccan, Lebanese, and Middle Eastern fare and offers an eclectic wine bar and nightly live music. Chef Shelby Gopinathan, from India, brings a deep understanding of spices and flavors, creating dishes that delight the senses.

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1. Preheat oven to 325°F. 2. Heat oil in large sauce pan on medium heat, adding celery and onion to start, then add garlic. When onions become translucent, stir occasionally. Sauté until mixture just approaches golden. You can work on steps two and three while mixture is sautéing. 3. Mix turmeric, ginger powder, cumin, and coriander powder. Lightly toast in a small cast iron skillet on low heat for two to three minutes, stirring constantly, enhancing the flavors and aromas of the spices. 4. Place cubed lamb in a small bowl; mix in toasted spices. 5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add lamb into the sautéed onion mixture, turning meat as needed to brown on all sides. Cook 20-25 minutes; in the last few minutes of cook-time, add the cilantro and parsley. 6. Transfer the mixture to your tagine; if you do not own a tagine, a small Dutch oven will do just fine. Add the carrots, potatoes, and water. Stir in salt and sugar. Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Serve over couscous. Garnish with Kalamata olives, fresh sprigs of parsley, and preserved lemons – available in specialty food stores – or, try making your own.


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Chef Emily Mingrone of Fleishers Craft Butchery in Westport has been cooking her entire life, essentially. “My father is a CIA-trained chef, so I've been cooking and eating great food as long as I can remember. I really love letting the ingredients lead; if they are fresh and properlyraised, you really only need salt, pepper, and correct cooking technique to let them shine. Fleishers allows me access to incredibly fresh and unique meats which usually dictate the dishes I serve. I'll go talk to the butcher and see what's good on any given day, and the menu builds itself from there. It allows me to be creative in the most organic way (no pun intended). “The key to a good burger is liberal seasoning and high heat. My favorite way to cook meats is in smoking-hot cast iron. Many people don't let the pan heat up to that point, but it's key. Once you see curls of smoke coming off the pan, you're ready to sear. Make sure your hood is on high! Put your desired fat in the pan, (We use bacon fat for everything.) season your meat liberally with an even coating (salt only, pepper burns), and you're good to go.”

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The Lamb Burger from the Fleishers Craft Kitchen Archives DIRECTIONS:

1. 2. 3. 4.

Form ½ lb. patties of ground lamb and season liberally with salt on both sides. Place in a greased smoking-hot cast iron pan and let it cook until a crust forms on the other side – about five to six minutes. Flip the burger and season the other side with salt. Cook for five to six minutes for medium rare. Remove to a plate to let it rest for a minute. Slather a bun with Cucumber Mint Yogurt. Place the lamb burger atop and add Spicy Aioli to taste before adding the top half of the bun.

Spicy Aioli With Store Bought Mayonnaise: 2 c. mayonnaise Zest of 1 lemon Juice of ½ a lemon 3 Tbsp. harissa paste 1 clove garlic With Homemade Mayonnaise: If you’re feeling ambitious, replace store bought mayonnaise with: 2 egg yolks ½ c. olive oil 1 ½ c. vegetable oil Salt and pepper

Buzz yolks in food processor or blender, or even by hand with a whisk. Add oils one at a time in a slow drizzle until emulsification begins. Finish with juice of 1 lemon and salt and pepper.

WINTER CAPLANSON

Cucumber Mint Yogurt: 1 hot house cucumber, seeded and medium diced 1 c. Greek yogurt Juice and zest of 1 lemon 1 Tbsp. cumin 3 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, torn or chiffonade Pinch cayenne pepper Salt and pepper

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“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!� -Julia Child


Chef Joseph Lucci, Ideal Tavern, Winter Caplanson photo


Olie’s Pierogi

s a l o G a n e G y b Photos by Carla M cElroy 68

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my grandmother's rolling pin – the one with the red handles – smoothing out the dough; her Pyrex bowl on the table holding the filling;  her stock pot on the stove with boiling water ready for the finished pierogi. The recipe I'm using is my Great-Grandma Olie's, written on the card as she might have dictated it.  Nostalgia for my grandmother and great-grandmother fills my kitchen and yet, making my great-grandmother's pierogi is a tradition I've had to create myself.   I don't remember my Great-Grandma Olexovitch, affectionately known as Grandma Olie to almost everyone in our family, no matter how you were related to her. She passed away when I was a baby, but I do have a few early photographs and her recipe for potato and cheese pierogi. It is special, and rather fitting, that this is my only connection to her. As a pastry chef and foodie, I have devoted my career to the kitchen in one way or another, so a passed-down family recipe is a special artifact. It is also no surprise that many

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Nostalgia fills my kitchen and yet, making my great-grandmother's pierogi is a tradition I 've had to create myself. Â

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Potato and Cheese Pierogi (Pierogi Ruskie)

Makes approximately 10 dozen pierogi

of my favorite childhood food memories come from my Nanny's kitchen (one of Grandma Olie's daughters): tender pot roast, slow cooked with potatoes and carrots, enjoyed around the table in her tiny kitchen; stuffed cabbage topped with her homemade tomato sauce, made probably only once a year, but a family favorite; banana bread when she came to visit – no nuts please. Thanksgiving dinner, which was moved out of the kitchen and into the living room where the tables were coupled end to end to accommodate our extended family, and vegetables fresh from their backyard garden, where there was always a cherry tomato plant planted just for me. But, while we knew my great-grandmother's pierogi recipe was tucked away on a recipe card somewhere, the pierogi were never made – a tradition all but forgotten. It wasn't until the first Christmas when I worked in a Polish bakery that I had the idea to dig out the recipe and attempt it myself. During that season of making thousands of pierogi, I learned the technique from my coworkers. They showed me what the dough looked like when it was properly mixed: smooth, elastic, and not too sticky. I learned how thin to roll out the dough and what size round cutter to use. I mixed fillings and learned how much to put into each cut-out circle (so much that you don't think you'll be able to seal the dough around it). I learned the tricky technique of how to form the dough around the filling, pinching it shut

Grandma Olie’s Recipe Filling:

5 lbs. white or Russet potatoes 3 lb.s Farmer’s cheese 1 white onion, sautéed Salt and pepper, to taste

Peel and dice onion. Sauté in butter until brown. Set aside. Peel, chop, and boil potatoes until soft. Drain. Mash potatoes in the pot with farmer’s cheese, onion, and salt and pepper. Form filling into balls.

