IDEAs!

Weddings on The Gateway Clipper

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Richard McConell Photography
Richard McConnell Photography

With so many venue options to choose from these days, a bride and groom can really have some tough choices to make. Barn, hotel, conservancy, outdoor- there are lots of decisions to make just on location alone.

Many years ago I went to a wedding on the Gateway Clipper. I remember it being magical because as the sun went down, the city of Pittsburgh lit up. It was beautiful to sit on the top level and watch the sparkly city lights go by. The water was soothing; it was a night to remember.

Photo by Richard McConell Photography
Photo by Richard McConnell Photography

I recently visited the Gateway Clipper to see what’s sailing. The good news is there are lots of great wedding packages to choose from. If you’re thinking you want something different, consider calling Steve Anderson at (412) 355-7980 for more details. Visit the Gateway Clipper website and see the options. You and your fiance can choose to be married on the top deck as the ship sails through the Three Rivers of Pittsburgh!

Richard McConell Photography
Richard McConnell Photography
The Duchess
The Duchess
The Empress- Gateway Clipper Fleet
The Empress- Gateway Clipper Fleet

This is an option worth checking out. Click HERE to be sent to the Gateway Clipper’s Wedding page and Happy Sailing!

Visit Richard McConnell Photography HERE.

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Come to a Honey of a Party!

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Lots of Honey! Photo by Michelene Cain
Lots of Honey! Photo by Michelene Cain

“it all comes of liking honey so much.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Katherine’s Daughter Events is proud to announce our Summer 2016 sponsorship of Honey Parties by Beefuddled Farms! Jim and Michelene Cain have just launched their website, BeefuddledFarms.com and it contains lots of information on their honey business. We are bee-yond excited to fill you in on all the details!

Photo by Waldeck Photography
What Does Honey Smell Like? Photo by Waldeck Photography

If you are wondering what the beeswax you will do at a Honey Party, let us tell you! In a safe environment (no rambo bees!) you will learn all about bees, eat the honey you help harvest (atop a dish of vanilla ice cream and honey graham teddy bears- YUM!), and go home with a sample jar of honey. You will also find out what you can do to protect pollinators!

The cost is $10 per person, payable on the day of the party. You need to rsvp ahead of time as only a limited number of attendees are accepted. If you have multiple children or grandchildren, please tell Michelene in an email and she will work with you on an affordable price. Make reservations or ask Michelene any questions at beefuddledfarms@gmail.com.

There will be four dates available-

June 18, 1-3 pm

July 16, 6-8 pm

August 13, 1-3 pm

September 24, 3-5 pm

All Honey Parties will be held in Clinton Community Park, Clinton, PA.

Map of Clinton Community Park

What a great way to spend a summer day! Learn more about bees and pollination in a family friendly environment. Additional jars of honey will be available that day for purchase. Email Michelene today at beefuddledfarms@gmail.com to reserve your spot. Check out Beefuddled Farms website by clicking HERE.

We look forward to seeing you at a Honey Party this summer! To read about last summer’s Honey Party, click HERE.

Photo by Michelene Cain
Photo by Michelene Cain
Photo by Waldek Photography
Photo by Waldek Photography
Photo by Michelene Cain
Photo by Michelene Cain
A Gift for Everyone- Photo by Michelene Cain
A Gift for Everyone- Photo by Michelene Cain
Jim and Michelene and a Friendly Attendee!
Jim and Michelene and a Friendly Attendee!

 

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Ordinary IS Extraordinary! Our First Book!

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My first book! The Beautiful Cover is by Karen Captline of Better Be Creative
My first book! The beautiful cover is by Karen Captline of Better Be Creative. Editing by Daleen Wilson of Sunday’s Child.

If you have ever wondered why we do weddings, here’s your chance to find out. Our owner/founder, Joanne Jamis Cain, has self published her first book!

Here’s an excerpt from her latest post on Katherine’s Daughter:

When I received the first early copies of my book, I gave one to the mother of my granddaughter Penelope. Jessica is my friend and the partner of my son John. She is the manager of the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Allegheny Valley, PA.

