Jones Family Farms, Shelton, CT

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Where have I been for the past few months?! I've missed sharing photos of all the beautiful things with you, but I've been storing them up inside, walking along the river in the warm summer winds almost every night. In the past few months, we celebrated 5 years in Brooklyn, my office moved up to Rockefeller Center, and (big milestone, I know): our windows had their yearly washing.

As of last week, NYC summer is finally here in all its clammy glory and I'm craving time outside this wet balloon that seems to shrivel into us in July. And so we'll be headed somewhere nostalgic and somewhere new in the next month that I can't wait to share. I'm officially in day-counting mode here.

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In the meantime, I wanted to share a refreshing trip we took last month that was absolutely marvelous. My dad's cousin and her husband own Jones Family Farm in the peaceful New England hamlet of Shelton. We'd been up there for pumpkins the last few years and Christmas trees, but this year I wanted to try the first sweetness of the summer and we headed up on the train for strawberry season.

Our first steps in the yard, adjoining the tree farm, smelled so sweet that I could not stop taking deep, deep breaths. And being there felt like the best rural retreat we've had in a long time.

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The twilight was damp and misted, and the landscape felt a bit like the UK, so of course we were smitten.

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We walked through the pine trees making their yearly, bright growth spurts, and listened.

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(Yay, finally the photographer in a photo!)

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The birds on the pines weren't startled by us and I sat on the rocks watching the dark slide through the trees before we noticed.

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We spent the rest of the weekend being completely spoiled with farm-fresh meals and time to absorb all the green.

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Of course, we picked our weight in strawberries (in the empty fields after hours!). Well, I picked and Walk took photos of me picking.

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They were sweet and red to the center, the essence of the end of spring.

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I brought them home on the train in the basket, and have never made so many instant friends curious about my basket o' berries. We still have a few left in the freezer, and I'm saving them for a special occasion because they really are a zillion times better than anything I can buy here.

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One of my favorite things about the farm is that the landscapes blend together between the trees and the berries and the vines. We also had a delicious wine tasting; my cousin Jamie makes award-winning wines with grapes grown on the farm. I'm not much of a wine-drinker due to migraines, but because the wines had low levels of sulphites, I got to sip some Strawberry Serenade sparkling wine, too!

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It was such a treat to see my family and celebrate the deliciousness from the fields. We can't wait to be back for blueberries and if you live anywhere in the tri-state area, we can't recommend the farm enough!

And if you are far from nature like we are today, here's a sprinkle of pollen and sweet grass to tingle your nose:

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A yummy summer to you!

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