For over 20 years, designer Christopher Spitzmiller has been renowned for his one-of-a-kind lamps of timeless appeal and luxurious quality. But the master ceramicist also has a deep passion for gardening and entertaining. Christopher is known to his friends and Instagram fans as the ultimate weekend farmer who raises his own chickens, grows his own flowers, and makes his own jam, cider, and honey.
Released this month, Christopher’s first book, A Year at Clove Brook Farm, treats readers to a full year of life at his idyllic but always-active country retreat. Christopher discovered the 1830s Greek Revival home 16 years ago when visiting friends in Millbrook, New York, and he knew instinctively that the run-down property could be transformed into something very special. “From that very moment, the house, farm, and adjacent rolling countryside have inspired my dreams, helped me set goals, and perhaps most importantly, nourished my drive to accomplish it all,” Christopher says in the book’s introduction.
Organized into four seasonal sections, A Year at Clove Brook Farm begins in the Spring with the chilly quiet of March before the farm bursts into the bloom of lilacs and apple blossoms. Christopher takes us behind-the-scenes in the dovecote with his Indian fantail pigeons, he hosts an Easter lunch with a table laden with daffodils and his prettiest plates, and he shares his recipe for freshly harvested rhubarb pie. Summer brings hydrangeas and dahlias; readying the chickens for the Dutchess County Fair, honey-gathering, and planting bulbs. Christopher shares his ultimate fall feast of Thanksgiving with all the stops pulled, and winter closes the book with inspired holiday decorating, a holiday buffet to celebrate the bounty of the farm, and uniquely wrapped gifts to treasure.
“I hope this book inspires you to try something new around your own home, whether it’s sow in a few fruit and vegetable seeds in a pot or welcoming friends over for a home-cooked dinner,” Christopher says. “Maybe you’ll even try some backyard homesteading with a few chickens. I firmly believe that each of us has a garden within us, and it’s our own job to tend to it, nurture it, and let it flourish.”
A Year at Clove Brook Farm is available for purchase via Amazon where it is a #1 Best Seller. This is such a delightful book, and Christopher simply could not be more gracious and charming. After poring over each page, I am dreaming of country life! To see Clove Brook Farm decorated for Christmas, please click here, and you can follow Christopher on Instagram @christopherspitzmiller.
Photography by Gemma & Andrew Ingalls, unless otherwise noted. Courtesy of Rizzoli.