2014 Vermont Golden Honey Festival…A Hit!

What’s all the buzz around Golden Stage Inn?  Well, every September our bed and breakfast hosts the only honey festival in the state of Vermont!  We’d like to thank all 20 vendors, 300+ attendees, and tens of thousands of honeybees that participated in making the Vermont Golden Honey Festival of 2014 a smashing success.  We’re already looking forward to the VT Golden Honey Festival of 2015…but we’ll let those hard-working honeybees take a well-deserved rest over the winter.  Let’s check out some of the great photos from the event (Photo credits: our very own Sadie Wood!)

Honeybee Arts & Crafts in Proctorsville VT Honeybee kids activities at the festival

Make your own honeybees!  Arts & crafts, games, face-painting and activities were a hit for families with little ones.

Goodman's American Pie honey pizza

 Goodman’s American Pie (above and below) fired up a storm of honey-cinnamon-apple pizzas with their traveling beehive oven.  Irresistible!

Goodman's American Pie wood-fired oven

 

We had twenty wonderful vendors attend the Vermont Golden Honey Festival this year.  They showed off products like beeswax candles, handmade art, preserves, fresh food, woodcarvings, music, mead, and of course…honey!  See some of their photos below.

Penni's Pantry and Hawk's Meadow Farm

Penni’s Pantry and Hawks Meadow Farm make delicious preserves, pickles and honey syrups.

Chainsaw carvings Southern Vermont

Unique VT chainsaw carvings from Alex out of Southeastern VT

 

 

CabinFish of Cavendish at VT Honey Festival

CabinFish of Cavendish displays their myriad homemade arts and crafts.

Angelina's Market at VT Golden Honey festival

Angelina’s Market is a new business in downtown Ludlow, and served delicious hot cider to warm up festival-goers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenpenny Bit bee quilt and music

Tenpenny Bit made musical magic happen.  We absolutely loved the honeybee costume and the honeybee quilt backdrop.

And finally, thanks to all the Vermont Golden Honey Festival mascots!

Vermont Golden Honey Festival Mascots

See you all in 2015, the weekend after Labor Day…we hope you’ll bee there!

 

Golden Honey Festival, Saturday Sept 13

We are SO looking forward to the second Vermont Golden Honey Festival, this coming Saturday, September 13, from 10am to 4pm, at the inn.  (Rain or Shine, but we’re hoping for SHINE!)

We have about twenty vendors this year, and four of them are food vendors, so you’ll have plenty of choices for lunch!  This year, we’ve scheduled several educational presentations.  Check out the schedule below so you can plan your shopping and your eating around the presentations!

SCHEDULE OF PRESENTATIONS

10:30     Introduction to Beekeeping

11:00     Top Ten Home Garden Perennials for Bees and other Pollinators

11:30     Bee Psychology and Nutrition

12:00     What’s a River Bug Hunt?

12:30     Mead Making

1:00        Life Inside a Beehive

2:00        Beeswax, Melting, Cleaning, and Candle Making

3:00        Unveiling of Super Easy Mead

 

busy beehive vermont inn 2014 sept
busy beehive vermont inn 2014 sept
Beekeeping at our Vermont Bed and Breakfast is SWEET!

I think beekeeping has got to be one of the coolest hobbies I could have ever discovered. (Did you know? We have three backyard beehives at our Vermont Bed and Breakfast.) Spending time outside, watching the truly awesome activity of the hive, and then there’s the whole honey harvest – it’s just incredible! Add to this great mix the concept that I’m actually doing something to help our environment?! Just doesn’t get much better!

Today’s high is inspired because today was the day that we removed the surplus honey from the hives. All three of our hives had died late this past winter (probably due to a sudden cold snap after the bees had dissembled from the cluster that had been keeping them warm). And then the replacement bees we ordered came late. Very late – mid-June. So while any beehives that had survived the winter had been working since April, and even other newly purchased bees (that were delivered on time) had been working since mid-May, our bees were nearly two months behind. I was grumpy and not so optimistic about the season they’d have. Fast forward to today.

Of our three backyard beehives, one has not prospered. Without knowing exactly why they were struggling, I just did my best to nurture them along, providing pollen and honey to give them energy and strength. Today, this hive proved strong. It is not populated enough to give me any honey, but with a little continued assistance from me, I think it will be strong enough to make it through the upcoming winter.

 

This post was written Sept 5, 2014, by Julie-Lynn Wood, innkeeper and beekeeper.

By contrast, the other two hives, despite their slow start, have been rocking it! If you’re not familiar with beekeeping, surely you at least know that bees make honey.   Bees make honey because they eat honey. And lots of it. A beehive needs about 80 pounds of honey to survive a Vermont winter. (Eighty pounds is 66 of those familiar little teddy bear squeeze jars of honey!) But bees are like hoarders, they just keep making more and more honey, even with they have enough for themselves. Enter the beekeeper. As summer winds down and Autumn rolls in, beekeepers check on their bees and remove any surplus honey. Sometimes, sadly, there isn’t any. But most years, the bees have made more than they need. This year, our bees made lots more. We’ve only done the first step of the honey harvest by removing the honey from the hive, and it isn’t until the next step of removing the honey from the honeycomb itself that we’ll know precisely how much honey we have. However, it seems that each hive, in addition to its own 80 pounds of honey, has made us 60 pounds of surplus honey. That means 120 pounds of honey for us! And that means … we’ll have SWEET Christmas presents this year!

