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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Beacon Bits -- A Giving Community

Beacon is a giving community. The town could be a poster child for Peter Singer's "effective altruism" movement.  Just this past month alone, Common Ground Farm held its annual auction and raised monies towards it 'Grow a Row' project that feeds hungry families with fresh produce throughout the growing season. And the Beacon Sloop Club sponsored a Cajun dance with Krew de la Rue, which raised $1000 towards the food pantries and feeding programs of St. Andrew's/St. Luke's Food Pantry and InCare of Multi-Service Inc. Not to mention the month-long initiative, 'Month of Generosity', with a series of events held at More Good, which targeted raising monies for clean water in 42,000 people in Haiti, Uganda, and Ghana.

These events are just the tip of the iceberg since Beacon's music and art scene give to its residents and visitors on a daily basis and the level of volunteer-led organizations and not-for-profits lead the way with a variety of activities throughout the year. So now during the holiday season, it's a particular joyous time to celebrate that Beacon is a Giving Community!

It just proves that shopping locally isn't the only way to celebrate Christmas. Recognizing and experiencing a sense of abundance leads the way to giving that doesn't require a shopping list or credit card. I'm reminded about a recent broadcast on public radio about parenting issues. One family has a rule about holiday purchases that mandates no more than four gifts per person: a want, a need, something to wear, something to read. Another family set a rule that supports recycling material stuff by requiring that for every new thing one brings home, one thing must go ('one in/one out'). And a third family honors the sentiment that 'much is asked to whom much is given', so they look for ways to adopt a family (e.g., The Angel Tree project) and then spend holiday preparation time focusing on decisions about shopping for members of the family in need rather than focusing on themselves. All of these ideas support the viewpoint that a TV commercial I recently saw would suggest -- that it would be nice if the four-letter word most associated with Christmas is L-O-V-E instead of S-A-L-E.

Food for thought: There's still time to consider a new rule to implement this holiday season, or better yet, to contemplate a New Year's resolution that will support our very own giving movement in Beacon. Volunteer at one of the food pantries or feeding programs. (Stop by St. Andrew's on Saturdays or First Presbyterian on Friday or Saturday to inquire about how to lending a helping hand.) Support a local organization by renewing your 'friend' status or becoming a new friend. (More friends of the Beacon Sloop Club will get the the people's sloop, the Woody Guthrie, back into the Hudson to set sail for the public.) Donate a CD or book to Beacon Reads when you make your next purchase. Find out about the local prisons (Fishkill and Downstate Correctional Facilities) and opportunities to engage in encounters with those who are marginalized. (Check out the Puppies Behind Bars website for more information.) Get ready to join in the annual MLK parade on Main Street on Monday, January 18th, commencing at Springfield Baptist Church. Or just pick up a piece of litter/trash the way Pete Seeger would do as he walked along Main Street. Everyone benefits by each person who gives more, but it's especially heartwarming and rewarding for the person who gives wellWishing you all a very special Giving Christmas this year!

This blog was also inspired by a recent visit to the Afya Foundation in Yonkers, NY -- a non-profit foundation that aims to collect surplus medical supplies, hospital equipment and humanitarian provisions for acute and ongoing health crises worldwide. Current projects are focused on the Syrian refugee crisis in Greece, Luggage for Life, and Haiti Rehab. Arrange a visit with family or friends to help sort supplies in the warehouse for a unique holiday outing and non-traditional way of giving. You'll be amazed with the scope of work and accomplishments of this small foundation that is a model for innovative social entrepreneurship and 'effective altruism.' Kudos to its award winning founder, Danielle Butin.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beacon Bits -- Bountiful Books

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."    
                                            - Charles Caleb Colton

