MadleyHadley is no longer being updated. For similar posts by the author of MadleyHadley, visit Toad in the Garlic.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Short Visit to Clarkdale Fruit Farms

I've been reading about Clarkdale Fruit Farms on the CISA website for some time now, and they were one of the farms featured in the PBS special "A Long Row in Fertile Ground," which you should watch, if you haven't done so already -- it's about farms and farming in the Connecticut River Valley.
Anyway, last week I finally took a trip to north Deerfield to check out Clarkdale.  This is what I found:

A beautiful, hilly countryside with fruit trees as far as the eye could see.
The season was at a lower point when I went -- midseason for peaches and the bare beginnings of apples.  Nevertheless, I can't visit a fruit farm without purchasing fruit.  So I did.  (More than a week later, there are now many more varieties of apples available, as well as peaches and pears.)

Peaches, apples, and plums.  Yum.

Duchess apples, which I had never tried before, are supposed to be good for pies.  So I took a bag home and made gluten-free Dutch apple pie.

Quite delicious (and the apples held their form quite well).

Clarkdale Fruit Farm produces more than 100 varieties of apples, peaches, plums, cherries, pears, and grapes -- it's amazing!  They have a farm stand and offer pick-your-own apples after Labor Day.  So many fabulous fruits; I wish I lived a little closer to take advantage of all they have to offer. 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mid-August Pictures

Just a few of my favourite pictures from the week -- a little frog on a black-eyed susan, the amazing wing of a Buckeye chick, the Deerfield River, and my first home-grown pod of Jacob's Cattle beans.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Filos Greek Taverna

Filos.  It's a new Greek restaurant in downtown Northampton and where Mr. Madley and I enjoyed a delicious dinner this weekend.  You should definitely eat there.
Eating at Filos is like making a quick trip to Greece (or so I imagine) -- the food is wonderful, the atmosphere is festive, and the owners are friendly and talkative.

The restaurant specializes in the typical Greek foods -- gyros, brick-oven pizza, baklava -- all good stuff, in my opinion.  And, happily, the prices are extremely reasonable -- two people could easily eat for under $25, even without getting a pizza.  You can find their menu online, if you're curious or if you just like to decide ahead of time.

During our visit we learned that Filos does not just cater to the wheat-eaters among us, as one might think based on the menu offerings.  They have a variety of gluten-free options, both in their pizza(!) and their regular dinner platters; they'll even swap out the wrap around a gyro for rice, if you'd like.
Let me repeat that the food is simply fantastic.  Mr Madley enjoyed a pork souvlaki platter with a side of gigantes; four days later and he's still talking about how delicious the pork was.

I swooned over my gyro, and if I hadn't been so satisfied after eating it, I would have happily eaten another.  The baklava was huge -- it took me three meals to finish!

One of the most delightful parts of the Filos experience is talking to the owner.  He is very personable and loves to talk about his food, his restaurant, and this wonderful area where we all live.
If you're looking for a delicious quick meal in Northampton, stop by Filos and give it a try!

UPDATE 7/21/15: Mr. Madley tried one of their pizzas on their special gluten-free crust and raved over it.  If you eat gluten-free pizza, give this one a shot!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Chicks: Redux

These week we received a beautiful assortment of chicks (to replace those we sadly lost earlier this summer), and they are just the fluffiest, cutest things.  The first set we ordered through Amherst Farmers Supply; the second we special ordered through MyPetChicken.  I was very pleased with the chicks and service from both.
Our newest arrivals: black austrolorp, buff orpington, speckled sussex, silver-laced wyandotte, buckeye.

I have eight (two of which I'm holding for a friend) of these little chicks peeping and scampering all day long, except when they're peacefully sleeping.  I could sit and watch them and listen to their cooing and scrabbling all day.
They arrived fresh on Tuesday and have already noticeably grown and gained weight.  They are curious and active and healthy and already scratching at food and perching, and even have yogurt fights! 
More to come~

Insect Identification

I've been seeing these at our butterfly bushes for the past few years.  Have you seen them, too?  Do you know what they are?


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Camping at Mohawk State Park

You may remember that last year around this time, I posted about a short camping trip at the DAR State Forest in Goshen.  This past weekend for our annual camping trip, Mr Madley and I spent a few days in the Mohawk Trail State Forest.  (See his post about the trip here -- he has some great pictures and more detail about some of the hikes, too.)

The camp was lovely, and our site (CF22) was situated right on the Cold River, which allowed for wading, splashing, submerging, as well as for those relaxing sounds of running water, despite the fact that there was a nearby pool in the river that was a popular place for people to swim and play.

Our site was one of the no-vehicle sites, which means that cars are parked somewhere else and gear is toted in.  We were happy that there was a handcart to truck some of our gear, but not quite so happy that we had to carry things up and down a hill to get there.
The sites at MSP were odd because there was no brush separating the spaces and lending the appearance of privacy.  The sites were quite open, though there were a number of tall, thin trees in each; those provided great kindling from fallen sticks, as well as places to tie up tarps and hammocks and such.

There were a number of beautiful trails in the park -- going up mountains, following the Deerfield River, meandering through meadows and forests.  We hiked twice in two days and were awestruck at the beauty (as we often are -- isn't nature amazing?).

The hiking trails had historic landmarks and items labeled, and those made the hiking even more fun.  Someone once had a farm within the bounds of the state forest.  It must have been a beautiful place to farm, though very rocky.

The facilities of the park were nice. The bathrooms were well kept up, there were multiple places to get running water, there were showers, and the toilets flushed (I LOVE flushing toilets, even though they are not always as environmentally friendly as composting toilets).  There were dumpsters at the headquarters and each camp site had a bear locker (!) to store food and trash in.  Firewood had to be purchased for $5 a bundle; ice was not available.

One of my favourite things about camping is the food.  I love coming up with food to cook over a fire, or even a small portable camp stove (one of which we purchased this year from Sam's especially for this trip).  My food delight of this trip was cherry pie.  I remember making these when I was a kid and vacationing with my parents and sibs.  I bought a pie iron (also from Sam's) and took along some bread, margarine, and cherry pie filling.  The result was a tasty, crisp, hot cherry pie.  Yummy!  I can't wait to make more!

We live in a beautiful state.  Even if you don't enjoy camping, get out to one of the state parks and take a hike.  You won't regret it.