Dartmouth

Hitting the Trail on the FarmCoast: Cornell Farm

We’ve all seen a friend or two post beautiful photos clambering up suspension bridges, walking down the boardwalks, or sitting on one of the many perfectly placed benches, but few the name where those photos were taken, the story behind the land, or what to really expect when visiting Cornell Farm.  Cornell Farm is a property that came to being in 2009 when The Trustees of the Reservations and the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust worked in partnership to acquire and preserve the property for conservation and public access.  Before preservation, the land had been owned by its namesake, the Cornell family, and had most recently served as a dairy farm, and the remnants of the Farm stretch throughout the property.

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The property contains marvelous woodlands, and stunning scenic views over its wetlands and salt marshes as part of the Little River watershed.  Cornell Farm is joined with the DNRT property Frank Knowles-Little River Reserve and the Dartmouth Town owned “McBratney” Property to create an over 500 acre Conservation Area with miles of trails stretching throughout the property.

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“But how do I get to the cool stuff?” you may be asking.  Well, to enter directly onto the Frank Knowles-Little River Reserve, there is a parking area and trail head on Potomska Road in South Dartmouth, just before getting to the Lloyd Center for the Environment. Be prepared however, to get to those spectacular bridges and board walks that you see here, you’ll be walking for at least a mile, with some climbs over the remnants of stone walls.  During the wetter and warmer times of the year, you may have to traverse some very soft ground, and if your looking to spend some serious time out there, Bean Boots might be warranted.  That’s not to say the walk isn’t worth it.  The trails from this entrance are much more numerous (always take a map), with great forested views, old home and farmsteads (some seen here), and small bridges and brooks.  Starting from Potomska Road is just the more adventurous path.

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            The easier walk, while offering some of the best views in the Reserves is the entrance through Cornell Farm, off of Smith Neck Road.  While the long boardwalks are technically on the DNRT property, they are much easing and seemingly quicker to get to this way.  The trails are well established, at a smaller grade, and well-groomed, if only a little muddy (you may have to put the Bean Boots to use if it rains, but otherwise you should be fine), but thankfully boards are stretched over the largest puddles.

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As you can see, the views alone are worth any amount of walking on these properties.  And while you can’t hear them, its a wonderful place to birdwatch, as you see plenty of foul, shore and song birds, and maybe a bird-of-prey, but often with the attention that the landscape demands, you’ll hear them first.

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            Before embarking please remember that dogs must be on leash at all times, and all waste (yours included) must be taken with you.  Remember to use bug spray, especially in the warmer months, and always look out for ticks while walking the property.  Finally, on the “McBratney” Property and when permitted specially by the Trustees on Cornell Farm, hunting is permitted in season, so dress accordingly with 500 square inches of blaze orange.

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            Finally, what should you do once you get off the trail, now that you’re a little warm from the walk.  Well the added bonus of parking and entering from Cornell Farm, you can stop by Salvador’s Ice Cream, located less than 2 minutes to the south on Smith Neck Road.  Open in the summer season from 11:30AM-9:00PM daily, and cash only, who doesn’t want to stop and get ice cram from a giant milk jug? Overall, the trip to Cornell Farm in South Dartmouth is worth the views, and maybe some ice cream when you’ve worked hard to get them.

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More information about the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust visit dnrt.org

Written by: Scott Mason

Photography by: Scott Mason

to see more of his work @scottarthurmason

*want to be a Farmcoast Blog contributor? Email us at info@farmcoast.com

Festivals on the FarmCoast

Summer is a time to celebrate, and here on the FarmCoast there are plenty of chances to join in the festivities. FarmCoast festivals highlight the unique people, art, food, and landscape of our four towns and are happening here all summer long!

The Westport Fair July 16th– 20th

Here’s where you can experience a good old-fashioned summer fair right on the FarmCoast. Think local crafts, BBQ, 4H, carnivals, and music. In partnership with Lee’s Supermarket the fair grants scholarships each year to community recipients. The fair is located at 200 Pine Hill Road Westport, MA. For more information visit the fair website.

