The Journal Early Summer 2023

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Early Summer 2023 Uniting the Upper Delaware River Region of PA, NJ & NY
Harvey Fierstein
July 10 – 14 Creating Mythical Creatures July 17 – 21 Wearable Prints July 24 – 28 Paper to Clay Aug 14 – 18 Creative Shoe Customization Aug 21 – 25 Live Edge Furniture for Teens Sept 16 – 17 Blacksmithing for Teens Oct 7 – 8 Paper Marbling for Teens Oct 21 July 31 – Aug 4 Andrea (Aye) David Teaches: Abstraction & Printmaking es ioon LEARN US with ion & Printmakin ra An Ab Immersive Workshops Artist Residencies Exhibition Gallery Gift Shop Layton, NJ 4 ly 3 Ju PetersValley.org 973-948-5200 Wheel Thrown Pottery Youth Workshops PETERSVALLEY SCHOOL OF CRAFT

Publisher & Editor

Amy Bridge publisher@milfordjournal.com

Cover Line

Design Team

Kristy Jamison Danielle Casey

Associate Editor

B’Ann Bowman bann_bowman@yahoo.com

Advertising Team

Amy Bridge amy@milfordjournal.com

Susan Mednick susanmed2@optonline.net

The Journalists

Julia Schmitt Healy • Will Voelkel

Bob Chernow • Alison Porter

Donald L. Terpening • Eric Francis

The tri-state upper Delaware River highlands and valleys are a place of rare beauty…

Seeing the region and living in it almost aren’t enough. Such beauty should be captured on canvas or film so that one can truly appreciate it, glimpse it in the quiet of an art gallery or museum, or between the pages of a poetry book or literary sketch.

The Journal Group’s mission is to capture these momentary snapshots of beauty graphically and through the written word. We celebrate our area and the uniqueness of the people who live and work in the tri-state region. From Pike to Wayne and Monroe to Lackawanna Counties in Pennsylvania, upriver to Sullivan County and on to Orange County in New York, and to the headwaters of the Wallkill

Editorial Readers

Robert Bowman

Amy Smith

Kimberly Hess kimberlyhess212@gmail.com

The Poet

Kara Fereno

Mission

River and along Sussex County’s rolling hills in New Jersey, with quaint, historic towns and hamlets at the center, the Journal Group opens its doors to our communities, businesses and organizations, to serve as a communicative journal of all that we have to offer for those who live here and for those who love to visit us, too.

Publication Information

The Journal Group publishes The Journal ten times a year and distributes it in eight counties in PA, NJ and NY. We assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission. We reserve the right to refuse to print advertisements that we deem inappropriate. All rights reserved.

Early Summer 2023 Uniting the Upper Delaware River Region of PA, NJ & NY
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Harvey Fierstein Harvey Fierstein Portrait Photo by Bruce Glikas
5 Contents 10 • art • Harvey Fierstein 14 • food • Summer Launch 18 • history • 18th-Century Medicine 24 • life • Makos + Solberg 30 • nature • Herbalicious 6 • journal entry 7 • poem 8 • around the towns 39 • signs Early Summer 2023

It’s summer.

Maine calls to me, standing in the oxymoron of nature’s grounded freedom with a beauty you can understand, if only you’ve spent some time there.

Unlike a familiar beach, rocky sand spreads under foot with not a Ferris wheel in sight. Seagulls screech above the woman searching for sea glass on a deserted cove, knowing they were there first, along with perfumed pine forests and moose and soft belly clams.

The wide-open byways traverse stretches of scenic routes rolling down to the thundering ocean, which breaks on the steps of ancient cliff and rock.

Maine is backroads general stores, wood shelves stocked with cans of beef stew sharing space with oysters, and the scent of coffee in the air. It’s the glistening bays that sway with a soft tidal pulse, bringing you into a time gone by. Artists seek gentle days to put on palette, musicians test strings and tunes, and poets write feeling with words, alongside hard-working lobstermen with independent souls.

Maine tugs and pulls and tugs again until it’s sure you hear the call.

Ode to Orrs Island

A peaceful flapping gull wings by on sunlit tip of day.

Three black-billed geese

On practice run

Across the placid bay.

The sailboat slips

The water sleek

A glassy buoyant round.

A bouncing dock

Hides piece of shade

A lazy cat has found.

The mighty copse of trees

Stand guard

On path to sandy cay.

A tickling breeze

A tranquil sigh

The dinghies gently sway.

A sweet caress

On creaking deck

The wooden rocking chair.

A knowing look

As dusk appears

At peace without a care.

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Entry
Journal
Amy
Photo by Amy Bridge

Canopy

I reminisce of simple days Playing under the canopy of the willow Crown of flowers in my hair and grass beneath my feet I imagined what future would hold How I sought to rush my youth Years slipped by Seasons flew, then days to years Oh, to slow the sands of time And tightly grasp those days To yet again be a child at play under the canopy

Poem
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Four Sisters Winery

Around the Towns

Early Summer

Saturdays 6 p.m.

Wildflower Music Festival. Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary, White Mills, PA. Outdoor festival. $13–$26. Info: 570.253.1185, doflinger.org.

Saturdays & Sundays Noon–4 p.m.

Bittersweet Memories: Lost Towns of the Catskill Watersheds. Augmented reality exhibition, exploring the heartache & loss of homes taken for New York City’s water systems.Info: 845.985.7700, www. timeandthevalleysmuseum.org.

Sundays 1–4 p.m.

Tours at Foster Armstrong House. Montague, NJ. Hosted by M.A.R.C.H. Free but donations appreciated. Info: 973.262.8001.

July 3rd

Monday 5–10 p.m.

Food Truck & Fireworks Festival. Riverside Park, Port Jervis, NY. Live bands & games. $5. Info: pjfoodtruckfireworks.org.

July 4th

Tuesday 10 a.m.–dark

4th of July Celebration. Main Street, Liberty, NY. Vendors, parade, entertainment, fireworks. Hosted by Liberty Rising and Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce. Info: 845.791.4200, www.catskills.com.

11 a.m.

4th of July Parade. Elks Lodge, Sparta, NJ. Refreshments after at Dykstra Park. Free. Hosted by Sparta Elks. Info: 973.726.0169, spartaelks.org.

9:00 p.m.

Fireworks over Lake Wallenpaupack. Wallenpaupack Area High School, Hawley, PA. Hosted by Northern Poconos Chamber of Commerce. Info: 570.226.3191, northern poconos.org.

July 7th

Friday 9:00–10:30 a.m.

Rid Litter Day. Kittatinny Valley State Park, Newton, NJ. 2.5-mile litter pick-up.Info: 973.786.6445.

July 7th–9th

Friday–Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Artists’ Studio Tour. Wayne County, PA. Hosted by the Wayne County Arts Alliance. Free. Info: 570.729.5740, www. waynecountyartsalliance.org.

July 8th

Saturday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Countryside Garden Tour. Railroad Green, Warwick, NY. Visit local private gardens. $25. Hosted by Warwick Valley Gardeners.Info: 973.343.1605, warwickvalleygardeners.org.