It is a welcome sight to have yet another empty storefront on Main Street be occupied with a newly formed business for Beaconites and the ever-growing number of 'out-of-towners'. The multiple bakeries (All You Knead, Ellas Belllas, Beacon Bread Company, Get Frosted) and restaurants in town (see the recent post on A Little Beacon Blog for our great places to eat) both informal and formal, family-priced and upscale, slow and slower, local and global, are all proof that variations on a theme and more than one venue of its kind can be fiscally viable. And so it is very good to see that another book store, Binnacle Books, has opened its doors joining the ranks of the Howland Public Library and its neighboring book store, Beacon Reads, which opened its doors in 2000. Once can never have enough opportunity for enhancing literacy for Beaconites of all ages, but especially for the children, books need to be in our midst.
Binnacle Books
Beacon Reads
In addition to being known for its diverse selection of second hand books in excellent condition, Beacon Reads is probably the pioneer social entrepreneurial venture established in Beacon. Founded by the Friends of the Library, a 501(3)c affiliate of the library, it is a grass-roots, volunteer-run organization with the purpose of raising additional funds for the library budget. 
Marcia Frahman, President of the Friends of the Library & Co-Manager of Beacon Reads
In just the past two years, the Friends of the Library, filling its coffers mostly with book sales at Beacon Reads, has  purchased vouchers to the American Museum of Natural History, the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum, and Boscobel, which are available for library card holders at the circulation desk. In addition, monies for free music downloads and streaming, $1200 transportation money for the annual Teen Battle of the Books, $12,000 matching funds for the recent construction grant for the library, and $2,400 of technological equipment for the children's room, have been provided. That's a lot of book sales!

Beacon Reads is staffed by 11 volunteers and the store is open 7 days/week. Beacon Reads has been located next to the library for 15 years; it is well known in the community for Beacon's oldies and newcomers alike, to mingle, meet, converse, and hang out with neighbors, while browsing the shelves and searching for the perfect book to take home or give as a gift. Stop by sometime, you'll never know who you might meet!!

Zelda, a Puppies Behind Bars service-dog-in-training, visits Beacon Reads
Food for thought: It is a blessing to be able to read the written word. Concerns about literacy rates in the US is ongoing, with almost 25% of adults reading below a 5th grade level, 20% of HS graduates unable to read, and 70% of inmates in American prisons not being able to read above the 4th grade level (April 2013, US Department of Education.) It will take more than a bounty of books to turn these trends around. But having access to books - be they borrowed or bought -- is an important environmental support in every community. Just knowing that there are 2 bookstores and 1 public library within 2 blocks of each other in Beacon is a cultural statement that Beacon does indeed read!!

"To Do List"

Donate your unwanted books to Beacon Reads -- all the dollars earned are given right back into your hands with unique funding initiatives for the library.
Update your library card.
Browse the shelves of our local independent bookseller.
Become a member of the Friends of the Howland Public Library.
Bring a child along to buy, lend or donate a book to Beacon Reads.
Volunteer to read to children at a local school.
Pick up a book instead of the remote or the laptop.
Support groups like Reach Out and Read with its aim of giving children a book during pediatric visits from birth to age 5, which reinforces the concept that literacy takes root in infancy and toddler hood, a campaign that the American Pediatric Association supports.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Beacon Bits -- Echo Reverberates

Echoes can imitate or echoes can leave a lingering trace. But not so for Echo in Beacon, which is a one-of-a-kind store that entices inter-generational purchases for children and adults with a range of heirloom and educational toys, seasonal clothing and accessories for the fashion forward diva. This Echo is unique and stands alone.

Located in Beacon for 16 years at various locations, this eye-catching double-storefront shop found at the intersection of Main Street and Tioronda Avenue (with its neighbors the Howland Cultural Center and Beacon Falls Cafe) has become the epitome of the success that women entrepreneurs brought to this river town, long before the more recent revival that has brought a host of shoppers and visitors who parade the local streets every weekend of the month.

Owner Karen Donohue has the requisite design and marketing prowess that established this niche design haven, reminiscent of the best of Anthropologie (a globally inspired home and clothing store chain) and Hammertown (located in Rhinebeck and Pine Plains), with her personal twist that feels timeless, yet fresh and new; forward thinking, yet retro; tasteful and stylish, yet affordable. 

Step inside and you will be charmed by all that you see. And when you hear the music playing just the right song - you might feel tempted to dance along and feel the enchantment of this whimsical, yet practical store; but don't worry, you'll be invited to do so in the family friendly venue!

Food for thought:  With all the new restaurants and breweries and places to 'hang out' along Main Street, it is nice to know that Echo exists for all the mundane needs of shopping for new clothes or gifting oneself and others with purchases made at this women's boutique and toy store. A community needs the right mix of businesses that provide all the tools to get through life--food, clothing, home goods, necessities, and yes, even some toys and games. Beacon's turning point may have arrived as more of the previously empty store fronts are becoming occupied, but Beacon will be a better and more livable town when keeping this balance in mind. As they say, 'before enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water; after enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water.'