Arts and Artisan Festival July 19th

The 27th annual Arts and Artisan Festival is the longest standing art fest on the FarmCoast and is one of the many FarmCoast traditions that only gets brighter with age. The festival features over 75 New England artists showcasing everything from textiles to painting to photography and more. Live entertainment and amazing food by the Acacia Café food truck will be there all day long. The festival is held on lawn behind the behind The Mill Pond Shops in historic Tiverton Four Corners at 3998 Main Rd Tiverton, RI from 10-4pm. The rain date is Sunday, July 20th. To learn more about the festival and vendors, click here.

Padanaram Village Celebration July 26-27th

Explore Padanaram and the “Days of Yore” in this two-day celebration commemorating Dartmouth’s 350th anniversary. Saturday enjoy sidewalk sales, nature walks, a SEMAP culinary presentation, historic reenactments, concerts, tractor rides and more. Sunday brings more historic presentations, a baseball game, and family centered events. There will even be a birthday cake! For more information about this two-day event, click here.

SouthCoast Artists Tours July 19th & 20th AND August 16th and 17th

Now in their 11th year, the South Coast Artists are once again opening their doors during the Open Studio Tours this summer, providing visitors a glance at the life and work of established and unique area artists. Grab a tour map and wander through the FarmCoast towns on your choice of two weekends this summer to see live multi-media painting, sculpting and pottery, mosaic and more. The SouthCoast Artists are a non-profit organization working together to preserve and enrich the community through art. Click here for more information or to download a map.

Cultural Survival Bazaar July 26th and 27th

A traveling Bazaar of indigenous art and culture, this celebration of native people is the most colorful of the FarmCoast festivals. Here you will find tribal crafts, artwork, clothing, jewelry, carpets, and accessories, not to mention live music, Native American storytelling, cultural presentations, craft-making demonstrations, and short films all on the lawn of the Soule-Seabury House in Tiverton Four Corners from 10am to 5pm. Dedicated to the principals of fair trade the Bazaar facilitates the expansion and access to American markets. In the past seven years alone the bazaars have generated over $3 million for indigenous artisans, fair trade businesses, indigenous communities’ programs, and Cultural Survival’s work on behalf of indigenous peoples. For more information on the mission, the artists and performances click here.

Sing out Against Hunger  July 26th through October

A series of music performances by local musicians will once again take the stage on the FarmCoast to raise awareness and gather canned goods for the Tiverton Food Drive. In cooperation with local merchants, volunteer musicians, and civic-minded people, Singing Out Against Hunger raises thousands of dollars each year to help rid the community of hunger. Their main event at Evelyn’s Drive In will take place September 12-14th where you can find raffle prizes, a silent auction, and great local bands. Other concert locations and dates can be found here.

Hope to see you at one of the many Festivals this summer!

Summer Music on the FarmCoast

FarmCoast summers are here which means fresh eggs on the roadside, clam cakes on the beach, open shop doors, beautiful sunsets, and of course, live music. Many of our members are offering summer evening concerts and we hope you get out to join them!

Westport Rivers Sunset Concert Series

A gorgeous vineyard with a long family history is bringing back their much-loved Sunset Concert Series starting this Friday June 20th with a fabulous entertainment line-up. Bring your picnic blanket and food if you want, but you may want to save your appetite for the Cuttyhunk raw bar or catering by Compton Clambakes. Beer and wine are also available to purchase, but bring your own glasses! The outdoor concerts will be every Friday from 6-8pm and a few Saturday nights as well. The cost is $10 per carload. For more visit westportrivers.com



Apponagansett Summer Concert Series

Find your spot on the lawn of the Apponagansett park overlooking the Apponagansett Bay in Dartmouth every Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30pm to enjoy  a lively line-up of local music.  “The Bucket” will be serving your favorite backyard cooks plus ice cream and cold drinks. The cost is $5 per person or $4 in advance; children under 12 are free. Rain date will be on Thursdays. Find details about the bands and series here.

