Friday, May 28, 2010

Roxbury Land Trust Hike This Weekend

ROXBURY– In its ongoing effort to encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy its nature preserves, the Roxbury Land Trust is urging the public to hike its Lilly Preserve over Memorial Day weekend.

The 140-acre preserve offers two hiking trails: a 1.5-mile loop that starts near the intersection of Route 317 and Bacon Road and a 1-mile loop that traverses the upper wooded portion of the trail and is best accessed off Old Tophet Road.

"The Lilly Preserve offers a Roxbury microcosm," noted Julie Steers, executive director of the Roxbury Land Trust. "It combines marshlands and wooded swampland showing beaver activity with mixed hardwoods, old stone walls, rock outcroppings and farm fields. There's a little bit of everything in this preserve and we encourage families and friends to explore what Mother Nature is offering there this Spring. It's a great way to spend a few hours over the long holiday weekend."

For those who want a longer hike, the preserve connects across Route 317 to the 60-acre Baldwin Preserve, which offers a 1.5-mile wooded trail up to Lower County Road and back.

Established in 1970, the Roxbury Land Trust now oversees 3,400 acres, which includes 573 acres contiguous to Roxbury in neighboring towns, in its nature preserve system. There are 32 preserves throughout the town of Roxbury, which include trails for hiking and horseback riding, miles of the Shepaug River and brooks protected for fishing, and tranquil sites for picnics overlooking spectacular vistas. There are farm fields, large swaths of woodlands and wetlands that preserve precious habitat for wildlife, and numerous historic sites, both hidden and well-preserved. The nature preserves are open year-round, weather permitting.

The Land Trust is a non-profit organization that depends on membership contributions and charitable donations for acquisitions, educational programs and preserve maintenance. For more information, please visit or call 860-350-4148.

From the Litchfield County Times.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hammertown Barn Tent Sale

Always a favorite event with residents of the Northwest Corner, it's the 13th Annual Hammertown Barn Tent Sale.  Discounts up to 75% off.  This event will be held May 29th and May 30th, 2010  from 9 am to 5 PM at the Pine Plains location.

3201 Route 199, Pine Plains, NY 12567


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Green Your Indoor Air~This Weeks Green Tip

From Good Morning America

Today the Organic Mechanic, Mark Highland, dropped by "Good Morning America" to show how some pretty plants can improve air quality in your house.

Mark Highland suggests how to purge indoor air of toxins.In addition to sprucing up the place, these household plants actively target certain toxins and keep the air you and your family breath clean, Highland said. These plants are labeled O2, which means they improve your home air quality. 

Household Plants to the Rescue

Peace Lillies : Peace Lillies, native to the Florida wild, can remove benzene, a chemical found in tobacco smoke.

Ferns: Those long, slender plants not only give a room a little character, they also help remove toulene from the air, a chemical found in printer and copier inks and glues.

Anthuriums: If your house is smelling a little bit like ammonia, some anthurium plants could help remove the chemical from the air. Anthuriums are beautiful plant with dark foliage and heart-shaped flowers.

Dieffenbachia: The low-maintenance dieffenbachia plant has large, colorful leaves. It can also help remove formaldehyde from the air that could come from foam insulation, carpets and plywood. While these plants look great in a bright room, their leaves are toxic if consumed, so keep them away from small children and pets.

Sansevieria : All the way from India , Indonesia and tropical Africa, the Sansevieria is a hardy houseplant and can help remove acetone from the air. Acetone is often found in nail polish, paints and paint removers.

Friday, May 21, 2010

How to Freshen the Garage The Green Way

Lets face it, the garage can smell.  For many years, apartment living meant we had no garage or any kind of outdoor storage space. With no need for lawn equipment, it was really no big deal. But now we're moving to a house with a one-car garage and a big lawn in need of mowing. And that garage stinks. Here's how we're planning on combating those garage-y smells, the green way.

We haven't even moved in to our house yet, and the garage, which will also be our laundry room, already smells like a tractor barn. (For those of you who didn't grow up on a farm, think diesel.) Needless to say, we want to nip this in the bud.

These outdoor areas tend to be bigger than the power of vinegar and baking soda, which we use to soak up odors inside the home. Here are a few green ideas we've found to deal with the smells. If you've used any of these methods, let us know how you think they work.

1.Air out the garage or shed. Ventilation is key to dissipating smells.

2.Try Gonzo Odor Eliminator for Basements and Garages: lava rock in a mesh bag that soaks up odors, from pet-related to automotive. Sounds like it's worth a shot.

