Afternoon Out: Jones Family Farms & Winery

Where: Homestead Farm, 606 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Shelton, CT 06484 When: Thursday- Sunday, 11am-5pm Cost: $10 Wine Tasting, wine-by-the-glass and bottles vary Website: A few weekends ago, Mike and I got to share one of our favorite spots in Fairfield County with Kim and Tyler: the Jones Family Farm Winery! The Jones family, lead by Phillip James Jones, settled in Shelton in 1848 and founded what would grow into the 400 acre working farm it is today. Now into their seventh generation, the family grows Christmas trees, strawberries, blueberries, pumpkins, gourds, and other squashes, as well as over ten acres of grapes, which we were happy to sampl

Flower of the Month: The Corpse Flower

Image: D.H. Parks via Flickr Welcome to the first piece of a new series! Each month, we'll look into the meaning & use of a certain kind of flower. This month, just in time for Halloween, let's look at the spookily-named Corpse Flower! Originating in the tropical jungles of Indonesia, Malaysia & Sumatra, this 6ft tall flower is not one you'll be seeing in any floral arrangements, and not just due to their "dead animal" fragrance. They bloom very infrequently in the wild, and even less often when cultivated. The first recorded instance of one blooming in the US occurred in 1937 at my floral design alma mater (woo-hoo!), The New York Botanical Garden. Fun fact, this lead to the Corpse Flower b

Afternoon Out: Beardsley's Cider Mill & Orchard

Where: 278 Leavenworth Rd, Shelton, CT When: Weekends in September and October, 10am-5:30pm Cost: Usually $15-$25 per bag, cash or check only Website: Ahh, apple picking. A quintessential New England Autumn tradition. Since moving to Connecticut, I've been on a mission to soak up all the Fall I can get, and this year we finally made it to a pick-your-own orchard! There are so many to choose from in Southwestern Connecticut, and I'd love to make it to each eventually, but Beardsley's Cider Mill will always be my first. The apple varieties you'll be able to pick vary according to the orchard's harvesting schedules (if you're after Honeycrisp, try to go early in the

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