Cottage Lifestyle–Living Smaller But Better

Cottage Chat Newsletter

Cottage Chat Newsletter


Living smaller, but better, is not a new idea.  The cottage lifestyle appeals because it conveys coziness with self-sufficiency.  The idea of a bungalow surrounded by enough earth for fruit trees and a garden plot is a dream many possess.  My husband refuses to consider the chickens, however.  Add a picket fence and porch swing for definition.  This week I have put up frozen peaches and green beans with a ridiculous level of satisfaction.  Dried herbs hang from the beams in the kitchen and they are more than decoration.  Savory dishes benefit from their addition all year.  When I bring out home-grown produce from the freezer for Sunday dinner this winter, the feeling of accomplishment will live on.  Truly, fresh home-made apple sauce is simple to make but delightful to eat.  We forget what fresh and organic tastes like.

Over twenty years ago, I began sharing cottage living ideas in a complimentary newsletter called Cottage Chat.  A bit of folksy news, household tips and recipes are accompanied by seasonal snapshots of our barn homestead and gardens.  If it adds joy to your day and inspires even one tidbit of cottage accomlishment, it will have succeeded in its mission…just to share a love of simple but elegant living.  Comment and include your e-mail if you wish to join our Cottage Chat family.  It’s all “from the barn at Farm Grove.”  From Butch and Sharon.


About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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