Tag Archives: gardens

Simple Treasures from the Past – Antiques & Primitive Goods Show

Walker Homestead will be hosting its 4th Simple Treasures from the Past – Antiques & Primitive Goods Show on Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 19 Martin Road, Brookfield, Massachusetts  01506.

Walker Homestead is set around a 1698 New England saltbox on 30 acres at the end of a country lane featuring a quilt shop, antiques & primitive shop & garden shop with heirloom gardens for you to stroll through.

For the show, our tavern room will be set up as the Homestead Tavern offering dining for the event catered by Haymaker’s Grill of West Brookfield, MA and there will be simpler fare out back at the chuck wagon.  The Podunk Ramblers will be playing live bluegrass music throughout the day, and there will be demonstrations in bookbinding by Paul A. McClintock of Whidbey Island, WA and basketry by 15 year old Dakota!

Scattered across our lawns and back fields you will find an amazing group of country antiques and  craftsmen of handmade primitives!  Truly an amazing display of wares and a wonderful group of people.

Parking is free in our front field and admission is $5 per person at the gate.  We sincerely hope you can make it!

Below are some photos from our June 2011 show… enjoy~

Mary Elliott of Pepperell, MA

Best Booth Winner June 2011 Show – Robin Rock & Milltown Primitives of North Stonington, CT

Pied Potter Hamelin & Kulina Folk Art of Warren, MA, photo by Bonnie Lucente

For more information and a list of our vendors for the September 2011 Simple Treasures from the Past – Antiques & Primitive Goods Show, visit our website www.walkerhomestead.com or call the shop 508-867-4466.  We look forward to seeing you!

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~ A Birthday Blast for Comstock, Ferre & Co. ~

We first heard about Comstock, Ferre & Co.‘s 200th Anniversary Birthday Bash when their seed catalog arrived in the mail way back in December… or was it January?

In any event, it was cold and there was lots and lots of snow…

the perfect time to start planning our gardens, devouring seed catalogs, making just the right choices to get us through the cold, bitter New England winter months…

the perfect time to make plans to visit the Comstock, Ferre & Co. in Wethersfield, Connecticut for their 200th Anniversary Birthday Bash!

Jere & Emilee Gettles, owners of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds of Mansfield, Missouri purchased the 200 year old seed company with the intention of restoring it to its former glory and continuing its heritage by carrying heirloom seeds to supply small gardeners and retail operations as well.

A dream come true.  The Gettles brought an Amish crew from Missouri to restore the historic buildings and barns and I can’t think of a better owner to understand the value of such a place and its heritage.

The day dawned clear and cool, a nip to the air, promise of a beautiful day to come… we headed out to Wethersfield (about an hour away from our Central MA home) with the excitement of a day out, surrounded by plants and history!  Nothing prepared us for such a lovely day… a lovely day indeed!

Here are some photos of our day… LOTS and LOTS of photos of the day, but it was hard, very HARD to eliminate them… we so enjoyed ourselves!

The Belden House at Comstock, Ferre & Co.

We arrived on Main Street, Wethersfield… parking was full, had to take a ride around the block in order to find a shady spot to park (the dogs joined us).

We arrive at Comstock, Ferre & Co.

Our first view of the festival… where to first???  Re-enactors in every corner… way too much fun!  A recent trip to Fort Frederick Market Fair had given us a taste for this, so excited to find more… AND so close to home!

A blacksmith selling his wares… and demonstrating in period costume!

Heating up the iron… a portable forge!

Working the iron…

… and getting the curve just right!

Just the right amount of twist!

Using the bellows to heat the coal…

This fine lady was demonstrating various needle crafts and her skilled weaving…

Tools of the trade… a lady would have had many of these implements attached to her waist (or girdle) holding her needles, scissors, thread and the like.

This little loom was for weaving cording.

Equivalent of a sweatshirt, back in the 1700’s… this shirt is a linen-cotton mix, hand-woven and hand-stitched by this fine lady who gave me instructions on how to make it without a pattern.  Can’t wait to give it a try!

Every seam was a “French seam” which covers up the raw edges and reinforces the stitching… at the shoulder seam, cotton twill tape was used for strength.

Triangular gussets were used where the shoulder meets the neck for additional strength… keeping the fabric from fraying or tearing.