Dough:

(will need approximately a double batch) 4 c. all-purpose flour 2 eggs 1 c. warm water

Add all ingredients into a tabletop mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low to medium speed until smooth. Remove from bowl, wrap in plastic wrap, and set aside while filling is made. Roll dough out to a ⅛” thickness. Cut circles out of dough using a cutter about the size of a drinking glass or the palm of your hand. Place balls of filling into dough rounds, fold dough in half to cover the filling, and pinch the edges shut. Pierogi can be frozen at this stage. First, line pierogi flat on a cookie sheet to freeze. Use flour as needed in between pierogi and on the bottom of the cookie sheet so dough doesn’t stick. Once frozen, pierogi can be portioned and stored in plastic zipper bags until ready to use. To cook pierogi, either thaw in refrigerator first, or cook from frozen. Drop pierogi into a large pot of boiling water. Cook until they float. Remove from water and place in a sauté pan with butter and diced onion. Cook until browned on both sides.

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I hope we can keep this new tradition every Easter and Christmas – two holidays when pierogi are traditional.Â

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properly so that it comes out "ładnie" and perfect, the corners not rounded down like a crescent moon. That Christmas, armed with the confidence that I could replicate my great-grandmother's recipe, I made a large batch of her pierogi and gave them as gifts to my parents and aunt and uncle. It felt wonderful to bring life to her formula, resurrecting a part of my family history that had lapsed at least a generation.  Since then, I have gathered my family together to teach them what I learned, while sharing Grandma Olie’s recipe as well as my own for sauerkraut and mushroom, and sweet cheese pierogi. I love teaching and encouraging my son and nieces to get their hands on the ingredients and join in alongside the adults, and sending them home with freezer bags full of pierogi, knowing they will be enjoyed for days to come. I hope we can keep this new tradition every Easter and Christmas – two holidays when pierogi are traditional.  I have also had the joy of sharing my recipes by teaching Connecticut Food and Farm's FOODlab classes. It truly is a pleasure to keep my grandmother's and great-grandmother's memories alive in the place where I remember and honor them best – the kitchen.

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along the Naugatuck River Valley and you’ll find a collection of towns rich in heritage, culture, and tradition. As the River winds its way through the western part of Connecticut, what begins as undeveloped, forested, hillsides give way to urban landscapes. Down River, you’ll find pockets of farm land and suburban neighborhoods. In the past, the swift-moving water and steep gradients fueled brass mills, ship building, and trading posts. These were some of the main manufacturing centers in New England. It’s not unusual that a community built out of hard work would lean toward authentic, unassuming restaurants. You’ll find an abundance of eateries with an “everybody knows your name” feel, where you’ll enjoy great food in a cozy atmosphere; they are local in the kindred sense.

by Sherry Swanson

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lower portion of the Naugatuck River valley is sometimes called “the Valley,” and it’s here you’ll find Roseland Apizza in Derby. Their thin crust, wood-fired oven pizza has a bubbly-crisp crust with blackened edges, tangy tomato sauce, and lots of garlic. You can enjoy pizza with classic toppings such as sausage and pepperoni, or for something less conventional, try the shrimp casino pizza, or the salad pizza with arugula, olives, and Parmesan. Roseland Apizza has a full menu including salads, appetizers, and entrees. The tender, fried calamari’s crunchy crust and savory marinara is not to be missed. Bring your friends – the portions are large, the interior is simple, and the mood is laid back. If your kids spill their milk or your co-worker is a little too loud, no worries. This is where you go to get great pizza, kick back, and maybe laugh until your sides hurt. Roseland Apizza is open Tuesday – Thursday, 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Friday, 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Saturday, 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

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the days get longer and the weather warms, it’s time to dine outside. In the Valley, we head to Stone's Throw in Seymour. You can enjoy views of the Housatonic from their spacious deck or glass sunroom. Large picture windows line the wall facing the River making for marvelous views. The seasonal menu uses local produce when available, and the food is both unique and familiar. Sip one of their specialty cocktails like the Lip Smacker, made with house-infused bacon bourbon, maple syrup, and orange juice. Or, try their baked Thimble Island oysters: fresh and briny, stuffed with sweet lobster meat and topped with creamy Mystic Cheese Co.’s Melinda Mae. Take a few friends at the end of a long work week. Stone’sThrowisopenTuesday–Thursday,11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.–12:00a.m.;Sunday,12:00p.m.–9:00p.m.

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old-world technique and skill are valued more in hard-working neighborhoods. If so, that might explain Claudio Mancuso’s fresh egg pasta at Pasta Fina in Shelton. Soft, silky, and delicate, this pasta needs little more than good olive oil, black pepper, and cheese. If a rich Bolognese is more your style, this pasta will not disappoint. Dress it up in your favorite sauce and you’ll end up with a dish that is more than the sum of its parts. Pasta Fina isn’t a restaurant, but a storefront selling cut-to-order pasta, ravioli, cavatelli, tortellini, as well as prepared meals. You’ll have to take your meals to go, but you’ll be back. Pasta Fina is open Monday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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of Bones in Derby is a true smokehouse with a friendly staff serving up amazing southern eats. Unassuming in style, it has a few tables inside and outside. Most diners chose to take their fare togo. Indulge in smoked brisket, pulled pork, smoked or Southern fried chicken, baby back and St. Louis-style ribs, as well as all the fixins such as mac and cheese, cornbread, and collard greens. House of Bones’ brisket has a smoky, crisp bark on the outside and juicy meat on the inside; it’s so succulent, you won't need sauce. If you prefer it, though, choose from Kansas City, Louisiana Hot, Carolina Mustard, and Memphis Vinegar. Be sure to try their breakfast options, as well! The BBQ Breakfast Burrito is filled with BBQ hash, two eggs, cheddar cheese, and housemade BBQ sauce. House of Bones is open Monday – Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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trucks have inched their way out of urban areas into the suburbs and out to the countryside. El Camión started as a West-Coast style taco truck, and has been serving high-quality, fresh, fast food in bucolic Woodbury since 2011. Owner Haig Leonard keeps the menu simple and focused. The fish tacos are a favorite – their crunchy, cornmeal coating yields to a moist coconut and lime whitefish. It is topped with confetti of mango salsa, shredded cabbage, and a bit of sour cream, all packaged in a little tortilla. The steak taco has strips of charred steak, steaming hot from the flattop piled on top of crisp cabbage and a tart tomatillo salsa. The tacos at El Camión are bursting with flavor and texture. The kitchen has moved to an inside location to serve a larger audience, but there is still an outdoor seating area complete with a water bowl for your dog. It’s the perfect way to end a day of hiking with your best friend: fresh tacos and ice-cold beer. El Camión is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. ctfoodandfarm.com