LIVE at the Sail Loft

This Padanram hot-spot hosts live music Thrusdays and Sundays and just released a brand new menu. By the way, Padanaram is a must-see stop on the Farmcoast, so before dinner stroll the shops of this quaint and historic boating village. Discover the harmony of local music and local food together at the Sail Loft. To get updates on Sail Loft performances follow them here.

Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard Summer Concert Series

Surrounded by the beauty of Little Compton’s favorite vineyard, park your family and pets on the grounds of Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard for an evening of spirited music and superb local wine. Concerts will be held Thursday evenings from 6-8pm through Sept 18th and food and drink will be for sale at Carolyn’s Cafe. Dancing barefoot is encouraged. To see the full band line-up visit sakonnetwine.com.

Back Eddy

Long-time local favorite The Back Eddy has reserved Sunday nights for fresh seafood, spirited cocktails, and live music. Expect amazing performances like that of acclaimed singer-songwriter Rebecca Correia, in an entirely relaxed atmosphere. Stop by throughout the summer for waterfront seats, local food, amazing views, and great local music.

Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center Concert and Food Truck Festival

The Meeting House in Four Corners has made welcome hundreds of community festivals over the years and will be hosting this year’s not-to-be-missed Art Center Food Truck Concert Festival. Be there for one, or all three, concert dates June 29th, July 27th, and Auguest 17th and find delicious local creations from the Acacia Food Truck each time. The Concert line-up is as follows: Smith & Weeden on June 29th, Kate Grana & Friends on July 27th, and Abbey Rhode on August 20th; per ticket cost is $14 at the door. Alternatively, you can purchase a season pass for all three concerts for $30 which grants you discounts to 5 other concerts happening at the art center. This venue is an iconic stop for visitors and locals on the summer Farmcoast trail, we hope to see you there!

Community Supported Agriculture: Top 10 Reasons to get a Farmcoast CSA this Summer

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a big part of the FarmCoast heritage. The land in all it’s lush and fertile beauty is credit to the bountiful farms and farmers and their faithful integrity. If you haven’t signed up for a farm share this year, here are ten reasons why you should. Scroll down for a list of farms on the FarmCoast offering delicious summer produce.

10. Because we all know by now to SHOP LOCAL. 100% of your money spent on a farm share goes right to the farmer who picked those veggies allowing them to more efficiently sustain their business and crops.

9. Because in your market bag each week will be super FRESH, colorful, often ORGANIC produce that you’d pay more for in the grocery store.

8. Because the average COST of a couple’s farmshare is about $25 per week. For the same cost as a trip to the movies you can help to sustain and maintain the farms and open space on the FarmCoast for years to come and eat vegetables while you’re doing it.

7. Because summertime is a great time to get CREATIVE in the kitchen. Each week you’ll bring home an assortment of seasonal produce giving your dinner menu a chance to refresh. Not sure what to do with kohlrabi? Not to worry, many of the farms send home recipes to accompany their veggies.

6. Because you’ll get to know your farmer and other veggie-loving farmcoast FRIENDS. Anyone for a farmcoast CSA cook-out?

5. Because you’ll be in the know. Your trip to the farm each week will be like a crash course in eating by season, and even long after your CSA has expired you will continue to shop smarter and cook healthier.

4. Did we mention healthy eating?

3. Because food is culture, and part of the FarmCoast CULTURE is food. Join the wave of Farmcoast foodies!

2. Because getting it from the farm will minimize your carbon FOOTPRINT by decreasing how far your food travels.  Most food travels over 1500 miles before you eat it!

1. Tomatoes, corn, sugar snap peas, beets, blueberries, peppers, kale, cucumbers, peaches, squash, garlic, and happiness all summer long.


It’s not too late to get in on a CSA this summer. Below are a list of FarmCoast farms offering shares.Contact individual farms for details and share availability. Most begin in the next couple of weeks so don’t wait! Do you already have a share? Let us know what’s your favorite CSA take-home.

