It’s a Back to School Thing

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We are just getting into the most delicious days of August.. The crisp evenings of fall are creeping into summer. The light clears  as if a gel has been removed from the lense. Look up at the hardwoods – blushes of reds and oranges are peaking through the greens. It’s shifting quickly.  Labor day is less than a week away.

Is there any one of us that doesn’t anticipate the changing season, summer to fall and the excitement of going back into the classroom, no matter your age? It is a time of reinvention, learning and growth.

At Snug Harbor Farm, we take all this to heart as we craft our new calendar of fall events. This year the fall schedule is branching out into new territory, as we welcome authors, artists and well traveled designers into our space to share their experiences and knowledge of the world around them. Snug will be on the road, as well, sharing our eye for design and passion for beautifully grown and curated materials with friends and clients throughout New England. It’s a busy season that we look forward to sharing with you when you visit us in Kennebunk.

Kismet, a word that means magical, unplanned encounters, is available to those who keep their hearts and minds open. That’s why re recommit ourselves to growth and higher learning as part of who we are and why we are always in search of new craftspeople and thinkers of all stripes. Meeting individuals with a specific point of view broadens our own and is one of the many delights experienced at Snug on a daily basis. We are so fortunate and grateful to provide inspiration and a landing spot for travelers, locals and friends. Thank you all for finding us, connecting with us and appreciating the hard work it takes to keep a unique place like Snug Harbor Farm open and accessible to our greater community.

We look forward to the season’s upcoming harvest and celebrations that will take us through the fall and into the holiday season. Visit our calendar online and look for something to lift your own sense of wonder and curiosity. Hope you will join us for some (if not all!) of the upcoming excitement at Snug Harbor Farm.

Plan ahead and reserve your place while you can. Here’s our current calendar!

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2018, The Year of the Dog. We are well into the first month and all signs lead to dog energy. Our pack of poodles teach us every day about being loyal, warm hearted, good listeners. Now is the time to turn those insights inward and nurture ourselves so that we can go out into the world better people.

We are so fortunate to be in the company of plants and animals at Snug Harbor Farm. They require a lot of care but give back all the love poured into them one hundred times over. Feeding them the best quality food at the optimum time of day, regularly, is all part of it. Wintertime in New England is an endurance race, especially for growers of plant material. Our eye is always on the dicy weather conditions and checking in on systems that keep everything alive. We are constant witnesses to the life cycles of many different varieties on the farm. It does help us appreciate the many gifts we share that nurture us. In order to do our best by the plants and animals, we must treat ourselves with the same care and conscience.

We are offering a new workshop in a couple of weeks, How to Build and Use an Apothecary Planter, in an effort to bring the many benefits of herbs to the student’s attention. We will be highlighting the simple pleasure of growing them, in addition to being able to ingest them, apply them topically and even clean with them. The whole process contributes to the health and well being of the gardener. Herbs are an amazing, multifunctional group of plants. (Disclaimer: participants will need a sunny spot for the planter to live for best results. Herbs are full sun plants.)

Prior to getting our health on, we will be celebrating all that is romantic with our third annual Build a Bouquet for your Valentine workshop. Show the one you love your creative side and play with a gorgeous collection of stems to create a bouquet that reflects all that is beautiful about your feelings! They pack a powerful message that transcend words (and doesn’t that contribute to one’s emotional well being well?) If your time, energy or interest don’t align with our workshop opportunity we would be happy to design a special floral offering for your Valentine. Just let us know how we can help.

These activities, along with some quality time outdoors, even in the coldest of temperatures, help us appreciate the world we live in and the possibilities for growth at any time of year. The cold isn’t all bad, in fact there are many benefits if applied properly. Whether you want to go deep internally or want to push your limits externally, we wish you a happy and healthy, frosty season and hope we will have a chance to connect over the coming weeks. Take good care of yourself, and your animals, plants and people.

More info about the Year of the Dog: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_(zodiac)

Entertaining into the New Year

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The holiday season is winding down but the Big Kahuna of holiday parties lays ahead. Whether you’re planning on a quiet evening getting hygge with a few friends or throwing a bash for everyone on your contact list, it’s good to have a few new recipes up your sleeve. Our staff chose some favorites for Prelude feasting from our library of cookbooks that still have us all abuzz. Our fearless leader, Tony, gravitates towards all things poultry and found a fabulous recipe for duck tacos with tomatillo salsa, which could be the start of a fabulous New Year’s Eve fiesta. The cookbook that features that and other fine options is available in the shop: Culinary BIRDS by Chef John Ash.