As luck would have it, Jessica, Penelope and I went on a little field trip yesterday. We visited another Restore and stopped for lunch afterwards. We talked about how to market my book and Jess offered to do a review for me. I took her up on the offer!

So here, without any further ado, are Jessica’s thoughts on “Ordinary IS Extraordinary.”

When I read Ordinary IS Extraordinary I was nursing my infant daughter, Penelope, and read most of it out loud to her.
We cried at different parts for different reasons…
I had tears in my eyes when Joanne shared her journey of rediscovering her faith and loving herself.  I smiled as I pictured her as an awkward young person.  Looking down at Penny while we read, I couldn’t help wondering if she would face some of the same challenges in life.
I was inspired by Joanne’s discoveries of growth, as the lens she saw both the world and herself through, changed as her experiences colored the glass.
When I closed the book..I found myself savoring so much of her insights, that I let out a huge breath I didn’t know I was holding…and with it a burden I didn’t realize was there.  As for Penelope, she always loves hearing her Nana’s adventures, even when she’s hungry.
Grab a cup of Jo, your favorite snack, and devote a morning or afternoon to walking in her footsteps.  I know you’ll enjoy the landscape.  The writing is honest and you’ll feel as though she is sitting across from you on that lounge chair, having a coffee, sharing in your delight along the way.
From Jessica Levine
John, Jess, and Penelope Katherine
John, Jess, and Penelope Katherine

Jessica, thank you so much for your beautiful words!

Click HERE to order my book on Amazon. There’s a Kindle version too! You may want to order two books ;), one for you and one for a friend.

When you read Ordinary IS Extraordinary, I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at joannejamiscain@gmail.com with your thoughts. If you are a blogger that writes on spirituality, I would be happy to send you a book to review.

Thank you and God Bless!

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In the Company of Beautiful Women

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Photo by Mary Yohannan
Photo by Mary Yohannan- Life is Better Through Traveling

“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.”
Roman Payne

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I believe there are no coincidences. A friend of mine likes to say, “Is it Odd or is it God?”. Spiritual paths and journeys can cross with others at any time. I’ve been blessed to have this happen to me many times.

One of those times was last fall when I was contacted by a friend of mine to discuss a business idea. Tracy and I met for coffee and we had a great talk. During that time I mentioned my blog and spiritual journey, and my quest for putting together a small inspirational book. “Ordinary into Extraordinary” was the working title of the project. Tracy told me she wanted to host an empowerment weekend for women in the spring of 2016. “Can you finish your book by then?” she said.

Always being up for a challenge (and a good kick in the butt), I said yes. At first I was editing my favorite blog posts for a compilation book. This was the initial idea but by month two I was bored, restless, and trying to decide what to do. Enter my fellow blogging goddess, Sunday’s Child. A long talk from west to east coast, lots of encouragement, and a brave idea emerged. Begin a new book, write like there’s no tomorrow, and finish it by the retreat.

As if that wasn’t enough God power for me, enter Karen of BetterBe Creative. I met her just a couple of years ago and she is another goddess. A graphic designer with a beautiful, comforting personality, she has agreed to take on the task of designing my first cover. And guess what? She knows a publisher who can print the book. I’m self-publishing so figuring everything out is up to me and Karen. (PS. this book will eventually be available through the web for purchase- YAY!)

A few nights ago I had the honor and pleasure of meeting the other speakers. Joy Bufalini is missing from this picture (she had to leave first) but trust me, she is as awesome as rest of us.

From L to Right: Yours truly, Mary, Kate, and Tracy.
From L to Right: Yours truly, Mary, Kate, and Tracy.

After we each introduced ourselves and told our little story, I was infused with gratitude for what God has brought together. Tracy and Mary have organized this retreat at the beautiful Antiochian Village in the quaint town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania.The dates are April 1-2. We are motivated entrepreneurs and have all been through the school of hard knocks. We will share our stories with you at the retreat and tell you how we have taken our lemon filled lives and made lemonade.

I realized at our little dinner that this will be a retreat about self love and self care. We the speakers will encourage you to lift yourself up and move beyond the blocks that may be holding you back. The friendship and love we will show you will be with you for a long time. You will be changed by this weekend I promise you.

