Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Vermont Maple Vibes

Spring is here!!!!!!! This is so exciting and May is by far my most favorite month. The Charlotte Farmhouse is opened up for spring. The porches are all decorated and our gardens are started and we've gotten in some fantastic landscaping. I have been taking pictures and my list of blog topics continues to wonderoursly grow, but before I get ahead of myself, I need to wrap up a few Vermont Vibes loose ends...

The glorious spring does not come easily in Vermont and between the white chill of winter and the green, yellow, pink, and red foliage of spring is our fifth season - mud season to some and maple sugarin' season to others. Every March (when my bones get a year older) I make sure I get in some maple sugarin' vibes - driving around checking out sugarhouses, buying Vermont maple products, and chatting with different folks I meet along the way. I try to follow the billows of smoke, but sometimes I get distracted by Vermont's backroads and all the beautiful, fun, and sometimes downright funny things to look at.

The Mitch and I were graced this season with the presence of our good friend who follows anything awesome and we were determined to show him Vermont Vibing is awesome!

Anyway, The Mitch, Shawn, and myself piled into the Vibe and headed East - we traversed some of our favorite Vibe routes in attempts to follow the billowing smoke. We took the backroads through Middlesex (definitely some "funny" out that way) and through the outskirts of Montpelier onto the beautiful Route 12. While we were immensely enjoying our "vibe," at one point our buddy said, "Guys, this is so awesome. I am having an awesome time. But where is the maple sugar?"

Luckily I knew the creme de la creme of maple sugarin' - Morse Farm - was somewhere in the vicinity so we really backroaded it and made it to Morse Farm in enough time to walk through the woods a bit, check out the neat displays and exhibits, chat with Burr Morse himself about the season and watch him boil some sap, do some maple shopping, and sit down for some sugar-on-snow.

I have had the doughnut and pickle before, but The Mitch and Shawn had not. We all opted to exclude the pickle and afterward realized what a bad mistake that was! You see, sugar-on-snow (pouring hot maple syrup over snow) and the doughnut on the side is like maple crack overload. When we got in the Vibe with our tummies we all groaned, "Now I know why they have the pickle!" Why a pickle? Well, looking in my own cabinet of what is the last preserved food leftover from the harvest - always a few jars of pickles. So I would imagine when Vermonters had their fill of maple sweetness, they probably grabbed the first sour thing they saw and my guess is it was the last jars of pickles sitting on the shelf. This sparked a great discussion about life in Vermont years ago and we soon forgot about our ailing stomachs.

Our friends approve: "Guys, Vermont Vibing is so awesome - I approve!"

For additional Vermont maple sugaring stories, check out the recent New York Post article I helped arrange!

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