Gardens, Green, and the Armsby Abbey

{our hibiscus and our hummingbird visitor}

Today, I am thinking of all things "garden". It has been years since my self proclaimed award winning garden (to rival that of my Dad's) has been planted. 100% because of the high water table where I live. You see the new development up the hill, the developers and the city did not take the little neighbors at the bottom of their hill into account, and now our Cinco de Mayo festivities are kept to the very edge of the muddy abyss. Celebrating spring is huge. It deserves it's own parade, national holiday and facebook group. March and April in New England are spent waiting for May. This also shortens our very short NE growing season all the more.

{kale in season now via farmfresh.org}

{more amazing images on this CSA flickr group}

Remember a few months ago, I posted on CSAs...Community Supported Agriculture? Well this is your reminder to keep the local farmers in mind this season. Here is your Local Food Guide to Worcester County Farms for you Worcester peeps. You drive by them everyday. Their produce tastes a lot better than the stuff you buy at the Big dude takes your moneY. Did you know that right in Shrewsbury at Green Hill Farm is a CSA offering summer to fall pickup? For you other US people, here is the Local Harvest CSA listing. My European/Asian friends, you are lucky enough to have farmers markets in most neighborhoods. I envy you and your street corners.

{image via armsby abbey}

So, coming back to my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, Armsby Abbey supports locally grown agriculture. My inspiration for the whole garden thing was definitely perked by an message I received from Armsby Abbey a few days back. They have their new websites up and they are looking good. Alec lists the origins of his ingredients. That smarty pants. {check out what I mean here.} Doesn't it just make you want to eat there? OK, they have the whole beer thing going on, but I will settle for one of those outstanding cocktails and a ray of sun. I love knowing where my stuff comes from. I love knowing that it was grown right near my house, by the sweet guy I have been buying my pumpkins from for 15 years. Ah hah, I also see outside seating. {Oh sunny day, please come our way...I may have to duke it out for a seat there.} For those of you that don't know, and I did not...The Dive Bar, also owned by Alec has a TON of outside seating, and some really great local music. Can't wait to check that patio out. So, Alec if you happen to read this, count me in on all your Worcester ideas and festivals. I will be glad to help out.

Here is a
short list of other restaurants west of here and another short list east of here that do as well. Mmm Panda East, haven't been there in a while. As you can see the cool people living out near Amherst and Northampton have it down! Living there for a few years made some of the earthy goodness rub off on me.

So, relish the smell of fresh veggies. Try to grow your own! Teach your kids to plant, compost and be proud to serve them up to friends. It's pretty amazing for the little ones. I can't wait to get started and head out to Farmer's Daughter to buy some seedlings.

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