Click HERE for the registration link to the Women’s Empowerment Weekend.

Check out the agenda!

Agenda for WER April 2 2016

I will be staying Friday and Saturday. Come and join us and be transformed.

Blessings!

Joanne

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Nichole + Arnold

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Photo by Kendelhardt Photography
Photo by Kendelhardt Photography

We love to hear true love stories and Nichole and Arnold have one of the best we have ever heard. Their wedding will be this summer at Stonebridge Farm Nursery, Big Sewickley Creek Road, Economy, Pennsylvania. Nichole loves the book “The Secret Garden” (by Frances Hodgson Burnett) and is modeling her wedding after it. There will be lots of roses, ivy and ferns. Joanne ironically just read “My Secret Garden” again after many years before signing onto to coordinate Nichole’s wedding!

We asked Nichole how she and Arnold met and fell in love. She told us the whole story and honestly, we couldn’t say it any better!

“On July 10, 2014 I was leaving dinner with a friend in Squirrel Hill when I decided that I just wasn’t ready to call it a night. I love to go salsa dancing, but during the school year I don’t get many chances to go. So, I decided to take advantage of a summer Thursday evening and went to Seviche downtown for their Latin night. I went by myself, which is something I never do, so I was a bit nervous as I sat down by the bar. I wanted to have a better view, so I attempted to turn my tall chair around without bumping the person next to me. I was unsuccessful and after bumping a chair, I heard the person next to me say, “Are you alright there?” I was a little embarrassed but we ended up talking and he asked me to dance (bachata). I’ll never forget seeing that first smile of his, so warm and captivating. Through conversation that followed we realized that we had been living a block away from each other in Sewickley for the past 3 years!! He had been taking his neighborhood runs past my front door for the past three years and we never once ran into each other. We even had both worked in Moon and both went to the same gym.”

Photo by Kendelhardt Photography
Photo by Kendelhardt Photography

Nichole said they spent the next hour or so dancing and talking until a group of her friends happened to walk in the door. Arnold may have thought she was taken and so he thanked her for the dance and politely walked away. Nichole was disappointed he didn’t stick around and so she was relieved that he showed up before she left and asked to see her again!

Photo by Kendelhardt Photography
Photo by Kendelhardt Photography

More of Nichole’s own words. “We’ve talked so many times about how many things had to fall into place for us to meet that day. He wasn’t planning on going out but had decided to give a friend a ride at the last minute. One of my favorite little details is that he had picked up his friend that night at a house that was on the same street as the house he would purchase a year later and where he would propose to me! He didn’t even realize it until after we were engaged!”

Photo by Kendelhardt Photography
Photo by Kendelhardt Photography

“We have found such joy and love together, and our story is so special to both of us. Arnold brought me a single red rose on our first date and we have decided to carry that symbol of love and beauty into the theme of the wedding. We also chose ivy since it is a symbol of fidelity and friendship. We both feel so blessed that God would allow us to meet and brought us together at just the right moment. We are so excited to share our commitment to the love and friendship we have found in each other with all of our loved ones. Oh and I bet you can guess what type of dance our first dance will be!”

Nichole and Arnold, we are so looking forward to your wedding! Congratulations and Best Wishes!
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Holiday Entertaining Tips

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Available at Cuttings, Sewickley
Cute Serving Bowls! Available at Cuttings, Sewickley

Are you the Christmas host or hostess? We entertain often during the holidays and we’ll tell you- it’s not too late to get it together without being frazzled. Check out our tried and true holiday entertaining tips and have your holiday down pat!

