Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Day In the Countryside of Vermont

We got to drive across this covered bridge,
that was a fun experience!

We were still having a slight amount of rain,
love the rain drops on the window.
We quite enjoy our travels in the rain,
or at least we don't mind it!
It does keep the crowds down!

This overcast sky made a perfect
situation for the photos!

This was our first stop of the day~
Sugarbush Farm.

The boys were having school so we wanted them to
learn some fun
things along the way on this trip.

This calf was so little and cute.

The horses were beautiful grazing out in this
pristine pasture early in the morning.

The boys would love some animals
military life makes that pretty hard
with moving so often.

They had goats and chickens too.
No good photos of the chickens,
they wouldn't stand still and say cheese!

So precious!

This farm has been privately owned by one family for the past three generations and is located near Woodstock, Vermont. The family doesn't live here on the farm anymore, but have a beautiful home not far from this working farm. We arrived a little before they actually opened but the lady that was out taking care of the calf, told us to just wander around and check things out. We walked down the hill to the place where they actually make their maple syrup. We walked around and read the displays and saw the troughs where they process their syrup.

They tap the maple tree and then hang these buckets.

We were interested in the fact that Vermont produces more maple syrup, (followed by Ohio) than any other state and that when they tap the sugar maple trees it takes 40 gallons of the pure sap to make one gallon of the syrup. No wonder real maple syrup is so expensive!!

The syrup is great but if I have to choose, I'll take the leaves!

There are lots of varieties of Maple trees but only the sugar maple and one other variety can be used to make syrup. These hardwood trees, indigenous to the northeast of the US and Canada have this leaf (Canadian Flag) and the above circle of leaves shows us just why this part of the country is so magnificent in the autumn. These leaves are all taken from one tree!

Did you know the sap is clear like water and they do a lot of the work when the temperatures are minus 30? They also make lots of cheeses on the farm and hand cut and wrap in foil and then three layers of wax. They do mail order and it is a great operation. This was a very fun tourist destination, we all enjoyed it.

We were just fascinated with how their family created their legacy of working together for the common good of each generation since 1945. It was a little piece of heaven actually! All except for those subzero temps! We have decided it is pretty awesome to live in our temperate climate and travel to these other places when their weather is perfect.

We are ordering from Sugarbush this year because their products are wonderful and we love the idea of supporting a small family business in a world where they are disappearing because of the struggle to compete. We know because Jim's family had a three generation family dairy business that sold and delivered bottled milk and his Dad made all their delicious ice cream. And Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors did them in. Sadly, the family ice cream was so much better and hand packed, but mass production and so many choices drove them out of the business. So we'd like to do our little part to help keep Sugarbush going!


Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bonnie,
Love all the pics, so beautiful.
Really love covered bridges I think they are just so quaint and intriquing.
We got syrup in Vermont as well from a lil shop on the way back from New Hampshire. It was wonderful. We still have their address too. It was a family run business and they made their own syrups as well, Lovely people.
I am with you I love to give my business to family own and operated businesses as well.
Thanks for coming by Sunday?? Can't remember what day, but good to hear from you. Amazing how fast Fall has gone, can't believe we will be putting up Christmas decor soon. I really do enjoy my Fall decorations!! Course, I enjoy the Christmas ones too, and then the Winter and the Spring!! I am fickle.....what can I say!!
Have a good day tomorrow hon,
Love ya, Nellie