Noon–5 p.m.

Peace, Love & Dogs! Pupstock Festival. Sussex County Fairgrounds, Augusta, NJ. Dog activity zones, adoptions, art, food trucks, live music, vendors. $5–$20. Info: pupstock.com.

Noon–5 p.m.

Founders Day Street Fair. Wurtsboro, NY. Hosted by Wurtsboro Board of Trade. Music, food, crafts & more. Benefits scholarship fund.Info: www.wurtsboro.org.

1 p.m.–4 p.m.

Poetry at the Parc. Luna Parc, Sandyston, NJ. Youth poetry event, ages 12–22. Presented by the Luna Parc Atelier Foundation. Free but pre-registration required.Info: 973.948.2160, www.lunaparcfoundation.org.

7 p.m.

The 39 Steps. Playhouse at Museum Village, Monroe, NY. Presented by Creative Theatre–Muddy Water Players. A mix of a Hitchcock masterpiece, juicy spy novel & dash of Monty Python. For tickets & dates of other performances in July: 845.294.9465, ctmwp.org.

July 9th

Sunday 2–4 p.m.

Music in the Park. Anne Street Park, Milford, PA. 8 Fingers Band. Info: Facebook: Music in the Park.

4:00–5:30 p.m.

Florian Schwantz Jazz Combo. Van Kirk Museum, Sparta, NJ. Bring your chair & picnic lunch and listen to jazz. Nonmembers $10. Hosted by the Sparta Historical Society. Info: 973.726.0883, vankirkmuseum.org

July 10th–14th

Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

Harry Potter Palooza: A Camp for Wizards Sparta Train Station, Sparta, NJ. Kids 8-13 years. $225. Hosted by Train Creative. Info: 973.940.3330, www.traincreative.org.

July 13th–15th

Thursday–Saturday

Sidewalk Sales. Downtown Honesdale, PA. Artisan vendors, music on Saturday. Hosted by Greater Honesdale Partnership.Info: 570.253.5492. visithonesdalepa.com.

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Private Parties • Weddings • Festivals WINE TASTING - DAILY Open 6 days a week 11am - 6pm Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sun 11am - 7pm Fri & Sat VINEYARD VIEW BISTRO Fri, Sat noon - 6pm Sun noon - 5pm Closed Wed GRAPE STOMPING - MONTHLY Formal Wine Tasting $47.50 Chicken Parm Dinner & Dessert Tickets Required MURDER MYSTERY - MONTHLY Formal Wine Tasting $50 Chicken Parm Dinner & Dessert Tickets Required (908) 475-3671 foursisterswinery.com 783 County Rd 519, Belvidere, NJ

July 15th

Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m

Secret Garden Tour. Milford, PA. Hosted by Milford Garden Club. $15–$20. Info: milfordgardenclub.com.

10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Music in the Valley. Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm, Stroudsburg, PA. Learn about folk instruments & traditional music. Info: 570.992.6161, www.quietvalley.org.

1–3 p.m.

Wilderness Walkabout. PEEC, Dingmans Ferry, PA. Join Paul Kovalski, aka Dr. Dinosaur, on hike & learn about the natural history of the park. $5. Info: 570.828.2319, peec.org.

5:30 p.m.

Serenade: Balourdet String Quartet. Grey Towers. Milford, PA. Quartets by Beethoven, Mendelssohn & Hugo Wolf. Sponsored by Kindred Spirits Arts Programs. $25. Info: 570.390.8699, kindredspiritsarts.org.

July 16th

Sunday 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Concert in the Park. Lake Marcia, High Point State Park, Sussex, NJ. Mike Lawler. Tickets, $5. Hosted by Friends of High Point State Park. Info: 973.875.4800, www. friendsofhighpointstatepark.org.

July 20th

Thursday 5–7 p.m.

Cocktails and Conservation. Here & Now Brewing Company, Honesdale, PA. Learn about the Delaware Highlands Conservancy over pizza, appetizers & drinks. $10. Info: 570.226.3164, www.delawarehighlands.org.

7 p.m.

Amazing Animal Adaptations. Delaware Township Municipal Hall, Dingmans Ferry, PA. Presentation of how wild animals escape predators and catch prey. Hosted by Dingmans Ferry-Delaware Township Historical Society. Info: dingmansferryhis toricalsociety.org.

7:30 p.m.

Music Talks: Shimmer & Klang. Catskill Art Space, Livingston Manor, NY. Hear the cimbalom, the hammered dulcimer of Eastern Europe. $20. Hosted by Weekend of Chamber Music. Info: 917.664.5185, wcmconcerts.org.

July 20th–30th Thursdays–Sundays

Orange County Fair. Orange County Fairgrounds, Middletown, NY. Rides, vendors, exhibits, concerts & more. Info: 845.343.4826, orangecountyfair.com.

July 22nd

Saturday Noon–4 p.m.

Chicken BBQ. Minisink Pavilion, Montague, NJ. Hosted by Minisink Reformed Church. $15–$17. Info: Becky at 570.228.5372.

4–6 p.m.

Gifford Pinchot: The People’s Governor. Grey Towers, Milford, PA. Learn about Pinchot’s two terms as governor of PA. Tickets required. $15–$20. Info: 570.296.9630, greytowers.org.

July 23rd

Sunday 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Riverfest. Narrowsburg, NY. Music, art, food, poster auction. Info: 845.252.7576, delawarevalleyartsalliance.org/riverfest.

July 29th

Saturday 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Christmas in July. Lusscroft Farm, Wantage, NJ. Barn sale, Christmas Cottage, craft vendors, food trucks. Benefits restoration of historic Lusscroft Farm. Info: 973.288.2760, lusscroftfarm.org.

2 p.m.

Pergamena Tannery Field Trip. Montgomery, NY. See the old-time tanning process. Hosted by Time and the Valleys Museum. Registration required. Info: 845.985.7700, www. timeandthevalleysmuseum.org

August 4th–12th 9 a.m.–11 p.m.

Wayne County Fair. Honesdale, PA. Rides, animals, food, shows. Info: 570.253.2942, waynecountyfair.com.

Weekdays Noon–10 p.m.

Weekends 10 a.m.–10 p.m.

New Jersey State Fair & Sussex County Farm & Horse Show. New Jersey State Fairgrounds, Augusta, NJ. Info: 973.948.5500, www. sussexcountyfairgrounds.org.

“Spoken Word” Open Mic on Saturday July 29th, 2023 at 7pm!

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From Bensonhurst to Broadway to…Milford Harvey Fierstein

He’splayed Tevye in Fiddler, Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, and more recently, Bella Abzug in Bella Bella. He has not only acted in live theater, movies, and television, he’s written numerous plays and musicals, sung in many of his award-winning roles, has done voices for several animated films and television shows, and has even written a children’s book. Whew!

So, what a treat it was to interview him about his recent project—a New York Times bestseller memoir, titled I Was Better Last Night, which he will be discussing at the 2023 Milford Readers and Writers Festival in September.