Just LOVE this gusset at the bottom of the neck opening!

Detail of the turned under edge along the neck opening.

Jere Gettles talking with a few visitors.  Both Jere and Emilee were wandering in and out of the crowd, talking with visitors and taking photos… I wished I had more time to try and chat with them!  Jere’s recent interview with Zan Asha for The Renegade Farmer was so interesting and gives you a feel for what they are all about!

These guys were fun to talk to!  Great information on this replica cannon (casting of an original untouched 1750 cannon given by the British to us, hidden away and recently discovered)… so cool!

Officer’s field desk, with everything an officer would need…

This nasty little weapon was pretty neat… no mater how you throw it, it always ends with a point up… imagine the damage this baby could do to a hoof or soldier’s foot???  Evidently, they were used up to the Vietnam war.

Paul discussing the cannon with its owner…

I absolutely loved the wheels!

The type of shot which would have been fired from this cannon.

… and a close up of the cannon itself.

This fellow was displaying 18th century tools that were found on his family’s farm in Windsor, CT…

…a great collection, used by his family for generations!

So cool!

Ice saw and tongs used for harvesting ice which was stored in sawdust in the ice house for summer use!

Blueberries… yum!!!

LOVED this arbor/trellis… new project for Paul to add to the side of my new arbor!

It’s the little things that get me excited!  Can you believe they were selling plants like this???   CHEROKEE GREEN TOMATO… awesome!!!

Inside, there were lots of vendors, seeds and great things to buy!  Here are Baker Creek cups, t-shirts and hats!

A great selection of books relating to heirloom gardening…

… honey and beeswax products…

… natural fertilizers and insecticides…

… and SEEDS…

… great displays, vintage design cards…

… and candles…

… birdhouses…

… and all sorts of gardening gadgets, supplies and information!  LOVED the twine holder!

Old seed boxes and crates were everywhere… so cool!

Looks like old seed packets, but they’re packaged for 2011!!!

Walls of old file cabinets, bins and equipment!

Great twine!

You wouldn’t believe how wonderful these Swedish natural bristle brushes were!  They had vegetable brushes, nail brushes… you name it!

Pysanky eggs!  I hardly ever see them out and about… we’ve made them, a lot of work, but so worth the effort!

There were beans in jars, lots of beans as well as all these lovely drieds… so sweet!

Catholic Charities immigration assistance had an area where they were selling these gorgeous rugs and knits!

… and SEEDS!

I just LOVE the packaging!

Samples of bread dipping mixes… mmmmmmmmm, so good!

… and more SEEDS!

A view across the main floor.

… and more SEEDS!

Paul checking out the amaranth seeds…

… now tell me, where can you find amaranth seeds… not one variety, not two varieties, but 5 VARIETIES!!!  So awesome, great seed selection!

How about this variety of eggplant… couldn’t get myself to try it this year, but maybe next year’s garden???

PURPLE TOMATOES, PINK TOMATOES, GREEN TOMATOES… whatever color your heart desires… they’re here!

Heirloom Gardener magazine!  The current issue and many back issues… we carry this back at our shop, it’s awesome!  Jere & Emilee Gettles do a great job with it!

Old signs…

… and antiques!

A view of the front yard festivities!

LOVED these old drug store bottles!

FANTASTIC sign!!!

Cases of old seed catalogues, packages and related memorabilia!

Not sure if these were measures or scoops or both, but they were AWESOME!

Sacks…

.. old crates…

… machinery used in the seed industry…

LOVED this machine… I have no idea what it was used for, though!

Here is another unknown beauty!  Look at that old paint!

Emilee & Sasha Gettles at the Farmer’s Cow ice cream booth…

… it was so GOOD!!!

One of the back buildings used for speakers… Jere Gettles on the left, talking with a customer.  There were food vendors, plants and more set up out back… great stuff!

Back out front, re-enactors were set up.  Here is a basketmaker’s display…

… this lady was showing visitors how people had to write…

… and this lady was spinning naturally dyed wool…

… all naturally dyed wool yarn, the red is from cochineal (a bug which was imported in the 18th century for red dyes), the brighter orange is from cosmos!

This young family looked so sweet!

Writing samples…

… and wares.