A fan favorite among our Prelude guests was prepared by Nichole, who is a busy mom as well as a gardenista and killer cook. Time was of the essence so she found an amazingly tasty recipe out of a new book to our shelves designed to save time called Halfway Homemade by Parrish Ritchie. We were all grateful for her choice in preparing the delectable “Speedy Firecracker Chicken”.

For the tastiest nibbles, we can count on Whitney, day in and day out for crunchy and healthy bits with her classic stand-by: Popcorn with Truffle Oil. No book required. Just pop the corn and toss in a bit of truffle oil. I made another healthy alternative: Mustard Roasted Broccoli Pate from a wonderful vegetarian cookbook First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright. She has a great website and you can find the recipe here:

http://thefirstmess.com/2013/12/12/mustard-roasted-broccoli-rillettes-recip…

For a sweet ending to the evening, Pamela was inspired by a recipe from the fantastic Taproot magazine (which we keep in stock) called Chickadee Cake. It was absolutely divine! If you haven’t checked out Taproot, we highly recommend it.

https://taprootmag.com

Look to the shop at Snug Harbor Farm for entertaining inspiration of all kinds. We’re always looking for new and fabulous cookbooks. We stock beautiful serving pieces, utensils, linens and glassware. With proper notice, we can even pull together floral dressing for your special occasions. The fact is, we love a good party and we’d be happy to help fine tune yours. Wishing one and all a very Happy New Year and look forward to more fun, beauty and adventure in 2018!

Barreling Headlong into Holiday Season

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When does it really start? Is it a year round endeavor that one needs to keep on a slow simmer, then turn it up to boil as the sun starts to dip in the sky? Do you have your ducks so neatly in a row that holiday magic flows like sweet caramel sauce with seemingly little effort? For us, it’s starting now for next year. We are in it and beyond it and always trying to hold on to the magical, mystical fizz that goes on at this time of year.

We are so fortunate here at Snug Harbor Farm to be surrounded by the natural goodness of the season in the town of Kennebunk. Our chores shift with a natural rhythm dictated by the plants, animals, seasons and the weather. Kennebunk and Kennebunkport established the Prelude celebration in 1981. The planners wanted to kick start the holiday season by celebrating the charm of our little seaside villages in winter. It worked. It took off to national acclaim and grows bigger every year. Now, thirty six years later, it has become one of the most HOLIDAY of all holiday spots in the country during the first week in December. Santa arrives in a lobster boat and both towns are decked out with activities planned by local shop owners and organizations.

https://www.christmasprelude.com

For our part, we relish the homecoming of so many families that we celebrate and decorate  from Thanksgiving through The New Year (and beyond for so many happy occasions). We develop a visual vocabulary with friends and family. We help them utilize treasures passed down and those that might be new to their collections. Our buying reflects love of the land and the comforts of home. Every one enjoys a good laugh, especially when stress sets in so look to the shop for ornaments that have a personality. There’s always room for another narwhal or yeti on the tree!

We acknowledge those who have gone before us and those who may not be so lucky with friends, family and shelter. It is a time to open our hearts to the harsh reality of what others may face at a time when so many are in party mode. It can be the most isolating time for some of our neighbors. Remember them. Acknowledge them and try to bring a little beauty and light into their lives. A small gesture can literally be a lifesaver. Channel Clarence. Couldn’t we all approach our day with more kindness in our hearts?

As we barrel headlong into Prelude present, we pay hommage to Preludes past and plan for the Preludes of the future with lessons of the season marking time and showing us the many wonders that happen in the cold still of winter in Maine. It’s just the beginning. We need to hold onto this magic for the next four months when the light of Spring cracks the horizon of Summer.

Dreaming of Spring

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It’s not even winter, yet. It’s getting dark but not as dark as it will be this weekend. The first real, sustained chill is in the air. The reality is: it will get much, much colder very quickly. This causes our attention to turn to spring and the new year. We all get excited about the arrival of bulbs to the shop. While we are putting our favorite gardens to sleep, we take the opportunity to punctuate beds and naturalize lawns with a spray of narcissus, tulips, scilla and fritallaria that will show themselves in all their glory next spring!