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Old Platform #6 (OP6) feels like stepping back in time. This combination Parisian salon and underground supper club is unlike any place you’ve ever been. Located in an old pin factory, the red brick façade and large industrial windows give no hint of the elegance within. Once a railway platform, OP6 has been transformed into an extraordinary special event venue. The large, open space feels European and elegant; antique furnishings are grouped in a series of beautiful vignettes dotted with candles and flowers. The finished product is lovely enough to be in an oil painting. Caroline Bossetti is your most gracious hostess and the owner of this exquisite space. OP6 hosts concerts, painting classes, their own version of karaoke, and bourbon tasting dinners. Most events require pre-registration or reservations as numerous happenings sell out. Keep an eye on their website for open lounge evenings coming soon. OP6 is also available for private events: anniversary dinners, cocktail parties, bridal and baby showers, or rehearsal dinners. If you’re looking for something different, a special menu, entertainment, and a beautiful locale, OP6 will exceed your expectations. Old Platform #6 is open by appointment or reservation only; except, currently, on Wednesdays, they are open 9:30-5:30 serving breakfast, light lunch, and tea time treats. Chef Sherry Swanson uses food and wine to weave people together and create memorable experiences. She is Farm chef at Jones Family Farms and Winery, where she teaches people how to cook with local, seasonal ingredients from the farmers' market and farm. She is always looking for creative ways to put vegetables in the center of the plate.

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Chef Sherry Swanson, Karie Peterson Photography

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Community farms in Connecticut have become prominent local hubs of agriculture and learning while facilitating a unique interaction between people and the environment around them. In a century defined and dominated by largescale, hi-tech agriculture, community farms are a relatively simple concept that provide a more intimate and people-centric contrast. These farms are essentially living examples of what small-town life in Connecticut and throughout the US used to be like, where family farmers and townspeople formed a simple yet vital relationship. The local farm was where neighbors came to purchase staples such as fresh milk, eggs, seasonal produce, and maple syrup; other farms produced chickens, beef, pork and lamb. A community farmer’s family came to know those they served, and a true symbiotic bond was forged – one where the residents relied on the farmers for their fresh foods in season, and the farmers relied on their community to keep operations running. Big ag changed all that, and not for the better. In many ways, today’s municipal farms strive to recreate that old-time farmer-neighbor connection. In Connecticut, they vary from the larger, more production-oriented farms like Massaro Community Farm, a nonprofit, certified organic farm on a 57-acre parcel of land operated collaboratively between the Town of Woodbridge and local citizens, to the smaller, educational/ demonstration farms such as Wakeman Town Farm in Westport and Ambler Farm in Wilton, to more urban farms, among them, Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain and Common Ground in New Haven. In most cases, these formerly family-owned ctfoodandfarm.com

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spaces are now nonprofits, or affiliated with a nonprofit, municipality, or an educational organization with strong ties to the town in which they reside. These farms exist in order to build community, feed people, keep agriculture alive in the State, and teach a new generation about protecting our farm lands and environment. More than this, people come to farms for a human connection through barbecues, farm dinners, family events, fairs, festivals, farm tours, and other wholesome social outings. Our communal farms connect people to one another, and to the land. Community farms can stem from areas designated as trust land, where agriculture helps to preserve and manage the historic integrity of open space. Organizations such as the CT Farmland Trust have been established to “protect farmland from the constant threat of development. Keeping land in farms helps to establish a local, sustainable food system, supports our economy, and contributes to improving the quality of land, air and water.” With more than 3,000 acres under protection statewide, the Trust has been steadily inching towards a more sustainable agricultural future, ensuring that farmlands in the Trust will never be developed. In addition to preservation, education is at the heart of many of the community farms in our area, the idea being that it is this generation’s duty to pass on ages-old homesteading and farming skills to a new one. You’ll find incubator farming programs for fledgling young farmers, as well as school programs, camps, and seed-to-plate cooking classes to help people figure out how to best use the produce that they are growing or receiving as a part of their Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) boxes. The goal is to teach agriculture and inspire people of all ages to become more in touch with the cycle of food growth and seasonal eating. Speaking of CSAs, these are another vital component; in this arrangement, the community essentially helps out the farmers in the off season. When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables (or in some cases, meat, eggs, and other goodies) from a regional farmer. Weekly or biweekly, from June until October/November, you will receive your ctfoodandfarm.com

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share of produce at a convenient pick-up location, or you can pick up your share at the farm itself, allowing you to visit the fields where your share of produce, eggs, and meats was raised. CSA members pay for an entire season of fresh food up front which enables your farmer to plan for the season, purchase new seeds, make equipment repairs, and pay for things like keeping the heaters on in the greenhouses or hoop houses in a particularly cold winter. Community farms are philanthropic, as well. For instance, at Community Farms of Simsbury, the organizers found that they were growing much of their produce for local charities, and ultimately merged with Gifts of Love, a local food pantry serving a large population. The merger resulted in more resources for the Farm, including staff and volunteers, more organically-grown fruits and vegetables for the pantry, and the opportunity to expand farm-based educational programs, camps, and events. At Massaro, the team gives at least 10% of what they grow each year to local hunger-relief agencies, donating 28,000 lbs. of food to date! At Wakeman Town Farm, the all-volunteer team is working to create new outreach programming that brings kids from Bridgeport and Norwalk for a hands-on experience in the fresh air and sunshine, getting their hands into the dirt and, for many, seeing farm animals in person for the first time, and learning seed-to-plate cooking.

