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Issue 05 | Spring 2014

The Essence of Living Locally

- A MAGAZINE FOR NEW ENGLAND EDITORIAL TEAM MANAGING EDITOR Mandi Tompkins FOUNDING PARTNERS Ashley Herrin & Jenn Bakos CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Michelle Martin Taryne Messer Carolyn Cesario Taylor Sands Julieann Hartley Jonathan Tompkins INSTAGRAM CONTEST WINNERS Anathalia Santos, @anasantos Cambria Grace, @cambria_grace Caroline O'Donnell, @caroline_odonnell Emily Billings, @emersonthoreau Lauren Wells, @laurenswells Renee Chouinard, @smilinginside2 Gisella Casasnovas, @thesedreamstakeflight Ross Marcoux, @trvevision GET IN TOUCH SUBMISSIONS GENERAL INQUIRIES MANDI ASHLEY JENN


THE color green means different things to different people. In Native American culture, green represents nature, harmony and healing. In modern culture, green has a lot of new meanings — she has a green thumb, he lives a green lifestyle, she has a beautiful green raincoat. Here at t.e.l.l. New England, green is symbiotic with spring. Springtime in New England brings a fresh start. Temperatures begin to rise, the snow and ice melts away and buds begin to fill the long-dormant trees. Almost every year there seems to be a particular day when spring arrives. This year, that day for me was on a Saturday morning in April. Not usually a morning person, I awoke particularly early to the sound of mourning doves cooing and birds chirping. I opened the shades and the trees had finally bloomed with bright green leaves and yellow and pink flowers. The world was a buzz, and excitement and energy floated in the air. New Englanders know exactly the feeling we describe. With the approach of every spring, there is a new appreciation for sunshine, warm weather and the blossoming scenery. As soon as the temperature peaks 60 degrees, the shorts and flip-flops are broken out. In the city, runners begin to pack the trails, al fresco dining makes a comeback and locals lounge around in the parks. No matter where in New England you live, spring is a turning point for those who live locally. It is the start of the harvest cycle, and it is also a time of new beginnings — new baby animals, new seedlings and new ideas. In Issue 05 we celebrate those new beginnings and the return to nature. We invite you to join us.

On behalf of the t.e.l.l. New England team,

Mandi Tompkins, Managing Editor



















SPRING is a time of rebirth, a time of vital importance to farmers around New England. For the Kennebec Cheesery it means the start of the milking cycle, and even more importantly for cheese-lovers, the start to the cheese-making cycle. Early each spring when the weather begins to turn warm and the last patches of ice melt away, new babies are born across our region. At Kennebec they welcome the new kids, and begin their annual journey from farm to table. Kennebec Cheesery at Koons Farm is based in Sidney, Maine, an area with deep agricultural roots, and for the Koons family, deep ancestral roots. Built in 1796, the farm is one of the oldest in the area, and was cultivated by local dairy farmers for centuries. The Koons family, all experienced farmers, bought the land 47 years ago. The farm raises both Alpine and Saanen goats, all pasture fed and GMO-free. Each spring when the kidding season begins, so begins the milking and the creation of cheese. When the kids are born they nurse for about a week, and are then moved to bottle-feeding. At times this twice daily feeding can be daunting, so the Koons’ created a more efficient means of feeding – a metal bucket with multiple nipples for co-feeding. The two kids we were lucky enough to meet were born in mid-April and were still bottle-feeding. They will take up to two years to fully mature. Goat milking is a seasonal affair. Milking begins at the end of April and can continue through the end of December. However, the milk changes throughout the year based on the amount of light the goats are exposed to and what they eat. The highest producers of milk are the three to four year old goats, but they will begin milking goats at one to two years to get them used to the process. Towards the end of December the volume drops off and the farm takes a much-deserved break from January through March. >>>

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Kennebec Cheesery’s most popular made-from-scratch goat cheese, chevre is smooth, creamy and full of flavor. Try the goat cheese round with herbes de Provence on your favorite bread or crackers.

Kennebec produces a number of cheeses including fresh chevre, feta, an aged alpine style cheese, and an aged alpine style cheese made from cow’s milk. The most popular cheese year after year is the fresh chevre, which comes in herb rolled rounds and cubes soaked in extra virgin olive oil. They have curated their spice selections to suit every taste, including Herbes de Provence, dill, cracked peppercorn, basil, pine nut and garlic, and sun dried tomato and chili pepper. The cheesery sells their handcrafted cheeses across the state of Maine, including farmers markets and retail shops. They also partner with Tao Yuan, a unique Asian fusion restaurant in Brunswick that’s committed to using fresh, local ingredients. In the future, the Koons family hopes to open an online store so they can share their delicious creations all over the country.


Farmers’ Markets Portland Farmers’ Market Downtown Waterville Farmers’ Market Retail Aurora Provisions – Portland, Maine Barrels Market – Waterville, Maine The Cheese Iron – Scarborough, Maine The Apple Farm – Manchester, Maine Riverside Farm Market & Café – Oakland, Maine Uncle Dean’s Good Groceries – Waterville, Maine

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Kennebec Highland Caerphilly is an alpine style cheese aged for 4 to 6 months.

Two kids bottle feeding. These babies were born in April 2014.

Goats gather ‘round. The Koons family raises both Alpine and Saanen goats, all pasture fed and GMO-free.



ALICE Saunders is a Boston-based designer who's passion and interest in history drove the creation of Forestbound, a unique and one-of-a-kind local company that utilizes salvaged textiles to create stunning hand-made bags. She is a 'hunter' of fabrics, worn and torn - constantly perusing local flea markets and antique stores in search of the perfect material for her next creation. Alice graduated from Northeastern in 2007. There, she studied History, and was especially intrigued by Military History. After graduation, she stayed in the city where she pursued farming and gardening work during the summer months, and picked up sewing projects during the winter. Having taught herself to sew at an early age, she found herself using her hands and creating pieces more and more. Shortly after, she launched an Etsy site to sell some of her hand-made creations. Within two years, Alice found herself inundated with sewing, so much so that she was able to quit her other part time jobs to focus on her small start-up. And thus, Forestbound was born. In referencing how Forestbound came to be, Alice divulged, "It was pretty incredible and it still seems somewhat unreal because I didn't go into this with the idea that 'I'm going to start a small business, this is what I'm going to do.' It just sort of happened, and it was very kind of natural, which was nice in terms of overhead. I didn't have a lot of money invested or need a lot up just sort of became it's own beast." We visited Alice and the Forestbound studio one Saturday in April. Her studio itself is a work of art - history is captured in the textiles and duffel bags that adorn the white, concrete walls. Sunlight spills onto the hardwood floors that are scattered with hand-made bags that use decades-old material, rich with a story to tell. Her adorable rescue dog, Maisey, watches over the studio while we move about, admiring everything with a delicate awe as if it was a neatly curated museum. And in a way, it is a museum. History plays as much a part of Forestbound as the bags do themselves. Beyond the materials that Alice uses, all the hand tools and sewing machines also have a story to tell. >>>

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An assortment of Forestbound’s handmade tote bags made from strictly found and salvaged textiles.

Stacks of historic, reclaimed materials ready for stitching. Saunders primarily finds her materials in New England at flea markets and antique fairs and shops. Her bags have been made out of materials such as WWII era US military duffel bags and navy sea bags, and painters’ drop cloths.