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Beacon Bits -- Autumn Spark

Early morning chill in the air, white-frosted grass, steamy river, MetroNorth train horns blasting to chase the deer from the warmth of its tracks, all signaled it was time to get out the knitting needles and head north to Rhinebeck for the 35th Annual Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend.
The selection of colorful yarns matched the variety of knitted scarves, hats and shawls adorned by crafters that vied for attention against the riotous blaze of colorful trees on the horizon. Throngs of customers, mostly women, patiently waited for a turn to browse, touch and purchase fiber, fleece, and fuzzy finds at the fair.
Three hours of maneuvering, sampling and occasional purchases later, it was time to head back towards Beacon with a stop at Obercreek Farm, my CSA, to meet Kate, the new manager for the 2016 season, and to pick up my pumpkins. 

The highlight of the brief visit to the farm's roadside stand was tasting freshly picked nasturtiums dipped in Obercreek honey, a unique blend of pepper and sweet that won me over instantly.
It left me with just enough time to rendevous at Zora Dora, closing for the season, to stock up on a few pops for my freezer (Grapefruit-Honey-Ginger, Maple-Cranberry-Walnut, and Pumpkin-Chipotle) to provide some dormant treats for an impending Indian Summer's day.

Food for thought:  The autumn leaves seem to come more quickly with each passing year, but the spark of autumn never fades. I can still remember the crunch of leaves underfoot as a toddler, an October horseback ride in Prospect Park as a teen, turkey shoots and harvest festivals in the Poconos in young adulthood, and the invigorating renewal that the autumn air provides now in mid-life. It's a season that evokes nostalgia more than melancholy; a season that elicits abundance over scarcity; gathering up instead of letting go; and warmth and generosity instead of feeling left out in the cold.

Fiery burning bush
Reveals its hidden true colors,
As if, for the very first time,
Autumn sparks.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Beacon Bits -- Beacon's Signature Dish@The Hop

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a foodie. And one of the pleasures of living in Beacon is the selection of dining experiences it offers, mostly with CIA graduates who have stayed in the Hudson Valley and taken to the start-up nature of Beacon's Main Street. I thought that I should blog about my dining experiences as a feature on Beacon Bits on an irregular-regular basis that features the fare of one of the local restaurants-- not because I am a food critic, but because I want to highlight the unique cuisine that Beacon offers and share my experience of dining alone or dining with friends, and in so doing, highlight what I will call a "Beacon Signature Dish".

So I went to The Hop on a recent Sunday evening after attending a concert and found that it was lively and practically full to capacity. The excitement is palpable -- the sound reverberates off the high-tech features of the renovated space and the effects of potables on tap added to the din. I waited to be seated and found that my wait was quite long. I was a bit dismayed that when a waiter/host approached, he asked the younger couple behind me if they wanted a table; I was overlooked and sensed that invisibility factor that creeps in for a woman of a certain age (or perhaps, the fact that I literally was shorter than the host and the two guests behind me), but I was able to assert myself and ascertain that I had been first in line. I was seated at a table almost immediately and then the experience unfolded as I had originally expected into an evening of comfort food and drink surrounded by other patrons who were clearly enjoying their meals and beverages. I asked the waiter about a 'signature' dish and I couldn't have been more pleased to hear that the "Kale & Lamb Sausage" was probably one of the favorites. I placed my order and asked for an "Oak Hill Red" apple cider on tap, which all spoke to the autumn chill in the air.
As soon as my meal arrived, I did not have any lingering angst about waiting to be seated, it was all worth the wait! The kale and lamb sausage had a spiciness that added a kick to the nutty-texture of a creamy polenta that was floated in a bit of melted butter with some sharp artisanal cheese and poached egg to add to the mix of flavors and melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Added to the mix was the dry-prosecco-like apple cider that provided an acid contrast, which cut the richness of the lamb and polenta; it was a definite keeper and perfect for a Sunday evening supper that greeted my favorite season of the year.
Food for thought:  I believe everyone should look for the 'joy' in life since everything else finds us whether we look for it or not. I also believe it is important to do things alone, whether it is going to the movies or out to a restaurant for a good meal. Everyone needs to feel empowered to indulge in the simple pleasures of life whether or not one is alone or can share the experience with others. Beacon is the type of community that allows one to have solo experiences since every individual adds to the fabric of community life that is being woven into the spirit of the village. There's no need to wait for that special someone to step into the fine dining experiences that are found on every corner......I'll keep you updated on other 'signature dishes' that I explore in the future.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Beacon Bits -- (Unoffical) Summer's End

Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end to summer, arrived in Beacon with temperatures in the 90's, clear skies and bright sunshine. It made me think about the "top 10 list" of things to do in Beacon to celebrate summer's farewell in the next few weeks. There is still time!