As expected, the voice on the other end of the line was unmistakable. It’s not due to smoking as many people assume, although he did do some of that long ago. It’s due to genetics—he has an “overdeveloped vestibular fold in his vocal chords,” giving him a sort of “double voice.”

I told him I felt like I knew him after reading the book. It’s so conversational and intimate. “Yes,” he says. “So many memoirs are dictated and then edited or written by someone else. It’s as if they are not talking to the reader.” Of course, he has the built-in advantage of being a stellar writer, not to mention the fact that he is enormously funny and has had an amazing life.

The book was a child of Covid-19. Things were shut down. There was no theater, there were no new productions to work on. It was a propitious time to write a book. And what a book! It’s honest. It’s readable. There’s pathos and humor. He was present through the early days of experimental theater in New York. He witnessed the scourge of the AIDS epidemic. He struggled financially and put his considerable energy into creating cutting-edge works and performances. He was who he was, and is who he is. Sui generis. (Latin for unique; one-ofa-kind.)

I ask him, “What was your process in writing this book? How did you handle writing about people who are still alive?” He tells me, “I asked everyone if I could use their names. If they wanted me to change their names, I did in a few cases. Most were willing to let me write about them and answered with ‘Great.’”

Fierstein has divided the memoir into 59 shortish chapters or sections, which begin with an early memory of a school production of Sleeping Beauty in which he lusted after the part of the evil witch but had to suffer taking the larger, more important role of the king. (His good

friend Philomena Marano got to play the evil witch, which meant she got to have “green skin, red lips and long black fingernails.”) It seems he always had his predilections firmly in place.

His family was a typical middle-class Jewish family, living in Brooklyn. His father, Irving, was a manufacturer of handkerchiefs, and his mother, Jackie, was a housewife who loved education and the arts. She volunteered at the school library, eventually being “allowed” by her husband to at last finish her high school diploma and work her way up to get her master’s degree in library science. He quips, “Is there any reason to mention that she earned much better college grades than I did?”

His mother became a full-time librarian at Jackie Robinson Junior High. Harvey and his slightly older brother, Ron, attended many Broadway musicals and were exposed to the arts section in the New York Times through her.

Fierstein writes about being “artistic,” which back then was a euphemism for being gay. Attending the vocational High School of Art and Design in Manhattan, he came to realize that he was gay, which was no surprise to his good friend, Michael, nor to one of his teachers. He confides in the book, “What the hell? Why was I the last to get the memo?”

A major event in Harvey’s life around this time was his association with a small theater company called the Gallery Players. The mom of his friends Lauren and Jill was starting a community theater in Flatbush. He was asked to help make posters and, along with Michael, wound up working on lights, pulling the curtain, painting sets, and generally doing “grunt kind of stuff.” When auditions for Our Town rolled around, they both auditioned for roles as brothers and, as Fierstein relates, “Obviously, I got the bigger role, or I wouldn’t be telling this story.”

It’s heartening to see how Fierstein was able to juggle school along with his interest in the theater. He had to keep his parents somewhat placated as they were naturally concerned about his future.

In 1971, when he was seventeen, he saw an ad for an open casting call for a play by Andy Warhol. “I wanted to meet him,” he says. So he found his way down to East Fourth Street, where none other than Ellen Stewart of La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club directed him to “Go bebe. Get on in.” Warhol wasn’t there, but the director and creator, Tony Ingrassia, was.

11 Art By Julia Schmitt Healy
Continued on next page
Photos courtesy of Aaron Meier of DKC/O&M

Fierstein proceeded to audition with the balcony scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, not your usual experimental theater fare. He relates, “They howled. Howled! I pushed on….And I got a role in the show.” The dialogue consisted of bits of phone calls from Factory-regular Bridget Berlin spliced together from tapes. It was titled Pork, since Warhol referred to her as Bridget Pork. “It was a very avant-garde play,” he says.

Fierstein wound up playing a character in drag—his first, but not his last time in a dress and wig. The play went to London after the New York run, but he was too young to go. He wound up taking a drama counselor position at a summer camp, which he quit almost immediately.

The association with Ellen Stewart, “who believed in me and pushed me,” and her theater eventually led to new friends, such as Ronald and Harvey Tavel, Donald L. Brooks, and others. Harvey Tavel was responsible for encouraging Fierstein to write something. “You act in all of these shows, most of which aren’t very good. I’m sure, if you tried, you could do as well. You’re smart, You’re funny….” The result was In Search of the Cobra Jewels, and Harvey Fierstein the writer was born.

Most people will know about Fierstein’s big hits, such as his Torch Song Trilogy, both as a play and also a film, but his memoir gives us the birthing story. Art doesn’t just happen. So it’s wonderful to get the who, what, where, how, and why. We get the backstories behind Hairspray, La Cage Aux Folles, and his Kinky Boots collaboration with Cyndi Lauper. We find out how he came to star in Fiddler on the Roof and write an update of The Wiz and then Funny Girl. These stories also touch on the many Tony, Emmy, Drama League Award nominations or wins he’s had, both as an actor and a writer.

The tireless energy he gave to his projects is dizzying. I had a hard time choosing from the fascinating gems he has written about. (I’ve left out so much!) He’s performed all over. He seems to know everybody.

The memoir takes us through Fierstein’s many relationships and heartaches. He talks about the AIDS crisis and the terrible losses that ensued. He talks about closeted celebrities and how they “collected the big checks, leaving the struggle for our rights to others.”

Of course, his life has not been all glitter, fun, applause, and pure acceptance for who he is. We learn that his relationship with his mother wasn’t always easy. His coming-out story to his parents is quite poignant. He had to have the courage to be who he was. Period. A photo of a sign in the book reads, “Accept No One’s Definition of Your Life; Define Yourself.—Harvey Fierstein.” And he has.

We are given a very honest accounting of how Fierstein became sober, as well as a harrowing experience of open heart surgery in 2015.

Recently, his timely play, Casa Valentina, was produced at the Provincetown Playhouse. Written thirteen years ago, it is based on an actual weekend spot in the Catskills where in the 1950s to the 1970s, men—some of them heterosexual—would dress up and “be the girls within” for a few days in a safe, supportive, environment. You couldn’t lump them all into a single category such as “gay,” “transvestite,” or “cross-dresser.” As Fierstein explains in the book, “I came to one dependable and certain conclusion: there is no such thing as normal.”

“So what are you working on now?” I query. “Well, there’s a writer’s strike on, so I’m taking a break from that. Funny Girl is on Broadway through September 4th…that’s been an adventure. And Newsies and Kinky Boots are touring….

“We might be bringing an insane production of La Cage from Berlin to New York in 2025. It’ll be sung in German!…and I recently went to the 20th anniversary party for Hairspray at 54 Below. I drove in, and, as I went down the stairs, I said to myself, ‘This is a stupid idea.’ I went down anyway, and 25 of the 37 people there got Covid, including me!”

Want more? Get the book and arrange for your ticket to the Milford Readers and Writers Festival. I have.

