Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CSA at Stone Gardens Farm

Here's my first weekly box of produce from Stone Gardens Farm's CSA program in Shelton. I bought one share in their summer program, so I get a box of produce each week through October. This is a classic example of "Community Supported Agriculture", or CSA, in which people buy shares of the farm's crop. You pay for your shares in advance, then each week you pick up your share (or 1/2 share, or 2 shares, or whatever you paid for). There is no guarantee, just as there is no guarantee if you plant your own garden and spend hours and hours tending your crops, only to have a bunch of great big tomato hornworms wipe out your entire garden in one day, which is one reason I no longer have a vegetable garden (do I sound traumatized?) I trusted these folks were better at gardening than I was, and the box of veggies proves it.

My neighbor Carol also bought a summer share, so we'll save gas by taking turns picking up the produce. In my box were about a dozen ears of sweet corn, a bag of green beans, a head of cabbage, a couple cucumbers, some hot peppers, 2 yellow squash, a couple zuccinni, 3 big tomatoes, some garlic and parsley, kale, collard greens (had to figure that one out), and chives.

The program is pretty much word of mouth, and I hear these folks work their butts off on the farm, which doesn't surprise me. Farming is hard work! The farm is located on Saw Mill City Road in the White Hills, off of Birdseye Road.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Housatonic Tunnels, Locks, & Dam

Trails volunteers and friends had a little fun today exploring the old tunnels and locks of the Housatonic River. See our photos and video. If you have a high-speed connection, select the 'higher resolution' option on the video.

We kayaked from the Derby boat launch under the Route 8 bridge to the Derby Dam. The industrial artifacts were the main attraction along this route. First there are the bridges, then there are tunnels, including this one located underneath the Birmingham. The tunnels were built under factories from the 1800's to capture power from water as it fell from the canal above to the river below. Each factory had it's own tunnel.

Image the amount of work, all of it by hand, that went into building the structures that allowed the rise of factories in Shelton - the canal, the dam, the tunnels, and of course the factories such as the Birmingham. Shelton is the only city in Connecticut that legally changed its name (from "Huntington"), choosing to honor Edward Shelton, the man most responsible for the industrial rise of downtown.

We continued up the river to the Shelton locks and then on to the Derby Dam, which wasn't letting out very much water at the time. If it were, we wouldn't have been able to get so close.

The trail volunteers then traveled up the Naugatuck River to Ansonia. I don't have any photos or video of that since I had to leave early.