Easter dinner in Vermont | Farm to Plate | Locavore
Many families will be preparing Easter dinner in Vermont with fresh local vegetables, meats, breads, cheeses and other delicious foods obtained from their local farmers.   The Farm to Plate and Locavore movements are flourishing in Vermont where there are 99 farmers markets and 164 CSAs (like the Wild Carrot Farm) available to provide locally grown food.

Buying Local Food

What’s on your menu for Easter dinner?  Have you ever thought about where that food comes from?  Vermont, being an agricultural state filled with innovative farmers, has become the leader in the locavore and “farm to plate” movements.  The idea is to source your food close to home.  For me personally the main advantage of buying locally is knowing that my food was sustainably grown without the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that harm the environment.  But there are lots of other advantages to the eating local food such as:

  • Local food is fresher.  It’s picked when ripe (not when convenient for cross-country trucking) so it tastes better and it’s more nutritious
  • Local food supports local farmers.  Here in Vermont we’re struggling to make sure our landscape stays rural and pastoral so supporting farms and farm families is critical
  • Local food supports the local economy and helps create jobs and sustainable communities

Farmer’s Markets, CSAs and The Wild Carrot Farm

Wild Carrot Farm | Farm to Plate | Local Food
Jesse Kayan and his draft horses plow the fields at the Wild Carrot Farm in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Wild Carrot farms on just 40 acres but they offer 180 types of vegetables and flowers, and beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, and milk to the local community.  Now is the time to buy your share of the  2014 harvest!

In Vermont, most grocery stores have a decent selection of local foods but the real action is at our farmer’s markets and our CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).  Last week Annette asked Ken and me to split a share of locally grown food from the Wild Carrot Farm, a local CSA in Brattleboro, VT.   After meeting with Jesse Kayan who operates the farm we were hooked and decided to give it a try.  For about $500 we get a generous share of freshly picked vegetables each week throughout the entire harvest season- plus a variety of PYO (pick your own) flowers and veggies.  If you’d like to learn more about buying a share, give Jesse a call.  CSAs have a limited number of shares they can sell each year, depending on the size of their farms.  Like other CSAs in our area, the Wild Carrot Farm will be sold out soon.

How About Having Easter Dinner in Vermont– at a Country Inn?

Easter Dinner at the Windham Hill Inn | Local Foors | Farm to Plate
Dinner at the Windham Hill Inn is a celebration of local foods and farmers!

If you don’t have time to gather local foods together in time for Easter- treat yourself and your family to dinner out.  People come from all over New England to enjoy Easter dinner at our many farm to plate restaurants.  This photo is from the restaurant at the Windham Hill Inn in Townshend, VT– one of the prettiest rural inns in the Green Mountains.  Check out the Vermont Fresh Network to find the place that’s perfect for your family.

Bon appetit, Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring!

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

maple syrup
Did you know that maple sugaring is sustainable? Tapping doesn’t hurt the tree in any way — studies have shown that the trees that are tapped year after year live just as long, and just grow ever-so-slightly most slowly than their un-harvested counterparts.

This weekend is Vermont’s Maple Syrup open house weekend! This is exciting for two reasons: 1) Maple syrup is delicious and 2) this officially marks the first weekend of Spring! Open House Weekend is your opportunity to get a first-hand look at how Vermont’s sugar makers are able to take the sap from maple trees and craft something as delicious as pure Vermont maple syrup! 85 sugar houses around Vermont will be open for touring!

The weather is up in the air, but we’re hoping for another weekend of sunshine! So make it a trip, take a visit to Vermont– and visit us at Stonehurst while you’re here!

Visit VermontMaple.Org for an interactive map with all of the different maple syrup locations in Vermont & for more information on this great weekend event!

 

|This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios.  Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.|

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Vermont Chili Festival
The crowd gathers at last years VT Chili Festival! Photo via: Farrell Distributing Company.

If there’s one thing that gets people coming from all over the Northeast to Vermont, it’s food. Well, food & beer… and furniture, because we’re fantastic at all creating the best of all three. But this blog isn’t about furniture, it’s about chili, and an entire festival dedicated to this wondrous, tasty concoction.

This weekend marks the 6th annual Vermont Chili Festival! Named one of the top 10 Winter events for the past 4 years by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. It’s a great VT mini vacation destination because Middlebury is beautiful in and of itself, and the festival has lots to do for the whole family.

There will be activities for the kids, AWARD WINNING CHILI (I repeat, some of this chili is so good it has won awards), live music, face painters, performers, and a beverage tent for the grownups! This whole event will take place on the streets of historic downtown Middlebury. Restaraunts and caterers from around the state have been fine-tuning their chili recepies all year to show it off at this festival, so it’s one not to be missed.

Chili contest starts on Saturday, March 8th, 2014 beginning at 1:00pm! Tickets are $5 for adults and children under 8 are free!

An estimated five-thousand people attended last year’s festival, with even more expected to turn out this year – I wouldn’t miss this one!

Purchase your tickets at their EventBrite page.

PS. To help keep this event as eco-friendly as possible, bring your own spoon to avoid having to use the plastic ones that will end up in a landfill!