Art by Justin “Squigs” Robertson
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Scene from Kinky Boots
Continued

A Few Things You May Not Know about Harvey Fierstein

• His Wikipedia entry is 10 pages long. It will definitely make you feel lazy.

• He’s a huge animal lover and thanks every pet he’s ever “shared more than my bed” in his acknowledgments: Penny, Coco, Georges, Bubbie, Buster, Maggie, Butchie, Zach, Elvis, Little Shit, Lola, Big Boy, Samson, and Good Time Charlie Brown.

• Fierstein holds a BFA Degree in Art from Pratt Institute. They readied him to become an art teacher but… (Clearly that became a “road not taken.”)

• When he was in high school, his English teacher invited a friend to class, none other than Anais Nin. The teacher knew of Harvey’s interest in tarot cards, so she asked him to do Nin’s reading. Things became jumbled and “indecipherable” until he saw a vision of a red macaw. After telling them what had appeared to him, Nin interpreted it as a sign to return to South America and called him “a delight.”

• His signature begins with the ASL line drawing of a hand signing ILY, meaning I Love You. (No, it’s not a rabbit or anything off-color….)

• Fierstein is a dedicated quilter. His art and design abilities are reflected in his original designs. His theory is that quilts are the “best gifts ever.” Even if someone doesn’t particularly like them, they can “let the dogs sleep on them, or use them to collect leaves or throw them in the back of the car.” Check them out on his Facebook page.

• He keeps his Hirschfeld drawings on display in his… bathroom!

I Was Better Last Night is published by Alfred A. Knopf and is available in bookstores and online everywhere. See Harvey Fierstein at the 2023 Milford Readers & Writers Festival on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023, at the Milford Theater.

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Torch Song. Photo by Bruce Glikas Scene from Fiddler on the Roof Julia Schmitt Healy is an artist, writer, and professor. Her work is represented by Western Exhibitions, Chicago, Illinois. (juliahealy.com, westernexhibitions.com)
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Entertaining Summer

Ifyou want to slay all summer, you gotta start right about now. The longest days of the year are upon us, and they don’t last forever. It’s time to celebrate!

These long days extend tantalizingly before us, with the expansive feeling that the sunshine brings. It is important to welcome summer and the extra hours of daylight, which seem to imply that there is enough time for everything, that there is less pressure, less stress, and more possibilities for fun. It’s a time for serendipitous adventures and languorous nights outdoors, listening to the frogs and chatting over a cold beverage.

This is the signal to fire up the grill and invite your favorite people over to share a magical evening. Generally, it doesn’t take much coaxing to host a party and still have fun. Most friends and family are delighted to be invited anywhere. They will show up with a favorite dish or dessert to contribute to a shared meal.

At my home, we often call friends at the last minute for an impromptu barbecue, with a large table of salads, sausages, meats, cheeses, grilled vegetables, and desserts. The spread is basically a giant charcuterie board, showcasing the bounty of the season. It is, in effect, a launch party for summer.

To make the celebration fun for everyone, including the host (ahem), I start with a signature summer cocktail. In my case, this is the Wheeler Whiskey Sour. I have a tray of them, at the ready, when guests arrive.

This beloved libation was introduced by my brother-inlaw, Bob Wheeler, and quickly became an integral (and sometimes necessary) part of every family gathering. It is a brilliantly simple and devilishly effective version of the classic cocktail. It involves just three ingredients, and one of them is ice. This is why my freezer holds multiple cans of lemonade concentrate, in case of an emergency party opportunity.

Here is the not-so-secret recipe for Wheeler Whiskey Sours. Take one can of frozen lemonade, add a can of cheapish whiskey, and place in a blender with ice. Pulse until frothy. Serve in short glasses for frequent icy refills. Buzz alert: they do sneak up on you, in a very pleasurable way, lending further credence to Oscar Wilde’s saying, “Alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, may produce all the effects of drunkenness.” To slow this process down, or to acclimate those unused to this amazing libation, water can be added to the mixture in the blender. But why?

I like to hit the farmstand the day before the party for the best and ripest produce available. Back home, I survey my haul and make some homemade green goddess dressing with herbs from the garden. Then I whip up a double batch of feta dip. From past experience, this easy and addictive mixture disappears with alarming rapidity. A double batch is not too much. For good measure, I throw a quick pan of brownies in the oven and call it a day.

On the appointed day, most of the food preparation is completed outdoors, early in the afternoon. This is a serious boss move, in that at the end of the evening, no one is faced with a chaotic mess to clean up in the kitchen.

A combination of zucchini, peppers, yellow squash, eggplant, and romaine lettuce are cut up into thick chunks or strips to be grilled without falling through grates. Grilled vegetables require minimal tending. Place them on the rack over medium heat, and keep an eye on them, brushing occasionally with garlic infused olive oil. Flip them once or twice. It is crucial not to get too bored and wander away for an extended period, or you will end up with a burned batch.

Arrange the veggies on platters, sprinkle with salt and a few cranks of the pepper mill. If you’re feeling fancy, garnish the platters with fresh herbs. Serve with whipped feta dip. Next, compose a salad of tender lettuces, tomatoes, and cucumbers, add any other baby summer vegetables, cover and set aside. It is ready to be tossed with green goddess dressing.

I usually blend a first batch of whiskey sours to make sure they are as good as I remembered and test them out while I grill sweet and spicy sausages. Every time, I overbuy and think it’s too many sausages, and every time, they are all eaten with gusto. As the guests saunter in, the combination of sun, food, and sours creates an elixir of enjoyment and appreciation of the day. We graze, snack, and sip as we all catch up on each other’s lives.

The kids scatter and roam free range around the yard. After dinner, they gather around the firepit. This is the moment when the students celebrate the end of the school year by making s’mores and burning their now useless homework papers. Notebooks are ripped apart, handouts set aflame, essays, term papers, and book reports are all consigned to the firepit for a controlled burn. Proclamations, such as “I never have to take geometry again!” are followed by cheers. Whoops of victory waft happily from the direction of orange glow.

Food By Alison Porter
15 Continued on next page

Meanwhile on the deck, the grownups savor grilled peaches, a singular summer luxury. Grilling peaches or other freestone fruit is a joyful meditation for me. I arrange the halved peaches in neat rows, skin side up, and brush them with a heady mixture of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves infused in butter. When they soften and brown at the edges, I flip them and brush the insides.

Grilling the fruit releases their sugars while retaining the sumptuous shape to create a juicy caramelized treat. Coupled with vanilla ice cream and a brownie, this dessert touches on all the notes of summer.

Hosting an outdoor party does not have to be a big deal or require a lot of preparation. It just requires embracing a relaxed approach to entertaining. This could be anything from burgers on the grill, to a picnic on the lawn or a tea party under a canopy of trees. It can be as simple as sharing a cold beer out on the deck. It can be whatever you choose.

In my view, summertime entertaining is more of an attitude and a state of mind than an assembly of foods and drinks. It is a celebration of a time to gather together and renew friendships. Summer is a season to create happy memories with family and friends at a communal table.