Tiverton

Roots Farm 

Mello’s Farm Stand

Little Compton

Wishing Stone Farm

Westport MA

Hilltop Farm

Skinny Dip Farm 

Dartmouth
Apponagansett Farm 

Brix Bounty Farm

Round the Bend Farm

Silverbrook Farm

Look Who’s New on the FarmCoast

A host of new members have jumped on the sustainably-minded bandwagon we call the FarmCoast, a beautiful stretch of land that sits on the coastal border of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Farmcoast, as the name implies, is a community graciously dependent on its land, but farms are not all you will find here. Food caught fresh and sustainably sourced, clothing hand-made and fair-trade, art in many accomplished forms, and people who appreciate these precious modern amenities are all scattered across the FarmCoast landscape. If you haven’t been to this region of New England yet, now’s the perfect time. Here are some of 2014’s newest members. Welcome aboard!

The Local Bouquet

The local bouquet is a full service “field to vase” floral design studio using domestic and locally grown flowers and offering gorgeous event assortments, flower subscriptions, and workshops. Visit their website to learn more about Mary-Kate and Maureen or to order your own FarmCoast blooms.

Simmons Cafe and Market

You will find some flowers from the local bouquet stocked in the new Simmons Cafe and Market, a historic, lively café and marketplace that features natural and organic foods, local products, healthy meals, art, music, and wifi. Simmons Cafe is located at 78A Crandall Rd in Little Compton, RI.

Shop-Isa

An artist gallery and artisan boutique overlooking the Sakonnet River, Shop-Isa features a blossoming assortment of fair-trade and handmade goods. You will find everything from soaps and jewelry, to photography and up-cycled home vintage accessories. Find Shop Isa at 1793 Main Rd. Tiverton,RI and online at shopisa.tumblr.com.

Katherine Lovell Studio and Gallery

Previously part of the Mill Pond Shops, Katherine Lovell will be joining the FarmCoast and the lively arts community in Tiverton Four Corners in a new location at 3895 Main Road in Tiverton. Don’t miss her grand opening on June 14th to see wonderful, nature-inspired works of art! To learn more about her paintings visit klovell.com.

Acacia Cafe-Food Truck

Acacia Cafe is the tastiest new FarmCoast member, a Food Truck, serving up a mouthwatering menu and traveling throughout Rhode Island and the southcoast of Massachusetts at regular locations and special events. All their ingredients are locally grown and sourced, all natural and organic whenever possible. They will be guests of honor at the Tiverton Four Corners Food Truck Concert Series this summer, don’t miss it! For more information on their food, locations, and menu visit them online at acaciacafe.com.

Sakonnet Collective

A new member with a new location in Tiverton Four Corners, this colorful art gallery and studio brings excitement and enthusiasm along with fine furniture, sculptures, mixed media art, ceramics, and jewelry crafted by local and resident artists as well as visiting artists. Stop by their new location at 3842 Main Rd, Tiverton, RI for their Grand Opening on June 14th or visit them online at thesakonnetcollective.com.


Tess & Carlos

 
An urban upscale boutique comes to the village of Four Corners! Tess and Carlos is well-known for their high-quality, European-style women’s clothing and accessories. They have stores in and around the Boston metropolitan area and now right here on the FarmCoast. Read all about their new boutique on the Discover Rhode Island Style Blog!

For a full listing of all FarmCoast Members, visit our website at www.farmcoast.com.

A Day at the Spa

Whether you spend your summer days in the backyard, beach, or in the office, everyone deserves a little pampering this time of year. So when you discover this sophisticated day spa amidst the gorgeous seaside landscape of FarmCoast, you’ll know you’ve found the ultimate summertime indulgence. Although FarmCoast is dotted with elegance –from whispering natural habitats to upscale art galleries— Karyne and Company’s unique charm lies in the offering to relax both muscles and mind with expertise and glamour, a tempting luxury that’s hard to pass up.