Collected over the years at antique stores

person who owned this duffel bag and what

and flea markets and restored to a work-

they went through..and that's kind of what I

ing state, the tools are found items that are

am hoping to do with my work too, is to have

beautifully worn and gently used. The sew-

people remember that piece of history."

ing machines - or "workhorses" as she refers to them as, are from the mid-70's and were

When asked about the driving force behind

purchased from a father/son duo based in

using salvaged material; "'s definitely

Fall River, MA who own a warehouse full of

more about the history, but I also prefer us-

sewing machines that date back to the times

ing materials that are already out there. That

when textile manufacturing was a great

has always made sense to me. Even when I

source of income for New England.

wasn't doing Forestbound officially, I would always use fabrics that I would find at the

The bags that Alice produces are unique and

thrift store. That just always seemed to make

one-of-a-kind. Something so important to

sense. There's already so much stuff in the

the Forestbound brand, and also a reason

world that exists and that I can use, and that

why she prefers to keep her business on the

would also be unique and one-of-a-kind...I

smaller side. The character that is found in

would always much rather do that. It's much

each bag is not conducive to producing for

more unique." Alice's preference for "unique"

wholesale, but something she is comfort-

shines bright in her presence. Her affinity

able with embracing. Materials are typically

for thrifting and vintage takes over a large

sourced from flea markets, estate sales, barn

presence in her day-to-day life beyond For-

sales and military shows in the New England

estbound. Her wardrobe is packed with sec-

area...the North Shore and Portsmouth area

ond-hand finds while her vehicle of choice

are typically areas where she finds great ma-

is an old Toyota Highlander. On weekends

terials because of ties to the military base

when she's not visiting New Hampshire, you

and naval history. Military tents, boyscout

can find her at the flea market on Sunday

bags and even painters drop cloths can all be

mornings with her beloved pup and then the

turned into beautiful Forestbound bags.

beach in Plum Island to soak up some sun.

However, Alice gravitates towards duffel bags

Alice is an incredible maker, entrepreneur,

in particular. "Duffel bags are also my favor-

dreamer and doer who may be newer to the

ite because a lot of guys when they were in

New England landscape, but we are excited

the war, would draw and paint on them - so,

that Forestbound will be a local brand that's

that's my favorite part. You see this piece of

going to stick around for a while...until at

history that's not just what is written in the

least the supply of salvaged materials rich

text books, it's someones' personal experi-

with history starts dry up - but let's be hon-

ence because they sat there and drew on it

est, that won't happen any time soon.

and painted these really personal pictures... so it really sort of makes you think about the


Alice Saunders, founder of Forestbound Original Bag Company, is based out of Somerville, Massachusetts.

Forestbound also sells a variety of vintage gems, including penants, pins, jewelry, and tee’s.


Duffel bags are also my favorite because a lot of guys when they were in the war, would draw and paint on them — that's my favorite part. You see this piece of history that's not just what is written in the text books, it's someones' personal experience because they sat there and drew on it and painted these really personal it really sort of makes you think about the person who owned this duffel bag and what they went through...

Saunders sews each bag by hand using one of her vintage, industrial sewing machines. And of course each bag is finished off with a Forestbound label.

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SPRING in New England is my favorite time of year. Just when winter seems like it will never end and you can’t take any more of it, the temperatures start to rise and we begin to see the first hint of green after months of grey. I had this first sense of relief from winter on the afternoon I spent at Fivefork Farms. The sun was finally shining, temperatures had risen above 50 degrees and there was no sign of snow left. I arrived mid afternoon and was warmly greeted by Grace, one of five Lam siblings, and the lead farmer at Fivefork Farms. Fivefork Farms specializes in sustainably-grown, seasonal flowers ranging from the classics – peonies, sweet peas and sunflowers – to the unusual – parrot tulips and hybrid hellebores. They are committed to growing flowers using organic and sustainable practices. As such, their farm devotes much time to replenishing the fertility of the land and cultivating flowers without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. During the course of the afternoon, Grace showed me around the farm and gave me a glimpse into a ‘day in the life’ of a flower farmer. It’s hard work, similar to other types of farming, but the payoff seems so much greater when your reward is bountiful colorful blooms. She shared some of the challenges of starting a new farm, as well as the back story that led them to where they are today. >>>

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What was your inspiration for starting the farm? Grace was always attracted to working the land ever since we were little growing up. She was the one that itched to germinate the first seeds for mom’s backyard garden and the one mom could always depend on with backyard garden chores, even weeding. We still joke to this day that when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Grace would always respond saying that she just wanted to pick vegetables. Grace’s departure from finance and desire to farm coincided with the family’s search of a vacation property. We found this beautiful piece of land in Upton overlooking the Blackstone Valley and decided that this was the perfect juncture for our family to pursue our dream of starting our own business. Because of our varied skill sets in agriculture, design, business and construction we thought that this would be a great way we could come together as a family to start some beautiful. A simple flower can evoke so many emotions and memories—love, happiness, excitement, sadness. For us, the idea of being able to transport to happy memories of our childhood is pretty incredible and it’s also amazing to witness how something so simple can have the same kind of impact on other people we meet. The farm is relatively new. Can you share a little bit about the history of the farm and the story of how it got started? While our flower farm was formally established in 2012, we can't remember a time when our childhood home wasn't overrun-- indoors and out--with beautiful plants and flowers. Our passion for growing flowers started at a young age working alongside our mother, whose love of plants and gardening continues to inspire us decades later. >>>

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Our sister Grace, the youngest of the five Lam siblings, was especially drawn to working the land. She worked as a farm apprentice for her senior project in high school and years later, after leaving a finance career in New York City, started working as a farm apprentice at Dragonfly Farms in Pepperell, MA. Shortly after, Grace began pursuing her dream of owning and running a farm full-time on her own. While searching for agricultural properties to launch the farm, Grace began cultivating a ¼ acre plot (our mother’s garden) in the spring/summer 2012. From those humble beginnings, Fivefork was born. Last year, we acquired a 32-acre farm in Upton, Massachusetts. Today, the farm operates as a partnership between the five Lam siblings…and mom and pops too! We’d love to think that the success of our farm stems from our collaborative spirit. In our day to day operations, each sibling brings a different skillset to the table. Drawing from our prior or current work in agriculture, finance, marketing and design, each of us has a role to play. You are lucky to have such a big family that works together and is so close! It seems everyone has their unique talent and contribution that they make to the farm. Can you elaborate a little more on each family member’s role? Each of the family members plays an integral role in our farm operation. Because we all have such different skill sets, we can leverage off each other’s expertise to form a cohesive business! For ease, we’ll start from the eldest of the siblings and work our way down the list. Lyh-Ping (we call her Ping): By day, she works as a cancer researcher for a pharmaceutical company in downtown Boston. Ping is also the most gregarious of the five, so we like to send her out to the markets to meet our customers and establish relationships with our potential partners. With her healthcare background, Ping is also our in-house nurse! >>>