However you choose to gather, it’s just another way of saying, “Summer is here, and all’s right with the world.”

Whipped Feta Dip

8 ounce block of feta cheese

2 ounces cream cheese

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

1 clove garlic

⅓ cup (approximately) olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon, about 1 teaspoon

Juice of 1 lemon, about 1 tablespoon

• In the bowl of a Cuisinart, pulse the garlic clove with a little olive oil.

• Break the feta cheese into the bowl and pulse until crumbled.

• Add the cream cheese, yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and process until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil as needed to make it light and fluffy.

• May be made in advance. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Green Goddess Dressing

½ cup sour cream

½ cup full-fat yogurt

1 avocado

1½ cups fresh herbs, including parsley, and any combination of basil, dill, tarragon, mint, cilantro, or other garden herb

1 scallion

1 shallot

2 teaspoons capers, drained

1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

• Blend the herbs in a food processor. Add the scallion, shallot, capers, lemon juice, and mustard, and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream, yogurt, and avocado, and pulse until mixed. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste.

• Oil and more lemon juice may be added for a thinner salad dressing.

Grilled Peaches with Sugar & Spice Sauce

12 freestone peaches, ripe but firm, cut in half with the pits removed Olive oil for brushing the grill and peach halves

• Brush a medium hot grill with oil. Brush the peaches with a light coat of oil. Place them cut side down for about 4 minutes, or until there are grill marks. Gently flip them over using tongs and cook until tender, about 5 minutes more.

• Place on a shallow dish or pan, and cover evenly with sauce. Let sit for 10 minutes. Serve the peaches with their juices accompanied by ice cream, crème fraiche and/or whipped cream. Garnish with fresh mint and a brownie.

• Serves 8 gluttons easily

Sugar and Spice Sauce

½ cup butter

⅓ cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pinch ground cloves

Juice of ½ lemon

• Melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and spices.

• Let cool slightly before pouring on the peaches.

Food Continued 16
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18

Medicine during the American Revolution

Asa Professor Emeritus of Biology, I have taught various allied health science courses for over 48 years. When I joined the 1st Ulster County Militia re-enactment unit in 1999, they asked me to develop the persona of a citizen of the 18th century. It was my wife who then said to me, why not develop the persona of an apothecary? Since I had a strong interest in chemistry as well as the courses that I taught, I felt this would be appropriate for me.

However, as I approached retirement, I became interested in the history of colonial medicine. That’s when I chose to represent a colonial doctor from the middle to late 18th century, and because of my association with the 1st Ulster, I specialized in presenting as a Revolutionary War physician.

At the beginning of the Revolution, there were approximately 3,500 to 4,000 physicians practicing in the colonies. Of those, only 700 to 750 had formal degrees. Those with degrees either earned them at the University of Edinburgh or attended one of the medical colleges in the colonies.

There were only two medical schools in 18th-century America. The College of Philadelphia, later the University of Pennsylvania, which opened in 1765, and King’s College, later Columbia University in New York City, which opened in 1768. Because these colonial medical schools were so new, by the beginning of the war, only about 50 physicians had degrees from them.

Individuals who did not possess formal medical degrees usually received their education through an apprenticeship with a practicing physician. In many ways, medicine at that time was more of a craft than a profession. This is the characterization of a colonial physician I have taken to portray.

Generally, colonial-era physicians followed the ancient teachings of the Greek physician Galen. Galen believed that the human body had four humors or fluids: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. To be in good health, one needed a balance of these humors. When the humors were out of balance, according to Galen, illness resulted.

Physicians would try to restore this balance by the processes of bleeding, purging (the use of diuretics, laxatives, and emetics), or forming blisters to draw out specific humors and, therefore, bring the humors back into equilibrium.

It was commonplace to find physicians acting as their own apothecary, formulating medications from combinations of spices, herbs, barks, mercury, opium, various mineral salts, alcohol, etc. in an attempt to treat diseases or their symptoms. So too, an apothecary might perform the activities and procedures of a physician. Both also performed common surgical procedures and even some rudimentary dentistry. There, in fact, was often little distinction between these occupations.

During the war, army encampments suffered numerous cases of dysentery (referred to as the flux), camp fever (typhoid or typhus), and/or the itch (scabies). Efforts to prevent and treat these conditions represented the main share of a physician’s daily activities.

At the time, little was known about germs or sanitation, so physicians did not know what might actually cause disease. Several diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, or typhus, were thought to be caused by “harmful vapors” instead of bacteria or parasites. Others, such as dysentery or typhoid, were assumed to come from spoiled food or water instead of from bacteria, viruses, or other microbes.

Smallpox was perhaps the deadliest disease affecting those living in the colonies, as well as in the army and militia. Throughout the 18th century, smallpox epidemics swept through the colonies, killing thousands of people. There was no way to cure the disease once someone got it. The best a physician could do was to treat the symptoms during the course of the disease.

However, physicians did try to prevent smallpox. One of the more unusual approaches was called “smoking.” They thought that smoke deactivated smallpox by cleansing individuals so that they could travel freely without transmitting the disease. Smoking involved the use of a small “house” about the size of a garden toolshed. A wood fire was lit inside, then was covered with brimstone or sulfur. Patients entered the house, which filled with fumes to fumigate the occupants.

But the most effective, and ultimately the most common, way to prevent outbreaks of smallpox was inoculation. Smallpox inoculations had been routinely performed in Africa and Arab countries for many years. And influential colonists, including the Rev. Cotton Mather and Benjamin Franklin, promoted them. Still, inoculation was not widespread in the American colonies until George Washington, knowing personally the effect smallpox could have on the Continental Army, ordered the mass inoculation of all troops.

19 History By Donald L. Terpening
Washington at Princeton, January 3rd, 1777. Continued on next page

Several processes were developed to perform inoculations, but these are the basic steps used. Clear fluid was removed from a pustule on a person with smallpox, and it was then transferred to the person to be inoculated. Once inoculated in this way, the person would experience a mild course of the disease. They would recover without the devastating effects of those who caught the disease through natural means and would be protected from the illness in the future.

During presentations at various events, I display the inoculation kit I would have used as an 18th-century physician. It consists of a copper box that holds several ivory shavings upon which was gathered the dried fluid from smallpox pustules. I also have a small lancet used to open a wound on the person to be inoculated for the introduction of the dried fluid.

Colonial physicians were mainly concerned with cuts, bruises, sprains, fractured bones, dislocated joints, boils, abscesses, and gunshot wounds. But as surgeons, they were generally restricted to cutting off parts of the body. The two major types of operations performed were amputations and trepanning.

Continued on page 22

20 History Continued
Photo courtesy of Donald
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During the Revolutionary War, amputation was the most common operation. Surgery was extremely painful for the patient who would only be given a stick or a stout piece of leather to bite on. Unfortunately, only 30 to 35 percent survived the procedure; most patients died from infection. I show replicas of the instruments and related items for amputation of limbs to those attending my presentations.

