Can you eat the delicious looking black dirt and drink the glistening waters of Greenwood Lake? Our neighbor’s boat is already in the water. And the tractors are plowing the fields. Some say you can’t eat the scenery. I say you can.

Around the area we go, from Greenwood Lake to Pine Island, from water to black dirt, as far north as the city of Middletown to the denser fringe of Suffern, even as far south as Bergen County. You can bet you will find us somewhere in between. If not we may be on the road to Maine. Or a favorite monthly excursion. In our dreams it’s St. John, San Francisco, Italy….

This month we will go to Ridgewood, NJ getting a scoop on what’s happening there and sharing it with you in May. We love to go places, both in and out of the Warwick Valley, and that’s just the way it is. Since I grew up in Ridgewood, I enjoy returning, reminiscing and seeing how things have changed. And then reporting on it.

As far as what is happening here, we are happy to say – way too much. Spring starts out with much hope, slow going, and then accelerates, blossoming out of control. The farmers are now preparing the ground for planting, as we discovered enroute to Rogowski Farm in Pine Island last week.

20501231 rogowskifarm 0740At the farm, we picked up a loaf of wood-fired rustic sourdough rye from Bobolink, listened to acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter Sarah Morr perform live (these days she's been very focused writing new material) and visited with vendors from around the region who were selling cheeses, organic grass fed meats, vegetable seedlings, local wine, honey, lotions, and much more. 

Cut me a nice sliver of local cheddar and I’m in heaven!

At the market, I ran into locally grown photographer Francesco Mastalia, who is working on publishing a unique series of photographs on farmers and chefs around the Hudson Valley in a project entitled Organic, catching the attention of both Table and Orange Magazines, where it has been featured. “Organic is not what you think it is,” he says. “There is “organic” and then there is “organic.” That’s one thing I discovered after talking to over 120 farmers and chefs for this project.” Visit his website and take a look at his fascinating project. Click here to view project.  

This week, we will focus on the fashion scene, visiting 3 clothing retailers to find out what’s currently in style for women.  Just as winter gets underway, these retailers already have their spring line-up on display. Talk about planning for the future. I would never have made it in the clothing retail business, as I’m usually trying to catch up to the last season.

Which brings me to a winter’s day in Florida, NY, when I learned all about the metal arts. The tale about the iceforge was not easy to write; there was so much to take in and learn that I found it challenging to assimilate all of the new vernacular. But who says we don’t grow. Even in the dormancy of winter we are preparing for rebirth. Now the story has emerged and I’m wearing it more loosely. Please take a look, especially at the fabulous photos by West Milford photographer Carol Moran. Suffice it to say, there is so much abundance – from metal to earth, water and fire – that there’s plenty for everyone. Read More

covercentermetalarts

On a personal note, we had a death in our family, our cat Sydney passed away and we hope he is somewhere in cat heaven. I shared my story with a group of 3rd graders this week in one of Suffern’s elementary schools where I substitute teach. The subject of the lesson – what I did over springbreak. It was nice to learn what they did as well, as they read me their more uplifting stories of fun and adventure while Kerryl and I buried our cat.

Finally, when you thought it was over, I came up with one more project to sink my teeth into and share amongst you all. Last spring brought the death of my father.  The letters he sent me over the last 30 years away from home are now resurfacing, as I’ve decided to reread them to rediscover how much he impacted my life.  I will imbibe the letters slowly, ruminate over them, write reflections and respond to his thoughts from another perspective. Join me in this other journey, a memoir called "Letters from My Father: Lessons I've Learned."  Read More.

Take your pick of what you want to eat. Broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussel sprouts.... Take what you want. Leave the rest. There is a lot of good food on the table and you are welcome to it all.