Anyone who knows me learns quickly that I love beekeeping. Honey or honey. But that said, the honey sure does make it even better!

In just one week, on Saturday September 13, 2014, we’re co-hosting (with Goodman’s American Pie of Ludlow) our annual Vermont Golden Honey Festival here at the inn in Proctorsville. You should come by and check out the local, raw honey that’s for sale, as well as the SO MANY bee-themed products – honey apple pizza, beeswax lip balm, honeyed jellies and baked goods, beeswax furniture polish, headbands with bee fabric, honey wings and honey mustard, scarves with honey inspired colors and so much more. For more information, give us a call (802=226-7744) or check out our facebook page by clicking or by searching VT Golden Honey Festival. It’s going to be a ton of fun!

Voluntourism in Vermont…

…with Golden Stage Inn and Black River Action Team!

Looking for a way to travel while doing good?  Spend a pampered weekend at Golden Stage Inn bed & breakfast while volunteering for a great cause.  Our September ‘voluntourism’ inn special is a deal you won’t want to miss.

The Black River Action Team (BRAT) protects and restores the iconic Black River of Southern Vermont – and you can be a part of their work.  On September 6th, 2014, join Black River Action Team’s River Sweep to clear trash and pollution from this gorgeous Vermont ecosystem.  The Black River gives Vermonters and visitors a place to swim, canoe, kayak and fish.  A day of volunteering with BRAT is also a day of appreciating nature.  Volunteers contribute to keeping VT beautiful!

VT Volunteer Tourism

Now here’s the fun part…

In exchange for your time at the Annual River Sweep on September 6th, BRAT will reward you with a free lunch, water bottle and t-shirt.  But Golden Stage Inn also wants to thank you for opting to volunteer during your summer vacation!  We’ve created a B&B package deal for all volunteering guests.  The bed & breakfast will supply you with a lunch bag of home-baked cookies, a signature Golden Stage Inn tote bag, and a 25% discount on lodging!  Plus, GSI innkeepers will donate $10 to BRAT for every voluntourism package booked.  Now thats a feel-good deal you can’t beat!  Stay at our inn this September to get in your pre-season leaf-peeping, your late-summer swimming, and your volunteer vacation.  We’ll see you then!

GSI’s Six Ways to Beat the Heat

Golden Stage Inn’s guide to staying cool on your summer vacation!

1. Get yourself to Vermont!

Hop on in the car and hit the road – because unless you’re in Maine or Canada, no place is cooler than Vermont in the summer.  South Central Vermont has it all – mountains, lakes, waterfalls, historic towns, gardens…

 

A drive on Vermont's scenic country roads.

What’s at the end of the rainbow? Vermont!

2. Lounge in Golden Stage Inn’s garden-flanked pool.

Sometimes guests don’t realize we have a pool until we tell them!  That’s because it’s tucked away in the backyard, surrounded by flowers and a fence.  You’ll have privacy to lounge about the poolside and splash in the water.  Once you’ve cooled off, take a stroll around the gardens and relax in one of the outdoor sitting areas or in the shade of the front porch.

Outdoor swimming pool Inn amenities

3. Sip on an icy glass of our signature ginger-honey lemonade.

Commonly known as switchel, ginger-honey lemonade is a classic Vermont summer drink.  Farmers make cold switchel in the summer to cool down while working in the fields.  Always made from local honey, switchel can even help with summer allergies.  After you’ve finished your drink, you can take a honeybee hive tour to see where the honey came from – the B&B’s own front lawn!

Switchel is made from lemons, local honey, and ginger.

4. Take a stroll in the shade.

Golden Stage Inn is adjacent to the Proctor-Piper State Forest.  In fact, we’re so close the woods are just a short stroll across the lawn!  You’ll walk into the shady forest, cross a babbling brook on a footbridge, and explore the peaceful calm of nature away from the glare and heat of the sun.  Perhaps you’ll see some woodland creatures – especially if you go for a walk closer to dawn or dusk.

5. Hang out in the B&B’s air-conditioned sitting rooms.

Golden Stage Inn is a fully air-conditioned bed and breakfast, so if you need to just get out of the sun, our sitting rooms are the place to be!  Read a book, play a game or solve a puzzle.

Sitting Room in VT Bed and Breakfast

6. Explore a swimming hole.

Our bed & breakfast is not far from several great places to swim in a natural setting.  There are several great swimming places within a short drive from Golden Stage Inn.  In Cavendish, visit the Cavendish Gorge and play in the rocks and falls (see the photo below!).  The Black River meanders through Ludlow.  Buttermilk Falls is also located in Ludlow, and boasts a small waterfall with a large swimming hole at the bottom.  Brockway Mills is a spectacular spot in Springfield, VT.  Jamaica State Park is so much fun: a short hike to a swimming hole dotted with huge rocks to play on.  Like to jump off of things?  Dorset Quarry, with massive cliffs, is the place for you.

For a complete list of Vermont swimming holes, visit Swimmingholes.org

Photos below courtesy of www.swimmingholes.org/vt.html

Photo 1: Cavendish Gorge (Cavendish, VT)    Photo 2: Dorset Quarry (Dorset, VT)    Photo 3: Brockway Mills (Springfield, VT)

Cavendish Gorge, VT

Dorset Quarry Swimming Hole VT

 

Brockway Mills VT

 

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