This lady’s needlework was AWESOME!!!

She showed me this great book with photos from Winterthur Museum and look what I found!!!  I have a sampler very similar to this that my great, great, great, great, grandmother’s sister made… same era, also from the Lexington Concord area!

LOVED this guy’s coat!

The band played on!

… and we reluctantly said our farewells!

A fabulous time, wish we had more time to stay and visit with everyone, shop and enjoy… SOOOOOO… if you ever happen to be near Wethersfield, CT, be sure to stop in at Comstock, Ferre & Co. – you won’t regret it!

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Simple Treasures from the Past – Antiques & Primitive Goods Show ~ SPRING 2011 ~

Well, we’re at it again… SHOW MODE!!!

Our 2nd Annual

SIMPLE TREASURES FROM THE PAST

ANTIQUES & PRIMITIVE GOODS SHOW

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

10 – 4      Admission $5

is almost here!!!

Things are happenin’ around Walker Homestead

Lawns are gettin’ mowed, fields cleaned up from the winter, gardens weeded, new gardens established, plants and seeds are all on their way into the wonderful rich soil.

Final touches are in the works…

This season we are having YOU, the CUSTOMER VOTE for

THE BEST BOOTH CONTEST!!!

You will receive a ticket at the admissions booth, fill out your name and choice of best booth, drop it off at the Chuck Wagon and you will be eligible to win a prize!!!  You must be present at the drawing (noon & 1:00 p.m.) to win either a Garden Gift Basket or a Wooden Crow on a pitchfork!

WE ARE… s00000000…        E – X – C – I – T – E – D!!!

The PODUNK RAMBLERS will grace us with their bluegrass music throughout the day… these guys are awesome!!!

Our LIST OF VENDORS:

American Country Rugs – Pawlet, VT
Lucille Festa, Proprietor

Angel House Designs – Brookfield, MA
Valentin J. Dzelzitis, Proprietor

Baskets by Dakota – Enfield, CT
Dakota, Proprietor

Blackstone Antiques – Primitives & Candles – Douglas, MA
Kate Foynes, Proprietor

Bowl Barn Antiques – Douglas, MA
Louise Villa, Proprietor

Country Plus – Hopkinton, MA
Judy Coffey, Proprietor

Dater House Antiques – Troy, NY
Cindy Johnson & Leann Breer, Proprietors

Dianne Sandman – East Brookfield, MA
Dianne Sandman, Proprietor

Dirk Dishop, Proprietor

Haley’s Gatherings – East Chatham, NY
Donna M. Russell, Proprietor

Hands of Time Antiques – Palmyra, PA
Connie Gleed, Proprietor

Hearts and Homespun – Leyden, MA
Jo-Ann Helbig, Proprietor

Henhouse Primitives – Oxford, PA
Cecilia Taylor, Proprietor

Hometown Antiques – West Brookfield, MA
Cindy & Joe Shepard, Proprietors

Kulina Folk Art – Warren, MA
Gariné Arakelian, Proprietor

Log Cabin Country Primitives – Colchester, CT
Nancy Bryer, Proprietor

Magpie Primitives – Canaan, NY
Mark & Chastity Stephenson, Proprietor

Mary Elliott Antiques – Pepperell, MA
Mary Elliott, Proprietor

Mill River Primitives – Springfield, MA
Tammy, Proprietor
Milltown Primitives – North Stonington, CT
Robin Rock, Proprietor

