The Mitch and I had the most amazing experience the last weekend in April - also a weekend which was blessed with a sunny Saturday in the 80's. I am not one to complain about the wet and colder weather, but that doesn't mean I will not rejoice in the most glorious of weather! The Mitch and I spent the loveliest weekend in Panton, at John and Julie Viskup's gorgeous Lake Champlain property - www.lakeparadisevermont.com.
Vibing into Panton for the weekend was met with one of my most favorite Vermont sights - a general store - and the one in Panton most certainly did not disappoint! Farm views and fishing supplies galore (The Mitch's favorite!):
At this point I am going to fast forward to the end of the weekend when we toured farms. Stay tuned next week for a fabulous photo show and the details of our stay in one of the Viskup's delightful Lake Champlain cabins!
John Viskup, let The Mitch and I tell you, is one of the most interesting and inspiring people we have ever met! Business owner, entrepreneur, dentist, vacation owner proprietor, and tree farmer? That's right! And it's the tree farmer part I want to chat about...
John bought an old dairy farm in Addison a few years back and cleaned it up, recycled everything he could of the scraps, trash, and farm equipment left piled on the landscape. Then he started planting trees - maples for sugarin' and hardwoods for lumber. Being the daughter of a lumber salesman and forestry expert, I have a huge affinity for the entire lumber and sustainable forestry industries and touring the tree farm was absolutely fascinating!
I think most fun was learning of the trials and errors John continuously experiences with rodents, the weather, cultivating baby trees, and how he finds so many trees in the first place! I think The Mitch was freaking out while he watched my interest grow thinking, "Oh, no, please don't let Rachel want to start a tree farm too! I can barely handle thinning the carrots!"
But, That Mitch sure changed his expression when John showed us the barns. What used to hold cows and hay now holds every kind of tree farm equipment you can imagine - translation = man toys. Check it out:
After we departed our Viskup Tree Farm tour, we headed over to Audet's Blue Spruce Farm, home of cow power - an exceptional creation of renewable energy by entrepreneurial spirited farmers. Blue Spruce's cow power operation provides electricity to over 1000 homes in Addison County through their biomass production in conjunction with Central Vermont Public Service. While were weren't able to make it for an actual tour, we did get to check it out:
Vermont is an amazing state and I am so glad the Charlotte Farmhouse is located so close to Addison Country - a fine working example of how amazing the Green Mountain State truly is!