The Village Farm opens shop in Gaylordsville
Lise Goedewaagen has taken her love of landscaping and gardening to another realm.
The longtime area resident recently opened the Village Farm, a garden products variety shop, in the Gaylordsville district of New Milford.
"I got tired of the business of landscaping after 15 years of running my own business," Goedewaagen said, "and started selling flowers, organic vegetables, and other natural products produced by local farmers."
The shop and greenhouses at 684 Kent Road (Route 7) were for many years the site of an antique shop owned by Aaron Seltzer.
Seltzer died in 2014 at age 98. In the fall, his house and the antique shop, which had sat idle for decades, went on the market.
"I always had a feel for this property and realized it was perfect with the land, buildings, beautiful shop and great location," Goedewaagen said. "We found some wonderful mementos of Mr. Seltzer's antique business."
Pottery mugs, teapots, woven baskets and bees' wax candles are among the now restored shop's offerings.
Outside, a flower cart and plant stands hold vegetable and flowering plants. Colorful displays of poppies stand on either side of the shop's door.
In summer, organically grown vegetables from Goedewaagen's greenhouses will be offered, along with produce and goods from area farms.
The Village Farm possesses the business designation of a farm stand, so it can sell anything produced on "local" farms, which means farms in Connecticut and Putnam County, N.Y.
"I'm going 100 percent local and 100 percent organic," Goedewaagen said. "I have jams from Mountain View Farm in Kent, fresh eggs from our own hens, and bread from a baker in New Preston."
About four years ago, she started selling her organically grown produce and seasonal wreath arrangements from a small building across from the George Washington Plaza, just a half-mile down the road.
Loretta Henry of Pawling, N.Y., stops by regularly on her way home from work.
"I can't say enough about her delicious vegetables and her fresh eggs," Henry said. "She has more unique produce than other farm stands.
"Last year, she turned me on to mini-butternut squash, the most tender delicious little squash," she said. "For me, it was a joy stopping by and getting fresh greens and organic vegetables to take home and cook for dinner."
Goedewaagen started her professional career earning a degree from the Culinary Institute of America.
She catered for 22 years before opening Food For Thought, a popular Railroad Street restaurant in New Milford in 1987. The restaurant specialized in meals prepared with organic ingredients.
She sold the business in 1995 and pursued her love of gardening. She took a master gardeners course and earned certification in landscape design.
For 15 years, she owned and ran Outdoor Environments, a landscaping business.
The Village Farm is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until dark. During harvest season, vegetables will be available seven days a week.