Opened only in November of 2011 at 368 Elm Street, Karyne and Company Day Spa is a relatively new member of historic Padanaram Village and the FarmCoast. Once a South Dartmouth ship port, Padanaram can be traced back to it’s original purchase from the Wampanoag Indian tribe  in 1652 and now exists as a small-scale modern marketplace. The waterfront village is home to eateries, galleries, boutique shopping, and a bustling summer population. And it was Karyne who realized the village needed somewhere to put their feet up.

“I wanted to create a peaceful, zen place, but also one that was modern and comfortable,” she says. Karyne Hubert is owner and operator of the beautifully located spa and a Dartmouth resident herself who admittedly takes the back roads to work just for the views. If you ask her the secret to why clients always return she will tell you, “it’s the customer service.” A hand-picked, expertly-trained staff pride themselves on high standards, deep body awareness, and a keen ability to read their clients needs.  Not just anyone can work here, but everyone is welcome to reap the benefits of this bright and sunny village spa.

Karyne and Company’s services include nail care, sports and body massage, facials, spray tanning, skincare consultation and application, and full body waxing. Karyne chooses results-proven products for skincare and she and her staff always recommend SPF. Your summer self will love this place.

Karyne and Company is open Tuesday through Saturday year round; appointments are recommended and walk-ins are always welcome.

For more information about Karyne and Company and for special deals and last minute spa availability please visit them on Facebook.

Wide Open Spaces on the FarmCoast

Spring has sprung! And if this warmer weather has got you searching for a trip to the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. Our four coastal villages are filled with open spaces and gorgeous natural habitats just waiting for your visit. We invite you to bask in the warm sun and all the glory of being in the fresh outdoors. From open parks to nature trails, here are some stops you might want to explore this spring

In Tiverton 
Tiverton is known for it’s hidden treasures and certainly Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Refuge is one of these. Situated just minutes north of historic Tiverton Four Corners on Sepowet Ave, this preserve features 50 acres of accessible tree-lined trails welcoming to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts and encouraging to hopeful bird watchers; Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Glossy Ibis are just some of the birds you might encounter on your peaceful walk through the trails. What to bring: your binoculars and sketch pad; this refuge will delight you with stunning views of salt marshes and the sparkling Sakonnet River.
Weetamoo Woods, part of Pardon Gray Reserve, is another option for hiking in Tiverton. While you can travel through Pardon Gray to get to the forest trails, many prefer the entrance on East Rd. which gives direct access to over 5 miles of mapped trails. This healthy trek is a paradise for budding botanists and historians alike. Here you’ll find a showcase of nature’s most resilient mosses, mushrooms, and wild plants, and remnence of Weetamoo’s original Wampanoag ownership with historic stone walls, cellar holes and even a village sawmill. What to bring: Your pup and a few dollars for ice cream. Wetamoo is right across from iconic Tiverton ice cream parlor, Gray’s!

In Little Compton
Although the entrance may be easy to pass by, don’t drive by Simmon’s Mill Pond in Little Compton, especially if you’ve brought your fishing gear. Over 400 acres of land sit under forest cover with wide hiking trails and at the pond, we hear, an abundance of trout in the spring. Hike about a 1/2 mile from the entrance on Colebrook Rd. and find a beautiful place to spread out your picnic blanket and enjoy the sounds of nature. What to bring: sturdy shoes and your fishing pole.

In Westport
If you find yourself in this summer beach town make your way over to Allen’s Pond Wildlife Sanctuary and explore the coastal wetlands. Two entrances give access to over 7 hiking routes, boasting 6 miles of trails and “first-class bird watching,” each with their own unique display of this rich New England habitat. Parking on Horseneck Rd. brings you to the Quansett Trail System including a breathtaking Beach Loop filled with gorgeous views of Buzzard’s Bay. Just up the street, parking on Allen’s Neck Road brings you to the Allen’s Neck Trail System through old pastures and grasslands to giant boulders and vernal pools.What to bring: a wind jacket and a bird dictionary; Over 300 species of birds have been spotted here!

