Summer 2014 at Fletcher Farm School for the Arts and Crafts

For talented artisans and wannabe craftspeople alike, Fletcher Farm School is the perfect place to dip your toes into something new.  Golden Stage Inn is just two miles down the road from their arts campus, and often offers multi-night stay discounts for Fletcher Farm students. Their summer schedule is jam packed with classes and workshops.  You can register online when you look at their schedule, or call the Fletcher Farm office at (802) 228-8770.  

 

I wish I could give a description of every class, but there are just so many!  Below you’ll find a schedule to peruse, and you can visit Fletcher Farm School’s website to read more about each individual class.

 

Arts & Crafts Classes July 2014

At Fletcher Farm School, Ludlow VT

July 11-13   Drawing for Beginners fletcher farm painting

July 11-13   Enameled Bowls

July 12-13   Painting in Acrylics

July 12-13   Scottish Jewelry

July 12-13   Contemporary Rug Hooking

July 12-18   Quilter’s Choice

July 12-18   Bobbin Lace

July 14-18   Silver Fabrication

July 14-18   Punch Needle Rug Hooking

July 16-17    Beadweaving

July 18-20   Digital Macro Photography with Camera, iPad or iPhone

July 19        Plein Air Felting

July 19        Hypertufa for the Garden

July 20       Trellises for the Gardenfletcher farm clay metal

July 19-20   Sweater Decoration

July 19-20   Classic American Baskets

July 21-22   Fused Glass

July 21-25   Reverse Painting on Glass

July 22-23   Warping the Loom

July 23-24   Precious Metal Clay

July 24-28   Intro to Weaving

July 25-27   Penwork Boxes

July 26-27   How to Paint Watercolor Landscapesfletcher farm nature drawing

July 26-27   Shaker Oval Boxes Basics

July 26-27   Digital Imaging

July 26-27   Glass Fusing Plus

July 26-28   Nature Drawing and Journaling

July 28-30   Hand Building Wheel Throwing Clay

July 28-31   Inter/Advanced Shaker Oval Boxes

July 28-August 1   Brides Box

July 28-August 1   Still Life Painting in Oils

July 29-August 2   “Not Your Grandmother’s Pot Holders” – Rags to Multi-Harness Riches

 

Happy crafting!

Everything Cheese!

Vermont is known for many things – winter skiing, maple syrup, green mountains – but perhaps most well known and loved is cheese!  From the cows lining the fields to first-class restaurants, cheese is an ever present fact of Vermont life and food.  This summer, try out a new recipe, visit a festival, and even make your own farmer’s cheese!

Goat Cheese and Flowers

I often think of cheese as delicious, but rarely would I call it ‘beautiful’ (especially not the goop that emerges from a freshly cut wedge of Camembert!)  But if you love goat cheese as much as I do, you are always looking for new ways to enjoy a fresh and fragrant roll of chevre.  Try this unique recipe for goat cheese rolled in edible flowers as both a palate-pleaser and a show-stopper.  The recipe below is re-posted from Healthy Living Market & Cafe’s blog.

Floral chevre log

“First, prepare your flowers and herbs.  Coarsely chop about 2 Tbsp of dried rosemary, remove the petals from about 2 Tbsp of dried calendula flowers, coarsely chop about 2 Tbsp of dried rose petals, and crush about 1 Tbsp pink peppercorns using a mortar & pestle or even just a rolling pin (note: all of these ingredients are available in our extensive Bulk Department!).  Mix all these together on a flat surface such as a cutting board.  Next, take a 10-oz chèvre log (we used one from Vermont Creamery) and roll it in the floral mix, pressing gently to make sure the flowers stick.  You may need to do this a couple times to coat the chèvre completely.  Then, to serve, spread a little bit of the floral chèvre on crackers, topping each with a touch of honey.  Tada!”  (Photo: Healthy Living Market & Cafe)

 

Cheese Up Close

Vermont cheese near ludlow vt

Yum! Cheese from Crowley in Mt Holly, VT – a 20 minute drive from our Inn.

There are dairy farms all across Vermont, in all shapes and sizes.  Not only do they provide us with creamy edibles, they are a living history and cultural tradition of our state.  Vermont cheesemakers take pride in their land, their animals and their product.  Dairy farming is one of the most difficult agricultural jobs around, and you can get a taste of place by visiting one of these farms in person.  Dig In VT has a fantastic map of cheesemakers across Vermont, so you can plan your own cheese tour and tastings.  You can learn about how cheese is made and taste test varieties to find your favorite.  Maybe you’d like to meet the animals in person – usually cows, but also sheep and goats on occasion.  Our personal favorite VT cheesemaker here at Golden Stage Inn is award-winning Crowley Cheese in Mount Holly, VT.  Crowley is a quick 20 minute drive away, as you leave the Inn and cross through the town of Ludlow on your way.  Julie is in love with their cheddar, and uses it as an ingredient in guests’ breakfasts often!

