blueberry picking
Berry eating contest Winners!
Blueberry Picking in Vermont (2012-08-08)

Blueberry Picking in Vermont

Written by Sadie Wood

Last week, we went blueberry picking in Vermont. Our destination was Goulden Ridge Farm in Weathersfield, VT, just 30 minutes away from the inn. I went with Mom and some friends. The six of us arrived around 5pm and were greeted by a welcoming board with prices and bags and gallon jugs to hold the berries. The grounds were beautiful, signature Vermont hills in the background and a pond and a little brook marking the private property. There were so many berries on the bushes; you could see the clumps of bright blue from where we were standing, at the welcoming board. The sign asked anyone able-bodied enough to pick from any section but the closest section of berries, because those were marked off for seniors or handicapped people. We went to the section with what looked like the biggest and most abundant bushes to start. All of the bushes were enclosed in netting suspended to make a tent around sections of bushes. There were signs showing areas where the “Best Picking” was. The six of us had a berry eating contest on how many berries we could fit in our mouth. There was a tie at 60! We picked for almost two hours in that section until moving on to the slightly smaller bushes in the other. There we picked for about another half an hour until counting up the price of the berries and paying where we came in. When we got home, Mom and I weighed the berries we had picked and got 17 pounds! It was a great experience and we had so much fun. I would definitely recommend blueberry picking in Vermont for a fun time and delicious berries!

Editor’s (mother’s) comments:  I’ve done a lot of berry picking in my day, and I’ve never seen such bountiful bushes, nor such a scenic berry spot.  This is well-worth putting on the annual traditions calendar!   …and for what it’s worth, I came in second place with almost 50 berries!

Shayla the Sheep gets Sheared each Shpring! (2012-5-13)

“Shayla the Sheep gets Sheared in Shpring.”  So silly how much I love to say this!  But here we are in Spring 2012 and I’m given the opportunity to say it again.  “Shayla the sheep got sheared this Shpring!”  (Last year, it was even better because she got sheared on a Shaturday!)

It is only our second year at our Bed & Breakfast in southern Vermont, but we are already feeling the rhythm of some spring rituals.  The sheep is sheared .The koi pond is cleaned (four fish, two frogs, and one salamander are happy about this!).  The leaves are raked and the gardens are being tended to.  Even the pool cover has been removed.  (Not quite ready for swimming though!)  It is a beautiful time of year to embrace our new home in Proctorsville, VT.

Unexpected Reunion results in Great Art Workshop

Facebook may be most known for absorbing colossal amounts of our time, but maybe it is best known for reuniting people who would have otherwise fallen out of touch forevermore.  When a facebook friend tagged me in an old high school photo, I smiled with nostalgia as I thought, “Hey, I remember that sweater!”   (I’m so deep, eh?!) But the true delight of the photo was being ‘friended’ by a few people who didn’t yet know I was on facebook.  One of those people was Arnie Casavant, the art teacher at my Alma mater (Oliver Ames High School in North Easton, Massachusetts).  I never took art, I don’t think, but he was also our class advisor. After a few “Nice to hear from you” volleys, consistent with common facebook protocol, our dialogue politely concluded.  Yet when he posted a picture of one of his own pieces of art,  our dialogue re-opened and we found ourselves discussing the possibility of his coming to teach a landscape painting art class at the inn.  (The first one is scheduled for July 13-15, 2012.  Details on the website.)  He and his wife drove to Okemo Valley, scoping out the potential painting sites in this art-rich area, and Michael and I visited with them in our living room for a couple of hours. What fun to talk through details of the painting seminar, but also to share some experiences we’ve all had in the 20 year space since last seeing one another (24 years really, in case anyone is counting!).  I’m not a huge facebook fan but am grateful for this chance to re-encounter a person from my past — and now of my present too!

Greven Field's "Green Monster" slain by Hurricane Irene
Flood Damage to Greven Field Green Monster
Solzhenitsyn Benefit Concert for Cavendish Ballpark (2012-4-3)

On April 6, 2012, Ignat Solzhenitsyn will be performing an evening of Beethoven, Schubert, and Prokofiev on the piano as a fundraiser to rebuild Greven Field in Cavendish, VT.  The field was absolutely demolished in August 2011 when Hurricane Irene flooded the area. Greven’s “Green Monster” (pictured above) was knocked down, chain link fences were lifted and mangled, bleachers and baseball gear literally floated downstream. (See some pictures below this post.)

 

Ignat Solzhenitsyn has generously volunteered to perform a benefit concert, with 100% of the ticket sales going to the Cavendish Proctorsville Baseball League.  This benefit concert was generously underwritten by the Cavendish Community Fund and Newsbank, Inc.  From Solzhenitsyn’s professional website…  Recognized as one of today’s most gifted artists, and enjoying an active career as both conductor and pianist, Ignat Solzhenitsyn’s lyrical and poignant interpretations have won him critical acclaim throughout the world. 

 

The benefit concert is on Friday April 6 at 7pm at the Green Mountain Union High School in Chester.  Tickets are $25 each or $20 for students.  Stay at Golden Stage Inn on Friday, present your ticket stub upon ‘check-out’ and we’ll deduct your ticket price from your room rate.

Flood Waters recede one day after Hurricane Irene

Greven Field, the day after Hurricane Irene

Greven Field, Hurricane Irene

dugout at Greven Field, the day after Hurricane Irene

Greven Snack Shack, Hurricane Irene Flood

Greven Snack Shack, the Day After Hurricane Irene

Spring is here…time for a Vermont Hike!

No better time for a Vermont hike…

This weather is incredible! Spring warmth has arrived but the bugs have not.  Here are two hikes we took this weekend that we loved…

 

Our own Backyard….

From the inn, we walked down Depot Street and up hill Pratt Hill.  Pratt Hill Rd takes a sharp right deep into (and still heading up!) the Proctor Piper State Forest.  If there’s a path here, we didn’t find it.  Our team of pre-teen trailblazers forged a new path as we debated if lichen is a plant or a mushroom, identified deer scat in the leaves, and photographed stunningly green moss on downed trees.  Our goal was to find our way back to the inn via the woods.  When we emerged on Route 103, we realized we had overshot our mark by 1/4 mile.  Not so bad if you ask me!  We backtracked slightly, found our bridge to cross the creek and were greeted by welcoming bahhs from Shayla the sheep.  The overall hike was probably 1.5 miles and other than the incredibly steep entrance into the woods (on a dirt road), I would rate it as relatively easy.

 

Eleanor Ellis Springweather Nature Area

(Just a 15 minute drive from the inn)

Ironically, we learned of this hike from a guest (who grew up in the area).  She and her boyfriend hiked these trails on Saturday and saw two bald eagles!  We didn’t even see a Robin or a Chickadee, but this might have something to do with the fact that we were rambunctiously traveling with a dog and a gaggle of kids.  Nonetheless, what a great place to hike.  Located on the Connecticut River Birding Trail in North Springfield, Vermont, these self-guiding trails are clearly marked and offer phenomenal diversity of forest, meadows, pond and flood plain.  The literature offered by the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society details the types of trees, birds and other wildlife you may see on your hike.  We spent about two hours here and covered most of the trail system.  Pack a picnic lunch, borrow our binoculars, and be sure to make this an item on your Must Do list when taking a Vermont hike.

 

 

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