In Dartmouth
Located on Barney’s Joy Rd., Demarest Lloyd State Park is rightfully called one of the best-kept secrets in southern Massachusetts. In a harmonious blending of farm and sea, hiking trails open onto a beautiful accessible beach. Visitors say traveling here feels like being a kid again, uncovering a secret treasure you’ll want to visit again and again. What to bring: sand shovels and buckets for collecting rocks and shells. Also in Dartmouth, managed jointly by the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust and Trustees of Reservations, Slocum River Reserve is a beautiful hike for those who appreciate a peek at the water featuring 2 miles of walking trails along the stunning Slocum River. To add to it’s appeal, over the passed year an art exhibit, The River Project, was installed inviting visitors to view large scale sculptures by local artists amidst the trails through May 18th 2013. What to Bring: your artistic side and a bit of bug spray.

Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust manages over ten popular trails in the area including the popular Daffodil fields in Parson’s Preserve, a springtime delight for all ages. The organization hosts events and guided walks throughout the year.Visit their website for specific trail information. Another great destination in Dartmouth is the Lloyd Center for the Environment with five family friendly trails over 55 acres of lush forest and wetlands. Colorful trail maps available at the education center guide you through the reserve but don’t forget to spend some time in the indoor aquaria room! The Lloyd Center is also a great spot for canoeing and kayaking. What to Bring: all your friends!

Happy Trails! 

The River Project Invites You to Stop and Stare

On an early summer morning dozens gathered quietly crunching grass under their boots in a guided hike through the Slocum’s River Reserve as part of The 2012 River Project’s opening day festivities. Six stops along the hike posed questions and answers to extrodinary sculpture works designed and installed by local artists, many of whom were present on the walk sharing their work and vision with friends and visitors alike.

The much anticipated 2012 Slocum River Project is a local area collaborative weaving together art and nature in a friendly and thought-provoking series of events. A commendable partnership between the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, the trustees of reservations, U-Mass Datmouth College of Visual Arts, the Gustin Gallery, and the Dartmouth Cultural Council created the platform for this year’s River Project. According to the program’s curator, Stacy Latt Savage, the River Project is “about connections explored between art and nature; connections between organizations and communities; and connections between individuals walking at the Slocum’s River Reserve and individual artists who created inspired artwork about their experience of the same place.

After exploring the reserve, each of the six artists had a year to conceptualize and construct their sculpture in a self-selected location along the trails fitting to their individual vision. This exhibit encourages visitors to awaken their appreciation for the delicate, expansive, and often mysterious natural world.

Elizabeth Dooher, Mary Frank, Lasse Antonsen, Danielle Krcmar, Ron Rudnicki, and Steve Whittlesey are the six local contributing artists. “I kept finding forms and putting them together; after it was done I knew it was done because I was chuckling inside,” said Lasse Antonsen reflecting on his “Garden Spirits.” Antonsen found all the materials for his sculptures in the reserve using trunks and branches to “create creatures in a vocabulary that we all know.”

If you missed the walk on June 16th there will be more chances to soak up the sculptures. October 20th is the next guided hike, and on September 22 the Slocum’s River Reserve will host a Family Day with hiking, music, and activities for kids. A wonderful way to experience the process and connection between the artists and their work,is at the Gustin Gallery, 231 Horsenek Rd, just up the road from the reserve, where you’ll find “Thoughts and Processes,” a cumulative display of drawings, sketches, and models from each artist.


An easy day trip to Dartmouth can be spent romping through Slocum’s River Reserve and Gustin’s Gallery, and is a perfect way to show your support for our land and all the different ways we see it. The sculptures will remain intact through May 2013, and Gustin’s Gallery will be open with sculpture materials through November 2nd. For more information on the River Project visit slocumsriverproject.com.

