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HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • Felt a shift in the air today, this afternoon in particular. The veil is getting thin. You feeling it, too?
  • SO much love for @forvillagers and her heavenly homesteading/hearth-tending supply store in West Asheville. Stopped in today for a bag of organic chicken feed and to see what's new in the shop. I'll be teaching a
  • The hills are alive. Looking Glass Rock in the distance, as seen today from the #blueridgeparkway .
  • My favorite part of all of these photo shoots for my upcoming  picnic book has been eating the props! Enjoyed this pumpkin whoopie pie today on an impromptu picnic with @glennbenglish and Huxley on the #blueridgeparkway.
  • What it's all about.
  • Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina at suuuuunset. ?
  • They won't fess up for certain, but I'm fairly sure the flock finds autumn to be their favorite season, too.
  • To celebrate all the photo shoots that we completed this week (three in 8 days!!!), we took it easy this morning, and whipped up this challah French toast, stacked with my homemade peach lavender butter, Foothills bacon, rosemary candied pecan pieces, and sorghum molasses blended with maple syrup.
  • Thank you, @marissalippert and @thecuriouseye, for being the models at today's
  • Pretty lovely setting for a picnic photo shoot today, and glorious weather, to boot! #wwllt
  • Hosted a, like, totally radical birthday party yesterday for our TMNT-loving little dude. There was a dojo for sparring, a breakdancing area (with a playlist of Huxley's favorite jams to dance to), a DIY ooze-making station (made with water, Borax, clear craft glue, and green food coloring), a candy-filled turtle piñata (whacked with Donatello's bo staff, naturally), homemade pizza (made by @glennbenglish, AKA Sensei Splinter), gifts, and a
  • One of my favorite aspects of autumn is the return of panini-pressed sandwiches. Made this turkey, Jarlsberg, Mojito slaw (cabbage & mint), and quince chutney (with fruits from my mom's quince bush) number today. Best enjoyed on the patio as autumn foliage drifts down from above.
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A Sweet Deal

This coming March, Hubs, Huxley and I will be hopping on a plane and heading north, this time to Vermont. I’ve been invited to tour the Coombs Family Farms organic maple syrup operation. Along with the likes of Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker, Rebecca Crump of Ezra Poundcake, Jen Yu of Use Real Butter, and Matt Armenidez of Matt Bites, I’ll be learning about sustainable forestry and sugaring practices the company employs, along with working in some snow shoeing, Brattleboro Food Co-op visiting, country-inn respite-ing, and more. So. Much. Fun!

The lovely Sharon Kitchens of Delicious Musings is putting this all together. She’s been doing PR work for Coombs Family Farm and sent a care package of the items pictured above. That maple candy, folks, is the stuff of addictions. And after witnessing the Soule family’s sugaring process last March (we’re planning on sneaking in a little trip to Maine to see them on our trip, too!), I’ll never take the labor and love that goes into the making of maple syrup for granted again.

It’s months away, but I adore vacations, so I’m already excited. Besides, the leaves will have been gone for months by then and a change of scenery will be exactly what’s in order.

Have you been to Brattleboro or the surrounding area? Anything not to be missed? I’d love to hear about it!

14 Responses to A Sweet Deal

  • Karen says:

    Ashley, not necessarily helpful for your trip, but one of my favorite mystery series, by Archer Mayor, is set in Brattleboro.

  • Melanie says:

    Sounds like a dream trip!

  • Krystal says:

    I live about 20 minutes away from Brattleboro and visit often. Firework restaurant is unbelievable. So delicious and cozy and perfect. And close by is Marlboro College which hosts an incredible music festival, though I’m not sure what’s going on in May. So excited you’re headed up my way- and that you’re visiting the Soule family! I feel like you’re all old friends!

  • Elaine says:

    Love their maple syrup! What a wonderful treat that will be. I hope to one day see that process myself, definitely something I’ll have to travel to do too! How exciting and a great thing to look forward to on those long winter days:)

  • Zoe says:

    I would say a meal at Three Stones, a really beautiful little authentic regional Mexican restaurant, is not to be missed! Have fun on your trip :)

  • Anna says:

    I love maple syrup and find the process so interesting. It is amazing to walk into a sugar house on a cool late winter/early spring day to see all that sap boiling down. I’m sure Vermont will be beautiful that time of year.

  • Sarah says:

    I live a few hours north of Brattleboro, but love that area. It won’t be open when you are there but Curtis’ All American Barbecue in Putney http://curtisbbqvt.com/ is a favorite stop for us. You will be right in time for Sugar (and mud) Season, but if there is still snow, there is nothing better than a nice snowshoe through the woods, of which Vermont has plenty!

  • Sounds like a brilliant trip! I wonder if there are any maple plantations in Europe though I doubt it since all of our maple syrup seems to come from Canada.

    PS The maple syrup candy looks divine…mmmmmm

  • Paula M says:

    So… have you ever thought about making your own maple syrup? http://rootcellarsrock.ca/2012/08/diy-maple-syrup/ :) I’m so tempted in trying it out.

  • Missy says:

    Do you like yarn? The Green Mountain Spinnery is wonderful! (http://www.spinnery.com/) This is in Putney, VT, just north of Brattleboro, right off of I-90. And if you continue north, another must stop is Burdick Chocolates in Walpole, NH (http://www.burdickchocolate.com/). My parents just live a bit further north and make their own syrup from their trees in the front yard. We get 2 gallons every year and love it! I would love to make a trip back there with the kids (we are in SD) for sugaring, but it is so hard to know when the sap will run. Definitely can’t buy plane tickets in advance. I also hope that next year is nice and cold, for this early, warm spring in 2012 was surely a bust in sugaring.

  • Jen says:

    Lucky you! I love Vermont and I’d love to meet Jen Yu!

  • COOL, welcome to vermont!
    The Montshire Museum is really great for kids of all ages!!!!
    I second Missy’s comments 2 above!!!!
    And Zoe’s Three stones restaurant in Brattleboro is great!!!
    Like Coffee, Mocha Joes in Brattleboro is excellant!
    Putney Coop in Putney!
    Ahhh vermont rocks you will have to come more then once :)
    Vermont has amazing artisanal cheese, amybe you could visit a cheese cave and also excellant cider and beer!!
    Enjoy
    -sarah

  • Grace says:

    We love Vermont so much! My brother has a dairy farm in Danby where we spent Atticus’ birthday in September. Such a beautiful area. We’re planning another trip in the spring, with more road trip action, so I’m definitely gonna keep an eye on here to find out about some necessary stops!

  • Maybe try to fit in a small family farm maple set up the woods around brat are peppered with them. Cool inside place for kids in Brattleboro is kidsplayce, you might want some inside options for march in vt which could be tons of snow, mud season, or balmy spring!
    http://www.kidsplayce.org/
    Cheers sarah near brattleboro