Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daffodil Dance

Laurel Ridge Farm is not just beef



Mud season is barely over and already John Morosani, owner of Laurel Ridge Grass Fed Beef, is fielding calls. “I’ll be in the middle of moving the herd and my cell phone will ring and it’ll be somebody asking if they’re up yet.” The uninitiated can be forgiven for thinking the callers are inquiring about the cows. After all, with demand for local beef on the rise, Morosani’s business is booming. But for people in the know, there can only be one reason for the calls—the daffodils.

Flower enthusiasts have Morosani’s parents to thank for the slice of heaven on Wigwam Road in Litchfield that locals call “Daffodil Hill.” Inspired by Wordsworth’s poem, Virginia and Rèmy Morosani planted 10,000 narcissi on ten acres of their 200-plus acre dairy farm in 1941. “Mom got the bulbs from Scheepers in New York before the company moved to Bantam,” says Morosani. With their farmhands’ help, his parents set about transforming a parcel of rocky soil. “It’s back-breaking work,” says Morosani, “I helped a couple of times as a kid.”

Luckily, the work of caring for the daffodils meshed nicely with the sowing, cutting, and harvesting of hay for the cows. “It was fortuitous. The time to mark the stalks, to wait for them to die back, to divide and dry them, and then to re-plant them all coincided with a slack time for work in the fields,” says Morosani.

Less fortuitous were developments in agriculture and in transportation. While the daffodils thrived, the farm, like others in New England, succumbed to economic pressures. “We had the world-champion milk producer in 1953,” says Morosani, “but we couldn’t maintain the farm just on milk sales or compete with the big dairy farms in New York.” By the early Sixties the Morosanis had sold off the herd and were leasing the land to local farmers.

But some things, like healthy food and responsible stewardship, never go out of style. Fast forward to 2003 when John Morosani was inspired to reclaim his family’s pastures, long-depleted of natural minerals as the result of poor agricultural practices, and dedicate himself to raising cows.

Like the daffodils, it was an idea that easily took root. “The timing was right. The Omnivore’s Dilemma had just come out,” says Morosani, and the sustainable agriculture movement was gaining ground. “I thought I’d have to spend all my time explaining why being a locavore was good. Instead, people were asking how to cook short ribs.”

For advice about reviving the soil, Morosani and his business partner, Jim Abbott, turned to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose local rep said, “All you need to do is apply lime and the grass will out-compete the other flora. And, by the way, you could get a grant to pay for fencing.”

Today, Laurel Ridge is at the forefront of the sustainable agriculture movement in Connecticut. “We’d like it to be a model for other farms in the area,” Morosani says. In 2010 Laurel Ridge hosted the annual Celebration of Connecticut Farms, which helps to raise money for the Connecticut Farmland Trust. The farm also offers internships to the next generation of farmers interested in sustainable practices.

And Daffodil Hill? “My parents set up a trust, the Laurel Ridge Foundation, so the land wouldn’t be developed or sold,” says Morosani. “People are very respectful when they visit,” he adds. They wander around or sit on the boulder dubbed Dinosaur Rock. “We named it that,” says Morosani, “because we told our kids that the rock has been there since dinosaur times.”

Add your comment:

Connect With Us    

Sign-up for our event 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

November 2018

Just a little over an hour from the northern suburbs of NYC, in the northwest hills of Connecticut lies one of the best kept secrets in trail running around! If you are ready for a new challenge of...

Cost: $50-$60

Where:
Steep Rock Preserve
2 Tunnel Rd.
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Steep Endurance LLC
Contact Name: Brian Vanderheiden
Website »

More information

Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

Kiki Michalek will introduce a new series of paintings, celebrating the art of the carousel. “Carousel Dreams” is a collection of original work showing animals with different themes....

Cost: Free

Where:
Whiting Mills
100 Whiting St.
Studio 308, Air Borne Creations
Winsted, CT  06098
View map »


Sponsor: Kiki Michalek
Telephone: 203-913-3883
Contact Name: Kiki Michalek
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Art Rodia, an instructor with over 30 years of yoga teaching experience, as he guides this gentle yoga class. Created for people over fifty and beginners who need a gentle and accessible...

Cost: 10 per class

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join New Morning Market’s new knitting club! We’re crafting wearable items for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and welcome all levels to join! Instructors will be on-hand for beginners. Yarn,...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Join New Morning Market’s new knitting club! We’re crafting wearable items for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and welcome all levels to join! Instructors will be on-hand for beginners. Yarn,...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Holiday Craft Day on Friday, November 23rd from 2 to 4 PM, followed by a 4:30 PM family movie (Disney’s COCO) for all ages. Local artist Katie Ré Scheidt will lead the Holiday Craft...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens
One Green Hill
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens
Contact Name: Laura Neminski
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

We will celebrate the Full Moon and use its powerful energy for personal growth and spiritual development, focusing on developing intuition and the “heart’s knowing.”  Music, ritual,...

Cost: 15.00

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

The New York Times bestselling author, Simon Winchester, traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to...

Cost: 25.00

Where:
Sandisfield Arts Center
5 Hammertown Rd.
Sandisfield, MA  01255
View map »


Sponsor: Sandsifeld Arts Center
Telephone: 413-281-4100
Contact Name: Marcella Smith

More information

Join us for another incredible evening of music featuring four local singer songwriters performing original music! Doors open at 7pm upstairs in the handicapped accessible Community Room. Snacks...

Cost: Free - donations graciously accepted

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Sense of Place

Roxana Robinson takes her cue from the bigger picture

Catering to Critters

Cynthia Newby’s Roxbury Garden is all about wildlife

Field of Dreams

Cricket Hill, proof positive that Heaven exists

Ten Minutes with Russell Plumb

An acrobatic arborist

A Garden for All

Washington resident, Denise Arturi, has a mission
Edit ModuleShow Tags