Announcing our 2015 Taproot Calendar


Greetings Reader!

I don’t know about you, but for me it sure feels like 2014 has gone by wicked fast. I know there’s still better than two months to go, but if your household is anything like mine, the holidays are the most breakneck, flat out time of any year. I’m not complaining either; this has been a good year (so far) for all of us here and I hope for you as well. 

All of which to say, it’s time to start thinking about the turn of the calendar. Well, friend, we’ve got you covered. The new Taproot Calendar with art by Phoebe Wahl is available and ready to purchase. Unlike last year (when we sold out in a matter of days), we’ve done our best to make sure there’s enough stock to go around, but I still wouldn’t dillydally about picking up one for yourself or giving one to a friend; supplies are limited.

As well received as last year’s was, we think this one is even better. Better paper, better printing and (saving the best for last) seven never-before-seen new pictures from Phoebe Wahl. I could go on and on in words, but why don’t I show you around instead?





Also new to the shop is the Taproot Tote Bag that visitors to our booth at the Common Ground Country Fair really loved. What’s not to love? It’s organic, made in the USA and sports art from Phoebe Wahl. Take a look at the pic. We hope you like it.


These are just two of the new offerings you can expect from us this fall and winter, in addition, of course to your copy of BREAD in late November (you have subscribed or renewed, haven’t you?), so be sure to keep in touch by watching our website or following us on Ramblings (our blog), Instagram or Facebook. We want you to be the first to know.

Also, remember that we want to hear from you more (wherever you prefer to post). Writers of Letters to the Editor whose missives (or short notes) are published will receive a free one year subscription or subscription extension.

Wishing you a colorful Autumn,

P.S. Your continued (or new) financial support in the form of a subscription or renewal allows us to continue our work. If you know of a friend who would enjoy Taproot, please consider sending them a gift subscription. We’ll even send a handwritten gift card to your friend free of charge (sorry, U.S. only) announcing your purchase before the arrival of their first issue.

THANK YOU for supporting Taproot, an ad-free, independent voice committed to seeking out the stories that connect us all.

errata :: Barn Sweater (from Issue 11::MEND)


Some errata has been found with our Barn Sweater knitting pattern, featured in Issue 11::MEND. Under the raglan shaping, it should read:

Next row inc row: (RS) *Work to 2 sts before raglan marker, p1-f/b, p1, slip m, p1, p1-f/b; rep from * 3 more times, work to end as est (8 sts inc’d)—84 (88, 96, 96, 104, 112, 120) sts.
Work 1 WS row even as est, keeping band sts in garter st and all other sts in Rev St st.
Repeat the last 2 rows 18 (19, 21, 24, 26, 27, 29) more times; and at the same time, when yoke measures approx 1″ (approx 6″ from cast on edge), ending after a WS row.

(The numbers in bold were omitted from the printed pattern.)

We apologize for any inconvenience!


Taproot at the Fair


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We are all settling back into our respective homes after a wonderful long weekend spent at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine. This is Taproot’s third year at the fair, and it just keeps getting better. Meeting new folks, conversing with familiar faces, and talking about all the things we share in common, and what we hope for the future of our little publication. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello to us in the booth! You made our time there so lovely.

(We were happy that our new Taproot Totebags arrived just in time to bring to the fair – those are in the shop now if you’re interested!)

We’re already looking forward to next year at the fair – it’s always a welcome harbinger of the autumn season, and a perfect moment to pause and reflect with likeminded folk. As a magazine, we always feel encouraged and inspired with new ideas by these real-life meetings, and would love to have more of them! As we think about next year’s plans, we wonder if there is a fair or gathering in your neck of the woods that you think we should attend? Do let us know – we’d love to meet you!


on the way to the fair




What a beautiful summer we’ve had here in New England! It’s so hard to believe that September is here, but there is no surer sign of that being true than the country fair. It’s time now for our annual pilgrimage to Unity, Maine for the Common Ground Country Fair! We’ll be there all weekend, in the Taproot booth located in the Media area (hint: right across from the lamb kabobs!). If you’re there this weekend, do stop by to say hello – we’d love to see you! And if you’d like to follow along with us from afar for the weekend, follow us on Instagram at @taprootmag.

Cheers to Autumn!

~amanda (and Meredith, Jason, Veronica and Phoebe)

ISSUE 11::MEND Now Available


I don’t know if you’re feeling it where you live, but here in Vermont and other points Northeast, it’s clear that summer is losing steam and fall is more than willing to pick up the slack. This morning over breakfast I tried to deny it was happening, deny that I’d seen brown or red leaves on the ground or noticed the quickly shortening days. The family consensus was that I had lived in Vermont too long to act so silly.