 Vermont Cheesemakers Festival

Though a bit of a trek away from Golden Stage B&B, the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival is an annual summertime food festival not to be missed.  This year, it was one of Lonely Planet’s best American food festivals for the summer of 2014!  Located in Shelburne, VT, attendees can participate in demos, workshops and presentations free with admission.  There are over 200 cheese, wine and food products to sample as well.  Since Vermont has the highest number of cheesemakers per capita of any state in the USA, this had better be good!

vt cheesemakers festival

(Photo: VT Cheesemakers Festival)

 

Finally, if you’re interested in making your own cheese by hand, check out Golden Stage Inn’s recipe for how to make your own farmer’s cheese!

Happy Independence Day from Golden Stage Inn

From all of us at the Golden Stage Inn B&B, Happy Independence Day!

Well, technically the 4th of July just passed, but the weekend has just begun and the festivities aren’t over.  Vermont is the perfect place to spend Independence Day, and while yesterday (the real 4th of July) was a bit rainy, there is a bluebird sky today with clear breezes and temperatures in the 70s.  Vermont vacation-ers certainly won’t have to worry about ‘beating the heat’ this weekend!!

 

Image courtesy Celebration Fireworks of Vermont

Image courtesy Celebration Fireworks of Vermont

 

Spending the 4th of July in Southern Vermont

Last night, I’d planned to see fireworks in Ludlow, VT but was thwarted by the rain!  Luckily, Saxton’s River still had fireworks going off and the drizzle stopped just in time.  I stood in line for cotton candy, watched glowsticks being catapulted through the air by excited children, and enjoyed the fireworks.  It was a spectacular show.  If the day hadn’t been so grey, I may have spent my entire 4th of July in Saxton’s River -watching the morning parade, eating a lunch of Thai or Middle Eastern cuisine, and then dancing to fiddler’s tunes at the Rec Area in the evening.

If you’re thinking of spending next 4th of July in Vermont, consider visiting the Calvin Coolidge historic site or Billings Farm, which both have historical Independence Day events and activities.  Far from being antiquated, these events appeal to all ages and there is something for everyone.  Billings Farm & Museum hosts ‘An Old Vermont 4th‘ every year from 10 am – 5 pm in Woodstock VT.  The organization puts on historic orations and music all day long, hosts old time-y crafts, and serves up some farmhouse fare including homemade ice cream.  Kids (and adults!) can participate in a gunny sack race, spelling bees and  visits to the farm animals.

Calvin Coolidge was the only American president born on July 4th, and is one of two presidents born in Vermont.  The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation always puts on a great celebration for Independence Day to commemorate the birth of the USA and of President Coolidge.  This year’s diverse events all sounded like a lot of fun.  History buffs enjoyed attending a group reading of Coolidge’s autobiography and seeing the recent reproduction of the Coolidge family’s woolen blanket.  Foodies munched on chicken BBQ at the Wilder House restaurant and sampled wine and cheese at the Plymouth Artisan Cheese Factory.  Kids and families took a ride on horse-drawn wagons.  Don’t miss this event next year, and remember that you can tour the Coolidge homestead and historic site year-round.  After all, the site is just a short drive away from the Golden Stage Inn, and makes a great day trip!

parade

 

(Image courtesy coolidgefoundation.org)

Extending your Freedom – July 5th Events

The fun doesn’t stop today, and there are tons of events happening within driving distance from Golden Stage Bed and Breakfast.  If you’re looking for the excitement of fireworks tonight, look no further than Magic Mountain or Stratton Mountain, both in Londonderry, VT.  At 6 pm, Magic Mountain will proudly introduce The Butties, Vermont’s premier Beatles cover band.  Stratton Mountain will have activities all afternoon long into the evening including face painting, dance demonstrations, live music, caricatures, hay rides, eating contests, and gondola rides.  See the full schedule of events here, and don’t miss the grand opening of Green Apron, a brand new VT farm-to-table restaurant near the golf course.

Want to stay a little closer to your home away from home? (Golden Stage Inn, that is!)  Check out Fletcher Farm’s Annual Arts and Crafts Festival, today from 10 am – 4 pm.  Over 90 artisans from across New England will have their high quality, original work on display.  Stop by to check out everything from paintings to dolls clothes, dried flowers to wood carving, glasswork to food…

Okemo Mountain hosts the Great American Party today, and while there are no fireworks here, you’ll certainly have plenty of other things to keep you busy from 1-8 pm.  Barbeque, two free concerts, a waterslide, dunk tank, eating contest, midway games, and adventure zone will fill your day with fun.

Don’t let the fire die…Fireworks in Ludlow on July 6th!