Newgate Designs – East Granby, CT
Theresa Case, Proprietor

Olde Country Store – Brockport, NY
Dottie Miller, Proprietor

Orphan Annie’s Antiques – Barre, MA
Ann McDonald, Proprietor

Painted Duck Antiques – Niantic, CT
Bill Phaneuf, Proprietor

Pied Potter Hamelin – Warren, MA
Rick Hamelin, Proprietor

Pine Patch Primitives – Spencer, MA
Eva Ramsey, Proprietor

The Pleasure of “Yore” Company – West Brookfield, MA
Patti White, Proprietor

Primitives by Maria – Brookline, NH
Maria Cardillo, Proprietor

Primitive Crafts – West Springfield, MA
Victoria Amato, Proprietor

Richard Fuller Antiques – South Royalton, VT
Rick Fuller, Proprietor

Richmond House Antiques – Ashford, CT
Karan & Edd Oberg, Proprietors

Sassafras Hill Primitives – Enfield, CT
Denise Davis, Proprietor

Susan H. Wirth – Union CT
Sue Wirth, Proprietor

Tinkertown Antiques – Douglas, MA
Molly Garland, Proprietor

Turnpike Antiques – Madison, NY
Jack & Dirinda Houghton, Proprietors

Village Weaver – Bristol, ME
Phyllis Leck, Proprietor

Waters Tavern Antiques – West Sutton, MA
Cheryl Bonin, Proprietor

Wigwam Hill Antiques – Wilbraham, MA
Doug & Linda Burr, Proprietors

Winterberry Primitives – South Mashpee, MA
Lana Testa, Proprietor
Join us for the experience of a lifetime!
Some of the finest dealers in country antiques & handmade primitive goods from all over New England, New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio get together FOR YOU!!!

Stroll through the heirloom gardens, visit with the farm animals, listen to the music, dine in the Homestead Tavern or out back for simpler fare at the Chuck Wagon… and SHOP, SHOP, SHOP!!!

WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU!!!
For additional information, visit our website.
While you are in town, you  may want to visit our friends at the Salem Cross Inn for their
Drover’s Roast on Sunday, June 19th… for more information visit their website.

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A Snowy Day ~ The Bake Oven

The Day dawned with almost a foot of snow on the ground

The Tavern Doorand a forecast of much more to come.

We decided it would be a good day to try out our bake oven… something we’ve been thinking about doing for almost 3 decades!

DH cleaned out the oven

The Bake Oven

 

 

 

 

 

and lit the fire

While I started making bread in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

Three loaves of bread and a pizza!

One loaf of dill bread, one loaf of lemon basil bread and one loaf of plain…

and a pizza!

The Pizza!The oven heated up

 

 

 

 

and heated up

The dogs waited, soaking up the heat… just waiting…

Finally, it was time!

 

 

 

 

 

and the pizza was done!

Yummmmmmm……….

I have a feeling that this old oven is going to get a lot of use now!

Next, we decided to bake the bread… the first 2 loaves cooked too fast on the outside, I guess we’ll wait it out for the oven to cool down a bit before baking the last loaf.

What a way to spend a snowy day…

now,

back to my seed catalogs!

A Snow Day

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The Dooryard Garden

The kitchen window.

The kitchen window.

A comment from one of our Facebook fans the other day led me to consider my dooryard garden, which I usually take for granted.  It’s always there… I walk through it at least 50 times a day.  Every now and then, we need to stop and enjoy… to savor the wonderful beauty of nature around us; the sights, smells and sounds which bring us such pleasure.

The Keeping Room door.

The Keeping Room door.

My dooryard garden evolved over the last 26 years, first as a border along the house, then as a border on both sides of the walkway, then as a completely fenced garden with walkways… planned on paper first, then laid out with slate and stones, each plant chosen for scent, color and seasonal beauty.

Along the house, outside the kitchen door is my culinary herb garden, perfectly situated so we can run out while cooking and snip an herb or two at a moment’s notice with thyme and pennyroyal at it’s edges so you catch a whiff each time you walk through, then the mint garden (it used to be all hollyhocks, but the mint overtook it, it smells nice and is useful, so it stayed).  Outside the keeping room door I planted some of my favorites, so that when you walk out the door you get subtle scents of salvias (Indigo Spires, guaranitica and Maraschino), scented geraniums (Apple Blossom Rosebud, rose, peppermint), stocks and pennyroyal.

Dooryard garden, June delphinium

The Dooryard Garden in June with delphinium.

During the various seasons the garden evolves with fine displays of baptisia australis (false indigo), Seven Sisters and heirloom roses, delphinium, monarda citriodora (a less-cultivated, lemony bee balm), foxglove, hollyhocks, dame’s rocket and so on.  The hot summer weather brings on the spectacular color of annuals including State Fair zinnias, Bright Lights cosmos, Violet Queen cleome and multiple varieties of nasturtiums.  My garden would not be complete without southernwood, sweet annie, petrovskia (russian sage), annual poppies and sunflowers!

Salvia Indigo Spires

Salvia Indigo Spires outside the keeping room door.