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Lyh-Rhen (pronounced Lee-Ren): Lyh-Rhen is the creative brains behind our whole operation. He’s our in-house floral designer and creative arts manager. Lyh-Rhen designs and creates everything our customers see – from the marketing material and website to wedding florals and market and CSA bouquets. Over the years, he has worked his way through various jobs in the floral, art, and hospitality industries after graduating from Dartmouth College with a degree in Studio Art. He has trained under some of the most talented floral designers in Boston while working at a high-end flower company and several boutique firms in the city. If not in the design studio, you can find Lyh-Rhen tending to our small flock of chickens and ducks or sprucing up the farmhouse with fresh florals! Lyh-Hsin (pronounced Lee-Shin): Lyh-Hsin is our Mr. Fix-it and farm utility man. Up until a year before our farming operation began taking shape, Lyh worked as a Site Manager for Habitat for Humanity constructing and renovating houses in the Boston area. With his background and training in building and design, he’s always busy building and designing new structures and implements that make the farm run more efficiently and effectively (and not to mention, fixing everything that his siblings break!). Lyh-Hsin also manages our fertilizer program. When not in the workshop building and designing, he’s brewing and spraying our crops with an organic compost tea or out in the fields harvesting and helping with the day-to-day activities. Joyce: Joyce is the only one of the 5 siblings that does not live in Massachusetts. By day, she is a busy-bee taking on the bright lights of New York City as a financial analyst. With her finance background, Joyce takes the lead in organizing the farm’s finances to ensure that the bills get paid! She takes frequent trips to the farm on weekends and you’ll most likely find her harvesting flowers in the fields (her favorite task when she comes home) or at the farmers markets meeting our customers. Grace: Grace is the youngest of the Lam siblings (by 40 minutes, that is, since Joyce and Grace are identical twins). After spending 3 years living with Joyce in NYC and also working on Wall Street, Grace left finance in early 2012 and began her farming career as an apprentice at a local vegetable farm in Massachusetts. Today, she is the lead farmer at Fivefork and the woman in charge of the farming day-to-day operations including the seeding, planting and harvesting schedules and all our flower production in general. >>> - 42 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

Daniel & Helen (Dad and Mom): are the most invaluable farmhands! Mom loves growing orchids, peonies, dahlias and roses in her own greenhouse at our childhood home and the one Grace inherited her green thumb from. Mom can usually be found in the greenhouse where she’s making sure we’re on the seeding schedule or in the kitchen cooking us a meal fit for a king! Dad - there’s not enough words to describe what Dad does around the farm. He’s our farm all-star most often found chopping wood, or pruning the expansive grounds and making sure the grass lawn is manicured. What does the timeline for growing flowers look like? Is it a year round process? The timeline for flower farming really is almost year-round with the exception of one true rest months in November after the frost sets in and snow starts falling in earnest. Before the end of the fall season (late September into October), we work hard preparing flower beds outside and in our unheated hoop houses to plant our spring bulbs, corms and tubers (tulips, daffodils, anemones, ranunculus, to name a few) so they can take on a root structure before the ground freezes over. At this time, we’re also hand-digging over a thousand dahlia tubers so they can be safely stored over the winter and cleaning up the fields so they can be put to bed until the spring. In December, we really start planning for the next season’s crops and get all our seeds ordered, and seeding and crop schedules prepared for the next season’s crop. By late January we’re already starting to seed spring flowers in starter trays in our heated greenhouse so that they can be planted in beds in our hoop houses by March. With flowers we start from seed, it is imperative to seed in successions so we sow and plant each flower variety multiple times throughout the growing season. By succession planting, we make sure we have a steady stream of flowers throughout the season instead of having all the flowers come at once. By the beginning of March, we are looking toward being able to give a first plow to our fields. This didn’t happen this year, due to our harsh winter and snow…Also at this time, our early spring crops in our hoop houses are starting to take on their first buds. Once the season really begins in late March/April, we get into a daily ritual of seeding, planting, weeding, stalking and harvesting until October! >>>

What are the intricacies of running a flower farm that make it different from, say, a vegetable/fruit farm? Flower farming is very much like vegetable farming. We plan and prepare our fields very much like a veggie farmer would do. If there was a difference, I’d say that the flower farmer has a bit longer season since it’s easier for us to grow crops in a cold frame or unheated hoop house by growing in crates. What are your favorite types of flowers for growing? For arranging/decorating? Ask any of us and we’d probably have a different answer on any given day and throughout the seasons. Our spring collection holds a special place in our hearts quite frankly because they signal the end of cold weather and the start of a new season! As delicate anemones, frilly ranunculus, fragrant hyacinths and giant parrot tulips fill our hoop houses with color, we set our eyes on the promise of sweetly scented sweet peas, cheerful poppies and romantic peonies yet to come. And yet, if we really had to choose a favorite, we’d have to wait until later in the summer – when the dahlias make their appearance. With beautifully symmetric, multi-petaled blooms ranging in size and shade, dahlias can add color and texture to an array of settings and occasions. ◊◊◊


Fivefork Farms is a partnership between the five Lam siblings that unofficially started the day their parents, Daniel and Helen met. Located in the Blackstone River Valley in Upton, Massachusetts, Fivefork operates on 38-acres of land once owned and farmed by the family of Eli Whitney. Their passion for flowers, which was passed down by their mother, is the backbone to the working farm today. Fivefork Farms specializes in growing flowers for their CSA, local famers' markets and florists and designers. They also offer services for special events such as weddings. To learn more about the farm, visit their website at

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NATURE becomes infinitely more precious when you live in the city. Admittedly, it took the constant bombardment of sidewalk trash melting in the sun, the eau de pee-laced urban streets and countless plastic bottle tumbleweeds for me to form this opinion. I was living in Brooklyn a couple years back when I recognized how the humble house plant provided an accessible path back to nature for a large metropolitan population. Everything I know about plants is through time and experience, trial and error; I do not have a degree in horticulture- I've gained a skill set only through hands on experience. Along the way I learned something invaluable, it lies in the capacity to slow down and just observe. Truly, no one has a black thumb perhaps just a defeatist mentality. That unhappy fern parked in front of your sunny window, its foliage singed brown? Move it to a different spot, one with heavier filtered light. Remove the crispy foliage, keep soil evenly moist and then, just wait. Two weeks of care, nothing and then suddenly a glorious trumpet blows in the distance: new growth has sprouted from the center. Even if only to realize that most houseplants are hybridized to be resilient and trudge through your neglectful phases, you cultivate a mindfulness and respect for plants as you nurture slices of nature. For those just starting out, terrariums can be one of the easiest ways to experiment with plants. Glass containers create a microclimate that seals moisture in; high humidity allows for plants to absorb water more readily through their foliage. This setup cuts down on watering needs while simultaneously becoming an ornate shrine to view your plants growth. I love using old containers from flea markets as planting vessels; a beat-up metal dish can serve as your base and be topped with with a glass bell jar to create an old-world botanical feel. My favorite one-stop plant shop in Boston is Allandale Farm, located right past the Arnold Arboretum on 259 Allandale Road in Brookline, MA. They grow an excellent selection of unique succulents in their greenhouses and offer a thorough inventory of terrarium supplies: rocks, soil, rooting hormone, glass containers and some outstanding airplants. The staff is always knowledgeable and gracious in answering any questions you may have. It's a worthwhile field trip; their farm stand carries seasonal produce grown onsite as well as an impressive selection of local artisanal foods. >>>

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Terrariums can be one of the easiest ways to experiment with plants. Glass containers create a microclimate that seals moisture in; high humidity allows for plants to absorb water more readily through their foliage. This set-up cuts down on watering needs while simultaneously becoming an ornate shrine to view your plants growth.

CHOOSE A CONTAINER Use an old f ish bowl, one of those g l a s s v a s e s u n d e r y o u r s i n k , a wine resourceful!

CREATE DRAINAGE Place at least one inch of rock evenly at the bottom of your terrarium. This will help displace excess water, preventing soil fro m b ecom i n g ove r-s at u rat ed and soppy (which will cause your plants to rot). I like to use rocks from the aquarium section of any local pet store, you can usually f ind loads of ornamental varieties there.