Although the rain last night caused the Ludlow fireworks to be cancelled, never fear because they have been rescheduled for Sunday, July 6th.  Fireworks are sponsored by Ludlow Streetscapes at West Hill Park.  The Chris Kleeman Band will entertain Vermonters and vacation-ers alike with fantastic rhythm and blues music, with fireworks slated to go off at dark around 9 pm.  You can stop for dinner first at one of Ludlow’s many restaurants – Mr. Darcy’s, the Killarney, Sam’s Steakhouse, the Stemwinder, Downtown Grocery or DJ’s.  If you want to enjoy Chris Kleeman’s music, create yourself a picnic basket with treats from Wine & Cheese Depot and Singleton’s General Store.  You might also ask Julie about Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch available at Golden Stage Inn…

Road-Crew-Crunch-mud-local-VT-snack

Indian Cuisine, June 7

Among the so many other reasons to visit Vermont this Spring, we invite both the public and our inn guests to join us at the inn for an Indian dinner on Saturday, June 7, 2014.  We are very excited to have Lini Mazumdar as our guest chef for the evening.  We’ll begin the evening’s festivities at 6pm with informal hors d’oeuvres and a BYOB cocktail hour, but don’t snack too much — there is an Indian feast coming out next!  Lini will delight us as she serves up her homemade daal, rice, chicken, vegetable curry, and raita. Then we’ll wrap up the gastro-delights with coffee, teas, and our signature Saturday Night Chocolate Cake.

Tickets are still available.  $50 per person.  Staying the night?  Dinner guests will enjoy over 25% discount on lodging.  Dinner for Two plus 1 night lodging (choice of any available double occupancy room), $225 plus tax, or Dinner for Two plus 2 nights lodging, $350 plus tax.  Call soon to make your reservation!  (802) 226-7744. Or email us at innkeeper@goldenstageinn.com

National Honey Month in May – Celebrate Honey Bees!

Happy National Honey Bee Awareness month!

At the Golden Stage Inn, we love love LOVE our bees.  Here are some great bee facts and trivia to celebrate National Honey Month.  We hope some of these stories and tidbits inspire you to take a peek at honey bee activism, beekeeping, or the hives at Golden Stage Inn.

  • For guests who want to tour a honey bee hive, warm weather is just around the corner.  Join us on a sunny day to take a look at honey bees busy in their hive collecting nectar and raising brood.  Golden Stage Inn will provide protective beekeeper’s clothing and all the information you could ask for.  Learn all about honey bees’ social lives, ecology, environmental threats, and taste the sweet rewards of honey galore.
  • Did you know that honey bees dance?  It’s true!  While the dances are awfully cute and a joy to watch, they are not all fun and games.  Honey bee dancing is an intelligent form of communication.  Scout bees go out to find great forage, which means places with lots of flowers and nectar.  They come back and tell the rest of the hive about the special spot they found.  The dance tells every other bee how far away the flowers are, which direction to go, and how good of a forage spot it is.  Check it out!
YouTube Preview Image
  • Though the VT Golden Honey Festival is several months away (the date is set for September 13th!), you can get a glimpse of the festivals joys by examining our backyard beehives and tasting pure raw honey.
  • This May, Innkeeper Julie is installing new bees into the hives.  Sadly, the old hives did not make it through the rough winter, perhaps due to lack of forage in the summer or extreme cold in the winter.  The date is not exact, but if you’re around the area in early May, check in to see when our bed & breakfast’s new bees will arrive!
  • The Honey Month in May helps raise awareness about the importance of honey bees to agriculture and the ecosystem.  Did you know that 100% of almond trees are pollinated by honey bees?!  If this species were to go extinct, there would be no more almonds…ever!  Other important crops dependent on honey bees include:
    • apples
    • coffee
    • avocados
    • limes
    • watermelons
    • sunflowers
    • clover and alfalfa (essential for dairy & farm animals!)
    • cucumbers
    • all sorts of berries
    • lemons
    • beans…
    • the list goes on!  Read about all of the crops that honey bees help pollinate here.
  • $14.6 billion sounds like a lot, huh?  If you put a price on the honey bees species value, that was the going rate in the year 2000!  Due to inflation, increased demand, and an increasing human population, it’s likely that honey bees are even more valuable today.
YouTube Preview Image

 

You can help the honey bees too!

Start a backyard beehive, or if it’s too much work or you are allergic to bees, support your local beekeepers in their work.  Learn more about colony collapse disorder and help educate others.  Visit the Golden Stage Inn to get a live honey bee hive tour, or stop by during VT Golden Honey Festival on September 13th, 2014 for educational workshops and honeybee-related vendors.

Organic-Beekeeping-backyard-beekeepers-honey-vermont

Honey Bees work hard to create honey out of nectar from flowers. Did you know one honey bee will create only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime? …it takes a hive! [Image courtesy the Grafton Nature Museum]

Page 3 of 1312345...10...Last »