10.  Take time for a cold beer at The Hop in its expansive location at the site opened almost  a year ago;  the menu offers so much more than craft brew and unique architectural design.

9.    Start planning a fall wardrobe at Echo, with the help of all the "fashionistas", or get a jump start on holiday shopping for unique toys for the kids. (More to come soon about this women's boutique and children's store in a future featured blog.)

8.    Tune up the bicycle or purchase a new one at People's Bicycle; Jon and his crew are expert and will get you up and peddling for the fall season.

7.     Get ready to buy advanced tickets for the weekend Beacon Independent Film Festival ('aka' BIFF, 9/18-9/20) at the University Settlement on 9D. 

6.     Visit Beacon Natural Market to celebrate 10 years of organics and natural foods; lots of specials and activities happening from September 7th to 12th to thank the Beacon community for its support.

5.     Grab a seat at the outdoor aerie at Beacon Pantry and have a carefree meal and relax with a friend.

4.    Make a plan to get out an old instrument or take up a new one with music lessons available at Main Street Music. Ukulele anyone?

3.     Make more frequent visits to Zora Dora to indulge in delectable and uncanny fruit sorbet and milk-based pops; my pick of the day Mojito (lime and mint), with an eye on the Roasted Beet-Goat Cheese-Walnut and Cardamom-Ginger-Pistachio before season's end!

2.     Purchase some fresh field flowers at Flora Garden & Home; have a chat with Mary, and make a plan for weekly visits to purchase beautifully potted plants and gardening accessories to hold onto to summer's greenery in your own home.

1.     Anticipate the flurry of activity when everyone is in the street on the Spirit of Beacon day (Sunday, 9/27/15), as well as upcoming Second Saturdays -- including a visit to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church to hear Vassar College student Sarah Johnson's piano and organ recital on 9/12/15, with a reception to follow, from 4-6pm.

Food for thought: All of the top 10 activities and even 10 more may help with that tinge of melancholy that begins to set in with the waning daylight at this time of the year. Looking back at what didn't get done during the summer gets in the way of holding onto all that was accomplished, including being able to make a jump start on plans for next summer starting with all the to-do's that didn't get done or all the places that you didn't get to go. Seems like the turn of the season will be slow this year with the warm weather continuing and the hope of Indian summer to come, yet, all the while, the time for this summer will indeed run its course. But it is also good to feel that change is in the air and that letting go of all that was is the best way to (officially) begin again!

(For my own unfinished business, a visit to Saugerties to explore the eclectic shops, including The Perfect Blend; and a day trip to NYC for the on board Circle Line viewing of the 23rd annual tugboat race organized by the Working Harbor Committee, made this Labor Day weekend complete.)

The Perfect Blend -- Yarn and Tea Shop in Saugerties, NY
Early morning train to NYC
Tugboats gathering for the parade to the starting line for the race
Historic NYC harbor fire boat, John D. Harvey, pivotal during 9-11, celebrating at the end of the race

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Beacon Bits -- "To the Nines!"

I stopped by Artisan Wine Shop for the Friday pour and delighted in a taste of champagne that Tim and Mei were offering to both celebrate Tim's birthday and to recognize their 9th anniversary in Beacon as of 8-18-06! Congratulations on both!!
Since I have been educated by Tim and Mei through the last 5 years of tastings and classes and consultations for purchases, I value all that they contribute to the Beacon community with their expertise and charm. I had so much catching up to do on learning about wines, that I have not really paid much attention to everything else that they offer -- spirits, beer, cider, accessories -- despite my frequent visits. Tim and Mei are always ready for a friendly chat and catching up on gossip; I learned that the company they keep in celebrating nine years in Beacon include Beacon Pilates, Max's on Main, and Homespun, with whom they plan to collaborate for a tenth anniversary celebration next summer. Artisan is in great company, all within a few blocks of each other, with all the venues having much success to celebrate. In fact, Max's was recently featured on Fios News 1's "Restuarant Hunter" feature show (air dates 9-2-15 and 9-5-15), along with other local foodie magnets, The Hop and Beacon Bagels.
What better way to spend a Friday evening than to celebrate good things with friends before moving on to pick up my Obercreek Farm half-share of vegetables and fruits.,,,,perhaps trying out the CIA recipe for tomato jam?

