By Timothy Hull
On a hot July morning I ventured to Sugar Loaf Mountain Herbs on White Oak Dr., a marvelous little farm tucked into the sloping, rising hillside just before the Seligman Center. Owned by Gene and Alicia Frosini, the farm features a wide array of herbs, mostly bound for the wholesale market.
However, it’s Alicia’s herb shop that captures my imagination. Once a small, ridiculously quaint shop in Sugar Loaf village, she’s now moved the store to a larger, converted garage on the farm. It still retains the ‘cottage-core’ style of its previous iteration, but has more room for workshops and a wider range of herbal teas and tinctures. It’s also a great place to buy specialty herbs and perennials earlier in the season.
In July, Alicia was experimenting with a socially-distant workshop on how to grow and cultivate herbs for teas. We learned about how Lemon Balm can be infused to a black tea to give it a lemony flavor, or how Bee Balm was a tea used by the Native Americans. As many of us have suffered from Lyme Disease in recent years, Alicia also specializes in tinctures and herbs to treat inflammation and boost the immune system.
Unfortunately, a recent fall on her wrists has forced Alicia to close the shop for a month or more. However, she’s got a bevy of fresh vegetables and a few plants available for self-service. Look out for her dried flower arrangements and winter herbs eventually coming with the autumn frosts. We wish her a speedy recovery!
More than Just Delivery
F.H. Corwin Florist is renowned in Warwick for all your FTD flower delivery needs. What’s slightly less known is their varied and interesting selection of perennials, which captured my attention the other day as I passed by after a tooth extraction at Dr Patel’s Warwick Valley Dental, just right down the road on Galloway. I won’t go into the details of that, but I think it should be called a tooth wiggling rather than a pulling.
I was feeling perhaps a little giddy from the novocain (or was it the gas?) but the plants were calling to me. Can anyone ever have enough pompom perennials? They were running a ‘buy-three-get-one-free’ deal and with such a great selection of native plants and rarities, I took them up on that offer! Jen Vance-Paxhia, who I knew from working with her 20 years ago at Maureen Charde’s flower farm, helped me out with her horticultural knowledge.
I was most excited to get Iron Weed, a beautiful native plant with dark purple blooms that you see in spades across from the Hawthorne house but none on Horseshoe Lane. I also picked up a hellebore I hadn’t seen before and a big blue fountain grass for around the pond. Corwin’s has plants and flowers you just can’t find at the big box shops and the knowledge of their employees like Jen makes the shopping experience that much more enjoyable.