I Take Wooden Nickels

Robin update as of July 2: And then there were none. The cat destroyed everything. Baby birds eaten, unhatched egg on the ground. The nest will go to our friend Jan. But the cardinal rescued by our other neighbors is thriving, though it requires food every three or four hours.

House update: Painting is complete.

Transformation Complete

The place looks gorgeous except for the garage roof, which the squirrels eat.

So having survived the weekend, I made a quick trip to Lyman Orchards on Monday. For whatever reason, I thought I had written about this place before, but apparently not.

The Lyman family has been farming in the area for more than two centuries. The web site says they moved to Middlefield between 1741 and 1790, but since Middlefield didn’t exist until 1866, they were either in Durham or Middletown. And there’s a Thomas Lyman of Durham who owned at least one slave after the American Revolution (the web site doesn’t include him in the family tree), but the next generation became serious abolitionists. The story, not included on the website, but which I learned when I worked for the Middletown Press, is that the Lymans would farm all day and then at night take wagon loads of escaping captives to the “Grand Central Station” on the Underground Railroad (which didn’t have that name yet) in Farmington.

These days, the Lyman acres are devoted to cultivation of fruit and veggies with a focus on apples, which they sell in the whole form, in pies, as cider, as applesauce, as cider donuts. The prices are higher than the grocery store, but the produce is much fresher and they have two great discount programs: a senior discount on Monday and a wooden nickel program. For every $25 one spends, one gets a wooden nickel to be redeemed for “prizes.” These include bread, tote bags, pies, sandwiches, coffee, T-shirts that say “Got Apples,” and a “personalized 8” cake” (with two days notice).

The place continues to be a good public servant because they donated lots and lots of apples for Deb’s Fun Run last fall.

At this time of year the produce is spectacular. On my last trip I bought a head of Romaine big enough to feed a small town. Two weeks ago it was a gargantuan head of red-leaf lettuce. Right now we’re in blueberry season, so I’ll be heading back over soon but not on the weekends because the place is flooded with day-trippers from New York and points beyond. They come to eat lunch on the deck and look at the somewhat ferocious looking geese that wander the place.

Blog taking a vacation until Tuesday so I can find the top of my desk and perhaps a bit more of the floor in my study. Happy Fourth and may the fireworks not give Isis or me a nervous breakdown.

One Response to “I Take Wooden Nickels”

  1. Sketchers, etc. « Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] Larry and I went for senior day at Lyman’s. I used their version of customer appreciation. (“I Take Wooden Nickels”). The result was the best applesauce either one of us has ever tasted. Better yet, it was free! […]

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