  1. What type of party are you having? Whether you are inviting guests to your home for a quiet evening, Christmas eve or day dinner, or a big holiday party, clearly define your vision. Cozy dinner and drinks, large holiday soiree, or hot chocolate party; think it out beforehand and decide exactly what you’d like to do.
  2. Decide on your budget. Easier said than done but this is an important step in the process. Consider whether you want to spend extra money on themed decor or paper products or if you’d rather put your money into different types of food, drinks, or dessert offerings.
  3. Take care of the core meal.  We’ve had a few lessons learned when delegating important parts of the meal to guests who are (ahem) a bit unreliable. Take care of the core meal yourself- meat, potato, bread, vegetable- and then add extra dishes by spotlighting what your guests or family members can bring.
  4. Make a list. Write down everything you’re going to need. If you haven’t started your list yet, this is the time to do it.
  5. Shop as you go. It’s better to get a few things everytime you’re out and about than to wait until the week of the party and do it ALL. Plus, it’s easier on your finances as well. Get your paper products one day. Buy wine and other alcoholic purchases another. Save the perishables for the week of the party so those are fresh.
  6. Do as much as you can at home before the big day. Can you set your dining room table a day or two ahead of time? Consider making a timeline for the day of and the days leading up to the party. The more you do beforehand the easier your life will be. Imagine taking a hot bath or a nap a few hours before dinner. You can do that if you plan ahead.
  7. Set things up so all you have to do is minimal maintenance. If you have to constantly heat appetizers in the oven, you will be in the kitchen all night! Think of ways to prepare, serve and replenish food that does not involve constant kitchen time- like using chafers, or serving a few (cold) platters of cheeses, bread, and olives and a (hot) dinner. Or recruit a shy family member(s) to be in charge of heating appetizers and food.
  8. Enjoy your own event! Put your favorite dress on, light the candles, and pour the bubbly. Time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and mingle with guests. (Monitor your own alcohol consumption if you are in charge of the entire meal- no one likes a drunk hostess!) Do your best to keep an eye on things, but also expect that mishaps may occur that no one anticipates. Spills, and other minor stuff can happen but be a sport and smile and solve the issue. Don’t be a drama queen if things fall apart.  Just keep going!
  9. Have a plan for the next day. Do some clean up but also have a good day of rest. Heat up any leftovers for dinner and save a bottle of wine for yourself. Don’t give in to the urge to put everything away in a single day. Just relax and reflect on your great party!

If you follow these ideas, you’ll be sure and have it all together! Relax and enjoy yourself at your own party!

All Around the Christmas Tree!
All Around the Christmas Tree!

Related Articles:

Holiday Entertaining, The Huffington Post

Easy Holiday Entertaining, Love From the Oven

At Home for Christmas, First Home Love Life

 

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Jessica and John’s Storybook Baby Shower

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Honey Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing and Marzipan Bees by Event Cakes PGH
Honey Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing and Marzipan Bees by Event Cakes PGH

It was a beautiful autumn day, perfect for traveling near and far. Many guests came to wish Jessica and John showers of happiness for their new baby, Penelope Katherine, due on John’s own birthday of January 9.

We all love nature and the Walter J. Brannon Community Center in Sewickley, Pennsylvania highlighted the gorgeous wooded surroundings. Jessica chose a theme of Children’s Storybooks for her shower. Here’s how we wove the invitation, food, books, cookies and cupcakes together for a magical experience.

Centerpieces were Pop Up Books!
Centerpieces were Pop Up Books!

The centerpieces were pop up books, such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, Narnia, and others that Jessica found on Amazon.com. The invitation was on Etsy –Once Upon a Time There Lived Parents to Be- by OliviaKateDesigns.

Jessica’s favorite colors are yellow and green so we went with happy lime green linens on the round tables of guests, and white on the rectangular food, gift, and cupcakes tables. At each place setting was a “Penelope” cookie. Diane Stewart of Sweet Bites Cookies did a fabulous job on these beautiful cookies!

Cookies by Sweet Bites
Cookies by Sweet Bites

Now for the snacks. From our own library of children’s books we chose Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham (deviled eggs and mini slider sandwiches). Next to a pumpkin patch book, we had a warm crockpot of an easy-to-make pumpkin soup. By the different salads, we had the classic book, A Secret Garden.

Green Eggs and Ham
Green Eggs and Ham
Pumpkin Patch, Pumpkin Soup!
Pumpkin Patch, Pumpkin Soup!

What’s a sandwich without pickles? Pickles to Pittsburgh!

