It's a ritual to head over to Black Horse Farms every time we are at Potic Cottage. Even the kids look forward to stopping in for a spin around the fresh produce, baked goods (especially the baked goods!), and this weekend, the plant department. A family-owned working farm, for the past 40 years Black Horse Farms has sold some of the best produce and local dairy around, but their selection of plants this past trip blew me away. Their impressive variety, their healthy green shoots, I would have snagged at least five flats without thinking; however the reality of having to plant them in Potic's rocky soil stopped me. Instead the kids and I picked out a few small annuals, a lilac, and a flowering dogwood. And wouldn't you know, Liv won this amazing flowering basket in a raffle.
It reminds me of a recent conversation I had with a young man who wondered why I was such a strong believer in shopping locally. Beyond the value of keeping our money in our towns, for those who have never shopped in anything but a chain retailer or a big-box store, it's hard for them to imagine the pleasure of saying hello to the proprietor, of holding a carton of fresh duck eggs from a neighboring town, of watching a store evolve and yet remain the same. These intangibles, which can't be quantified in dollars and cents, are truly invaluable.