Injury to the head where the skull might be fractured, with or without brain injury, also occurred during the war. The process of trepanning means cutting through the scalp and then using a small circular saw to cut one or more small circles out of the bone of the skull to relieve pressure and bleeding. At my presentations, I use a melon to demonstrate the process, using a replica of a trepanning device.

This is just a small part of the presentations I give to audiences during my appearance at museums, historic sites, school programs, or at the 1st Ulster County Militia events. There is so much to discover and learn about 18th-century medicine that I am constantly adding to my collection. I often display my collections at presentations. To transport these objects, books, and other items to various sites, I built a replica of an 18th-century-style wheelbarrow. Obviously, the topic of 18th-century life has captured my intellectual curiosity and helps satisfy my love of teaching and learning. I thoroughly enjoy sharing it with others.

Donald Terpening will be presenting his program, Medicine during the American Revolution, at Senate House in Kingston, NY, on July 1st; Fort Delaware in Narrowsburg, NY, on July 29th; and the Persen House in Kingston on September 9th.

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Making the Art Scene Forest Hall Studios

Ifirstmet internationally renowned art photographers Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg on the cavernous second floor of Forest Hall in Milford, PA, amid a cacophony of voices and swooping gestures.

The six people gathered there are in the throes of planning the September 23rd opening of the work of three artists representing three different media: painter Hunt Slonem, photographer Vincent Caruso, and sculptor Bruce Dehnert.

Chris Makos and Paul Solberg, who live in New York and frequent Milford, are the curators of the newly branded Forest Hall Studios on Broad Street, and as they welcome me into the conversation, I learn quickly about “curating 101.”

At its essence, curating an exhibit is about making decisions regarding which works of art should be displayed

and how they should be seen. Curators also decide on the themes and ideas to be experienced by the audience.

But as I learn in my one-hour, on-site visit to Forest Hall, curating also involves collaborating with the artists and construction people about every little detail and nuance of the exhibit. Those present at this meeting discuss, opine on, and debate everything that will optimize the audience experience: colors, lighting, moveable walls, spatial considerations, fabrics, displays, shelving, graphics, signage, pedestals, angles, and much more.

“We have been coming to Milford for several years now,” Chris and Paul explain. “From day one, we fell in love with its charm, the natural beauty, and the diversity of people in the surrounding areas.”

In the early 2000s, they were introduced to Milford by current mayor Sean Strub, who had been a friend of

24 Life By Will Voelkel
Portrait, Christopher Makos + Paul Solberg, Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey Cloutier

Chris’s for many years. “We go back to the days of New York in the ’70s and ’80s.” In 2005, Strub acquired Makos + Solberg’s first body of work for Bar Louis, entitled Hippofolium (2005), which are images of Makos’s horses combined with Solberg’s flowers, under the second identity the two artists share, the Hilton Brothers. The artworks now reside in the guest rooms of Hotel Fauchere.

“I came to New York in the 1970s to be a student and protégé of Andy Warhol at The Factory, which I considered to be Warhol University,” Chris explains further. “I was an only child from Lowell, Massachusetts, and somewhat inward. I fantasized about creating and making things like little houses as a child, and as I grew up in California, I realized I had to be the creation of my own world. Later, I met actor Tony Perkins at a party in New York, and he mentored me and even gave me my first camera.”

The world of Warhol also led Chris to writing for Rolling Stone and Interview magazines and mingling with celebrities, such as Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams. “It was an exciting time in my life and in society when anything was possible, and I wanted to take full advantage of life’s possibilities,” he reflects.

Paul Solberg was born in St. Paul, MN, and in his teens was a Rotary scholar, spending two years in Southern Africa. He and Chris met in New York City through their mutual interest in bicycling. “We met on our bikes as New Yorkers often do,” Solberg says. “Chris showed me the business of ‘art by example,’ much like Andy showed Chris. I grew up surrounded by very good photographers. My father worked at my uncle’s photo shop developing pictures, and for me, being in the dark room was as common as being in the kitchen.

“At the time, fine art photography was not considered a viable vocation, simply because of access. I came to New York in the late ’90s to work in creative advertising, which led to independent film, until I resigned, going back to my original childhood language, photography. I just had to get out of my own way to find my purpose,” he says with a smile. Solberg has shown at the American Embassy in Kiev and La Casa Encendida in Madrid.

Forest Hall, where Forest Hall Studios will reside, has been under the ownership of the Milford Hospitality Group since 2020 and has a provenance of historical proportions. It was commissioned as a post office by James Pinchot in 1863 and designed by Calvert Vaux (co-architect of New York City’s Central Park, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and countless others) in a grand French Normandy style. Its 1904 addition housed lecture halls and auditoriums for the summer forestry Master’s program operated by the Yale School of Forestry at nearby Grey Towers. More recently, it has housed retail, art, and antiques shops.

25
Cheesemaker, Utah 2013. Photo by Paul Solberg Rob Lowe, 1985.
Continued on next page
Photo by Christopher Makos

“Our vision is all about balancing progress and preservation,” explains Steve Rosado, Director of Business Development at the hospitality group. “Milford has been a destination for tourists and locals alike for generations, and we want to expand on that by igniting the flame to further elevate the entire arts scene in the area.”

Having selected Chris Makos and Paul Solberg to curate the Andy Warhol exhibit last fall, the hospitality group’s natural next step was to invite them to curate future art exhibits and events at Forest Hall Studios. “I consider Bill Rosado, owner of the Milford Hospitality Group, to be the ‘Medici of Milford,’” states Chris. “We have an incredible opportunity to showcase the talents of local, national, and international artists of all stripes.”

The common theme for all the exhibits will be to celebrate art and the natural world. They started last year with Andy in Nature, consisting of Makos’s images of Warhol in nature with Solberg’s large-scale flower portraits, and are extending that show as a sort of Andy in Nature 2.0 through this summer. They will then launch the Slonem, Caruso, and Dehnert trifecta on September 23rd.

Hunt Slonem is inspired by nature and is renowned for his neo-expressionist painting style. His works can be found in the permanent collections of museums around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney in New York City.

Photographer Vincent Caruso is best known for his landscape and seascape photography and owns Studio 9 Fine Arts Gallery. Bruce Dehnert, who was featured in the May 2018 issue of The Journal, is the head of Ceramics at Sugar Maples Center for Creativity, has been exhibited internationally, and has taught at universities in the United States, New Zealand, and Malaysia.

“Chris and Paul bring brightness and light wherever they go, personally and professionally,” says old friend and publisher Marta Hallett, whose company Glitterati has published seven of Chris’s art books, two of Paul’s, and their collaboration art book, Tattoos, Hornets and Fire. The last adds a pictorial dimension to the Sweden that was introduced to the many readers of Stieg Larsson’s Swedish crime novel trilogy, which includes The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. “They are consummate artists and great friends,” adds Marta, who recently relocated from New York to Milford based on their recommendation.