Delayed gratification can be sweet, too, you know. We are obsessed with certain alium and are dreaming of forcing the best varieties of all our favorite bulbs in pots to pull out in the dark, dead, cold of winter. It is this miraculous pop of color, growth and fragrance, in the midst of a snow storm, that will help us get through the unforgiving Northeast winter.

We’ve put together a starter kit of our favorite narcissus to offer on line and in our shop. This collection could provide the backbone or a backdrop for your springtime garden featuring your own mix of varieties.

  

We chose the classic Carlton bulb as a sign of pure sunshine and joy on a stem. Learn more about Carlton here:
https://www.gardenia.net/plant/narcissus-carlton-large-cupped-daffodil

Lovers of pure white pop of brightness will certainly appreciate Mount Hood. Here is more about this pristine beauty:
https://www.gardenia.net/plant/narcissus-mount-hood-trumpet-daffodil

And to emphasize the joy of new growth we include Fosters Favorite in the mix. It starts out a bright chartreuse that mellows.

We’d love to hear about your favorite fall plantings to enjoy in the spring. We still have several weeks of planting time ahead! lay the groundwork, now, for your favorite spots to visit and enjoy in the spring of 2018.

Warm Up Winter at Our Succulent Workshop

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Join us at Snug Harbor Farm for our Midwinter Succulent Workshop being held on Saturday, January 28th to learn about all things succulent and build your own mixed container to take home. We will provide all the material you will need to create a gorgeous little garden. The fee for the workshop is $45.00. You can sign up using the form below.

1:00pm Workshop SOLD OUT

11:00am Workshop has been added. Sign-up Below!

Prelude to the Prelude

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SNUG-prelude-prelude-FB

Join us at Snug Harbor Farm
for our Prelude to the Prelude!

Opening Reception on Friday, December 4th, 5pm-7:30pm.

Join us at SNUG HARBOR FARM for a Prelude to the Prelude and a nibble and a sip while shopping our Pop-Up Prelude Barn Boutique, filled with some of our favorite artisans’ work. An opening reception will be held Friday, December 4th from 5-7:30, where you can meet the artists and shop their unique collections compiled exclusively for SNUG HARBOR FARM. This one of a kind collection of work will be available through 12/13. Shop now while supplies last!

Participating Artists:

Kate Nelligan Design
Three Sister Supply
Whitten Hill Studio
Laura Fuller
Sam Lawrence Glass
Odd Inc. Pottery
Farrell & Co. Leathers

Travel + Leisure Magazine Highlight

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snugcollageWe are pretty excited to read the new highlight on Snug Harbor Farm in the August 2015 issue of Travel + Leisure Magazine (excerpt below).

“Take Tony Elliott. His Snug Harbor Farm nursery in Kennebunk is known by serious gardeners and design devotees, but not because he has ever advertised. Snug Harbor is unique partly because it stays open year-round, but mostly because Elliott grows nearly all of his own plants—notably topiary and, more recently, succulents.

Elliott did what one does in Maine: start small and keep moving rocks, actual and virtual, out of the way. Over the course of 25 years, he restored a broken-down 185os farmhouse and various sheds spread over three acres on Western Avenue, the main road that leads from Kennebunk into Kennebunkport. Snug Harbor is now a stylish but unfussy campus, a place where you can easily lose two hours wandering from the inviting shop to one immaculate greenhouse after the other.

Of course, it helps that Elliott is a magnetic character: you see a crowd, and his silver hair is bound to be at the center of it. “Maine is harsh,” he told me. “Brutal winters and luscious summers. But there’s a raw beauty, an honesty to it…and to the people.” Elliott knows about Mainers’ honesty—they are quick to remind him that, despite his years in Kennebunk be’s still a flatlander, someone “from away.” (In his case, the Midwest.) It’s a label he has come to accept. “You will never be part of the family,” he says. ” But their loyalty is immense.”

Reprinted from Travel + Leisure Magazine August 2015
by Heather Smith MacIsaac
Photographs by Andrew Roat

Houseplant Workshop

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Join us on Saturday, September 12th from 12-2 to learn all about caring for plants in your home. Learn about various house plants and their needs. We will discuss the art of topiaries and learn about pruning and propagating. The workshop is free. Students are welcome to purchase plants and practice principles being discussed. Anthony Elliott will share his vast knowledge with the first twenty people to sign up.