Monday, July 18, 2011


I've never been good at seeking out the positives.  Born a pessimist, some of my earliest memories involve my mom asking why I always had to be so contrary.  And so when it comes to my hometown, I all too often focus on what's wrong.   

My whole life, I've been surrounded with murmurs of "There's nothing to do here," and "this town is so boring!"  More than a few of those murmurs were uttered by me. 

My mom always used to say, "Boredom is a choice."  It was unbelievably annoying.   Of course, she was right.  Any place is boring if you don't look into what that place has to offer.   And I probably wouldn't change how things happened, but it's almost embarrassing that I found my dream in Iowa, only to come home and discover a similar version of that dream right in my backyard.  Funny how life works!

So what is this hometown dream?  Peterman Brook Herb Farm in Porterfield.  For those of you who don't know, Porterfield is in Northeastern Wisconsin...about 15 minutes from my house!  I happened to find out about this farm just days before their annual Faerie Festival, an event that reminded me a lot of Miss Effie's market party, with numerous vendors and proceeds going to charitable organizations (none of Miss Eff's famous French silk ice cream, though!).  Of course, I'll always be partial to Miss Eff's--it's impossible not to be after having spent so much time there weeding in triple-digit-with-the-heat-index temps.  Er, I mean...after having found a second mother* in Cathy .  My first time at Peterman Brook was not quite the same as my first time at the aforementioned flower farm, but it was very nostalgic to be back at a place so similarly aligned to Miss Effie's philosophy.  And I'm always happy to go somewhere that allows me to unleash my inner ethnobotanist!

Though I'm no photographer, I did manage to snap a few pics of the grounds:

Vendor stalls flanking the soap shop
Coming up the drive.  One of the most amazing porches I've seen...and how about that barn?  SWOON.
Side view of the soap shop plus some herb gardens
Of course, we couldn't leave without picking up a couple souvenirs:

One of Peterman Brook's can buy them here!
Laura's having a fall wedding...pending her approval, these may just end up in the centerpieces.
In addition to soap and mini pumpkins, you can find bath salts, essential oils, candles, and more.  Like Peterman Brook on Facebook to stay up to date with their latest goings-on.  And if you're looking for an excuse to break out the tutu and ferry wings that have been gathering dust in your attic since Halloween of [insert year you turned ten and begged mom for them and she said no but you cried at the store so she relented and then you ended up being a cheerleader anyway], mark your calendars for next year's Faerie Festival. 

*My sister and I are those adopted daughters!  Just a note, we have an amazing biological mom.  But she lives in Wisconsin and at the time Laura and I both lived in Iowa.  We needed a local motherly influence!  Plus, Cath never enforced curfew.


  1. hi, i am Brenda the Bead Faerie and I would be very interested in being a vendor selling my beadwork at your faeryfest!!! could you please send me some info? thank you!

  2. I don't know if you've been contacted Brenda but the owner of peterman Brooke farms is my aunt and is suggest contacting her through her website or Facebook page!

  3. Thanks so much, Sabrina! I've been meaning to look up Peterman Brooke Farms contact info, and pass it on to Brenda!