Food for thought:  The one word that comes to mind at this time of the year is "ripeness". When one thinks about the entrepreneurs who arrived in Beacon over a decade ago with a vision of potential success along Main Street, those who planted their seeds, weathered the uncertainty, and who worked hard to fulfill their desires -- it is wonderful to take stock and celebrate some of their ripeness of being during this Labor Day weekend! Despite what Shakespeare says, Love's labors are never lost!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Beacon Bits -- Good, Better, Best

Earlier this summer, a good friend in Beacon was becoming a US citizen. I thought it would be great to surprise her with something evocative of being American, so my mind went to apple pie, which led me to the Beacon Pie Company.
I had seen the "piecycle" across from the Beacon Theatre many times and had previously spoken to Heidi Bernhart, the owner, in June at the Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park. 
I made contact with her by email ( and ordered the Classic Apple pie to be picked up the next day; it was delivered fresh from the oven! Other than the timely service and the flexibility to make an apple pie a bit ahead of apple season, it was a pleasure to see another women testing out her culinary and entrepreneurial skills for all the foodies in town! Sweet pies are 9" and savory pies come in personal size (5") as well as the standard 9" size. All ingredients are fresh and you can tell each pie has heaping tablespoons of love and pride in the hand-crafted method that was passed down from women across generations. [In fact, I had my own fond memories of The Pie Lady & Son in Nyack when she first started her business in 1996 from her home.] 

Beacon Pie Company is a very good edition to the food scene on Main Street. Can't wait to order the Veggie Curry Pot Pie and the Salted Honey Butter, which always seems to be sold out! In addition to contacting Heidi directly by email or catching her or her partner, Christ, at the piecycle, pies can be purchased at Barb's Butchery and Tito Santana's in Beacon and other locations. I am sure Heidi will be getting very busy for the upcoming fall season, so it's time to sample the variety and begin thinking about holiday orders to place.

Speaking of 'very good', I visited Drink More Good for a BeaconArts meet-up last week and found the cupboards to be filled with teas, spices and herbs and hand-crafted soda syrups and bitters being produced in-house with an ample supply of over 50+ flavors available for purchase. While the syrups are billed as the basic ingredients for making your own soda and cocktail drinks, my own 'foodie' mind went to the other possibilities that eliminate the need to make one's own simple syrup from scratch, which is not always so simple given the exact temperatures for producing the condensed sweetener for many basic recipes. (see recipe below.)

In addition to redefining soda with his local business, Jason Schuler has global interests in mind as he partners with to donate at least $4000 per year in order to supply sustainable water systems where needed by generating funds through two annual fundraisers in town. I learned that More Good products are available in Whole Foods; who knew? And that the production area is available as an 'incubator' kitchen for those who are in need of a professional kitchen approved for food distribution. Local Beaconites can continue to drop into the store during hours and take a seat to drink in the ambiance of yet another success story since the venue opened in 2012 and relocated to its larger space in the last year. The products will make great gifts for friends who can then re-stock their cupboards by ordering online. It is a win-win all around with this social entrepreneurship!

Food for thought:  Doing good is better than being the best. But when all the ingredients line up -- as they do for our local food craftsmen who creatively apply their skills and talents to make something deliciously good for others, it can make you better---perhaps, the best. This trifecta of looking for the good to be better is purpose-driven and goal-directed. It gives meaning to the mundane existence we all face in our daily chores, routines and habits. It reminds me of another trifecta quote  that I came across years ago, which reminds us that to establish a good life, we all need 'something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for'. Two out of three isn't bad, but the search for all the ingredients is the best recipe for 'more good' living!