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There is a lot more to be discovered about community farms, and if you live in a part of the State where there is one, you will have a great time checking it out. Once you visit, you’ll see why these farms are growing much more than produce: they stand for growing relationships and cooperation, and that’s what it’s all about. Author’s Note: As a longtime Westporter and an even longer supporter of farming, I have been involved with Wakeman Town Farm for the past five years. It has been a particular labor of love for me. A historic agricultural property dating back to the 1800s, Wakeman served as the epicenter of Westport’s farming scene for nearly a century. Following the deaths of the original farmers, Pearl and Ike Wakeman, the farm fell into disrepair. When a grassroots team was appointed by the Town to reinvigorate the property as an education/ demonstration farm, I jumped at the chance to help out. At that point, I was 11 years old, and my mother had been driving me to different parts of the State and even Vermont so that I could attend farm camps and get more involved with farm life. Now a junior at Staples High School in Westport, I have spent the past six years as a farm volunteer and photographer, working to help with events, conduct tours, assist Farm Steward Mike Aitkenhead in the field, and promote Wakeman Town Farm to the local community.


Maison Blanche Paint

Workshops & Custom Painting

Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

Antiques & Vintage Furniture

Maker Supplies Bath & Body

891 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475

American Made Furniture

Home Decor

(860) 395-0558 chalkmercantile.com

Chalk Mercantile is a shop that reflects the owner’s love of antiques, handmade local goods and beautiful decor. Chalk is also host to modern lines of perfumes, soaps, jewelry, and DIY supplies including Maison Blanche Vintage Furniture Paint and Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. Chalk offers DIY workshops and custom painting services.

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Creating a Cocktail Garden, New England Style by Caroline Finnegan Photos by Winter Caplanson Illustrations by Laura Graham

Imagine a short, barefoot walk from your kitchen to your own "cocktail garden" to cut fresh herbs – the key ingredients for a Lemon Rosemary Bourbon Sour, Pineapple Mint Mojito, or Raspberry Thyme Smash. If you’re a gardener, or have some landscaping in your yard, chances are high that you’re already well on your way toward creating a cocktail garden. There is nothing particularly unique or difficult about this idea, and it can be as simple as shifting your perspective and using commonly-grown edibles in a different way. Of course, as with anything in life (especially gardening), there’s also a not-so-simple approach. If you’re someone who enjoys, or maybe even needs a project, I suggest edible landscaping. This is the kind of endeavor that offers endless hours of research, planning, dreaming, organizing, planting, maintaining, harvesting, and figuring out what on earth to do with all of the plants with which you've ended up falling in love. Oh, and you could really use a cocktail or flavored beverage right about now, so good thing you planted some lavender to infuse in a simple syrup. Guess what? You made a cocktail garden. Well done! ctfoodandfarm.com

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Edible Gardening Basics: This article is going to focus on plants you can use in cocktails or flavored beverages, so I’m going to keep the general gardening information brief, and include some links to online resources. That being said, there are a few things to consider when planning a garden:

Soil:

The number one priority of any garden must be its soil. It does not matter if that garden is one container, or an acre of land. Soil is everything. To create and maintain healthy soil, organic gardening is the way to go. Beside the fact that you’re eating what you’re growing, the run-off from your garden is going to end up in our waterways, and there is already more than enough nitrogen in there. At its heart, organic gardening is about working with your environment, and only adding what your soil actually needs. Basically, don’t make your fertilizing and pest control decisions indiscriminately. How do you know what your soil needs? You don’t! But science does, so send your soil out to be tested, and then follow the site-specific recommendations. If you are outside CT, you can likely find soil testing via your local agricultural station. CT Soil Testing * You do not need to make ANY decision based on the schedule that a really aggressive and effective marketing campaign is giving you, no matter how charming and persuasive their Scottish accent may be.

Few More Details:

You’re going to want to know the following about your garden:

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• What kind of drainage does your soil have?

• How much sun does your garden receive?

• How are you going to water?

• Is there good air circulation?

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Light: Be sure to plant in areas with the preferred amount of sunshine. Most edibles do best in full sun, or at the very least, in partial sun. Read up on the individual needs of the plants and design your garden accordingly. Don’t try to grow full-sun plants in the shade; it’s a recipe for frustration.

Pests: Look into organic methods of pest control. The best control is frequent vigilance. Pay attention to what’s going on in the garden, and try to address issues while they are still small. For in-ground or raised-bed gardens, healthy soil biology will go a long way towards supporting the plant’s natural defenses against pests and diseases.

Feeding: This is another area where organic is best. Many of these plants appreciate regular feedings, especially the annuals, which put on a lot of growth in one season. Setting up a feeding and watering schedule will go a long way toward helping plants thrive.

Container Gardening: You’re going to have better success if you use good quality potting soil, create a maintenance and watering schedule, and remember to fertilize according to the plants' needs. You’re probably going to have to water more than you think you will; check the containers daily, especially in the summer heat. Don’t forget to pinch back and prune your plants. A plant that is well harvested will grow more. If you’re unable to use all of the plants you have, try bringing clippings inside and using them as cut flowers. You can also dry the herbs or make infusions and sugars, etc. Plan ahead and have fun!

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Suggested Plants plants for Plant

Cocktails

Anise Hyssop

The Strawberry Stunner

Basil Standard Basil Thai Basil Lemon Basil Cinnamon Basil

Cucumber & Mint Basil Soda Thai Basil Bliss Basil Lemonade Cinnamon Basil Sugar Syrup

Bay

Fresh Bay Leaf Cocktail

Beet

Beet Shrub

Blackberry Blueberry Borage Chamomile

Homemade Blackberry Soda Blueberry Crush Borage Fizz Chamomile Cordial

Cherry

Cherry Balsamic Shrub Brandied Cherries Luxardo Cherries Bourbon Soaked Cherries

Cilantro

Cilantro Mojito Cilantro Margarita Cilantro Martini Cucumber Cilantro Cooler

Dill

Dill-icious Making the Syrup

Evergreen Trees

Pine Old-Fashioned NĂŠnuphar Spruce Tip Cocktail

Fennel Geranium

Grapes (Concord)

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Fennel Orange Gin Cocktail Raspberry Scented Geranium Sour Scotch Sherry & Concord Cardomaro Concord The Fall French 75


the Cocktail cocktail Garden garden Plant Hot Peppers Lavender Lemon Balm Lemon Verbena Marigold Mexican Gherkin Mint

Always plant mint in a container.