Thank you to Kris Hughes for her homemade pickes!
Thank you to Kris Hughes for her homemade pickles!
We even had a real cow bell!
We even had a real cow bell!

At the coffee and drink table, we chose another Dr. Seuss book, Mr. Brown Can Moo next to the coffee creamer. On the dessert table, we highlighted the beautiful “Penelope” banner, made by our thoughtful and oh- so- kind blogger friend from Washington State, Sunday’s Child!

The Penelope Banner!
The Penelope Banner!

The cupcakes were extra special. John’s sister Michelene, and father Jim are beekeepers so we had Brandi Hugar of Event Cakes PGH do a honey vanilla cupcake! The batter included Beefuddled Farms delicious honey! The cupcakes were decorated with cream cheese icing and marzipan bees.

Marzipan Bees and Honey Vanilla Cupcakes
Marzipan Bees and Honey Vanilla Cupcakes

Jess and John's Baby Shower Marzipan Bees

The cupcakes were next to a ball mason jar of zinnias, lavender, and mint from John’s mother’s garden. Jessica picked Ruby Lee and the Bumble Bee children’s book for this table.

During the opening of the gifts, John’s sister Michelene and her friend Stephanie treated the guests to a fun storybook game. Each table was a team and took turns answering questions of quotes from famous children’s books. (Email us through our contact tab and we’ll be happy to send you the questions!). All guests received a two ounce honey sample from Beefuddled Farms to take home as their prize!

We so enjoyed planning this storybook shower for Jessica and John. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this day such a happy memory for all!

Opening gifts. Photo by Amy Burkhart.
Opening gifts. Photo by Amy Burkhart.
Jess and Pink and White Balloons
The Mother-To-Be, Jessica

Jess and John's Shower Centerpiece

Venue: Walter J. Brannon Community Center

Cupcakes: Event Cakes PGH

Cookies: Sweet Bites Cookies

Linens: Ambassador Rentals

Honey: Beefuddled Farms

Styled by Katherine’s Daughter Events.

Thank you to our picture takers- Michelene and Amy. A special thanks to Stephanie for all her help!

 

 

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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The Mantel Upstairs at Cuttings Flower and Garden Sewickley
The Mantel Upstairs at Cuttings Flower and Garden Sewickley

With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
Andy Williams – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Sewickley Village held their annual Wine Walk this year on November 4 and wow, what a crowd! I arrived in town alittle after 5pm and already the streets were lined with people ready to check in and receive their list of participating businesses.

I came mainly to visit Cuttings for their annual Holiday House. Jim Price and his staff outdo themselves every year and create such a feast for the eyes. Everywhere you look are magnificent Christmas trees, enchanting displays and wonderful gifts for family and friends alike.

It’s so worth a ride to Sewickley to visit Cuttings. While you are there, check out the many new (and old) businesses! Make a reservation at Vivo Kitchen and top the evening off with a delicious dinner.

Cuttings 2015 Holiday Red Wreath

Cuttings 2015 Holiday Red Bowl Silver Spoon

Cuttings 2015 Holiday Red Roses

Cuttings 2015 Holiday Mr Mrs Bulb

Cuttings 2015 Holiday Queen Bee

Cuttings 2015 Holiday Egg Nog Set

Cuttings 2015 Holiday Wreath with Red Ribbon

Cuttings 2015 Merry and Bright Platter

Cuttings 2015 Holiday Cake Server

One of Many Holiday Trees at Cuttings Flower and Garden, Sewickley

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Danina and Preston’s Wedding

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Love and Sunflowers! Photo courtesy Electric Lime Studios
Love and Sunflowers! Photo courtesy Electric Lime Studios

Take one barn, one beautiful couple, and a whole lot of amazing family and what do you have? Danina and Preston’s wedding! There couldn’t have been a more beautiful back drop than the Barn at Soergel Hollow for this beautiful September Sunday. There were so many vintage touches- from the milk glass vases, to the sweetheart table, to the mason jar glasses for all.