I suppose then that it’s time to pull my head out of the sand and prep for fall: That means putting away the tools that have been left in the field waiting for the completion of some now-forgotten task, gathering up the last of the tomatoes to can into sauce and paste, harvesting potatoes to cure now that the basement is cool enough and stacking wood that should have been in neat rows out on the deck three months ago.

Not to be forgotten, in this lull between summer and winter, are tidying and straightening, considering and remembering, readying and mending; in other words, the perfect time to cozy up with a cup of tea and take in the latest issue of Taproot Magazine: ISSUE 11::MEND.

Since, if you’re a subscriber it’s on the way, and if you’re not, you’ll need to subscribe to receive a copy, let’s take a moment and look inside.


Regular contributor Schirin Oeding starts off MEND with a thoughtful piece challenging us to work to mend the Earth, even in spite of the possibilities for doubt and cynicism that could leave us stymied. As she says in the close of her piece, “Start where you are. Don’t wait. “

Next comes a lively piece of reportage from Julia Shipley (composed in her effervescent style) about poet W.S. Merwin’s efforts to plant a tree a day for almost forty years, returning a former pineapple plantation to a grove of native trees in Hawaii. Rounding out the Head section are essays on reconsidering our relationship to clothing, learning from failure and the value of meditation.


As ever, the Hands section of this issue is filled with great ideas for things to make and do, so with the theme of MEND, we’d be remiss if there wasn’t a tutorial on clothes-patching. We’ve one from new contributor Em Falconbridge who exchanges the humdrum with clever ideas for making extraordinarily pleasing patches.


I know some knitters who don’t mind wool draping over their legs during the hot summer months (I’m looking at you, Amanda), but I for one can’t do it. That’s why I’m excited about the prospect of getting my needles out and warmed up to take on this charming Barn Sweater pattern from Carrie Bostick Hoge.


Erin Benzakein returns to Taproot with a terrific and timely piece that will inspire you to plan (and plant) so you can harvest beautiful bouquets in the spring. She makes it seem easy and the glorious photos are so inspiring, you’ll want to find a spot where you can poke at least a few bulbs into the soil.


Also returning is Steve Soule with an essay in the Heart section accompanied by a lovely piece of art by Jenn Judd-McGee. Documenting his difficulties with the social attitudes and life-struggles of the Ingalls family while reading the Little House books to his children, he is able to recognize and appreciate the progress we as a culture have made. (Though recent events clearly underscore that we have not come far enough!)


In other MEND news, we’re pleased to offer two new signed prints from this issue, Feeding Time by Phoebe Wahl (left) and Let in the World by Slavka Kolesar (right).

Speaking of Phoebe Wahl, don’t miss out on an opportunity to meet her if you’re in the neighborhood of the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine September 19-21. As we have the last couple of years, we’ll have a booth in the Media area. Please come by and say hello!

One other small point of interest before I sign off is to let you know that we want to hear from you more. Starting with ISSUE 12::BREAD, writers of Letters to the Editor whose missives (or short notes) are published will receive a free one year subscription or subscription extension.


Taproot Contributor :: Ashley English, Handmade Gatherings

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset


Ashley English’s new book, Handmade Gatherings, is a beautiful collection of recipes and crafts for seasonal celebrations and potluck parties. A true resource for party planners, this book is an inspiration for gathering friends and family around shared meals throughout all the seasons. Page after page, her recipes and craft activities flow between stories of past and present while complimented by the beautiful photography of Jen Altman. Handmade Gatherings is more than just pretty parties, it’s about celebrating the little things in life.

“When we slow down and notice the world unfolding around us, we experience awe. We might just gain a bit of clarity too. And we definitely find a comfort and solace that happen only when we take the time to allow ourselves to get caught up in the splendor if it all.”

Handmade Gatherings carries us through an entire year: celebrating the emergence of spring with wild-crafted edibles or welcoming the arrival of bees … Ashley’s creativity is contagious. She moves from summertime cake walks and ice cream socials to the bustling art of canning season in autumn and the soul warming soup parties and festive cookie exchanges in winter. These non-traditional themed potlucks are sure to inspire creativity year round.

Ashley guides us with 16 themed gatherings, 52 recipes, 32 craft ideas and activities. She writes with an ease and authenticity on the subject of entertaining; covering details about organizing and coordinating the gathering, to the importance of sharing everyone’s skills and resources. Her potluck parties divide the work load with friends and family in attendance to make them a true community gathering.

To learn more about Ashley, join her on her homesteading blog, Small Measure. Check out her recipes in our recent spring Issue 10 :: SEED (and forthcoming Issue 11 :: MEND due out this fall!) Find her latest book, Handmade Gatherings at Roost Books.


