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Norwalk Neighbors Notes: Stormy Weather

There's no sense complaining about the weather, but there must be some justification for complaining about how we describe our weather disturbances. Anyone caught in last Friday’s storm knows the word “STORM” inadequately describes what occurred. The forecast of ‘ Showers likely. A chance of thundershowers’ just doesn’t impart the full impact. If we had been in Japan, weathermen there would have said a “TYPHOON” likely. Now that describes a storm. But “typhoon” is reserved for storms in the tropics only. If we had been in India, it would have been a “monsoon.” We might have stayed indoors if we’d heard that a “MONSOON” was coming. Perhaps it’s time for a new dramatic term of our own. Mon-phoon might be available. Said with a French accent it sounds particularly dramatic.

Some shoppers at Costco on Connecticut Avenue decided to wait it out.  Others, like Dr. and Mrs. Shindler of Stamford and their friends, Dr. and Mrs. Krasne, improvised rain gear from packing materials. They made quite the fashion statement as they braved the trek through the parking lot. Power was flickering on and off, which had employees racing to guard the fire exits. If you waited it out, inside Costco, there were plenty of seats and the hot dogs were delicious.

The storm proved a good thing for the community of Fodor Farm gardeners. Stephanie Bresson of Silvermine grows lettuce, kale, peppers, dill, tomatoes and a few flowers.

“I love coming here. It is one of the best things the city of Norwalk came up with.  You get a chance to talk and learn from other gardeners. It is much more fun to garden here than in your own backyard. The city has maintained it beautifully." When asked if she was worried about deer ticks and getting Lyme disease, Stephanie replied, “I always feel if I can connect with the earth, it will give back to me. And besides, we do have a nice, tall fence around the gardens to keep the deer out.” Maria Bresson , Stephanie’s mother, held up a bag filled with lettuce. “See what we are having for dinner tonight,” she said. The Bressons like to live and eat healthfully. In fact, Stephanie recently started The Health and Wellness Collaborative of Fairfield County, an organization to help blend traditional and alternative medical treatments.

Patty Hein lives in a condo in Norwalk, so gardening would be impossible if it weren’t for the community garden.  “Everything I have in my garden started from seeds: thyme, mint, basil, Swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, carrots and beets. I started in the beginning of April. Sometimes, I exchange herbs with the other gardeners. In most gardens, there aren’t enough bees, but thanks to the beehives here, we have plenty.”

When asked about her bountiful crop of basil, Patty replied, “I make pesto sauce with a little bit of my fresh mint. It’s delicious.” By the look and smell of things, it seems these gardens had no trouble with the “mon-phoon.”

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