SOIL COMPOSITION Pick a mixture of soil that best suits your plant palette. Be sure to choose plants that thrive in the same climate conditions; cacti and ferns don't want to shack up together. Cacti and succulents do well in a sand/soil blend (two parts potting soil: one part sand). Ferns, begonias and philodendrons will do just f ine in regular potting soil. Allow for at least 3" of soil to be distributed through-out the entire container to accommodate root growth.

CLIP AND ROOT Finding small enough specimens to place inside your terrarium can be tricky. A cheap remedy is to take clippings from your personal plant collection, root them and then plant them within your vessel. Succulents are particularly easy to root, often doing so on their own. Snip an offset shoot from a thick stem, place clipping into a bud vase f illed with water and set near a sunny window. Roots should form within a few weeks, mixing a rooting hormone into the water will help to accelerate this process.

ARRANGE I like there to be a central cluster of plants in my arrangements; a tall, medium and low-plant grouping can help to activate more depth within your container. Be mindful that plants will continue to grow in size, so be sure to leave space between plants to accommodate future growth. Plants' roots should be fully buried beneath the soil. A 1/4"-1/2' layer of ornamental rocks can be placed above soil for additional aesthetics

PLACEMENT Place terrarium in a room with bright sunlight; they often fare best when positioned offset from a sunny window. Monitor the soil's moisture (stick a f inger into it) and allow to lightly dry-out between waterings. Watering amounts will vary based on the size of your container, it is best to be consistent with your watering schedule to prevent stress on the plants.

MAINTENANCE TIPS Always prune rotting or dead foliage to promote new growth. Yellowing of foliage tends to indicate over watering and a need for more sunlight. Browning of foliage indicates under watering and a need for f iltered light.




spring is a time of patience, excitement, and frustration for

New England’s farmers and gardeners. We are anxious to reconnect to the earth, to the soil that is slowly and deliberately revealed by the strengthening sun. In spite of our enthusiasm, we know we must be patient, for few crops can withstand New England’s tempestuous April weather. One of the few crops that can withstand such fluctuations (including the occasional morning frost) is the pea pod. The planting of peas, in many ways, signifies the start of spring. Quite easy to grow, within weeks of planting it’s not surprising to find a plenitude of bright green pods…a happy return for minimal effort, and an encouragement to continue your garden through the summer. In many ways, peas are the ideal transition crop. They loosen up the soil, making it more amenable for the high-maintenance summer crops to come. Peas also help our bodies adjust to the light foods of the warmer season, as we transition away from the hearty root vegetables of winter to fresh, crisp summer fare. Ultimately, peas visually embody the essence of spring, with their shiny bright green hue and their plump, cheerful form. This mash, a take on guacamole, highlights the sunny, sweet notes of fresh peas with bright mint, earthy coriander, and decadent avocado. Enjoy this dish at the first harvest of peas, a celebration of spring in New England. >>>

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SWEET PEA MASH SERVES 2-3 INGREDIENTS ½ cup sweet peas, shelled (~30 fresh pea pods) 3-4 sprigs of fresh mint 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

½ avocado ½ lemon, juiced Sea salt Black pepper

DIRECTIONS Blanch peas in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Using a mortar & pestle, grind coriander seeds, mint and a pinch of sea salt. (If you don’t have a mortar & pestle, opt for ground coriander and use the back of a spoon to muddle the mint.) Transfer mixture to a bowl, and add the peas and avocado. Mash gently with a fork to combine. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy alongside tortilla chips or toasted bread!

NOTES If fresh peas aren’t available, frozen peas would work as well; simply blanch them as you would fresh peas.

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SPRING In New Hampshire; when late April finally ushers in an unhindered, albeit fleeting, New England spring. The first signs of greenery — from the first new shoots of grass to the verdant buds on countless branches — bring a transition of both life and color to the region. The melted snow has revealed the fresh ground and the damp earthy scent of a rejuvenated landscape. As a lifelong New England native, these signs of spring’s arrival have always come as a comfort to me after the long, cold winters. Still, even in my enjoyment I realize that in less than two months’ time, summer will have all but taken over. The short-lived nature of spring in New Hampshire meant that all of the hiking that I did growing up happened during the summer. As a kid I spent time in Melvin Village, which is close to a few short and easy hikes with breathtaking views of Lake Winnipesaukee – views that require little effort or hiking experience to reach. Nonetheless, summer hiking means putting up with heat, bugs, and more crowded trails. So, when the perfect opportunity for a spring hiking weekend presented itself my boyfriend Matthew and me last year, we jumped at the opportunity. April of 2013 marked a milestone in our relationship – we were celebrating our six-year anniversary. To celebrate, we planned a weekend getaway of hiking. Upon researching possible hikes in New Hampshire the Welch-Dickey Loop presented itself as an obvious choice. The trail had been a favorite of Matthew’s family throughout his childhood, and on several occasions he had mentioned his hopes to hike there together one day. It was decided. >>>

A WHITE MOUNTAIN RETREAT When searching for accommodations, I focused on affordability, convenience to the Loop trail, and seclusion. A small bed and breakfast called the Welch Mountain Chalet offered all of these aspects, in addition to a home-cooked gourmet breakfast and an in-room coffeemaker. When I called to book our night at the Welch Mountain Chalet, I was immediately charmed by the innkeepers’ friendly demeanor. I felt comfortable and at home immediately. The Chalet offers a single ground-floor suite with a common room, bathroom, master bedroom, and optional second bedroom for family or friends. I told John, one of the innkeepers, that I wanted to book the suite for my boyfriend and me for one night in late April, and that we would be celebrating six years together. In the subsequent conversations I had with John to iron out the details of our stay, he went out of his way to explain the surrounding area, help us sort through our options for breakfast, offer suggestions for local excursions, and outline the best ways to reach the trailhead for the Welch-Dickey Loop.

A DAY ON THE TRAILS Getting to Thornton and the Welch-Dickey Loop Trail is simple: the trailhead is located less than 20 minutes from Route I-93 in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. A large parking lot next to the trailhead makes traveling to and from the hike even more convenient. In embarking on the Welch-Dickey Loop Trail, the hiker gets a two-mountains-for-the-price-of-one experience. Once reaching the trailhead hikers will need to decide which direction to take, as the splitting of the Loop begins directly at the signpost. In either direction hikers will reach the first mountain's peak, hike down slightly, hike back up to the second peak, and then head back down the rest of the Loop to reach the trailhead once again. The hike is a 4.5-mile round-trip journey, which takes around 3 hours to complete and covers an elevation change of about 1,800 feet. The entire loop is clearly marked by yellow blazes on trees and exposed rock, as well as cairns closer to the peaks. Matthew had hiked the Welch-Dickey Loop in both directions with his family countless times, but for our first time tackling the Loop together, we took the often less-traveled route that would be easier on the upward climb: starting up Dickey, and coming down Welch. The trail up Dickey is open and easy to hike, and takes the slightly less steep approach heading upwards to the peaks. Hiking in late April gave us a forecast of 60 degrees with plenty of sunshine and a light breeze. The cool air made for a very comfortable climb, even on the steeper sections of the trail. There are several points near the onset of the Dickey route where glacial erratics lay next to the trail, providing plenty of areas for extra shade and rest. Being a less experienced hiker myself, and one who likes to stop and look around frequently, I took full advantage of these aspects of the trail. >>>

The loop consists of two peaks, Welch Mountain and Dickey Mountain. Both are considered small in comparison to their 4,000 neighbors, but the trail provides sustained and stunning views of the White Mountains.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the number

the Mountain." Once I released him from my

of lookout points along the final approach to

numerous requests for picture posing, Mat-

the top of Dickey. The lookouts begin to appear

thew led the way down from the Welch peak.

sporadically between the sections of steeper

Upon passing through the rocky slabs near the

flat rock, which become more frequent as the

begging of the Welch trail’s descent, I noticed

tree cover turns sparse near the peaks. From

abundant signage concerning the protection

many of these points, Mount Washington and

of the mountains’ flora.

