Vermont Days 2013
Vermont Days: Enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming, or relaxing in the sun. Image taken from www.vermontdays.com

Summertime in Vermont is unlike anything else. I went to college here for 4 years before getting to enjoy a Vermont summer, and it certainly changed my perspective of this state. I’ve always known that Vermont was great for a variety of reasons: the sense of community, the foliage, the beer… but what I didn’t recognize before was the beautiful shift that happens when the weather transitions from the springtime rain (or snow) to the summertime sun. Anyone whose spent time here in the summer months knows what I’m talking about.

Vermont really comes alive in the summer. Besides the fact that you get to see your friends and neighbors that you might not have seen in a while (Vermonters are a lot like bears in that they love to hibernate through the colder months), you also get to do so many fun things that you can’t do here in the winter. You can even go outside without having to layer on your hat, boots, fuzzy mittens, parka, and snowsuit! ; )

‘Vermont Days’ is a reminder of just that. During ‘Vermont Days,’ which runs from June 8th to June 9th, Vermonters get to enjoy 2 days of free access to all of the things that make summers here so awesome: fishing, swimming, state parks, historical sites, and the VT history museum!  You can’t really beat that.

For more information on Vermont Days 2013 (such as help finding a local fishing hot-spot, state park, or historical site near you) visit: www.vermontdays.com

Now gather your family or your friends, get moving, and get outside! : )

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's First Economic Summit
Governor Shumlin kicked off Vermont’s First Economic Summit in Rutland yesterday by signing a new downtown development law.

Yesterday I traveled to the Paramount Theater in Rutland for Vermont’s First Economic Summit.  Where else but Vermont could a small business owner like me elect to join the Governor, many of his Cabinet members and some of the most successful CEOs in the state to brainstorm about our economic future?  New York?  California?  I don’t think so.  Only in Vermont.

Anyway, about 125 people gathered to discuss the opportunities and challenges of doing business in America’s greenest state.  On one hand our taxes are high, environmental regulations are onerous and the cost of living is barely affordable for most workers.  But, somehow we love to live, work and play here anyway.

So we looked at why that is and listed a lot of benefits that Vermont has to offer:  beautiful scenery, short pleasant commutes to work, relaxed pace, local economies, vibrant farmers markets and co-ops, fabulous farm to plate restaurants, skiing, hiking, fishing, camping, nice neighbors, working landscapes, clean lakes, rivers and streams, sustainable development and so on.  Not to mention easy access to government officials!

Then the task was reconciling the pluses and minus’ of Vermont’s economics in terms of concrete fix-it strategies.  We broke out into small groups to focus on:  workforce development, the Vermont brand, Vermont infrastructure, Global competitiveness, Innovation and a few other topics.  I was lucky to find myself working in the Vermont Brand group with Kathleen Wanner of the Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association VWMA, Lynette Kemp of Vermont’s Department of Taxes (we tried not to hold that against her) and Colleeen Leonard, Vermont’s Working Lands Policy Administrator from the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

At the end of the day all of the small groups presented their ideas and recommendations to a plenary session and we discussed plans to follow through both formally and informally.  Now our challenge is to make things happen in a way that preserves Vermont’s pristine rural character and brings economic prosperity to all it’s citizens.  Think it’s doable?

You can read more about the Economic Summit on Vermont Digger.

Break Out Group Working on Defining Vermont's Brand
Robin Scheu, Executive Director at Addison County Economic Development Corporation led the break-out group working on defining Vermont’s brand.  I worked with Kathleen Wanner of the Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association VWMA (the only one looking at you), Lynette Kemp of Vermont’s Department of Taxes (we tried not to hold that against her) and Colleen Leonard, Vermont’s Working Lands Policy Administrator from the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

 

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.

Memorial Day:  Thank You to our American Military Personnel
Memorial Day: Today we send our thanks to all of our American military personnel and their families for their sacrifices on our behalf.

Happy Memorial Day

This weekend we pause to honor all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy an American lifestyle of freedom and joy.  Thought you might like to visit this Memorial Day Tribute.  Kelly Strong’s poem, “Freedom Is Not Free” is provided along with lots of other poetry and information about our nations hero’s.

We hope everyone has good weather and a chance to get outside and enjoy family and friends this weekend.  And we extend our sincere gratitude to all the men and women who are serving or have served in the military.  You are our country’s true heros.  For those serving far away from home, we pray for your safe and speedy return.

Vermont Woods Studios Furniture

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.

American Craft Beer Week
Welcoming Martin Corbin (at the end of the table in between Ken and Martin’s girlfriend, Stephanie) and Kelsey Eaton (3rd from right) into the The Woods and celebrating American Craft Beer Week at The Whetstone Brewery in Brattleboro, Vermont.  That’s Loryn on the far left clinking with Michelle.  Nice photoshop work connecting Michelle’s arm to the rest of her, eh?

We’re always looking for an excuse to celebrate at Vermont Woods Studios and– lucky us– this week we had several good reasons.  So last night we gathered at the Whetstone Brewery in Brattleboro to welcome Martin Corbin and Kelsey Eaton into the Woods and also… to observe American Craft Beer Week (yes, there is such such a thing).

I’ll post a couple short bios about Martin and Kelsey in the coming weeks but today I thought I should talk up Vermont’s fabulous craft beers so you’ll be able to get out and try them during Craft Beer Weekend.

According to the Vermont Brewers Association there are over 30 brewers in the Green Mountain State, from small specialty brewers like Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Warren,Vermont to nationally recognized brands like Long Trail in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont.  “Maybe there’s something in the water. Maybe there’s something in the air. Maybe….. there’s something up here in the mountains. Vermont’s brewers are making magic with it.”

In Brattleboro we’re lucky to have several fine breweries including McNeills on Elliot Street and Whetstone Station next to the bridge (and overlooking the Connecticut River).

Let us know what your favorite Vermont beer is in the comments section below or on our Facebook!

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 Farmers Markets
The Brattleboro Farmers Market is located on Rte 9 in West Brattleboro.  It’s open rain or shine, every Saturday from 9am to 2pm.  Farmers will have maple syrup, fresh greens, herbs, rhubarb, eggs and meats, garden plants and flowers, apples, root crops, preserves and jams.  Artisans and bakers offer sourdough breads, pastries and treats, granola, fruit wines and sparkling juices, jewelry, pottery, fabric arts, and soaps.

Foodies throughout Vermont are celebrating this weekend because Saturday is opening day for many of our farmers markets, including our favorite one– in Brattleboro.  I tag along with Chef Annette who visits the market religiously every week to fill her fridge with fresh, organic fruits and veggies.  I haven’t been cooking much lately so I just go for the freshly baked breads, local gourmet cheeses and… oh yes… lunch!

Lunch is the best part of Bratt’s Farmers Market.  Take your pick:  Indian, Malian, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, wood-fired pizza– you name it.  Wash it down with steamy country coffee or a glass of the world’s best freshly squeezed lemonade.

The Brattleboro Farmers Market is located on Rte 9 in West Brattleboro.  It’s open rain or shine, every Saturday from 9am to 2pm.  Farmers will have “springtime harvests of new maple syrup, fresh greens, herbs, rhubarb, eggs and meats, garden plants and flowers, plus well-stored apples, root crops, preserves and jams.  Artisans and bakers offer sourdough breads, pastries and treats (many gluten-free choices), granola, fruit wines and sparkling juices, jewelry, pottery, fabric arts, and soaps.”

This Saturday on opening day, there will be music and Maypole dancing by  Andy Davis.  There’s something for everyone.  Call 802-254-8885 for more information.  Hope to see you there!

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.