 

Our Springtime Secret

A well-kept springtime secret is being uncovered by local visitors in search of a fresh dose of spring. Growing in the backyard of FarmCoast, just south of Russells Mills Village, you will find a vibrant field of daffodils…but only if you know where to look! 3 acres of glorious yellow daffodils have bloomed and, because New Englanders like to keep their treasures hidden, there are no signs on how to find the field. It remains tucked inside the paths of Parson’s Preserve –part of Dartmouth’s Natural Resourses Trust– creating an exciting springtime scavenger hunt for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. If you’re looking for a seasonal family outing follow our directions to this wonderful spring display!

Park at the Russells Mills Landing.
Cross the street and walk to your right along the road until you see a metal farm gate between two posts.
Follow the path to the left of the gate and up the hill.
At the top of the hill you will be greeted by a DNRT sign welcoming you to the preserve.
From that point you must follow the yellow squares tacked to the trees, they will lead you all the way to the daffodils…

“A host of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees. Fluttering and dancing in the breeze,” says William Wordsworth’s poem just as you enter the field. “I gazed –and gazed –but little thought what wealth to me this show had brought…” You might want tell your friends about this dancing garden, or just keep it as your own secret treasure.

Either way, families will enjoy a delightful gallivant through the fields. You can make a day of it by contining your hike through the DNRT woods (maps are provided at the first yellow marker), exploring the animals at nearby Alderbrook Farm, and stopping lunch in Padanaram Village. Going on a hunt for daffodils has never been more fun.

Spring has sprung on FarmCoast! Visit our Spring Ramble page for more day-trip ideas on a refreshing retreat to the country.

Among the Wild Flowers

Creeping into the essence of our culture is a not-so-new food movement where salad is picked from the backyard, honeys and jellies are collected in kitchen jars, and whisky’s distilled in big stainless pots; “The small farmer is the new gastronomic superhero,” says NPR’s Bonny Wolf. Another popular food expert is no stranger to the heroism of local farmers. Didi Emmons, the Boston-based “roving Eco-chef” found one farming superhero worth shadowing for over 10 years. The result: her new cookbook, Wild Flavors, featuring all the nitty-gritty details about one glorious garden, and the flavors that bring bushels of popular, smitten chefs to Eva Sommaripa’s bounty.

Eva is not your average 70-year-old, and not your typical farmer either. Perhaps that’s what drew Didi like a magnet to the unconventional farm in South Dartmouth back in 2001. Known as Eva’s Garden, the farm was then building a solid customer base of renowned New England chefs excited by the innovative flavors grown by Eva and her team. Like many local farmers and FarmCoast residents, Eva found a sanctuary in the fertility of the coastal land. After traveling back and forth to Cambridge restaurants in the early stages of her farming operation, top chefs quickly propelled Eva to a celebrity status.

In her garden, weeds are a delicacy, and plants you’ve never heard of make dishes to die for. While Eva’s Garden has over 200 varieties of wild flowers, herbs, and greens, Wild Flavors features over 40 of the common and uncommon varieties, and 150 recipes to enjoy them. If you’ve resolved to eat more vegetables this year, this book will certainly give you a jolt of enthusiasm.  The book is divided into seasons with recipes to suit the theme of whats growing at any given time. Didi’s picks for winter (themed, “Salvaging”) include dishes like Parsnip Tea Cake, Root Vegetable Latkes, and Sprouted Hummus. Between the recipes, Didi details the life cycle and botany of the ingredients, and the story of the inspiring woman who grows the plants. Eva’s gained significant press over the years for the same superhero qualities Didi found in her ten years ago. A complete blend of cooking instruction, narrative, botany, and foodie life coaching, Wild Flavors is a robust addition to your cookbook collection.

Pick up a copy of the book and see for yourself why everyone’s talking about Eva, and better yet what Eva’s talking about. “There are so many forms of life…that’s the most exciting part of the whole thing,” she says. Wild Flavors reveals the succulent truths about a life digging for treasures in the dirt. The book itself is a worthy FarmCoast treasure.

Wild Flavors is available at The Cottage in Tiverton Four Corners and Partners Village Store in Westport, MA and at your local book seller. For more information on Didi Emmon’s life in the world of good food visit www.didiemmons.com.