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Best 5 items at the Lizzie’s Corner farmers market stand

October 9, 2018

All summer I tried and failed to make it over to the Seymour Farmers Market behind the historic Seymour Congregational Church about 25 minutes drive from New Haven, Connecticut. You should see it. Ok, I should take some pictures so you can see it. There’s a powerful terraced waterfall in the Naugatuck River across the street. The church itself is tall and white, a true classic New England meeting house of worship.

The farmers market is only a half mile from the 18th century preserved Seymour Antiques district. When you walk down the streets in the district, you can feel what it was like to take the same stroll 100 years ago. The buildings have hardly changed, including the little gem that houses Lizzie’s Corner, a handcrafted and specialty gifts shop.

On Tuesday afternoons, the curators at Lizzie’s select some of their finest goods and set up a display at the Seymour Farmers Market. Here are my top picks from Lizzie’s Corner.

Goat Boy Goat’s Milk Soaps

Homemade goat milk soap

It’s enough to make you wish you could get a breath of these fresh scents through the phone or computer screen right now. Goatboy Soaps started 17 years ago. The handcrafted products are produced in small batches using fresh goat’s milk. There is goat’s milk soap in my shower right now. It’s so soothing.

#4 Vintage bottles re-imagined

Vintage bottles repurposed into do-it-yourself inspirational quote decor

A charming home craft turned into a business, these are Bookworm Bottles. Decorating with vintage items is a win-win. Your house looks like a designer planned it, and these old bottles get a new chance at life. The littlest ones would be so cute at a wedding. The warm brown bottles would be beautiful down the center of your table paired with candlesticks and vases of cut twigs or greens from your backyard.

#3 Elderberry apple shots

Elderberry apple shots

Oh stop, you can make gummies with these. Or cocktails. Or shoot some non-alcoholic Elderberry Apple Shots as they’re intended, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy, Tiffany, not boozy. You’ve already read the ingredient list, more or less: elderberries and apple cider vinegar. Both are organic and produced by the small farm that makes the shots, Fat Stone Farm.

#2 Swedish dishcloths

Swedish washcloths

Swedish dishcloths aka eco-friendly cleaning cloths are really starting to pop up in shops, and it’s wonderful! They are all-natural, last for 6-9 months and then biodegrade. Mine will go into the compost bin someday. Google trends shows searches for “swedish dishcloth” started to increase in June 2016. I first saw them in the gift shop at a nature center in Cape Cod. My first one is still going strong after three months. You can machine wash them, but I just put mine in the dishwasher sometimes. They don’t stink like sponges. I’m going to do a whole article on these because I use and love them. In the meantime, see what all the fuss is about. You don’t need a 10-pack, just pick up a few to start.

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#1 Homebrew maple syrup

Pure New England Maple Syrup

When it’s time for comfort food and the warm smell of cool-weather baking, enter organic, local maple syrup. In New England, it’s popular to drizzle some maple syrup over sliced, baked acorn squash, another farm stand favorite. My kids and I make pancakes from our own modified recipe almost every weekend. My little daughter licks the plate clean of maple syrup if you don’t stop her. Ahh, childhood.

Have you seen the original Farmstand5 from Cape Cod?
Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

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Swedish dishcloths

Biodegradable eco-friendly compostable Swedish dishcloths

Last summer my family and I went to Cape Cod on vacation. It’s really unlike any other place on Earth, you must visit (and try The Beachcomber before it falls into the ocean).

When we had a rainy day, I took the kids to a nature center. After watching a movie about the creation of Cape Cod (spoiler: glaciers melting) and spending 20 minutes in the butterfly sanctuary, we stopped by the gift shop.

That’s when I saw them. It was love at first sight.

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Oh hello, Swedish dishcloths

Dishcloth doesn’t really cover it. Maybe there’s something lost in translation? Swedish dishcloths can replace sponges, paper towels, rags, wipes and dish cloths. Total kitchen powerhouse.

Fast facts on Swedish dishcloths:

  • does the work of a sponge, roll of paper towels, cleaning wipes, rags, dish towel
  • lasts 6 to 12 months
  • don’t stink like sponges (btw, how long does your sponge last? Mine don’t make it a month)
  • made of all-natural cellulose and cotton usually with biodegradable ink…why?
  • because you can compost them! zero waste.
    hold a lot of water (internet thinks up to 15x their weight. I did not run that experiment myself, but it’s believable.)
  • machine-washable (or dishwasher, read on)
  • withstands boiling (that might decrease their lifespan (also, why would you boil your dishcloth?) but, no judgment. You’re not harming anyone.)
  • leaves less streaks on appliances than typical cleaning wipes
  • feel really stiff when dry but soften like a cloth when damp

Want more details?

Swedish dishcloths aren’t just natural and biodegradable…they are so clean, you can compost them! Whaaaaat?!

That’s how I felt when I found out anyway. Use a dishcloth for a year, and then just toss it on top of my compost? Sold.

Oh wait, you aren’t sure if it’s clean enough to put into your compost bin? Just machine wash it with your favorite natural detergent before you put it out to biodegrade.

Yes, you can machine wash something that is compostable. It makes my head whirl.

Or you can be lazy like me and occasionally throw your Swedish dishcloths into the dishwasher instead of walking all the way over to the washing machine because the dishwasher is so much closer to the kitchen sink.

What’s my motivation here?

Well, I am not going to get rich selling Swedish dishcloths.

If you click through one of these links and buy a few dishcloths, I will make a small commission at no cost to you, but I stress the word small. Swedish dishcloths are not a pricey item.

Another problem for me, these things last so long you will now have enough Swedish dishcloths for the next three years, and you can give the third pack to a friend.

So my real motivation is that I really do use this kitchen product. I think it’s special, and I thought you might like to read about it and possibly give it a try. Plus, there’s a chance this sucker is going to go viral, and I want to be ahead of the excitement. (Update: That turned out to be pretty accurate.)

Do you recognize that dishcloth with the pumpkins on it? I wrote a farmstand5 post about the farmers market stand where I found it.

Tiffany Burns of farmstand culture using Swedish dishcloths in farmhouse kitchen

The pumpkin dishcloth is my second one. My first one is four months old now. It’s the original Swedish dishcloths that I encountered in the gift shop in Cape Cod.

Here is a photo of my first dishcloth after four months of daily use. Not bad. It’s not ready for the compost pile yet.

Swedish dishcloth after four months of daily use

My favorite thing

The best thing about Swedish dishcloths is that when you use them, you are doing a good thing for the Earth with no corresponding personal sacrifice or effort.

These are really useful around the house. They work. You would use them even if you wanted to destroy the Earth because they soak up big spills in one swipe. I know we’ve all seen that happen in paper towel commercials. I wouldn’t be surprised if the actors were holding Swedish dishcloths under those flimsy paper towels.

My second favorite thing

These cloths wipe countertops and appliances with less streaking than sponges, wipes or paper towels. Streaking bothers me. It might not bother you. Even if it doesn’t, less streaking is preferable.

You can even find these durable, biodegradable dishcloths for just a few dollars each.

Ok, I know I just told you I would do reviews on products from Amazon Handmade Marketplace, and then I wrote a review on mass-produced Swedish dishcloths. I should be more predictable.

There are plenty of reviews of handmade products in our future together. I just felt inspired to write about eco-friendly dishcloths today.

What do you think about Swedish dishcloths? Add a comment and let us know.

swedish dishcloths biodegradable eco-friendly replace sponges paper towels

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