Nasturtium Pea Peach Radish Raspberry Rhubarb Rosemary Sage Strawberry

Cocktails Serrano Spiced Paloma Lavender Bees Knees Lemon Balm Simple Syrup The Verbena & Mint Fleurs du Friday Tipple Pickled Summer Martini Mint Sekanjabin Spearmint Summer Cocktails Pineapple Mint Mojito Ginger-Mint Julep Nasturtium & Grapefruit Paloma Two Snaps Peach Better Have My Honey Wild Radish Raspberry Thyme Smash The Pink 75 Rhubarb Refresher Mocktail Lemon Rosemary Bourbon Sour

Basic Gardening Information Top Ten Plants for Your Edible Garden Container Gardening Podcast Creating a Home Orchard

Wild Drinks by Emily Han Many of the links above take you to recipes created by Emily Han. If you’re interested in making unique and delicious beverages (cocktails and mocktails), pick up her book Wild Drinks. It’s well worth the purchase.

No Garden? Full-Shade Garden? Forage! (Hint: It’s another article about Wild Drinks. Can you tell how much I love this book?)

No Waste Strawberry Cordial Tarragon Cooler

Thyme

Flowering Thyme

Watermelon

Soil Web Information

Whiskey Sage The Pineapple Express

Tarragon

Tomato

To Learn More:

Tomato Water Mocktail Boozy Tomatoes Watermelon Gochujang Margarita

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H erb Gard en Cocktails

Taprock with

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Bryan Burke and I are cut from the same cloth. Throughout our time working together (he in the kitchen and I as bar manager and now general manager), we have often followed similar logic to the same conclusion; Taprock Beer Bar and Refuge is one of those conclusions. Opened in late 2016, it's the place where we both want to be, and we are both doing exactly what we want to do: food without pretense and marketing buzzwords. We aren't trying to find a room on the menu where we can put a trendy ingredient; we are just putting out the food we like and hoping people dig it. It's a place where we can feel free to experiment and try new things our own way. It’s been well received, and that's a really great feeling.

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Oak-Aged Bay Leaf Manhattan For true pioneers and homesteaders, the first thought of spring is preparing for next winter. The thought behind this cocktail is to take your first bay leaves of the year, dry them, and get them into some whiskey – something not too sweet, like Litchfield Distillery Batcher’s Bourbon. To dry, take several sprigs, tie them together, and hang them in your kitchen for one week; you can also purchase them dried. After a week of infusing, remove the bay leaves and store in an oak barrel or a glass jar with oak infusion spirals or cubes (easily found online). Let it sit for the next couple of months and come fall, when you’re sick of pumpkin spice, enjoy this Manhattan: • 3 oz. bay leaf whiskey • 1 oz. quality sweet vermouth (Noilly Prat is my go-to) • 1 dash angostura bitters • Luxardo Maraschino cherries Fill a 10-oz. rocks glass with ice and add whiskey, vermouth, and bitters. Pierce a cherry with a skewer and use it to stir the ingredients.

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Herb Limecello Chef Bryan and I are excited to play with the flavor combination of thyme and lime zest. The combo lends itself to names too corny for me to use comfortably, so I call this beverage Herb Limecello: • Zest of 5 limes • 12 springs of fresh thyme • 1 dash angostura bitters • 100-proof vodka • 2 c. sugar Combine the limes and thyme – sprigs, stems, and all – in a large mixing bowl. Pour in 750 ml. (standard bottle size) bottle of your favorite vodka. My favorite is Rime Vodka by Westford Hill Distillers in Ashford; it’s local, organic, and has a great price point for the value. Refrigerate for 24-36 hours and strain. Mix in sugar and stir until dissolved. Pour back into the vodka bottle and store in the freezer. Pour one on the rocks to reward yourself every time you mow the lawn this summer!

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Snow Pea Martini The challenge with infusing spirits with leafy greens is the balance in timing. If they infuse for too long, the cellulose in the greens will break down, and the end product will taste like grass clippings. If the greens don’t infuse the spirits for long enough, you won’t extract the maximum amount of flavor. To get over this hurdle, I use the freezer. The slower the water in the greens freezes, the bigger the crystals it forms. The crystals break down the cell walls of the greens, allowing for a more efficient infusion process after thawing the mixture. Try it with one cup of chopped, fresh snow peas. Pour in 750 ml. of your favorite vodka, cover, and freeze for at least four hours. Remove from freezer; once the mixture hits room temperature, let it sit for an additional four hours. After straining, the finished product will taste exactly like garden-fresh snow peas. • 4 oz. snow pea vodka • 12 springs of fresh thyme • Shaker full of ice • One jalapeno slice Combine vodka and ice in shaker and shake it for at least two straight minutes. Strain it into a martini glass and add a thin jalapeno slice. Drink it in the sun.

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The Betty Chip Liquore Strega, an Italian digestif made with saffron, mint, and fennel, pairs beautifully with fresh dill. The two ingredients are unique in the way that they can be bright and acidic, or have darker, low-end notes, depending on the context in which they are presented. Add some gin into the mix, and the flavor becomes even more complex and nuanced. I prefer Foggy Harbor Gin, distilled in small batches in Preston. • 2 sprigs fresh dill • 1 orange slice • 1½ oz. Foggy Harbor Gin • ½ oz. Liquore Strega • 1 oz. pineapple juice In a shaker, muddle the dill and orange slice. Fill with ice and add gin, Liquore Strega, and pineapple juice. Shake vigorously for about one minute, allowing the pineapple juice to foam. Strain onto fresh ice in a 12-oz. glass of your choice.


