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HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • Here's what I did today: hopped in the car, drove about a mile over to Hominy Valley Organic Farm, and got down to strawberry-picking business. I filled a flat for $18 (at $3/pound). If you live in the area and are looking for delicious, organic, U-pick strawberries, come see Farmer Tom Monday-Friday after 2 pm. Tell him I sent ya! Now, on to jam, and Popsicles, and pie, and galette, and pickled strawberries, and more! ??????
  • Pretty much ANY time is a good time for pickles, especially now that I've added @foodinjars delicious Quick Pickled Strawberries to the mix. Sublime!
  • You're in my heart, you're in my soul.
  • A testament to the power of social media: saw @holedoughnuts post an image of their Buttermilk Cardamom Black Pepper donut this morning, ate lunch, and then made the 20 minute drive over to enjoy some in person with @glennbenglish and Huxley!  Completely worth it. So, so good!!!
  • It's not a significant thing, nothing major. Just a walk down the driveway to gather the mail. But when I do it with Huxley, and we stop to say
  • Hominy Creek, doing its spring thang. || View from our mailbox.
  • Attended my first ever handmade/homemade swap yesterday, at a friend's sweet home in Black Mountain. SO much goodness, all thoughtfully and lovingly made. Huxley came with me and ran around with the kiddos while the swap took place. I contributed these little jars of rosemary honey, which @glennbenglish artfully topped with straw-blown watercolorings. Such a great afternoon with like-minded friends and fellow mamas! Thank you so, so much for hosting, Amanda!!!
  • Saturdays are for French toast on the porch with @glennbenglish and Huxley Wild while rain showers wash over the cove. || Used @farmandsparrow's Heritage Corn Bread and @oldworldlevain's Double Raisin & Flax Bread to make cardamom French toast, served alongside butter, maple syrup, and Hominy Valley Organic Farm strawberries, all washed down with hibiscus iced tea (our warm weather cold beverage go-to).
  • A visit today to farmer Tom Kousky of neighboring Hominy Valley Organic Farm yielded: flats of flowers (geraniums, celosia, and marigolds); starts of pickling cukes, zucchini, and yellow squash; 12 basil plants; two bundles of asparagus; a bunch of spinach; a bunch of radishes; two bunches of beets; and two pints of strawberries. The obvious way to celebrate all of this goodness was to blend up some strawberry milkshakes. Happy weekending, everyone!
  • Happy Friday, friends! New
  • This was work today. Sweet, delicious, patio-consumed work. Shrimp & grits, for the win.
  • It's the time, of the season. || Recipe for my
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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