WHAT"S YOUR LOCAL?
Judy Lake: Lake Lampshades
My garden is my favorite place to be, especially on those first warm days of spring. I love to start the day by grabbing an hour in the garden before heading down to my shop, Lake’s Lampshades. My lampshade studio/shop is a textile lover’s dream, having the chance to play with color, fabrics and light! This is my 30th year of making lampshades—how lucky I am!
I grew up in a family that was known to say, “Come visit my garden.” I’ve always heard stories about my Armenian grandfather’s sister in Newton, Massachusetts; she had a whole front lawn of flowers. Yikes. My Lake’s Lampshades perennial garden is halfway there! I sneak a half dozen tomato plants mixed in with my flowers at my shop garden where there is no tomato virus. When I need a break from making lampshades, I grab a cup of tea and head to pull a few weeds.
Our home vegetable garden isn’t huge, just big enough. We keep the veggies cycled all summer; this year we were picking arugula, cilantro, Swiss chard and kale into December!
In spring I search for the wild asparagus along our dirt road; I stop to peek in the hidden spots for handfuls of fresh stalks.
We have LOTS of plump, ever-bearing raspberries started from our old neighbor, Mike. We live in a craggy old apple orchard that can put out lots of apples and pears in a good year, always good for chutney in the freezer.
We have a bevy of amazing local food producers in Pawlet. Nothing beats homemade English muffins with Dorset Cheese from Angela Miller and Russell Glover’s Consider Bardwell Farm, topped with a poached egg from Bob Wood’s Farm. I’m pretty hooked on the Yoder Farm’s heritage chickens; I’ve got a pot of chicken soup on the stove right now. Pitchfork Preserves has amazing ketchup that I never want to be without. At Thanksgiving we head over to the Fullers for our local turkey. Melon and grape season brings a bounty of fruits from Andy and India Farmer. Tim the sweet potato guy at Laughing Child Farm is on my list to stock up soon. Sundays, I head to the Dorset Farmers’ Market. Mighty Food Farm draws me first to their beautiful bounty, then to the nice folks at Earth, Sky Time … oh, those croissants and breads are to die for along with so many great vendors. In winter we get deliveries of fresh greens from Morgan Mountain Gardeners when Paul Morgan comes for band night!
Our little village of Pawlet is in revival mode. The iconic general store is getting a full makeover to be called Flower Brook Brewery and Mach’s Store. I love keeping my shop local. Heck it’s a 2½-mile drive downhill to work, and with an online Etsy Shop, I can bring the world a little closer.