Joan Mahon, former chief registrar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and another friend who bought a home in Milford as a result of her professional and personal association with the two men over the years, concurs. “This entire area has so much to offer with its

26
Space Two, 2008. Photo by Paul Solberg Black Dog. April 82.
Continued Life Continued on next page
Photo by Christopher Makos

natural beauty and many fine artists. Chris and Paul’s curating of the new Forest Hall Studios will enhance the experience for all of us.”

Or as Chris and Paul put it, “We hope that Forest Hall Studios will be an incubator of the arts and continue to draw artists and people who love art and life to Milford. Pennsylvania’s state motto is ‘Pursue Your Happiness’ and that we take very seriously.”

“We’re thrilled to be looking forward to the gala opening on September 23rd and to be booked with curated exhibits into 2025,” Paul says. “And even if you don’t know much about art, we welcome you to drop by Forest Hall anytime to experience the various exhibits and artists. We all have a new blank canvas each day. If you’re interested in life, come visit!”

Will Voelkel is a Milford resident, an avid arts lover, and a contributor to The Journal.

27 Andy with Bikers
. Courtesy of Makos + Solberg Copacabana, 2011. Photo by Paul Solberg
28
Service 7, 2010. Photo by Paul Solberg Andy Dandy Eight, from Andy Dandy Series, 2007. Photo by Paul Solberg
WHY,
2005.
Life Continued
Photo by the Hilton Brothers

We frame oil paintings!!

29

It’s a Family Affair

Well-Sweep Herb Farm

Herb Farm boasts one of the largest live collections of herbs in the world. Gorgeous display gardens, rock walls, and meandering paths adorn the nursery that is located in Port Murray, NJ, just ten minutes west of Hackettstown.

Well-Sweep

Arriving twenty minutes before my scheduled appointment, I immediately observed the hard work and family values exhibited at the farm. There was constant communication among the staff as they moved plant trays, set up tables, arranged pots, watered rows of plants, made plant labels, and tidied up plants.

Cyrus and Louise Hyde bought the farm in 1966, when it was much smaller than the current 120 acres. They named it Well-Sweep, which is a means of getting water out of a well, that had been used in Cy’s childhood home in Totowa. A well sweep is a long pole with a pail at one end. The other end of the pole is inserted into a crotch

that allows the pail to be lowered into the well and then raised, similar to how a lever works.

Cy died in 2020 at the age of 90 after a lifetime of collecting and breeding plants, especially his favorite herbs. After growing up in a household that had used medicinal herbs for healing for over 200 years, he worked at Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ, as an herbalist and conducted school tours. Cy created many new varieties of herbs but would not patent his own creations because as grandson and farm general manager Patrick explains, “Grandpa just wanted to share his plants with the world.” One example is the Cy Sunburst lemon-scented geranium.

Louise is the daughter of an investment banker in New York. She grew up with a horse on a gentleman’s farm, attended Columbia University, and then became a registered physical therapist. Louise maintains the beautiful show gardens at Well-Sweep and handles customer

30
Nature
Photo courtesy of Well-Sweep Herb Farm By Bob Chernow

service and payroll. Patrick says, “Grandma is the grand master gardener. She takes care of the massive gardens. The gardens would be nothing without her.”

The original property was four and a quarter acres in size, but Cy and Louise gradually bought up surrounding properties, including one where the current parking lot is located. When that parcel’s owner died, it was sold overnight to a developer, who then charged a much higher price when he sold to Well-Sweep Farm.

The family-farm operation was abuzz with activity when I visited in late May as staff and volunteers were preparing for the annual spring open house, held the first weekend in June. The two-day event includes lectures and presentations, tours of the gardens, a craft market, live music, food vendors, and over 1,900 varieties of plants for sale. Open house programs included mushroom cultivation, cooking with herbs, pollinator gardening, backyard birdhouses, herbal gardening, miniature gardening, and medicinal herbs for health and wellness.

Well-Sweep has hundreds of varieties of plants available. Displays are very well organized and clearly labeled. All potted plants have detailed cultural labels with horticultural information and preferred growing conditions. The staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable.

It is very clear that this is a family affair. Family members share a love and respect for nature and each other. Cy and Louise’s son David Hyde is the current owner and oversees farm operations. David is very proud of his rare plant collection, especially the Gisela lady slipper orchid, which had 44 blossoms this year, and was blooming when I visited. David’s wife, Maria, works on hand propagation to create new plants and works with volunteers who help with various farm tasks.

Grandson Patrick McDuffee gave me a guided historical tour of the farm and greenhouses. His extensive knowledge of herbs woven with his storytelling ability are both qualities passed down from his grandfather, about whom Patrick reminisced, “Cy collected herbs and stories.”

Patrick grew up in Virginia and would visit his grandparents’ farm in the summer where he loved to spend time helping his grandfather. Cy shared his stories and love of plants with his grandson. They would sit and marvel together as the magic evening primrose opened when the sun went down. Patrick enrolled at James Madison University as a quantitative finance major but soon realized that his heart was in plants so he changed his major to biology.

Patrick is also a leading United States breeder of the Onagadori chicken, which is a historic Japanese breed known for its exceptionally long tail. Patrick enthusiastically posed for photos with one of his prized chickens and gave me a tour of worldly herbs through both the propagation greenhouse and the tropical greenhouse.

When breeding Onagadori chickens, Patrick explained that he uses the best birds for breeding, and because breeding causes damage to the feathers, he uses the second best birds for showing. Their feathers can grow up to three feet per year. At Well-Sweep, the birds have been bred with tail feathers up to nine feet long, while in Japan the record for longest tail feathers is thirty feet.

One story Patrick proudly shared involves the longest living frankincense tree in the United States. Years ago, the Sultan of Oman gifted several named trees to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, which then distributed some to leading herb collectors in the country, including his grandfather, Cy. In the Bible, the wise men gave frankincense for use in the temple, symbolic of prayers rising to heaven. Today, frankincense is used as an essential oil and may have beneficial health effects.

While Indian and Asian cultures have long used herbs for wellness, many other cultures around the world are now also looking to herbs for natural solutions. For example, cilantro has been shown to chelate, or bind, mercury and lead; some people who eat fish are adding cilantro to their diet with the hopes that the cilantro will remove the mercury that may have been in the fish.

On the subject of nearly 1,900 varieties of plants available at the farm, Patrick claimed that he has a “catalog memory and map in his brain” and knows the “what, where,

31
Continued on next page
Patrick McDuffee. Photo by Richard Frant

and how many” of all the plants. Ironically, while Patrick was giving me a tour in the greenhouse, David popped in and said that a customer wanted to buy the entire flat of orange calendula and David wanted to know if there was additional orange calendula stock anywhere on the farm. Patrick listened and sheepishly replied, “That’s a grandma question.” It’s a family affair.

Another story that Patrick recounted was that Cy wanted a swimming pool, and Louise wanted a root cellar. Since both required a substantial amount of cement, the root cellar was constructed underground adjacent to the swimming pool when the pool was installed. Eventually, Cy ended up using the root cellar to over-winter his fig trees.