Tuckerman’s Ravine are visible on a clear day. Matthew explained that a rare sage-colored In general, hikers of the entire Loop will not be

moss that grew among the more exposed rocky

disapointed by the views or spectacular photo

sections was one of the protected plants that

opportunities, and it was not until we reached

these signs refer to. In these exposed sec-

the Dickey peak that I truly began to appre-

tions of the trail, small barriers have been

ciate this. Welch and Dickey are nestled in a

erected out of branches and stones to pro-

position that offers sights of the rolling hills

tect these gorgeous mosses, whose pastel col-

past Route 93 South, and the entire Presiden-

or and fringed texture add After reaching the

tial Range to the North. We stopped there to

fully covered part of the trail once again, we

take pictures, catch our breath, and enjoy the

neared my favorite feature of the Welch trail

sandwiches that we had packed for our excur-

– a rushing and babbling stream that follows

sion. The late April weather continued to prove

the Welch trail all the way to the bottom. I was

optimal for a New Hampshire hike, as the sun-

especially grateful for the occasional opportu-

shine at the peak was enough to keep us warm,

nity to dip my hands into the water and wet

despite the increased crispness in the breeze.

my hair, face, and neck. Occasionally the mists

After fully soaking in this first set of views, we

from the stream could be felt just by stand-

made our way over to the Welch peak.

ing on the trail, an aspect of the Welch side that serves as a welcome relief to either those

After a short hike down, and then back up, we

on their way up, or those on their way down.

arrived at the Welch peak. From here, we took in an extended version of our previous view of

Near the very end of the Welch trail, we crossed

the presidential range, and also of the route we

the stream and the trees began to clear. As we

had taken up to the Dickey peak. From Welch,

reached the trailhead and made our way back

all of Dickey’s lookout points and rocky out-

to our car, I felt invigorated and refreshed,

croppings make for an impressive sight – one

and elated to have taken part in of one of Mat-

that also provides the hiker with a feeling of

thew’s family traditions. Hiking this rewarding

satisfaction and accomplishment. For Mat-

trail on a sunny, spring day in New Hampshire

thew and I that feeling of satisfaction came

with someone I love made the experience all

with a photo. Now back at one of Matthew’s

the more meaningful. Spring hiking in New En-

favorite hiking locales, we replicated a picture

gland had become, at that moment, a tradition

that his mother had taken 23 years prior, and

that I fully intended to hold on to.

which she lovingly referred to as, “Matthew on


According to USDA Forest Service the WelchDickey Mountain Trail is a 4.5 mile, moderate hike and will take about 3.5 hours to complete.





2605 FEET

2734 FEET




1650 FEET



LUXURY DINING, BACKWOODS STYLE Upon returning to our room, we cleaned up, made some coffee in the room, and enjoyed some quiet reading time before preparing to venture out for dinner. On our way out, John spotted us from his porch upstairs and came down to offer us a suggestion on a place to try for dinner – the Coyote Grill in Waterville Valley. Dinner at the Coyote Grill offered us a high-class dining experience in a cozy and friendly atmosphere. For the over-21 crowd, the Coyote Grill offers an almost overwhelming wine list and a few tasting flights of beer. We maintain to this day that the meals we each had there were two of the best we have ever had. I ordered a crab-crumbed haddock and Matthew the maple-glazed pork loin. In fulfilling our request to be seated near a window, the Coyote Grill staff allowed our incredible meal to also be complimented by a lovely view of the entire Waterville Valley Ski area. We left the restaurant in good spirits, accompanied by full bellies and an overwhelming desire for sleep. The next morning we woke up to a preset alarm and shortly after that a soft knocking at the bedroom door. Breakfast had arrived. Upon making our reservation I had preselected a baked sausage, egg, and cheese strata, but nothing could have prepared me for the feast that was laid out in front of us when we opened the door and looked into the common room. On two large trays, John and Mary had left a full pot of coffee and mugs, glasses of water and fresh squeezed orange juice, two heaping plates of the strata, bowls full of juicy fresh fruit, and two freshly-baked blueberry crumb muffins. Every part of our breakfast was fresh, homemade, and delicious. Once we had taken the time to enjoy every last crumb of food on those trays, we packed our bags, loaded up the car, and waived our goodbyes to John and Mary. As soon as we left the property, I couldn’t wait to return. And it wasn’t long before we were planning our next trip. This year we will renew our spring tradition and head back to the Welch-Dickey Loop, and to the Welch Mountain Chalet, to celebrate 7 years together. The snow has finally melted, the New England air is crisp and full of those familiar smells of fresh earth, and the buds are full and heavy on their branches: ready to burst with new life. So, what will the weather be like for our day of hiking this time around? The forecast says 60 degrees and sunny. ◊◊◊

- 67 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND



I seem to fall in love with all seasons in New England, but for some reason, Spring tugs at the heart-strings even more-so than the beckoning stars of the summer night, the quiet fall of the Autumn leaves or the snow that blankets the region and creates a winter wonderland. Spring is slow to arrive. Per usual, New England's weather never seems to cooperate and is as fickle as the bus schedule during a snow storm. It always seems as though it's taking a painstakingly long time to arrive each year over the last. But slowly and surely, it arrives. The first signs this year were as vivid as if they happened yesterday. A rogue forsythia was in full bloom well before any other plants had signs of new life upon their branches. It's starky branches shooting yellow flowers into the sky as if greeting the sun. Temperatures had soared into the fifties that day. It was still only March and snow patches dotted the ground, but this courageous sign of life sent excitement shooting through my bones. >>>

- 68 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

PHOTOS BY: Cambria Grace, @cambria_grace Caroline O'Donnell, @caroline_odonnell Lauren Wells, @laurenswells

PHOTOS BY: Ross Marcoux, @trvevision Gisella Casasnovas, @thesedreamstakeflight Emily Billings, @emersonthoreau

Instead of taking the bus to my destination that afternoon, I walked. You see, Spring has this sort of 'hold' over you. It's somewhat hard to describe, but it manipulates you, steering you in a new direction ever so inconspicuously. I ended up walking well over five miles that day. From Fenway through the South End, into the Common and beyond, I walked until my hands and feet had swelled. In my eyes, it was the first day of Spring and I was head-over-heels for the happiness it was making me feel. Spring forces you back into nature. For me, this is a welcome urging. I live for open spaces and cherish every minute spent outdoors. Once the temperatures warm up, I even opt to take the entrance on the opposite side of my office building, just so I can spend another minute with nature. One of my favorite parts of the season is that you start to notice things that you maybe had not before. For what seems like too many months, you've become dull to the same barren and gray sites. Just last week I marveled at the beauty of a wisteria tree, draped in it's purple cloak. A few weeks prior it was merely twig and branches that spilled over the concrete barrier lining the Massachusetts Turnpike. The transformation over the landscape is marvelous — it's wonderful what Spring can do! Muted colors spring back to life, green becomes green again! Days get a little bit longer, the temperatures start to rise just a little bit. Like the world around you, you feel alive again! Energized and excited to enjoy the beauty of the season. One of my favorite quotes regarding spring goes like this; "When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring." Here's to new beginnings, the color green and the 'sweet air of spring.' ◊◊◊