I am so grateful for the wonderful bounty nature has bestowed upon us, the beautiful flowers, scents and that warm sweet feeling of the garden.  Take a break from your busy life and stop and smell the flowers, savor and listen.  You’ll be glad you did!

Peanut in kitchen doorway

Peanut in kitchen doorway.

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My Little Friend

Fidel & FrancoNot so many months ago, my son discovered he was no longer allergic to cats after 21 years of absolute misery in a cat loving family.  A trip to the local feed and grain store resulted in him bringing home two sweet little kittens, brothers… much to my dismay.  We already had 5 cats, a stray had recently arrived on our doorstep and we certainly didn’t need any extra mouths to feed!  He named them Fidel  and Franco (a bit of humor on his part) and promised to care for them, pay for their expenses and moved out shortly thereafter, leaving the kittens in my care… what a surprise.

I had forgotten how funny kittens are, hopping about, chasing anything in their Fidelpaths, even attacking the dogs who are 10 times their size!  They quickly won my heart… Franco is the purr-ball, sweet and lovable and Fidel is the quiet one, more of a challenge and now my little charmer… a Momma’s boy!

If I am home and working about the gardens or in the Garden Shop, the boys are usually underfoot.  If I’m picking raspberries, all of a sudden I feel someone Fidelclimbing up my legs!  Today I was working in the shop, up on a ladder, hanging herbs from the rafters… the next thing I knew, little Fidel was in my face, had climbed various pieces of furniture and jumped up on top of the ladder to get closer to his mom.  Of course, a cuddling break was in order which totally pooped him out… and I left him sprawled out on the doorstep as I went on to other garden chores.

I guess, the lesson here is appreciate what you have, you never know when life is going to give you little gifts… a sweet moment, an overwhelming sense of love and well-being.  Stop and smell the roses, enjoy life and those little special moments.

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Gardening Friends

A visit yesterday from representatives of two local garden clubs, in preparation of a joint garden tour, made me realize how much camaraderie there is between gardeners.

We meet people every day who come to our shop, visit our gardens, or just in the course of business (I’m a Realtor®, too)… the absolute delight we find in each other once we discover that gardening is a common interest is incredible!  Instant friendships are born, loosening of tongues, chattering of this plant and that… have you tried this?  Where did you find that?  How did this grow so well for you?  Have you been to this nursery or that?

A recent visit to a friend’s house for an impromptu plant swap and pot luck dinner provided a tour of their garden, conversation about gardens for several hours, new friendships were born, new plants came home to our own gardens… what a great way to spend a summer evening!

When my children were young, we used to travel with a friend and her children to Caprilands in Coventry, Connecticut to visit with gardening guru, Adelma Grenier Simmons.  Within 45 minutes of home with no admission, we were free to wander through the gardens, shop a little and thoroughly enjoy our day.  Her shop and related gardens were always an inspiration for me, each garden had its own theme, herbs and heirloom plants were everywhere!  Mrs. Simmons used to hold court in her little book store, sitting behind a desk in her vintage cloak, answering visitors’ questions and autographing her books.  She also held herbal luncheons and dinners.  Her many reference books on gardening and using herbs are still my bibles, dog-eared pages… the first place I run when I have a plant question!  Sadly, she is no longer with us, but her legend lives on.

Another favorite is Pickity Place in Mason, New Hampshire, still a favorite after all these years.  Centered around a lovely early American cape-style house, Pickity Place seems to be situated in the middle of nowhere… an oasis of sorts.  This is the house illustrative site for the 1948 English edition of Little Red Riding Hood by Elizabeth Orton Jones and is the theme of their book store.  They host herbal luncheons (reservations are suggested, their menu changes monthly and is available on-line), have beautiful gardens to stroll through as well as a well stocked garden shop and gift store.

As I prepare for another morning of watering my gardens (we’ve had a long stretch of no rain!), I think fondly of my gardening friends, acquaintances and favorite spots to visit… enjoying the plants I picked up here and there, each one with a memory of the place or person where it came from.  I look forward to a garden tour this weekend, meeting fellow gardeners and enjoying our time among the plants!  How special it is that one little seed, with a little nurturing, can become this plant which provides us with such pleasure!

Looking forward to seeing you in the garden!

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