Category archives: food

Meredith and her family moved to Kennett Square 3 years ago from big city. Now she lives in Kennett square with her 3 kids, 18 chickens, 3 barn cats, 1 dog, 1 rabbit and one 18 acres farm house from revolutionary war.

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Where did you live before move to KSQ?

Before we moved to Kennett Square, we lived in Philadelphia and New York City

 

Do you work?

I am a psychologist specializing in pediatrics. I work part time in private practice.

 

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What’s the life like with 3 kids, 18 chickens, 3 cats, and 1 dog and 1 rabbit and a 18 acres farm house?

I think most parents of young children would tell you that life is extremely busy. Restoring our house and caring for the land has been a labor of love. I often joke that farm chores keep me honest. Being around the animals is rewarding beyond measure.

 

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Why did you decide to move to Kennett Square?

We fell in love with the countryside surrounding Kennett and the charming community vibe of the borough. We hoped to raise our children in a place with plenty of open space and strong and diverse public schools.

 

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What’s your favorite part of country life?

There are so many things that I love about  living here. A few things that spring to mind immediately are being able to grow food and tend to a flock of chickens, nurturing my children’s love of nature and exploration,  feeling a sense of community and yet total privacy, and lastly having access to some of the most beautiful countryside in the region for horseback riding.

 

 

 

 

Dan was my neighbor, he started beekeeping a few years ago. My daughter and I were fascinated by his honeycombs. When I was doing my photography project, I thought he should be on it. I went a farm where he had his hives. I was scared about the bees at first,  but after he used smoke to calm the bees, everything seemed fine. I was taking  pictures while the bees were dancing around me. It’s such a cool experience.

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When did your interest in beekeeping begin?
I’ve always thought beekeeping was interesting, but didn’t have any experience with it until I found myself working on a small farm, and was asked to help with the hives there.  I didn’t actually start beekeeping myself until a couple years later when I took a break from farming and was starting a family.  It began as a hobby, and as my family has grown and I’ve found I have a little more time available, it’s taken over.
 
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How did you get your hives?
Like almost all beekeepers, I purchased my first bees.  They come shipped in a package, usually from Georgia.  Package bees are not always the best quality, and my first hives didn’t survive their first winter (I was a new beekeeper myself then, so I’ll share some of the blame).  Since then, I began to try to seek out locally raised bees that are hopefully a little more adapted to our climate.  I usually now raise my own queens and bees, catch swarms, and I get some new bees by removing feral colonies from buildings.
 
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How many hives do you have? How much honey do you get from each?
These days, I maintain anywhere from 20-50 colonies.  The number fluxuates more than you might think.  Every Winter, I lose a few, but throughout the season I’m splitting some hives and combining others.  Raising healthy bees has always been my primary reason for keeping bees, not producing honey, so I leave plenty behind.  Some hives end up producing a surplus, and I end up feeding some honey back to other smaller colonies.
 
Are there different type of honey?
Definitely!  Honey varies widly depending on what nectar sources the bees are visiting.  From dark Buckwheat honey, to light Black Locust and everything in between, all the different varietal honeys have distinct flavors.  Around here, our bees (thankfully) enjoy a pretty diverse nectar flow, so we generally produce a “wildflower” honey.  I think our local Spring honey has a great floral quality, and it varies a bit year to year, as the season sometimes favors some blossoms more than others.  If you haven’t ever set up a honey tasting, you should try it some time.
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Do beekeepers get stung by bees? And what your experience so far?
Oh, yes.  I get that question a lot.  I don’t usually like to wear gloves or too much protective gear, because I think it leads one to be a little clumsy with the bees.  Honey bees are not usually aggressive, but I do sometimes get stung when I misplace a hand when I’m grabbing a frame from the hive.  These days, I’m working hives most days of the week, so it’s an unusual day when I don’t get a sting or two.
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What’s your favorite part of beekeeping?
Tough question.  It’s mesmerizing just watching all the activity going in and out of a hive, or just letting myself become surrounded by the hum of life around me when I open a hive.  Keeping bees can definitely be a challenge too, and I love that there is always more to learn.  I also really enjoy teaching people about honey bees, and I have to say, the beekeeping community is a pretty eccentric crowd.  Perhaps I’m most grateful that beekeeping has connected me with so many passionate and interesting people over the years.
 

