The Seasons of Vermont

Vermont is a state ruled by seasonality; discover what each season brings near the Golden Stage Inn bed and breakfast in Southern VT. From dangerous hurricanes to the first gentle snowfall of winter, there’s often something to talk about!


Mushroom Hunting in Vermont

Mushroom hunting in Vermont proves fruitful!

Chanterelles (left) and lobsters (right) are just two of the delicious mushrooms found in the woods of Vermont.

Are you a fan of fungi?  Then Vermont’s the place to be this summer.

With one of the wettest Julys on record, Vermont’s mushrooms are fruiting to the fullest this summer!  Before you read on, please note that this blog post is not a mushrooming guide!  Eat and identify wild mushrooms at your own risk.

Lobster mushrooms are easy to spot when foraging.  Not only are they a similar color to a cooked lobster - but they also have a seafood aroma when cooked.

Lobster mushrooms are easy to spot when foraging. Not only are they a similar color to a cooked lobster – but they also have a seafood aroma when cooked.

Happy mushroom hunters are finding edible mushrooms such as chanterelles, oysters, lobster mushrooms, chicken-of-the-woods, and even the prized black trumpet.  Medicinal mushrooms can be found in Vermont as well, and include chaga, turkey tail, and reishi.

Can you spot the prized black trumpet amongst the leaves? Black trumpets are easy to miss - luckily grow in large numbers.  My favorite wild mushroom in Vermont!

Can you spot the prized black trumpet mushrooms amongst the leaves? Black trumpets are easy to miss – luckily, they grow in large numbers. By far my favorite wild mushroom in Vermont!

Love to eat mushrooms, but not a mushroom hunter yourself?

You don’t have to brave the woods (and that first-time-mushrooming fear).  Two grocery stores near Golden Stage Inn sell local mushrooms when available: The Jersey Girls’ Cafe & Market and the Springfield Co-Op.  You can also get your mushroom fix at a farm-to-table restaurant in the area, such as The Downtown Grocery, SoLo, or the Inn at Weathersfield.

Want to learn to identify wild mushrooms?

The Grafton Nature Museum is hosting a Mushroom Walk on the weekend of August 22nd!  The Grafton Nature Museum is about a half hour drive from Golden Stage Inn, and also puts on a fairy house exhibit with local artists on the last weekend of September.  But back to the ‘shrooms…

You can register to be on the waiting list for The Wild World of Mushrooms at the Grafton Nature Museum here.  Unfortunately both walks are already full, but hey, you never know!  Here’s a quick description of the event from the Grafton Nature Museum’s website:

“Ari Rockland-Miller will introduce participants to the Northeast’s safest and most distinctive gourmet and medicinal fungi, emphasizing his “ForageCast” strategy. Workshop participants will also discover how to best cook these fruits of the forest and will get a taste when our wild finds are served up right on the spot following our foray. Once you put on your forager’s eyes, your hikes will never be the same again!”

If you’re up for a further drive, check out more mushrooming workshops in Vermont from the Mushroom Forager here.  In addition to foraging, you can learn about growing mushrooms yourself!

 

Oyster mushrooms are one of the edible fungi you can cultivate yourself.

Oyster mushrooms are one of the edible fungi you can learn to cultivate yourself.

And just for fun(gi)…

What room has no doors, no walls, no floors, and no ceilings?

A mushroom!

 

The VAULT Gallery in Springfield, VT: July & August 2014

Our bed and breakfast, located in Proctorsville VT, is very close to several great art & craft facilities.  One of these is the Vault Gallery in Springfield, VT.  It is about 20 minutes’ drive away from Golden Stage Inn, located in the downtown of an old industrial town located right on the Black River.  The VAULT Gallery showcases uniquely creative arts and handmade crafts from around Vermont.  It is accessible, affordable, modern and gorgeous.  The summer exhibition’s focus is flowers.

The VAULT gallery also offers art classes for wannabe artists and seasoned crafters alike.  There are even camps for your kids – if you’d like to get some alone time during your vacation!  Check out the offerings for 2014 summer at the Vault:

Art Workshops for Adults

Saturday, July 26 (rain date Sunday, July 27)
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Plein Air Workshop in Watercolor Instructor: Rob O’Brien AWS, NWS
This class will meet at the gallery and then set off for a day of outdoor painting. The workshop will begin with a demonstration by the instructor followed by student painting. A critique and discussion will take place at the end of class.

Workshop fee $65 Members/$70 Non-members
Materials list available upon registration
Plein Air Painting workshop in Vermont
Saturday, August 23
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sun and Shade – Late Summer Landscape in Pastel
Instructor: Robert Carsten, PSA-M, IAPS-MC
Explore the Dynamics of painting the warm, sunlit landscape, the coolness of a special shady spot or how to include both in one composition. How you convey that feel of late summer in your work and that lovely golden light that we experience as the sun moves lower on the horizon as we start shifting toward autumn. Working from your sketches or photos, we will explore concepts of color design, and techniques. Various approaches will be presented and demonstrated. Critique, at easel assistance, and lots of painting time will make this an educational and enjoyable painting experience. All levels welcome from beginner through advanced.
 