China Settings by Vintage Alley
Sweetheart Table Settings by Vintage Alley

We loved Danina’s beautiful gown and Preston’s laid back bow tie look. Sunflowers were everywhere, including the groom’s lapel and the table centerpieces. The awesome meal was catered by Steve Thompson of Bluebird Kitchen. He worked under some pretty rustic conditions and his food was amazing. Pulled pork, barbequed chicken, roasted vegetables. Everything was delicious!

As the evening sky grew dark, the vista around the Barn was absolutely breathtaking. The guests had a massive cookie table and DJ Lea Guarino to keep them going. We are certain that Danina and Preston will have memories and love to last a lifetime!

Check out more great photos from this wedding! All by Electric Lime Studios.

Rings and Stars
Rings and Stars
Love and a Kiss
First Look Love and a Kiss
Here Comes the Bride!
Here Comes the Bride!
Vows of Love
Vows of Love
Ready for Marriage! Photo courtesy Electric Lime Studios
Bow Tie Happiness
A mason jar glass for everyone!
A mason jar glass for everyone!
Sweetheart Table by Vintage Alley
Sweetheart Table by Vintage Alley
Chocolate Cake- Lori's Recipe done by The Ultimate Pastry Shop
Chocolate Cake- Lori’s Recipe done by The Ultimate Pastry Shop
The Never Ending Cookie Table
The Never Ending Cookie Table
The Guests
The Guests
Corn Row with a View
Corn Row with a View
Beautiful Lights
Beautiful Lights
The View from Soergel Hollow.
The View from Soergel Hollow.

Vendors: Click on the orange for their links!

Venue: The Barn at Soergel Hollow

Props: Vintage Alley Rentals

DJ:Guarino Group

Catering: Steve Thompson of Bluebird Kitchen

Photography: Electric Lime Studios

Table and Chair Rentals: Eventioneers

Chocolate Wedding Cake: The Ultimate Pastry Shop

Other: Almost Like Home Restrooms

Read more about this wedding on my grace and love blog- Katherine’s Daughter

 

 

 

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Beautiful McConnell’s Farm

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McConnell's Market
McConnell’s Farm Market

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. 

Henry David Thoreau

Don’t you just love this time of year? The leaves are turning golden yellow, orange, and red. There is a chill in the air. Pumpkin everything is available- coffee, donuts, pumpkin pie, you name it.

Love the cornstalks
Love the cornstalks

One of my favorite places to experience the fall season is McConnell’s Farm. Established in 1787, it is one of the oldest farms operated by a single family west of the Allegheny Mountains. If you love rustic, this is the place to visit. It takes a bit of navigation to get there, but only a tad. It’s about five minutes off of the Hopewell exit of 376. There’s good signage and google maps should take you there easily.

When you drive up to the barn, it’s a feast for the eyes. Pumpkins, mums, haybales await. Walk inside and sniff. Right now, it’s all about apples. Lots and lots of apples! Gala, McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, and on and on. Bags of 1/2 peck, little baskets of ’em, they are everywhere. You could easily get what you need here to make a fantastic pie.

Along the side of the barn are bins of very fresh vegetables. Potatoes, kale, onions, fresh garlic, and numerous squashes. Up on the blackboard was a recipe for spaghetti squash that so inspired me I bought one! I can’t wait to bake it and top with some of my husband’s fresh honey.

McConnell’s Farm is a CSA or Community Shared Agriculture Farm. How it works is you pay them a set amount (their website says $288) before the season and they use this to support the farm. This entitles you weekly visits and $20 free fruit and vegetables per week for seventeen weeks of summer. Visit their website for more information- HERE.

On my most recent visit, I also bought fresh cider, a bundle of kale (5 huge stems for a $1), and some delicious potatoes. That evening, I created a side dish of sauteed sweet onions, kale, and potatoes. I sprinkled fragrant dill from my own herb garden and added a fresh squeeze of lemon. Can I tell you? It. Was. Amazing.

This weekend, consider taking a ride and visiting this wonderful farm. Be prepared to be inspired. You’ll love McConnell’s Farm.

Pumpkins everywhere
Pumpkins everywhere
Sunshine and Pumpkins
Sunshine and Pumpkins
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