Taproot Contributor :: Jenna Woginrich, Cold Antler Farm


Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Jenna’s Woginrich’s newest book, Cold Antler Farm, feels like a continued conversation with an old friend. She brings us with her on her own adventures in farming, and carries the conversation through The Wheel of the Year (the pre-Christian agricultural days of ancient Europe: Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasa, and Samhain.) These cycles are life to this modern pioneer, and Jenna’s chapters bring us throughout every season on her scrappy farm. We meet in chapters and chat about the weather while loading hay into her truck, we meet in town and hear stories of her horse and cart adventures with Merlin and Jasper, we lean on the fence line after chores are done to catch up with the latest news from her sheep, chickens, horses and border collie. Jenna’s book feels a bit like sharing a home-cooked meal with good friends. This is the good life that Jenna Woginrich chose when she left her 9-5 job in the city and took the leap (literally!) into farming. Her stories speak of her deep connection with nature and the cycles of this earth.

“All I know to do is keep farming, and so I do. My part of the bargain is to tend and fuss, the apple tres’ is to quietly grow and thrive.  They do what they do and I do what I do and perhaps in the fall we’ll both cast our shadows in the light of a Hallowmas bonfire and know we made it through another year.  A circle is a fine religion.  It keeps me going.”

Jenna Woginrich is a modern pioneer, a writer, and a young woman single-handedly doing it all. Her six acre homestead is in Washington County at the base of the Taconic Mountains in New York State.  She seldom ventures further than a few miles from her farm, and it’s from here that she writes of simpler times and a deep-rooted life. This book documents the perils and pleasures of her day to day. Her words easily resonate, even if you have never worn a pair of muck boots to feed the pigs, her words resonate because they are true and real.

Jenna is an independent single woman who writes about the beautiful (and often messy) everyday life of balance and chaos that goes hand in hand with farming. Her book was written with the perfect dose of sass and humor. I highly recommended Cold Antler Farm to anyone who has even the smallest seed of homesteading in their heart.

To learn more about Jenna, follow along her adventures on her homesteading blog of the same name, Cold Antler Farm. Check out her piece in our latest Issue 10 :: SEED. Find her newest book at Roost Books.

~ meredith

Taproot Stockist :: Spruce & Gussy in Bar Harbor, Maine

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Spruce & Gussy
12 Mount Desert Street
Bar Harbor, Maine

Another stop on our Mount Desert Island tour was into the delightful Spruce & Gussy in Bar Harbor, Maine. There, we wandered the shelves of handmade and local artisans with something unique and fun to find for everyone in the family.  And the bonus of walking into the store and finding Taproot (Issue 10::SEED) right there on the shelf next to a seaside “terrarium” just like on the cover? Well, that just made our day.

If you’re in Bar Harbor soon, do pay a visit to Spruce & Gussy, or visit them online!

(For a near-complete  list of Taproot stockists visit here. And if you have or know of a shop who should carry Taproot, contact us!)


Jennifer Judd Mc-Gee at College of the Atlantic

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All of us here at Taproot are big fans of the work of Jennifer Judd-McGee, our first year cover artist as well as continuing contributor and Maine “neighbor.” Last week, Meredith Winn and I had the pleasure of attending the opening of her new solo installation in the Blum Gallery at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. What a delight to see not only her work but her world too! As we spent the following day exploring a tiny corner of her neck of the woods, we found the beauty that is reflected in Jen’s art everywhere we looked – from the moss and sand gardens in the Asticou Azaela Gardens to all the nooks and crannies around the harbor and shores and woods of Mount Desert Island.  Her show, titled Rows & Rows: Community, Pattern and Landscape, features her paper cuttings, wood cuttings and 100 laser-cut flags. It will be up through the summer, and there are several events in conjunction with it. Do check out the College of the Atlantic news about her show for more details and be sure to stop by if you’re in the area. You’ll be so glad you did – and surely inspired by the beauty Jen shares!


Taproot Stockist :: Mrs. Brown’s in Northeast Harbor, Maine

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mrs. Brown’s
Route 198
Northeast Harbor, Maine
(Just opened, there isn’t a website, but if you stop into Northeast Harbor you won’t miss the shop just on the left as you come into town.)

While on Mount Desert Island recently, Meredith and I had the pleasure of visiting one of Taproot’s newest stockists. Mrs. Brown’s in Northeast Harbor, Maine has only been open for a few weeks, but already it’s chock full of goodness of the food, farm, family and craft variety that we know our Taproot readers love. Working with local artists, crafters, and farmers, shopkeeper Kelly Brown (yes, she’s Mrs. Brown!) has carefully curated her little shop with beautiful art, local craft materials, home goods by local artisans, and food grown and made by some of the best makers here in Maine.

If you’re lucky enough to be local, or traveling to coastal Maine soon, do be sure to pay a visit to Mrs. Brown’s!

(For a near-complete  list of Taproot stockists visit here. And if you have or know of a shop who should carry Taproot, contact us!)

~ amanda