[Image via Water Mill Museum]
In eighth grade, my class went on a field trip to the Lowell Mills (Lydie, and her livelihood, are huge in Massachusetts). Sadly our promised mill girl experience translated into stamping paper towels with rose buds and stems. Ever since, I've been somewhat skeptical as to the authenticity of retro activities, so the Water Grist Mill in Water Mill was an unexpected delight. Not only is the mill, which doubles as a museum, totally picturesque, it's also working. The mill's charming proprietor informed me that grist's axle is currently being replaced, and once it's back, she'll be grinding the corn she gleans each August (as in she gathers it from surrounding fields), and using it to feed her chickens. Unfortunately, she's stopped selling the feed, but I think if enough people asked, she'd offer it again. C'mon, locavores; ask!