I met Estelle through Instagram. She is a French food blogger. Her blog called ” le hamburger et le croissant” , I have to say it’s such a wonderful name. It reflects the food culture  between France and America.

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Tell me about your blog, how did it start? And how has it developed?

I started my blog in 2004 after reading an article in Gourmet magazine that featured five food blogs. I had no idea what a blog was, so I asked my husband who described it to me as some kind of online diary. I was intrigued, so I checked one of the blogs mentioned in the article, Chocolate & Zucchini (http://chocolateandzucchini.com/), written by a young French lady in Paris. Her blog introduced me to many other food blogs and, before I knew it, I was hooked! I had never read about food in such an approachable and engaging way. I was just learning to cook and loved that I could ask my questions directly to the recipe developer.

Reading food blogs soon became part of my morning routine until one day I thought: why not start one myself? At the time, I did not have much opportunity to speak French and the lack of practice was having bad consequences on my French skills: I was having difficulty finding my words and remembering the spelling of some words. So I looked for a blogging platform and started posting in French. If anything, I thought it would be a good way to practice writing.

Very early, I started posting about food and recipes. I had a little webcam that I would use to take photos. I would post about my farmers market discoveries, from the huge Brandywine tomatoes to the overgrown zucchini I would find at some vendor stands. It was exhilarating to think people from all over the world had the ability to read my posts. At the beginning, my family and friends in France were my only blog readers but, after a few weeks, I started reading comments from complete strangers. One year after I first started posting, I met my first reader in person, who went on to become one of my closest friends.

11 years after I started my blog, my goal remained the same: practice writing in French, while showing people how good American food can be. This led me to release a food survival guide for French people in the US (https://gumroad.com/l/AsVgQ) last month, which has been getting great feedback from its first readers.

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You blog has a very interesting name: le hamburger et le croissant, where does the name come from?

When my American husband and I got married, we were looking for different way to represent our two cultures. After a little brainstorming, we decided to have a hamburger and a croissant sitting on a plate as the centerpiece of each reception table. This definitely got the guests talking! When I looked for a name for my blog, I was again looking for something that would capture the blending of our two cultures. I thought of our centerpieces and named the blog “le hamburger et le croissant!”

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Who is your target audience?

As much as I want to be read, I first write for me, because writing helps me organize my thoughts and process my emotions. I also post for my mom because she is the first person with whom I want to share my recipes. Today, when I post a text I am especially proud of, I always email her to ask what she thought. Thankfully, though, I have other readers beside my mom, whom I see as like-minded people: easy-going food lovers, who enjoy their weekly trip to the farmers market, cook simple meals for their families, and meet their friends for coffee.

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How long have you been lived in Kennett Square? How does it feel like to live here?

I have been living in Kennett Square for almost ten years and I love it a little more every day. This small town is home to so many talented artists and artisans who never stop to inspire me. The food here is also incredible. Talula’s Table always surprises me with fresh and amazing flavor combination (their coconut hummus was amazing, I miss it a lot) and Philter Coffee serves the best coffee around. Byrsa Bistro makes stuffed grape leaves as good as my mom’s and Sovana’s Bistro is one of my favorite restaurants ever. I feel very grateful to live in such an amazing town.

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What are your plans for the future?

After leaving my corporate job two months ago, I am busy reinventing a life that is both professionally and personally fulfilling. I want to continue writing and I am currently working on a French cookbook. I’d also like to keep working with small companies, developing a marketing and social media strategy to let the world know about their awesome products. I love supporting small businesses but it is not always easy to hear about them in the first place.

 No matter what, though, as long as my life involves a lot of lattes and a few slices of homemade cake, I will be pretty happy.

 

 

  1. Marie said:
    Very interesting portrait of Estelle, t'habiller you :). And Kenett Square looks like a wonderful place to live !
    May 12, 2015  2:16 pm
    Reply
  2. Marie said:
    Very interesting portrait of Estelle, thank you :). And Kenett Square looks like a wonderful place to live !
    May 12, 2015  2:16 pm
    Reply
    • Estelle said:
      It is a wonderful town, you should definitely come and visit!
      May 13, 2015  3:03 am
      Reply
  3. demitasse said:
    Thank you! Please come visit us. :)
    May 12, 2015  5:49 pm
    Reply
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