3.Use kitty litter a lot like you would use baking soda. While kitty litter, which is generally made from clay but can also be made from a slew of recycled materials, can sometimes be the source of a bad smell, it can also be used to soak up smells much like activated charcoal would. Put the (clean) litter in an open tub and let it do its magic.

From Apartment Therapy

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Green Living At Woodridge Lake

Green Living At Woodridge Lake

Located in Woodridge Lake, this home is one of the most energy efficient homes in town! This four bedroom two and a half bath home has a geothermal HVAC system that was featured in the New York Times Business Section. Hardwood floors throughout, large master bedroom suite with walk in closet and bath with whirlpool tub. Great 12x62 ft. back deck, granite counters and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, plus all the amenities of Woodridge Lake!

Also available as a lease with purchase option.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


photo from the White Flower Farm Web site

The Annual Tomatomania celebration will be held this weekend Friday May 21st until sunday May 23rd At White Flower Farm in Litchfield.

Once again, it's time for Tomatomania! This unique event brings Tomato enthusiasts from all over the East Coast to our nursery. For 2010, we'll offer more than 100 varieties of Tomato seedlings, all fresh from our greenhouses. You'll also find fertilizers, stakes, ties, containers, and a selection of the best-tasting herbs and vegetables for home gardeners. Tomato guru Scott Daigre will be on hand, helping you choose among the many varieties of heirlooms and hybrids and answering questions about growing Tomatoes for best yield and flavor.

This year our guest speakers will include representatives from Fine Gardening and Fine Cooking magazines. Stop by the Garden Conservancy's display booth and find out about Open Days gardens in your area.

Customer favorites you can expect to find again: cherries 'Sungold' and 'Black Cherry', paste varieties 'San Marzano' and 'Martino's Roma', beefsteaks 'Red Brandywine' and 'Mortgage Lifter', slicers 'Carmello' and 'Black from Tula', and colorful 'Gold Medal Yellow', 'Cherokee Purple', and 'Green Zebra'.

Varieties that will be making their first appearance at Tomatomania include: 'Missouri Pink Love Apple', 'Orange Flesh Purple Smudge', and 'Pink Ping Pong'. You have to love these names!

Meet our speakers under the tent for the following free programs:

Friday, May 21 10:00-11:00 "Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes" - Scott Daigre

Friday, May 21 11:30-12:30 "Homegrown and Homemade" - Danielle Sherry, Associate Editor, Fine Gardening, and Sarah Breckenridge, Web Producer, Fine Cooking.

Ms. Sherry will demonstrate how to design and plant a container filled with assorted edibles. Find out how to select the right plants (veggies, herbs, and edible flowers), mix up a special potting soil, and take care of your mini-garden throughout the season. This will include a live demonstration of the proper planting technique -- ensuring that your pot will look as good as it tastes.

Ms. Breckenridge will highlight the exceptional and robust flavor of heirloom Tomatoes, with a simple, yet sophisticated recipe for Tomato Napoleons. You'll learn how to make each component of this dish, including Parmesan crisps and a zesty vinaigrette for a fresh herb salad. She'll also provide tips on how to keep Tomatoes at their best after picking them.

Friday, May 21 1:30-2:30 "Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes" - Scott Daigre

Saturday, May 22 10:00-11:00 "Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes" - Scott Daigre

Saturday, May 22 11:30-12:15 "Patio Edibles: Pots, Raised Beds, Best Varieties and Growing Tips" - Barbara Pierson, White Flower Farm Nursery Manager

Tomatoes and all types of edibles can be grown on your deck or in a raised bed. Find out which varieties to grow, simple growing tips, and why containers are so popular.

Saturday, May 22 1:30-2:30 "Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes" - Scott Daigre

for more information, please call 1-800.503.9624 or go to

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May Edition of Realty Times

This Newsletter is full of interesting and useful information that I think you will enjoy whether you are a buyer, seller, homeowner, or renter.

This month's issue includes topics such as:

"Five Key Areas to Pay Attention to When Buying a Home";

"Green Your Home with Cost-Saving Remodeling Tax Credits";

"Common Buyer Fears";

"Top 10 Tips for Staging a Home";

"Seniors Looking to Downsize, Seek Opportunities to Socialize in Urban Living Areas";

Plus a roundup of April real estate activity as well as much more advice and information.

I hope you enjoy this monthly newsletter. If you have any comments, please e-mail them to me. Or, if you would like to see a certain topic covered in future months, let me know that too!
Please click here to go to the May issue of Realty Times

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lime Rock Park Events Memorial Day Weekend

We know there are fans out there with family plans that don’t include Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day Monday (sigh...). But what about the Saturday before?