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Contract Filler:

The Benefits of Co-Packing in Small Business

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You

know those food blogs and Pinterest posts that paint the perfect picture of small business ownership with a pristine, vintage-inspired home studio complete with a sleeping baby, yoga mat, and French press? It doesn’t always work that way, does it? When you don’t house the appropriate set-up that your small business requires in your home, or if your business is a second source of income, contract packing (or co-packing) helps impresarios like you establish and grow your business, clarify your overhead, design and strengthen your branding, and manage your operation schedule more efficiently. As discussed in the Winter Issue’s article, Makers Gonna Make, small businesses are most often dreamt up, designed, and created in the home. And if you have the materials, space, time, and permits that you need to operate profitably, don’t change a thing; you’ve found what works for you. The reality is, most business owners – of any size – don’t have the resources they need to run the show from home – at least not for long. In many cases, there isn’t always a desire to, either. When your business has outgrown its bassinet, but you’re not ready to lease, build, or purchase a production space, co-packing can help bridge the gap without irresponsible or unnecessary financial risk. Contract manufacturers exist in every major industry; in this context, we’ll explore the process of co-packing prepared foods. Aaron Syman, owner and operator of Swanky Sauce, shared his experience using a co-packer to make, bottle, and even brand his growing, signature selection of condiments. It started in the summer of 2012, after Aaron and Liz Syman moved from Colchester to Salem to start a small, family hobby farm. They purchased 10 acres, took down 800 trees, and as he put it, “worked backwards” to design Syman Says Farms, raising chickens, goats, and rabbits. Late in the season, Aaron’s habanero plants yielded more peppers than he could use, so he smoked them at home to preserve them for future use. Always a fan of spicy food, he fooled around with some online recipes for barbecue-style sauce, Frankenstein-ed his own, and put the final product to the test at a large first grade graduation party the family hosted. Aaron cooked 50 lbs. of pulled pork for 65 guests, and unveiled his handiwork. “After all, you can’t pamper this beautiful meat and then insult it with cheap sauce.” His guests loved it and suggested that he bottle it. ctfoodandfarm.com

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After starting at home making five gallon batches at a time, jarring it in Mason jars, and selling to family and friends, Aaron and Liz decided it was time to do the math and discern what was required to become a legal operation. This is where our story deviates from the at-home entrepreneur. Aaron already has a day job – he works full-time for a telecommunications company and therefore keeps traditional work hours. “I simply wasn’t in a position to dedicate my weekends to the farmers’ market circuit, so I did some research on co-packing.”

Cost/Benefit Do your homework. Learn more about the co-packing facilities in your area, their production minimums, and the spectrum of services they provide. In the Symans’ case, they reached out to three. One didn’t get back to them, one said their yield was too low, and the third blossomed into the mutually-benecial relationship that Swanky Sauce has with its co-packer, Onofrio’s Ultimate Foods in New Haven. (If you’re just starting out, take this lesson to heart – not everyone calls back.) Onofrio’s consulted with Aaron and Liz on their product, produced a quote to manufacture, bottle, label, and box the sauce, and the deciding factor was clear and simple: “We learned that we could have our product made at Onofrio’s, under our supervision with our recipe, by food-service professionals in a commercial kitchen for less money than we could on our own – what dictates that is volume." Because co-packers can buy pantry items in bulk, overhead expenses shrink. For Aaron, ingredients like highquality olive oil from New York, Pennsylvania honey, and his own smoked habanero peppers are the priority and are specific to Swanky Sauce. Outside of that, components such as salt, pepper, and brown sugar, which are purchased wholesale and housed in bulk at Onofrio’s, keep costs lower than making his product at home.

The Big Picture It took about two weeks to source the required ingredients, and the Symans were invited in for Swanky Sauce’s maiden voyage. “It was emotional, exciting, and totally nerve wracking. Onofrio’s team met us in lab coats, notebooks in hand. We stayed the entire day and worked with them to create our sauce from scratch, pump it from the kettle to the boiling line, and watch our little soldiers get labeled and boxed

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Onofrio’s even assisted with the packaging by recommending label designers with whom they already had a working relationship – an added value of interfacing with a co-packer. They also assisted in building the nutritional information. Because Swanky Sauce is part of (what will soon be) an overarching collection, Onofrio’s guidance helped Aaron keep the bigger picture in mind when designing the look of his product. Working with a consulting manufacturer presents a spectrum of benefits for the business owner, but what I’ve learned through Aaron’s experience is that a co-packer asks questions that perhaps you’ve not yet asked yourself during the R&D phase of your small business. You can’t put a price tag on how valuable that is.

Quality of Life Four children, a growing brood of farm animals, a house, and full-time jobs meant that in order to pursue this venture, the Symans needed the freedom to sell, market, and deliver their product on their own terms – and working with a co-packer allowed them to do just that. Aaron would rather work longer during the week doing deliveries in order to preserve family time on the weekends – flexibility that farmers’ market vendors will never see. On the cusp of going full-distribution, Swanky Sauce represents a co-packer’s versatility. Onofrio's assisted Swanky Sauce in becoming a legal business, and took the pressure off of operating a home production facility so that increased efforts could go in to marketing the product. (After all, once you’ve made and bottled 1,000 bottles of Swanky Sauce, you’ve got your work cut out for you, given the shelf life.) However, using a co-packer doesn’t have to be a stepping stone; it’s a lasting, profitable option.

Dispelling Myths As we all make moves to become closer to our food and its origins, it’s easy to picture an assembly line and assume that the product made is as static and austere as the factory itself. It’s not just inaccurate, it stigmatizes all the small businesses that design outstanding recipes and products and work with a third party to bring it to market. Co-packers ensure quality standards, consistent ingredient sourcing, and a dependable production schedule. Get on the phone, weigh your options, and learn as much as you can about this potential avenue for your business. You could very well have found the component that will help you bring your brainchild out of the garage and into a lucrative, sustainable source of income.