- 71 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

Photo by Anathalia Santos, @anasantos

- 72 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

Photo by Renee Chouinard, @smilinginside2

- 73 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND



INGREDIENTS 1 lb. ground lamb ½ cup onion, minced 3 garlic cloves, minced 3 quarter-sized slices of ginger 4 sprigs of mint 2 sprigs of cilantro Zest of one lemon Juice of one lemon ½ tsp. ground pepper ¼ tsp. garam masala ½ tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. celtic sea salt or pink himalyan sea salt 2 tbsp. honey + 2 tbsp. extra for glaze

DIRECTIONS Let lamb come to room temperature. If cooking on grill, soak skewers in water so they don’t burn. Preheat broiler. Meanwhile, chop onion, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, cilantro, mint. Toss in a large bowl, adding the salt. Next, add the lamb, honey, baking soda, garam masala and pepper. Knead the mixture with your hands for 2-5 minutes until the meat lightens in color and becomes sticky. Create 8 equal mounds and put on skewers. Roll the kebab between your hands to seal the meat. To make the glaze, mix lemon juice and remaining honey in a bowl. Put skewers on a baking tray and put in the oven, turning and applying the glaze every 3 to 4 minutes until done. Alternatively — put on the grill, turning until done.

- 76 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

- 77 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND


¼ cup of coconut milk 4 sprigs of mint (chopped) Juice of one lime

½ teaspoon of cumin Pinch of cayenne pepper Pinch of ground or chopped ginger

DIRECTIONS Chop cucumber into small pieces, set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Toss in chopped cucumber. Cover and let chill. Enjoy!

HONEY-LEMON COLLARD GREENS INGREDIENTS 1 bunch of collard greens, chopped 2 tablespoons of butter 1 tablespoon honey Juice of half a lemon Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS Add butter to medium sized skillet over medium heat. When butter has melted, add collard greens, cooking until wilted. Add honey, lemon, salt and pepper. Heat through and enjoy!

Traditionally, kofta is a dish of ground meat (typically beef or lamb) kebobs or meatballs mixed with different spices and/or onions as opposed to cubed meat.

- 80 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

This menu features grass-fed lamb

healthy digestive system by increas-

from Meadowview Farm in Gilman-

ing stomach acid (vitally important

ton, NH, collard greens from Lew-

for properly digesting protein and

is Farm in Concord, NH, grass-fed

many minerals) and calming intes-

and cultured butter from Brook-

tinal pain, cramping and discom-

ford Farm in Canterbury, NH, hon-

fort. This spring menu will provide

ey from Hillside Apiaries in Merri-

you and your family with a nutrient

mack, NH and organic mint from

dense, easily digested and satisfy-

Western Massachusetts. By keep-

ing meal that will attract even the

ing our sources local, we can speak

pickiest of eaters!

directly with farmers to make sure the meat we prepare is as nutrient

By eating local, you are supporting

dense as possible. It is important to

a New England family live simply

buy 100% grass-fed meats as often

and sustainably. By eating nutrient

as possible, because they have the

dense real foods, you are support-

highest amount of nutrients and

ing a healthy body and mind. Check

least amount of toxins.

out your local farmer’s market and find new foods, new recipes and

Lamb is a great source of vitamin A,

new friends!

a variety of B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, copper

For more information on how to sup-

and selenium. The added lemon and

port digestion, detoxification and

lime throughout the menu help the

a thriving body using local foods,

body digest the protein and fats,

herbs and spices, email Julieann

supporting healthy stomach acid

at or

production along with bile pro-


duction. Ginger and mint are also

launching this June!

incredible spices for supporting a

- 81 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND




THIS year, after what seemed like such a long winter, we were itching to bring our friends together to celebrate the coming of spring, warm weather, florals, and finally the beginnings of some of our favorite New England produce and confections. Perhaps one of our favorite gatherings to date, our spring garden party was a huge success. We invited our friends both old and new, to enjoy an evening surrounded by ambiance created with the intention of easing into the season, and with a menu as local and seasonal as possible. What better way than to be surrounded by friends and light fare, along with a home made drink or two? We decorated our little Boston backyard with succulents, veggie seedlings, herbs, and small floral arrangements. We wanted everything to look and feel fresh, as well as hand and home made – something you might be able to do yourself and host your own little garden gathering. Our cheeses were hand selected and our fiddleheads were hand picked. We tried our best to gather all other ingredients from local shops and farmers’ markets. During the Spring, this becomes a much easier task as farmers markets return to the weekly itinerary and new produce is offered for our plates. >>>

- 83 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

Jump to page 96 for our Ginger Root 'Healing' Cocktail, our recipe for a cocktail that's packed with healing ingredients and natural additives that will help heal body and soul.


• Salvaged boards and crates make excellent tables and shelves for different levels of appetizers, drinks, and decorations. • Pick your poison! Supply a variety of beverage options, including a signature drink, and be sure to include a variety of vessels for serving. We used mason jars, a glass beverage dispenser, and low-cost vintage style pitchers. • A mix of small, easy-to-eat, hors d’oeuvres is an essential part of any party. For our affair, we created a seasonal spring menu chalk full of foraged and local ingredients. • Set a playlist ahead of time. A solid assortment of sweet tunes will add to the ambiance. • Provide a parting gift – we decided to spread spring cheer with wildflower seed packets. • Your garden party doesn't have to drain your wallet. Decorate your space with plants. We scattered wild flowers and succulents about on tables, the ground, and even hung some along a gate and trellis. • If rain is in the forecast, which it typically is in New England, be sure to have a backup area for the party to continue. • Mood lighting is key. Hang soft party lights or light candles to create soft lighting.

- 90 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

WHISKEY SOAKED PULLED PORK INGREDIENTS 1 (3 to 4 pound) pork shoulder 1 cup ketchup

¼ cup white vinegar ¼ cup brown sugar 1 tbsp onion powder 1 tbsp garlic powder

¼ cup soy sauce 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp molasses

½ cup whiskey Salt, pepper & onion powder

DIRECTIONS Trim all the fat off of the pork loin. Generously season with salt, pepper and onion powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients; ketchup, vinegar, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, molasses and whiskey. Add pork shoulder to the bowl and cover. Let the meat marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 12 hours. Slow cook the meat on low heat for about 6 hours or until tender. Crockpot temperatures may vary, so adjust accordingly. Serve with your favorite BBQ fixings and enjoy!

- 91 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

This 'healing' cocktail is packed with healthy ingredients including raw honey, ginger and lime. Consuming a local honey will help fight allergies, ginger is a pain releaver and helps battle upset stomach among other things, while lime juice and its natural oils are great for your skin!




cocktail may not cure what ails you, but it will certainly hit the spot after a

long day. And with healthy, quality ingredients you won’t feel like you’ve overdone it. Word to the wise, moderation is the key to this healing cocktail.

HEALTH BENEFITS Raw Honey exposes consumers to traces of the pollen that would otherwise cause allergy flareups with exposure, in turn desensitizing them to these effects. Raw Ginger alleviates symptoms of an upset stomach, acts as a pain reliever, helps the body detoxify and provides a general boost to your immune system. Lime juice and its natural oils are very beneficial for skin when consumed orally or applied externally. It rejuvenates the skin, keeps it shining, protects it from infections and reduces body odor due to the presence of a large amount of vitamin C and Flavonoids. Those are both class-1 anti oxidants, and have antibiotic and disinfectant properties. >>>

- 95 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND


½ cup agave nectar 1 tablespoon raw honey 2 cups raw ginger

COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS 1 ounce Single Barrel Whiskey or other whiskey 2 ounces ginger & honey simple syrup Maine Root Ginger Brew Lime to garnish

FOR THE SIMPLE SYRUP: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Stir in ½ cup agave nectar followed by one heaping tablespoon of raw honey. Slice and peal 2 cups of raw ginger. Boil for 5 minutes. Let the raw ginger steep in the hot water for 1 hour. Strain the ginger and funnel the simple syrup into a recycled bottle or mason jar.