Simple Gingered Peaches
Slice 4-6 peaches, that have been blanched, cooled with skins and pit removed. Place into a small 'bell jar' and add a generous amount of "More Good Ginger Ale Syrup". Refrigerate. The marinated peaches will be ready to add to vanilla ice cream or for a topping on pound cake with whipped cream for dessert on a summer's day.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Beacon Bits - The Growing Season

It's been another long hiatus from blogging, but I've been busy having fun this summer, both in and away from Beacon. I've attended a high school reunion with friends traveling to the Hudson Valley and a joy-filled wedding; I've been to a knitting retreat sponsored by The Ethelridge Road Knitting Salon in the Berkshires where I was challenged to learn new woven stitches and finishing techniques; and I've been to NYC to two Mostly Mozart Festival concerts, a throwback to a time when I had more frequent trips to Lincoln Center. Now I just have to remember it is not that far away from home and always such an 'extraordinary' experience; I'm looking forward to next year's 50th anniversary of the festival! Where does the time go??
In between writing puppy reports and attending a graduation ceremony for Puppies Behind Bars, I've also been able to go to the three productions offered by Hudson Valley Shakespeare under the tent at Boscobel and attend two concerts at the Towne Crier Cafe
-- to see a touchstone performance by Peter Yarrow and a bittersweet farewell to the dynamic female trio, Red Molly, who will be taking an indefinite break from performing.

While in Beacon, I've been busy picking up my Obercreek Farm shares every other week, including a new fruit share offered this year. Lately, the growing season has created the need to make lots of ratatouille, and the juicy peaches have offered opportunities for peach crumble and a peach chutney (see recipe below.) It's amazing to have such wonderful local farmers who grow our food when we may not have the time or space to do it ourselves!
My Obercreek Ratatouille=olive oil, garlic, onion, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes,cooking sherry, salt/pepper/basil/oregano
I always make time to stop at Zora Dora, whose season is short, but Steve's 'crops' are always delicious and bountiful. Two favorites in the last week have been 'blueberry pie' and 'watermelon-lemon-basil'. I think I've decided that the Zora Dora Meter starts at 10 on the usual 1 to 10 scale (with 10 being the best), so in my estimation, the milk-based blueberry pie registers '14' and the sorbet-style, watermelon-lemon-basil registers a '19'. Remembering that Steve usually closes up around Halloween is incentive to make more frequent stops at this gourmet hot spot for visitors and townies alike.
Another venture this summer has been helping with establishing Second Saturday events called 'Art in the Sanctuary' held at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. The inaugural event in July featured the Tiffany stained glass windows in the church and a retrospective art show featuring T.Hugo Williams, the father of the Vicar, Father John Williams. The August event focused on the posthumous showing of art by local Beaconite, Earl Teachey, and to further honor his life, the African drummer Maxwell Kofi Donkor and his drumming group Sankofa Drum and Dance Ensemble performed west African beats to a large crowd. The September event (9/12/15) will feature a recital by piano and organ student, Sarah Johnson, who studies at Vassar College, followed by a welcoming reception for the community.
So while I've missed Beacon's first Jazz Festival and the annual Corn Festival, I look forward to the Pumpkin Festival (Sunday, 10/18/15) and the Spirit of Beacon Day (Sunday, 9/27.) But I especially am looking forward to seeing more of Mary Fris, proprietor of Flora-Garden & Home, a new venue in town located at 197 Main Street that will be growing all kinds of greenery, pottery, gardening tools, and offering classes about plant care. Mary is not contrary at all, so you can ask her 'how does your garden grow' and get informed responses to questions about ferns, orchids, amaryllis, English and Italian pots and what is in store for this new Beacon gem. Here is to a long and fruitful growing season for Flora, located next to Beacon Bread Company, Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, Zora Dora and across the from the fauna of Beacon Barkery---a garden of friendly neighbors to have close by.

Food for Thought: Just when you think you have your routines down pat, surprises can come your way and take you in new directions, which offer unique adventures and satisfying activities. It is good to be reminded to enjoy the 'life that is happening when you are busy making plans'. Summer is a wonderful season to meander and blaze new trails rather than just following old paths. There's still time left before the autumn equinox steers us toward an inner journey of reflection on the harvest that we reap after yet another personal growing season ends and the growing season for Beacon, which is flourishing, continues to move us all forward.
The Holstee Manifesto

Surprise Peach Chutney

10 local peaches, blanched in boiling water
Allow the peaches to cool. Rub off skin, cut in half, remove pit, slice and chop.

1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper,  diced
Saute the above ingredients in a pan that has 1-2 tbs. melted butter.

Place peaches into the pan and saute until peaches totally soften and blend with savories.

Add 1/4 cup organic sugar, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, and 2 tbs. cognac. 
Add salt and pepper to season.
Continue cooking until liquids begin to thicken.
Cool and spoon into mason jars and place in the refrigerator.
Nadine's Surprise Peach Chutney