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ZERO PROPHET COFFEE: NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE

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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. Driving down a serpentine country road in Washington, we landed in the driveway of a quintessential New England shake-sided house with a white barn in front. This was the home of Nick Benson, his family, and Zero Prophet Coffee. Nick greeted us in the driveway and without wasting a minute, we set off to work. He parted the doors to the barn, revealing an immaculate apple-red and stainless steel Diedrich coffee roaster, roughly 6’ tall and 5’ wide, weighing almost 900 pounds. Attempting to span the chasm between a coffee devotee ( Jake) and an agnostic (me), Nick carefully considered which of his green bean (unroasted) varietals would please us both, settling on nine lbs. grown at Paraiso Farms in the Jinotega region of Nicaragua. Buttons were pushed, gauges were checked, beans went into the hopper, and the whir of the machine filled the room. Simultaneously, Nick scribbled in a book where he maintains the details of each roast, helping him calibrate future perfect batches. We watched the beans through the viewing window of the Diedrich like a pair of anticipatory Charlie Buckets, colors slowly transitioning from pale green to shades of darkening chocolate brown. Coffee roasting is a series of chemical reactions with visual and audible cues to signify different stages of the roast. Temperature, timing, and air circulation are all vigilantly monitored to ensure success, as one missed signal or inaccurate setting can spell disaster or worse – bitter coffee! In coffee roasting, the term “first crack” literally refers the first crack of the bean. The application of heat causes moisture in the bean to evaporate, creating a sound like popping corn. If Nick had stopped the roast at this point, we would have had a light roast comparable to New England or Cinnamon. Next, we listened for the “second crack,” a more subtle sound likened to splintering or sizzling, created by oil making its way to the surface of the beans. Stopping at this point would result in a Vienna or Full City roast. Throughout the process, Nick jubilantly declared each stage, until our roast was complete. The beans were quickly released from the drum and poured into the cooling tray, where a steel paddle spun them to room temperature. With our roasted beans ready for their evolution to brewed alchemy, we set off for the house. As we walked, Nick explained that it was once a gardener’s quarters and stable, while the roastery was a pole barn. Both structures were ancillary to the main house on the property, all of which have been in his wife Lili’s family for nearly 80 years.

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Nick met his sweetheart Lili (Natalie) Dyer when she responded to a post he placed in a Boston bookstore seeking a person conversant in Italian. Apparently, the conversation went very well, and they married in 2000. Shortly thereafter, Nick and Lili relocated to Lili’s family homestead in Washington. Nick began work as an English teacher at The Gunnery, a local co-ed boarding school, and Lili joined him there in 2014, teaching English (as a second language) and French. My research determined the Benson-Dyer union represents an amalgamation of language, culture, and education. Within this family’s immediate tree branches, at least one member can speak, read, and write one or more of the following languages: English, French, Italian, Slovenian, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, and Russian. Nick is the son of the internationally-respected Raymond E. Benson, a US Foreign Service Officer, who served the US from 1957 to 1987 in many capacities and countries, including Croatia, Germany, Turkey, Serbia, and Russia. While in service, Raymond met and married Brooklyn-born Shirley Sherman, who was a Russian Embassy translator. Shirley’s Russian was so fluent, she was entrusted to translate Sergei Khrushchev’s memoir Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower. With that said, Raymond and Shirley’s most important works were produced in the late mid-century and they are named Carolyn, Michael, and Nicholas. The Benson children spent their childhood exploring the world, spending large chunks of time housed in the Moscow Embassy, during which time Alfredo (the in-house Italian cook) made a lasting impression on Nick. “Alfredo roasted his own coffee (with beans he brought back from trips home to Italy) on the stovetop in what was referred to as ‘Uncle Sam's’. I'm sure that inhaling that aroma at the age of nine – and recognizing Alfredo's fine sense of style and red Alfa Romeo - is one of my formative coffee experiences.” Alfredo’s coffee was a renowned and frequent topic of conversation among Embassy staffers and guests. As Nick grew, so did his coffee obsession. Having the opportunity to enjoy coffee around the globe, he developed a sophisticated palate. It became increasingly difficult to find the quality of coffee he craved, since genuine artisan coffee was rare stateside, even more so in rural Connecticut. Nick decided to delve into crafting his own roast. He started simply, using a popcorn machine, which works well twofold: the ability to see the beans roast and suitable air circulation. He stepped up to a one-lb. electric roaster, which eventually burnt out from overuse (because now friends were putting in requests for coffee). In 2007, Nick went legitimate and formed Zero Prophet Coffee, purchased a five-lb. roaster, which he had for 130

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several years. In late 2016, after fortification to the pole barn floor, the 11-lb. capacity Diedrich was installed. We entered the family home, met Nick and Lili’s children, Hezzy (nine) and Katharine (13), and the family pets. We sat at the cozy kitchen table as Nick set out to win our collective coffee hearts. It certainly wasn’t my first cup of coffee, but this was a different experience and I was pleasantly surprised with the coffee's complexity; I found it to be intricate and fullbodied, and could taste individualized notes of chocolate, citrus, and nut. I drank the whole cup – not even to be polite (because I am not that polite). As a parting gift, Nick sent both Jake and I home with bags of roasted coffee beans. My bags were re-gifted to my coffee-worshiping husband, who mail orders coffee from an out-of-state roaster to whom he is fiercely loyal. I knew there would be a brutally honest review, and his agreement to deviate from his “brand” was a considerable concession. Zero Prophet’s Java Taman Dadar (grown in Eastern Java) and Congo Kivu (grown in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo) were so well-received, the bags were completely consumed in little time. This was the exactly the affirmation I was after, as my husband would never drink coffee he didn’t love, even for me. Nick is steadfast about sourcing beans from purveyors who are sensitive to causes and programs such as organic farming, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Bird-Friendly and Direct Trade. Without these organizations in place, coffee farmers and growing environments are not protected. For example, Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) has labor policies forbidding child and forced labor, as well as stringent regulations for employee safety, ensuring access to proper medical attention and guidelines for equipment maintenance. With respect to environmental considerations, FTUSA restricts pesticide use, and requires sustainable farming practices to protect biodiversity, maintain soil productivity, conserve water, and properly manage waste. Finally, a Fair Trade- or Rain Forest Alliance-certified grower will receive approximately 68% more return on their product through these programs versus traditional channels. With these initiatives in place, farmers receive a fair price, the consumer is guaranteed knowledge of the products’ origins, and a portion of the proceeds are earmarked for communit y development and environmental stewardship.

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NICK IS INTENSELY- DEVOTED TO CREATING A SUPERIOR PRODUCT, IS TREMENDOUSLY INTELLIGENT, BUT IS COMPLETELY APPROACHABLE, HUMBLE, AND EARNEST. I LIKE THAT IN PEOPLE. I LIKE NICK BENSON.