FOR THE COCKTAIL: Fill a mason jar or cocktail glass with ice. Pour 1 shot Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel over ice, followed by 2 shots of the ginger and honey simple syrup. Fill the rest of the glass with Maine Root Ginger Brew. Garnish with one lime wedge (or squeeze in more to taste), enjoy!

- 96 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

Lime juice and its natural oils are beneficial for skin — it rejuvenates, keeps it shining and protects it from infections.

AFTER a long, cold winter it’s always a relief


when the first mild day hits. New England homes come out of lock down — windows open, curtains dance, and the long-awaited fresh air bursts through the staleness of winter. But your home isn’t the only thing worth clearing out this spring. Winter is a hard time to eat fresh, healthy foods and so many are left feeling less than their best come spring. As you clean house this spring, consider introducing clean and healing drinks into your routine. Whether you’re fighting allergies, stress, or the last hint of a lingering cold, Mother Nature has something for you.





Cleanse your system with

This tea reduces the

This tea reduces the

this tart and satisfying

symptoms from hay fever

symptoms from hay fever

blend of healthful juices.

and delivers relief from

and delivers relief from

Don’t have a juicer? Try it

allergies. The stinging

allergies. The stinging

as a smoothie. The add-

nettle in this tea reduces

nettle in this tea reduces

ed fiber will give you an

the amount of histamine

the amount of histamine

extra boost.

the body produces in

the body produces in

response to an allergen.

response to an allergen.




Stinging Nettle


Raw ginger


Lemon Balm





Raw Honey



THYME A good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron, manganese, copper, and dietary fiber. It has long been linked to easing respiratory issues, such as coughs, bronchitis and chest congestion. Other beliefs suggest that thyme cures acne, prevents hair loss and improves vision.

S AGE Sage has been linked to helping alleviate mental health disorders such as depression and Alzheimer's. Sage essential oil has even been proven to improve memory loss. Other beliefs relating to the health benefits of sage include alleviating stomach pain, treating asthma and even reducing excessive sweating.

KAL E Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants, Vitamin C, and fiber and sulfur which are both great detoxifiers. It's high in Vitamin A, Calcium, iron and Vitamin K which can help protect your body against various forms of cancer as well as help those suffering from Alzheimer’s.

GI NGER Raw ginger alleviates symptoms of an upset stomach, acts as a pain reliever, helps the body detoxify and provides a general boost to your immune system. This aromatic rhizome of the ginger plant has also been proven to provide safe and effective relief from nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

C HAMOMI L E Chamomile has been used to treat irritation from chest colds, slow-healing wounds, gum inflammation, and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. It has been known to boost your immune system, decrease stress and anxiety and also soothe and upset stomach.

EC HI NAC EA It is believed that the Echinacea herb boosts the immune system and reduces many of the symptoms of the common cold, flu and other illnesses such as bronchitis, hay fever, ear infections and gingivitis. When applied topically, echinacea helps speed the recovery from a sunburn.

HONEY Raw honey exposes consumers to traces of the pollen that would otherwise cause allergy flareups with exposure, desensitizing them to these effects. Honey also provides sleep releif, helps naturally suppress a cough and even soothes the stinging sensations brought on by a burn when applied topically.

L EMON Lemons are rich in Viatmin C that in turn helps fight infections like the flu and the common cold. Lemons are also known to neutralize free radicals linked to aging and also acts as a powerful antibacterial. Lemons are alkaline-forming on body fluids which aids in restoring pH balance in the body.


New Englander's have long embraced local agricultural. Community farming has been a way of life since colonial times on the outskirts of Boston and beyond. But that role is no longer limited to wide-open landscapes in rural areas. One farm is redefining the rules of agriculture, shaping how city-folk think about farming, and is changing the way Bostonians eat. Meet Higher Ground Farm, owned by long- time friends and “soul-mates” Courtney Hennessey and John Stoddard. They’re on a mission to increase access to fresh, healthy food in Boston, and contribute to the sustainability of our food system. The two, who met at the University of Vermont on their second day of college, say they never would have believed how their lives have unfurled. But here they are 14 years post-college, and hundreds of feet up, cultivating Boston’s first rooftop farm atop the Boston Design Center. Now in their second growing season, the farm is getting an earlier start and the crops are starting to come in. But despite the abundance of crops and an already flourishing network of buyers, they insist that the road to the roof was not a quick and easy one. >>>

Higher Ground Farm cultivates primarily salad greens, tomatoes, and edible flowers. During our visit, spinach planted during their first season had started to come back in.

THE ROAD TO THE ROOF Upon graduation from UVM in 1999, Courtney moved to Massachusetts to work for The Food Project and John went out west to work in Portland, Oregon. In 2005, their paths realigned when John moved back to Boston and the two began a long stretch working in the restaurant business. It wasn’t until 2010 that the two started drumming up plans for their dream farm, and Higher Ground began its long journey to reality. They started with funding, launching a Kickstarter® campaign and subsequent fundraisers. After a search of various rooftop locations, including one in Charlestown, the two settled on the Boston Design Center and signed their lease in 2012. The first growing season began in July of 2013, after months of tackling the city’s bureaucratic red tape, and hours of manual labor. On their own, and with the help of volunteers they hauled 1,400 milk crates and the organic soil to fill them up onto the roof. The farm cultivated 2,300 pounds of produce during last year’s short growing season, and this year they expect to grow even more. Getting to Higher Ground Farm is no easy task, but the journey and the view up top are more than worth the effort. To get to the rooftop, we took an elevator to the top floor and then ascended a slightly perilous set of stairs. From there we stepped out onto the farm’s staggering 55,000 square feet of rooftop growing space. Currently, they grow primarily salad greens, tomatoes, and edible flowers in rows upon rows of planter beds. This year they plan to experiment with cucumbers and summer squash as well. The plants are watered two times a day by a complex irrigation system that snakes through the planter beds. >>>

The farm uses planter beds versus a green roof because the system is lighter, easier to transport, and low-tech, which makes for a more inexpensive way to grow a lot of produce. They can reuse the crates year after year, and only have to replace the organic fertilizer after a few years.

According to Courtney and John

and Tavern Road just to name a few.

there are definitely some challeng-

They also sell in one retail store

es to farming on an expansive roof-

called American Provisions. This

top – namely, the high winds from

coming year they will be adding My-

off the ocean and seagulls. During

ers and Chang to their roster.

our visit to the farm several gulls had already taken up residence on

If you want to get your hands dirty,

the rooftop where they will lay their

the farm offers several volunteer

eggs and protect their babies from

opportunities throughout the sum-

predators. And unfortunately they

mer. Volunteers can help out with a

can’t distinguish between a danger-

variety of tasks, from planting to-

ous hawk and a friendly volunteer.

matoes to carrying milk crates up

Needless to say, Courtney and John

to the rooftop for planting. In 2013,

will be relocating the seagulls. They

they had around 50 people at every

also initially worried about pollina-

volunteer event, so be sure to sign

tion on the rooftop, but nine bee-

up well ahead of time. You can help

hives housed on the roof of the Sea-

Higher Ground take their farm to

port Hotel have helped the process

the next level.

along. Courtney and John have big plans


for their rooftop farm. In the future they hope to gain public access to

Throughout Courtney and John’s

the roof so they can create an event

many years in the restaurant busi-

space, and a place where they can

ness they built many strong rela-

hold educational events for kids and

tionships in the Boston restaurant

adults alike. They have even toyed

community, and now those people

with the idea of hosting supper

are the support system that has

clubs and dinner pop ups. And of

helped their business get off the

course, they will continue on their

ground. Currently, Higher Ground

mission to deliver fresh, healthy

Farms sells most of their produce to

food to Bostonians, and educate our

local restaurants in Boston. The list

community on the benefits of roof-

of top-notch restaurants includes

top farming.