Workshop fee $70 members/$75 Non-members
Materials list available upon registation

Art Camps for Kids

VACATION ART CAMP
Held at Parks and Rec on 139 Main Street
Mon-Fri July 21 to 25 
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Experiment with Papermaking
Taught by Diane Kemble and Melissa Post
Create your own handmade papers! Start with paper scraps and water. Churn it up in a blender. Add dried flowers, colored threads, and other surprises. Press through a screen, dry and iron. Then use your paper to make cards, books, night lights, collages, and other creations.
 
Age 8 and up Art Camp Fee $70. Class size limited. Pre-registration required.

You’re Invited!

Gallery at the VAULT invites you to
Celebrate the Season with a Summer Party 
Saturday, July 26 from 2 to 5 p.m.
at the Inn at Weathersfield

An Afternoon Collage of Food, Celestial Drinks, and Outdoor Pursuits!
  • Taste unique craft cocktails and imagine celestial navigation with Max Overstrom-Coleman of Vermont Spirits.
  • Enjoy delicious food made from local ingredients.
  • Ramble through the gardens and grounds of Inn at Weathersfield.
  • Explore photography with Richard Cofrancesco. (Bring your own camera.)
  • Learn the art of Fly Tying with Dennis Fontaine.
  • Try your hand at flower arranging.
  • Play Croquet and Bocce Ball or Relax on the deck.
Reservations are necessary.
Stop in at VAULT, or call 802-885-7111.
Tickets are $40 each, Checks payable to Gallery at the VAULT.

What’s Going on In the Okemo Valley – July & August 2014

July and August are packed with fun summer activities, festivals, concerts around the Okemo Valley.  In this entry, you’ll find upcoming events close by the Golden Stage Inn B&B.  Some highlights are Hops in the Hills beer & wine fest at Okemo Mountain Resort, an outdoor concert by Sensible Shoes (sponsored by Golden Stage Inn!), and varied arts & entertainment at Next Stage Arts Project, in conjunction with Apron Strings Theatre Co. and Twilight Music.

2014 Cavendish Concerts on the Proctorsville Green

Hosted by the Cavendish Community Conservation Association, this concert series is a well-loved summer event.  Join picnickers on the lawn by the gazebo and enjoy a peaceful Vermont evening with homegrown tunes.  Concerts are Wednesdays throughout the summer; upcoming concerts listed below:

July 23 – Sensible Shoes - playing a funky mix of original music and cover tunes (sponsored by Golden Stage Inn and Old Cavendish Products!

July 30 – Chris Kleeman - rolling from stinging slide guitar to deft rag-time; from the Southern styles of Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell all the way up that big river to the Blues of Chicago.

August 6 – Yankee Chank - Featuring Cavendish’s own Bob Naess on fiddle, this Cajun/Zydeco band will have you dancing in the street.

August 13 – Voodoo Alien Blues Band - The Rutland based all star rhythm and blues band is led by local blues legend Steve Audsley and appears regularly at a variety of Vermont venues.

Hops in the Hills Beer and Wine Festival in Ludlow, VT

Put on by Okemo Mountain Resort, this is the 6th annual Hops in the Hills Festival.  Jackson Gore, the location of the event, is in Ludlow - a quick 15 minute drive from our B&B.  Admission is free and Hops in the Hills beer and wine festival Vermontyou can purchase sample combinations.  There are over 50 craft beers from regional brewers to try – and this year, Okemo is adding wine to the festival!

This year’s festival is 3 days long instead of 2, and will feature live music, craft vendors, and delicious things to eat.  Friday evening, enjoy live music by Cold Chocolate.

On Saturday, local restaurants will vie for the title of Okemo Valley Chicken Wing Champion, with live music by CK3.

Sunday’s festivities include a live performance by Phish tribute band Uncle Ebenezer.

 

 What’s going on at Next Stage in Putney, VT

July 24th:  The Stray Birds with Mike and Ruthy: acoustic folk and indie roots music.  Check out their style:

YouTube Preview Image

YouTube Preview Image

July 27th: Dinner and a movie – enjoy a locally sourced gourmet meal at the Gleanery, and then kick back for a screening of Chocolat (for dessert, haha!)  Tickets are $23.00.

August 7-16: AFTER THE REVOLUTION – a bold and moving portrait of an American family, thrown into an intergenerational tailspin, forced to reconcile a thorny and delicate legacy.  This play was written by Amy Herzog and the production is directed by Karla Baldwin.  

August 22: TONY TRISCHKA w/ HOT MUSTARD -  Tony Trischka was the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year and received a Grammy nomination.  He will play with his band and the well-known traditional bluegrass quartet Hot Mustard.  These bands feature double banjos, saucy vocals and Merlefest banjo contest winner Bruce Stockwell. 7:30 pm

Twilight Music’s Tavern Lawn Series, Putney, VT

All concerts start at 6 pm on Sundays and are free.  In case of rain, concerts are held at Next Stage at 15 Kimball Hill.

July 27  PLANET ZYDECO - High Energy accordion/guitar driven dance music of Louisiana


August 10  THE STOCKWELL BROTHERS - Newgrass and contemporary folk music with brothers Bruce, Barry and Alan

August 24  THE SNAZ – Original, indie rock band featuring four Vermont teenagers

PlanetZydeco at Putney Tavern Lawn concert series

Planet Zydeco gets ready to play!

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!

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

Page 2 of 512345