It’s only $25, kids 12 and under are free, free parking, new family Midway attractions including Laser Tag, karting, and hotdog stands!

Remember, active military and veterans (and their immediate family) are free with proper ID.

There are four great races on Saturday:

- Grand-Am Continental Tire Challenge GS (killer-fast Camaro, M3, Cayman, 911, Boss 302 et al.)

- Grand-Am Continental Tire Challenge ST (crazy-cool Civic SI, GTI, 328i, MazdaSpeed3 and RX-8, Mini Cooper, Audi S4, Boxster et al.)

- SCCA Ford Racing Mustang Challenge (a grid-full of identically prepped GTs bangin’ fenders)

- BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda (15-to-21 year old superstars in the making)

So if you can’t come Monday for the Rolex Daytona Prototype & GT race, do not miss Saturday’s other Grand-Am action, ok?

Thanks for reading...

 call 860.435.5000 for more information

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Springtime Home Improvement

Keep your Central Air Running at Peak Efficiency

If you have a central air conditioner, there are a few items you should check to keep it running at peak efficiency now that the warmer weather is approaching.

The outside component of your unit is called the compressor. It houses the pump and the blower that cool the compressed gas that is then pumped into the home to cool the air inside. We see these units covered with landscaping debris (grass, weeds, bushes etc.) all the time.

When this happens the airflow is restricted and it has to work harder to cool your home. Always keep these units clear from obstructions, so they can easily cool the coils. Keep lawn clippings from blowing on them when trimming the grass. Sometimes dryer vents are located too close to AC units, plugging them with lint.

Read your manual on the best way to clean the unit. Some may be hosed off, ALWAYS TURN OFF THE POWER when cleaning them. Others require more complex cleaning. A dirty AC will waste a lot of energy. When in doubt have a professional clean it regularly, usually at least once a year.

© 2009 A & S Home Inspections

Connecticut Home Inspection Expert David Balkun is devoted to empowering home buyers and sellers throughout Connecticut with the information they need to make informed buying or selling decisions about their properties and give them peace of mind. Register for his free articles at

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trade Secrets!

Trade Secrets is back.The ever-popular Trade Secrets, a rare plant and garden antiques sale, that benefits Women’s Support Services of the Northwest Corner, is celebrating its 10th anniversary Saturday, May 15th and Sunday, May 16th, 2010 at LionRock Farm in Sharon, CT.

For the past ten years, Trade Secrets has brought garden-lovers from around the world to the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut to discover new plants, topiary, and antiques for their gardens. This year is no exception with nearly 60 vendors and garden antiques dealers from around the northeast region coming to set-up their wares under the tents at the picturesque LionRock farm. With their truckloads of rare garden plants and unusual accessories – those kind of unique treasures that you might search a lifetime for – they’ll descend upon LionRock to offer garden lovers a day of pure treasure hunting! Shoppers can find rare plant specimens from specialized growers and from some of the nation’s best known small nurseries, as well as furniture, antiques, cloches and garden statuary from the choicest purveyors of garden antiques, wrought-iron fencing, textiles from select antiques dealers, and so much more.

New this year will be the Saturday afternoon lecture: “Abstraction; Art, Home & Landscape” with Tom Armstrong, director emeritus of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and chairman of the board of the Garden Conservancy. Armstrong has published and lectured widely on art and gardening.

Trade Secrets includes the antique and plant sale on Saturday, May 15 at LionRock Farm in Sharon, CT, from 10am to 3pm, for $35, and the tour of four gardens on Sunday, May 16 for $60 ($50 in advance). For those early-birds on May 15, “early buying” tickets are available for $100, and include early admittance with continental breakfast.

For more information, please go to

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Berkshire Botantical Garden

The 33rd Annual Berkshire Botantical Garden Plant Sale will be held Friday May 7th 11 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 5 PM. 

Please go to or call 413-298-3926 for more information

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Casa Bacchus Annual Summer Stock Up Wine Tasting

Casa Bacchus will be hositng it's annual summer stock up wine tasting event.  This is an event not to be missed!  Over 50 wines will be poured and all are less than $10!

The event will be held on Saturday May 8th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Litchfield Community Center, 421 Bantam Rd, Litchfield.  Ticket price is $30 in advance, $40 at the door.  Very tasty wine friendly morsels will be served.

Visit Casa Bacchus for more information.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Yale Summer School of Music Summer Concert Series

The Yale School of Music Summer Concert series runs from June 19th to Augsut 21st 2010.  Tickets have just gone on sale for the 2010 summer series.  To find out more on the 2010 schedule, click here for information.  For information on the Norfolk Summer program, please click here.