Tres Gatos, Ten Tables, Toro, Coppa,

- 114 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND


In 2010, Courtney and John started drumming up plans for their dream farm, and Higher Ground began its long journey to reality. They started with funding, launching a Kickstarter速 campaign and subsequent fundraisers. After a search of various rooftop locations, including one in Charlestown, the two settled on the Boston Design Center and signed their lease in 2012.

Enjoy the fruits of your foraging labor with a simple and tasty Crispy Fiddlehead Fritters with Homemade Ranch recipe found on page 127.



OVER the past decade the local food movement has exploded onto the scene in New England communities and restaurants. Many have taken steps to support this movement, and we at t.e.l.l. New England have been known to spout the jargon – “farm to table”, “sustainable food”, “slow food”, “locavores,” and the list goes on. No matter what you call it, at the root it means the same thing to most people – eat fresh, local food to save money, support our community, and help to sustain our environment. That might mean supporting community farmers at local markets or eating strictly at restaurants that source locally. To some it means getting as close to the source as possible. These people are foragers, and they know a thing or two about going direct to the source to fill their plates. A few weeks ago I attended a foraging talk with Russ Cohen, a local Massachusetts foraging legend. He reminded us that while proper education and hard work is important in foraging, it should not deter you. The work is sometimes hard, but the reward of eating the freshest of produce and enjoying time with nature far outweighs the challenges. And with a little guidance you will see that foraging doesn’t have to be an inconvenience, there may be edibles in your own back yard. Hundreds of wild edibles can be found in New England, but we’ve culled down our list to three great beginner finds. If our list doesn’t quite meet your hankering for fresh wild edibles, we suggest checking out Russ Cohen’s book, Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten. >>>

- 119 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

FIDDLEHEADS For your first foray into foraging we recommend the fiddlehead. A fiddlehead is the young, furled frond of a fern, named after its resemblance to the top of a fiddle. This wild treat has gotten a lot of attention in the culinary community for its unique taste, crunchy texture, and versatility in cuisine. But it can come with a high price tag at your local grocer or farmers market come springtime. So skip the check out line, put on your galoshes and head into the great outdoors – this edible flourishes in wild and wet areas, along river and stream banks and swampy areas. One edible species of fiddlehead, known as the Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) grows in abundance in New England’s back yard, as well as many other regions in North America. We recommend bringing along an expert forager or something with experience on your first endeavor, as some easily confused fiddlehead varieties can be toxic. The Ostrich variety can be recognized by three defining attributes. First is the bright green stem, which pops against its dark, wet environment. The second is the feathery-brown, paper-like material that covers the sides of the coils. And the third defining feature is the deep groove (U or V shape) on the inside of the stem. Once you’ve harvested your fiddleheads there are just a few final things to consider before hitting the kitchen. The rules of fiddleheads: •

Double and triple check that you have the right varietal before eating.

Only eat the fiddleheads that are still tender and have not yet unfurled.

Always cook thoroughly! Even the Ostrich variety can be toxic if not cooked completely.

The foraging season for fiddleheads is very short, so be sure to enjoy every bite. >>>

- 120 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND

JAPANESE KNOTWEED One hundred years ago we likely would not have included Japanese Knotweed in our list of New England wild edibles. The plant was introduced to the United State in the 1900s by none other than Frederic Law Olmstead, the mastermind behind some of New England’s most beautiful parks. Of course he likely didn’t know at the time that this plant would reap havoc on our eco-system. An invasive species, the Japanese Knotweed has presented a serious threat to many native species. And that gives foragers the perfect excuse to pick to their hearts content. This alien plant can be found almost everywhere in the spring. We’ve even seen it growing out of cracks in the cement on city streets, but we would recommend sticking to the woods away from main streets and car exhaust. The weed resembles bamboo, and grows just as fast. It can grow up to ten feet tall and the leaves are typically about 6 inches in length. Culinary experts have compared the knotweed’s taste to rhubarb. The plant can be swapped into almost any recipe that calls for rhubarb, including the age-old favorite, Strawberry Rhubarb pie. To eat, first peel the thick out layer and then cut into 1-inch chunks. Check out Cohen’s book for some tasty recipes. >>>

STINGING NETTLE First impressions aren’t the Stinging Nettle’s strong suit. Packed with a formic acid, the same chemical that is found in some species of ants, the plant can cause a painful sensation on bare skin. Many first-time foragers steer clear of the plant, but with a little awareness the plant can be foraged and cooked safely. Lucky for those brave souls who choose to forage, the Stinging Nettle is surprisingly delicious and full of healthy protein. The plant is one of the most protein rich leafy greens out there with seven percent by weight. Still worried about the plants harmful abilities? Don’t be. Once full cooked the plant’s sting becomes harmless. So now that’s you’ve been convinced that the Stinging Nettle is worth the pain (figuratively speaking), pack your gardening gloves and hit the trails. There are a few things to look for when on the search for Stinging Nettles. First, the plant tends to grow in large patches of 100 or more. They tend to grow on the edges of pastures and farms due to the rich soil. And around this time of year the plants could be as tall as three to four feet. The plant typically starts to come up in mid-April, but the tender tops are still edible in this taller stage. Once you’ve collected your nettles, be sure to continue wearing gloves to handle. To cook, first rinse the Stinging Nettles thoroughly in cold water. Transfer the rinsed greens to a sauté pan using tongs, and steam them for about five minutes. Once cooked the plant is ready for the eating, or storing if you want to save your healthy treat for a later date. Put your cooked nettles into a freezer bag where they’ll be ready for use at a later date. ◊◊◊



CRSIPY FIDDLEHEAD FRITTERS WITH HOMEMADE RANCH FRITTER INGREDIENTS 2-3 cups fiddleheads 2 cups breadcrumbs (preferably whole wheat) 2 eggs

¼ tsp chili powder ¼ tsp paprika Salt and pepper

RANCH DIPPING SAUCE INGREDIENTS ½ cup buttermilk, shaken 2 tbsp sour cream 1 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tsp finely chopped fresh chives, tarragon, and parsley 1 clove garlic, grated

½ tsp Dijon mustard ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar FOR THE FRITTERS: Thoroughly rinse and dry the fiddleheads. Ensure that the brown, papery flakes have all been removed as they can leave a bitter taste. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prep your baking sheet by placing a cookie rack on top of the baking sheet. This will ensure even cooking. Mix the breadcrumbs, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Beat two eggs in a small bowl. Dip each fiddlehead into the egg, coat evenly with the breadcrumb mixture and place onto the rack.Bake the fritters for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

FOR THE RANCH DIP: Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl. Whisk until the dipping sauce is slightly frothy. Dip your fritters and enjoy!

- 126 t.e.l.l. NEW ENGL AND


Issue 05 | Spring 2014

Issue 05 | The Green Issue  
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