 

| This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios.  Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains. |

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Logging with Horses in Vermont | Naked Table Project | Charles Shackleton
“To fully understand the process of sustainably making furniture, you must go into the forest.   The woodlands tour describes how to identify Sugar Maples, low impact forestry principles, and demonstrations on horse-drawn logging. It will change the way you see furniture forever”   …. Charles Shackleton

Last week on my tour of luxury Vermont home decor companies I stopped to visit Charles Shackleton and his wife Miranda Thomas at their studios in Bridgewater, Vermont.  Charlie is perhaps one of Vermonts most beloved furniture makers.  He’s famous for his steadfast belief in the integrity and enduring value of true handcrafted furniture.  You won’t find cnc routers in Charlie’s shop!  Everything is traditionally carved and crafted by hand, making each piece a unique work of art. Dennis pointed out that Charlie is making the Chippendales of tomorrow.  It’s the stuff Christie’s and Sotheby’s will be competing for in years to come.

Charlie Shackleton's Naked Table Project | King Arthur Board of Directors
I arrived at Shackleton-Thomas just as a Naked Table project was beginning.  The lucky participants were the board of directors for King Arthur Flour (bet you didn’t know that was a Vermont company).  They were building tables for their conference room.

What’s a Naked Table?

“We invite businesses, friends and families to our workshops to make tables for themselves to last for ages to come. Each piece in the Naked Collection is made from the iconic Sugar Maple harvested in the forests we visit (inverse from conventional methods of deforesting and sourcing wood from anywhere in the world)…  The table has come to symbolize our community’s connection to our local environment and our ability to make something of it.”  … Charles Shackleton

 

Pete Michelinie os Shackleton Thomas Fine Furniture in Bridgewater, VT
Charlie Shackleton (left) and Pete Michelinie of Shackleton Thomas Fine Furniture in Bridgewater, VT.  Pete was trained at the renowned North Bennett Street Furniture School in Boston.  He’s part of an elite team of craftspeople who create heirloom quality furniture and pottery at Shackleton-Thomas.

The Work of Human Hands

Charlie notes that humans have a natural tendency to want to make things, using their hands in particular.  “It’s a satisfying “buzz” of creativity, comparable to baking a loaf of bread from the grains of a wheat plant.  When a finished piece expresses our creativity, either through the natural beauty of the wood, the design or the marks of shaping left by the human hand, it sends a message.  In these times when so much is mass produced in factories by automated machines on the other side of the world, many are treasuring that message and the natural resources that surround it..”

Visit the Shackleton Thomas store in Bridgewater, VT or their website to learn more and shop.  Next week:  a quiz about Miranda’s pottery.  Hint: yes it is displayed in the White House and the Vatican in addition to dozens of other prestigious locations around the world.

Related posts: Touring Vermont’s Luxury Home Decor Brands    A visit to Simon Pearce

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios.  Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Simon Pearce | Handblown Glassware | Made in Vermont

Luxury home decor aficionados:  do you long for days past when real, honest, human craftsmanship was the means of producing quality, long lasting goods for your home?  Are you tired of disposable everything and looking to add authenticity and character to your home– a few things with substance that are designed to be enjoyed forever?  Well Vermont has a treat for you.  Four of America’s top luxury home decor brands are headquartered in the middle of the Green Mountain state– all within a comfortable driving distance of each other.  I made the tour myself last week, while preparing our Stonehurst gallery to begin carrying a selection of items from each company.  Here is what I found at my first stop, Simon Pearce.

Simon Pearce Glassware

With the rich history of Irish glass blower Simon Pearce behind it, this company leads the way in high end, hand blown glass and table ware.  Headquartered in Windsor Vermont, Simon Pearce creates glass and ceramic “products that are beautifully designed, produced with premium quality materials and time-honored techniques and intended for a lifetime of everyday use”.

Simon Pearce | Glass Blower | Watch it Being Made in Windsor and Quechee Vermont
Simon Pearce high quality glass bowls, goblets and vases are hand blown by skilled artisans and designed to last a lifetime.  I took this picture in Windsor, VT but you can also see glassblowing (and pottery making) at their beautiful facility in Quechee, VT.

Simon Pearce Pottery

Simon Pearce Pottery and Stoneware
The Simon Pearce pottery and stoneware collection includes table lamps, vases, pitchers, dinnerware and gifts.  Watch it being made in Windsor and/or Quechee, VT.

Learn more about Simon Pearce, his story and products on his website.  Or better yet, come up to Vermont for a visit!  You can use Stonehurst, our fine furniture, home decor and art gallery as a launchpad to Simon Pearce and the rest of Vermont’s luxury home decor companies.

Restaurant at Simon Pearce
It takes a ton of energy to make glass so Simon Pearce located his facility on a falls and installed hydro power.  Be sure to call for reservations if you’d like to dine at that beautiful restaurant that juts out over the falls. Both food and view are spectacular.

The other three luxury home decor brands I’m thinking of?  Stay tuned, there’s more to come but you’ll find hints on Kelsey’s new Vermont luxury Pinterest board.  Let us know on our Facebook, about any other brands you’d like to learn more about.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios.  Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.