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In researching Nick, I stumbled upon a website that allows students to “rate their teacher.” One student called Nick the “coolest cat ever,” and I have to agree. Nick is intensely-devoted to creating a superior product, is tremendously intelligent, but is completely approachable, humble, and earnest. I like that in people. I like Nick Benson. If you would like to acquire your own cache of Zero Prophet Coffee, e-mail Nick at zeroprophet coffee@gmail.com. Check out his website for detailed descriptions of his varietals and blends. One lb. will cost $16-$18, plus shipping. Nick’s coffee is currently served at Community Table in Washington and Main Street Grill in Watertown, and sold at The Smithy in New Preston and The Washington Food Market in Washington.

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Hilary Adorno

loves to learn and write about the history of people, places, and things. This has served her well in many aspects of her life, including contributions to CT Food and Farm Magazine, her love of tackling complicated bead-weaving projects, as demonstrated by her jewelry business, and in her career in communications at Connecticut Junior Republic, a 113 year - old non-profit serving at-risk, special needs, and troubled boys and girls.

Winter Caplanson

our editor in chief, lives at Bailey Farm in Franklin, a parcel that was part of a land deal struck in 1665 by trapper John Ayer and Chief Uncas himself. Tradition says John had some difficulties with Native American Indians in Massachusetts and fled to the wilderness of Connecticut. He found peace in the little house he built by the ledges of Ayer’s Gap, as does she.

Ashley Caroline

is a wedding photographer in Wilton, CT. When she's not photographing couples all over the Northeast, she loves having mini adventures with her husband, one-year-old son, and rescue pup.

Kelley Citroni

is a contributing author to and editor of CT Food and Farm Magazine; she's also a full-time grant writer who loves tequila almost as much as she loves red pens.

Charlie Colasurdo

is a Staples High School junior, an aspiring foodie and photojournalist who is eagerly anticipating the first signs is spring - from spring peepers making music, to ducks hatching, to the opening of outdoor farmers markets and food festivals.

Jeanine Dell'Orfano

is a rare breed enthusiast. She breeds and shows Bergamasco Sheepdogs and lives on a farm in Durham with her family, goats, chickens, and Norwegian Fjord horses. She runs two businesses from home - her photography business, Jeanine Rose, and Solstice Handcrafted, an organic line of handmade skincare products. Most of her time though is spent working with animals and running the Bergamasco Sheepdog Club of America.

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BOBBIE EMERY

of Clatter Ridge Farm lives and farms in Farmington with her wife and best friend Anne. When she is not trying to prove that she is indeed smarter than her sheep, she can be found trying to locate the pigs.

Caroline Finnegan

is a landscape designer, florist, and manager of a lovely farmers' market. She also fosters cats and kittens, pickles everything she can, and is in a marching band.

Gena Golas

is a pastry chef living in Wethersfield with her family, although she will drive anywhere for good coffee (or to get the kids to nap).

Laura Graham

at age almost-50, has come to the conclusion that bon vivant means getting eight hours of sleep per night, eating nutritious food simply prepared, doing lots of yoga, loving her husband and kids, singing in the church choir, and volunteering at the local soup kitchen. She is a writer, illustrator, and owner of Drink with Food: a sales and marketing company for artisanal suppliers in the food and beverage industry.

Kris Granatek

makes her living in nonprofit management. When not at work, there’s usually something fiber-y in her hands. She’s a knitter, spinner, weaver, and dyer. Playing with color makes her heart sing; she’s looking forward to adding to her stash come spring fiber festival season.

Carla McElroy

of Carla McElroy Photography is a documentary and commercial photographer based in Connecticut. She enjoys telling stories through her images. Lover of her family, all dogs, pizza, and a good IPA.

Lisa Nichols

of Right Click Photo & Design is a New Haven area designer and photographer. When not designing or shooting for CT Food and Farm Magazine, she can be found napping with her cat Lily.


is a graphic designer and illustrator based in New London who consumes way too much caffeine and sweets. Or so she is told...

Anna Sawin

is celebrating spring this year with a trip to England and Spain, and can’t wait to see what the emerging season looks like in the farms and cities overseas. Photographing young Ivy and the lambs of Terra Firma for this season’s cover was the perfect expression of an early spring day in CT for the Stonington photographer patches of snow and patches of green grass in the same frame! When not having play dates with lambs, Anna photographs weddings and commercial clients in New England.

Myles Walsh

Amy Smith

manages Cedars of Lebanon Farm in Lebanon, CT where the yak romp and the maple syrup is infused.

Jake Snyder

is the photographer behind Red Skies Photography, and has recently done a lot of work on architectural photography for clients throughout the State of CT. He is also a student pursuing a Master in Biological Oceanography at UConn Avery Point.

had no idea what a CSA was before 2013, when fatherhood and his new job as the managing partner of The Flatbread Company forced him to open his eyes to what was grown all around our beautiful State. Now the GM of Taprock Beer Bar and Refuge, Myles spends his days off at farmers’ markets, river banks, and ice cream parlors with his four-year-old Wesley.

CONTRIBUTORS

Rita Rivera

Sherry Swanson

uses food and wine to weave people together and create memorable experiences. She is farm chef at Jones Family Farms and Winery, where she teaches people how to cook with local, seasonal ingredients from the farmers' market and farm. She is always looking for creative ways to put vegetables in the center of the plate.

Winter Caplanson


138

CT Food & Farm / Spring 2017


RECIPES

Main Dishes

Spring Meatballs at Cafemantic...........................................................p.56 Lamb Tangine at The Fez Bar & Restaurant.....................................p.60 The Lamb Burger from the Fleishers Craft Kitchen Archives.....p.65 Potato and Cheese Pierogi (Porato Ruskie)........................................p.75

DRINKS

Oak-Aged Bay Leaf Manhatan............................................................p.109 Herb Limecello.........................................................................................p.110 Snow Pea Martini.....................................................................................p.111 The Betty Chip..........................................................................................p.112

Syman Says Farms, Salem, CT- Lisa ctfoodandfarm.com Nichols, Photo

139


瀀栀漀琀漀 戀礀 䄀猀栀氀攀礀 䌀愀爀漀氀椀渀攀 倀栀漀琀漀最爀愀瀀栀礀 愀琀 吀栀攀 䠀椀挀欀漀爀椀攀猀

Connecticut Food & Farm Magazine, Spring 2017, Volume 8  

Baby animal tours at The Hickories, the making of cocktail gardens, Grandma Olie's pierogi, community farms, CT sheep and woolcraft, working...

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