Visiting Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT

the Farm Barn
J and I had the opportunity to spend time in the Burlington and Shelburne areas of Vermont a couple of weeks ago.  I had already fallen in love with this area and now I've fallen in love with this property.  We stayed at the farm and spent an entire day (plus the evening before) walking and exploring the beautiful land.  I wanted to share this with you as a recommended place to visit if you're ever in the area.

A BEAUTIFUL 1,400 acre working farm located in Shelburne, Vermont, Shelburne Farms is simply amazing.  The previous home of Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb, this massive property is now a non-profit focused on sustainability.  Seward and Webb began purchasing the properties on the shore of Lake Champlain, and building their home and farm in 1886 based on an idea they shared of having one large amazing farm as opposed to the many farms originally spread among the properties.

They later added brown swiss cows which are the breed still raised today.  Over 100 cows are in the certified humane dairy in addition to a few chickens, pigs, goats and a large flock of sheep sprinkled throughout the farmland.

the Farm Barn


Happy Tuesday!

Today is the third day I've been attempting to complete this post.  I am bound and determined to do it this time.  There's just no time in the day - isn't it crazy how it flies right on by?  In fact, I'm amazed that it's June already.  I'm thrilled that at my "day job" I've added a fifth position to my department which I'm currently recruiting for in hopes this gives me a bit of my life back.  I can't wait! 

At our Apothecary business, we've delved right into our busy season although (thankfully) we didn't have much of a slow season this year.

We were able to get quite a bit accomplished this weekend.  There's always an ongoing to-do list! We worked outside around the house and garden all day Saturday, and then had the market on Sunday.

The boys have been helping out a LOT.  You know they are the best darned supervisors I could ever have!  We had some photography to get done on Saturday so they not only supervised but did a little investigating too.  They were bummed to discover we were not photographing our meal.  Soap just doesn't taste as good.....

Our business continues to evolve and this year is no exception.  We are amazed, excited, overwhelmed, and a little fearful at times about where we've been and where we're headed.  This year we're trying to get our feet back underneath us after an explosive 2016, and next year we'll implement even more growth.  We are super excited!

And, of course, the dogs will continue to play an integral role.....

Book Review: Welcome To The Farm by Shaye Elliott

I have a new book that I've been reading - Welcome To The Farm by Shaye Elliott of The Elliott Homestead.  I own her previous 2 books as well, both of those are cookbooks, and I've been following her blog for a few years.

A funny thing happened about a month and a half ago.  I was catching up on reading posts on Shaye's blog and saw that you could pre-order her book on Amazon.  I threw it in my cart and didn't yet check out, I was waiting to see what else I needed wanted.  A few days later I received an email asking if I

{healthier} Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

I, for the most part, have given up white/processed sugar.  The reason I say "for the most part" is because I do eat a few things that have a bit of sugar in it from time-to-time.  But when I want something sweet, I try to turn to fruit or homemade treats such as this which uses dates, honey and/or maple syrup instead of sugar.

These. are. yummy.

Even J, who hasn't changed his eating habits, loves these little balls of goodness.  Initially he passed on trying them.  After I convinced him they were worth a try, however, he declared them "really good".  And then he ate 4. Perhaps to prove his point?

Anyway, I recommend you make 1 batch to "test" them, but give yourself time to then whip up another batch.  Or two.  You can always freeze the leftovers.  If there are any......  just sayin'.

Eat Local: Menu Plan Week of May 8, 2017

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Eating locally is challenging for us right now, as it is for most of you.  Root vegetables that have been stored all winter are about gone and the spring veggies are, for the most part, non-existent as of yet.  So, it's mostly grocery store shopping for another few weeks.

We did a poor job last summer of ensuring we had put away enough fruit and veggies to last all winter.  We just didn't have the time to devote to the garden or to the preserving of food.  We're hoping to turn that around this year.

When you eat a lot of fruits and veggies the cost can get out of control very quickly.  My first few weeks of plant-based whole foods eating was expensive.  I didn't have the time to meal plan as well as I typically do, so our weekly grocery costs were around $100.00 to $140.00.  Yikes!  After a few weeks I regained control over the ridiculous spending and we're back in line.  I was also making 2 completely separate meals initially.  Now, I make a plant-based whole foods meal and add a side of meat for J.

This has saved money, time and sanity.  A win-win-win.

Here's this week's menu:

Kale-Quinoa Salad

I've found that I love quinoa in salads.  It feels light, accepts the flavor of dressing very well, and partners deliciously with just about anything.  This salad is very flexible.  Don't have chickpeas?  Leave them out or substitute with a bean.  Don't have dried cranberries?  Omit those too or substitute with dried apples, pineapple or mango (sulfate free, of course).  Use your favorite dressing in place of the vinaigrette if you choose, or, if you have a honey-balsamic blend on hand, it's delicious with 1 Tablespoon dijon blended in as the vinaigrette.

This is a super easy salad packed full of goodness!


It's Spring!!!  A few of the days have felt like summer, however, I'm reminded by the occasional 40 or 50 degree day that it's indeed spring.

The dogs are thrilled with the sunny days.  There's nothing like hanging out on the back deck, sunbathing and supervising the neighbors.  And the Coop Girls love it for the same reasons!  That and supervising my every move in the garden.  They can't seem to understand that the garden isn't producing yet.  Based on the heckling I get, I think they believe I'm holding out on the veggies.....

Saturday it was rumored to rain, however, it was a false alarm which we celebrated by purchasing a pear tree, some more blueberry bushes, and a couple landscaping bushes which will add privacy and color to the yard.  The pear tree is a bartlett pear with 3 other varieties