Patrick explained how the prickly thistle plant thwarted Roman invaders and became the Scottish national flower. According to myth, when the sandal-clad Roman invaders constantly encountered thistles that hurt their feet, the Romans put an end to their northern march of Britannia conquests, built Hadrian’s wall, and declared that Caledonian lands to the north were uninhabitable.

Back in the greenhouse, Patrick showed me two massive lemon verbena topiary trees, which are carefully pruned to a particular shape. The lemon flavoring is in his favorite pound cake.

When asked about his major challenges, Patrick exclaimed, “Every year brings its own variability, every year has its own curveball.”

The farm hosts many special events including the New Jersey Chapter of the American Herbalists Guild, which attracted over 1,000 participants this spring. “We like to bring in people and educate the public about medicinal herbs,” Louise explained. The recent program featured Kerry Adams, a New Jersey based clinical herbalist and educator with over 30 years of experience, who has increased public awareness in herbal medicine and wellness.

Louise was busy preparing for the Spring Open House as we talked about the history of the Well-Sweep Farm and the growing interest in medicinal herbs. She feels that people are going back to the old ways. A volunteer

Nature
32 Continued
David Hyde. Photo courtesy of Well-Sweep Herb Farm

named Tracy joined our conversation and suggested that since COVID, many people are looking for alternate ways to help the world. People are gardening more and going back to basics. When I asked what the modern medical community thinks about herbal medicine, Tracy noted, “Some doctors are starting to embrace medicinal herbs. Some are open to it, and some are not.”

I asked Louise what her favorite plant was, and she replied, “That is a hard question because I love so many.” When pressed, she selected lovage, a celery-like plant, which she uses in potato salad, and pineapple sage, which has a lovely sweet scent in salads. As for the biggest sellers, Louise said medicinal herbs, basil, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries because people want to do their own thing.

Louise authored a cookbook called Favorite Recipes from Well-Sweep Farm which is available at the onsite gift shop along with other books, gardening and cooking supplies, and crafts. Well-Sweep is also a source of herbs for chef gardens at restaurants.

Well-Sweep Herb Farm has a user-friendly website (wellsweep.com) that contains an extensive catalogue, mail order instructions, the farm’s history, and a fascinating section called “Nature’s Lore” under the “Others” tab. It includes useful information about the growing habits and culinary uses of various herbs.

Louise turned 85 just two days prior to our meeting. She loves the outdoors and tranquility of living on the farm and considers it a blessing and a privilege to live at Well-Sweep Herb Farm.

33
Calico garden cat. Photo by Richard Frant 33 Broad St, Branchville, NJ
34 Nature Continued
Gisela lady slipper orchids. Photo courtesy of Well-Sweep Herb Farm Lavender calendula. Photo by Richard Frant Garden beds. Photo courtesy of Well-Sweep Herb Farm
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Aries (March 20-April 19) — There is a special gift in seeing what is possible. Yet most cannot see what does not already exist, or even what is right in front of them. Most cannot feel or see possibilities for improvement. The forthcoming Full Moon is all about showing you the landscape of your life, for many miles, in different directions. You don’t have to choose any of them; rather, you will feel better knowing they are there.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You are where you are largely by the good graces of your friends. Yes, you do plenty for yourself —yet if you go through every benefit you have, material or spiritual, you will see that it connects to someone’s strength, positive vibes or another form of generosity. In truth we are all supported by the dharma of those who care about us. We were put here together in the world to rely upon one another. Nobody can do it alone. Thankfully you don’t have to.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — The Full Moon is your reminder that the world is much bigger than you think. Yes, we have those “small world” moments, and there are all kinds of interesting connections to be made. Yet you can also marvel at how much you don’t know and will never see. There are energy fields and various shapes of the land, the human environment and the cosmos, that facilitate tendencies of travel, movement and flow. You will benefit from following those now.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The forthcoming Full Moon will guide you in the direction of work-related activity: of wanting to do something productive. That’s about as much guidance as you will get, except for the reminder that whatever you think of as your work needs a spiritual angle somehow. Not everyone knows what this is; not everyone cares; it’s likely that you do. What you do for work must have actual meaning, to yourself and to others.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The world has become extremely risk-averse, except for the bit about society courting the most senseless opportunities for disaster. Most of us are more cautious, and understand that nothing attempted, nothing gained. On the ground, where people aspire to make their world a little better, we are living through a massive depletion of optimism and sense of potential. Yet you are being called to do what humans are best at. That is to persevere, including to persist in doing something unusual or wholesome or creative no matter how anyone may feel about it.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) – Your idea of a living place has a touch of the ashram to it — a place where people can come to find spiritual respite. Where you live tends not to be a strictly private place; though you need your private corner of whatever world you’re in. In the grand scheme, your chart is urging you to travel and see the world. Remember that merely visiting someone can be a healing experience. Many are just figuring out that it’s safe to leave, and others are unsure whether they will be judged for their point of view. If anyone can hold space for a real conversation, it’s you.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You may awaken to the one idea that will help you make some major changes, simplify your life and get you to the next level. The question is, will you remember it? Will you do the one thing necessary, and put it to work? Ideas lose their luster quickly. So make sure that the series of revelations you have through the upcoming Full Moon find their way to the point of a pencil, or at least a voice memo that you listen to later.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — If I had to sum up the entirety of my work as an astrologer in a few words, it’s about helping people with self-esteem. You are fortunate in that, sooner or later, you always come back to feeling good about yourself. That is a powerful, natural force — and you are about to get a nice, fresh current of faith in yourself. Many of the greatest accomplishments are things people thought were probably impossible, but they had some little spirit inside telling them that they just had to try.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The upcoming Full Moon may have you feeling visible, though it’s also offering you a lot of protection. You have extra influence, and can afford to pluck up some extra confidence in proposing ideas and reaching out to clients. A rare combination of factors is granting you extra persuasive ability. All you need to do is be steady about your intentions; be flexible and gently guide events the way you want them to unfold.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) – Most religious traditions have the concept of the “inner light.” Across every culture, it amounts to the same thing: the light of God comes from within. To trust this is an act of faith. You’ve learned over and over again that you must have fidelity to your inner truth. You seem to be at a philosophical loggerhead, and it may be interfering with your work. This will dissolve easily if you keep your attention focused inwardly, and go with the flow.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You have an unusual gift for facilitating conversations about deep, taboo, or easily-avoided topics. That will be in rare form as the Moon reaches full phase. You will not need to do much except be present and allow the conversation to happen. Usually, the important discussions are derailed by one person not willing to face the deeper issues. This could be in family environments or social ones.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You may find yourself unexpectedly being recognized for something you accomplished in the past. This will be of benefit, if you remember to use any acknowledgement for what you are doing today. If you get a chance to speak, focus on your current priorities, goals and perceptions. Do not succumb to nostalgia, or any glorified view of history. It was whatever it was. Meanwhile, your workshop is a busy place these days, and better things are developing.

Read Eric Francis daily at PlanetWaves.net

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Signs Planet Waves by Eric Francis
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