Spring is officially here, by the calendar, if not by the temperature:-) This winter has been unusually long and cold, even by our standards, but the warming days and still cold nights will have the sap flowing in the next couple weeks and the local farmers will be busy getting in their biggest cash crop..The local Sugar Shaks will be smokin! April brings mudtime and that's no joke. Our neighbor is an excavator and he has been called out several times this winter to dig down and free frozen pipes that are normally deep enough to stand the cold He says the frost in the ground is four feet deep. When the top layers start to melt, the water has no place to go because it can't get through the ice underneath. Four feet takes a long time to melt through. In the old days all the roads were dirt and until the water found a way through, people mostly didn't go anywhere. We have changed that up a bit and we close the Inn in April to take care of Winter's damage and get ready for the best part of the year, Summer!
I love May because that is when I really get to see what has happened in the gardens. There are about 150 peonies and they are very tough. There are countless Iris and they will do fine but some of the new fancy ones may have trouble. We will, of course, have a great crop of dandelions because we dont use any chemicals in the gardens or on the lawns:-). May is also a great time to try for a trophy trout where the two reservoirs come together or to fish the small streams for a nice bunch of native brookies for breakfast. It is also a great time to spot one of North America's largest natives as the Moose are on the move. Don't feed the bears, they are hungry this time of year! It is the best time of year to go hiking as the woods are alive with new growth If you have a hankering for adventure, try kayaking on the West River when Townsend Dam schedules a release! June is when the fowers come into bloom.
We will be putting together some Summer Packages. Call and ask or look to the social media sites for what's up. The Green Mountain Adventure Challenge is on again and the Tough Mudder will be here the end of May for the adrenaline junkies. We will be offering Dinner to all our guests on Saturday nights. Our food can best be described as eclectic Asian home cooking. I can pretty well guarantee that you will not find it anywhere else this side of Asia:-) Chef Lee remains the food maven and as usual we continue to source everything that we can locally. We served grass feed fillet at a wedding last summer along with locally and organically grown chicken. There is a difference in taste and texture. All our wedding salads come from Lilac Ridge farms and are picked the day of the wedding. If you saw Food Inc. you caught Amanda from Lilac Ridge Farms on the big screen, she was the lady talking about Walmart. We had a Gelato Cart at two weddings last summer, locally made and really good. All our veggies and tomatoes are locally grown, the eggs get laid next door (you can hear the rooster). The maple syrup comes from our neighbor's trees and if you come late February/early March you can see it being made (harvested?).
We always enjoy seeing the tents go up in front of the Inn and watching months of planning come to fruition when we have a wedding here. Moonlight in Vermont really works wonders and the views of the mountains during Summer evenings inspire guests as well as the wedding parties. It is very unusual to be able to watch the moon rise in the east then turn around and watch the sunset in the west, but it happens all the time on Cooper Hill.I
Wildlife update: The Spring Turkey Season is on and somehow the birds know it:-). Our neighbor's eight year old son went hunting with his Dad for the first time last spring and bagged a 19 pound gobbler! (you can only take male birds, well its more complicated, you can only take birds with a beard, but nevermind). The neat part was he had his Dad drive by so he could show us. We have some of the feathers in the dinning room:-). Then he had to go home and get cleaned up for his piano recital! The birds are hanging out in our field across the road and you should keep an eye out for them when you are coming up Cooper Hill Road as they are not as quick to get out of the way as they might be and hitting a 20 pound bird is no fun:-( The bears are awake and may visit the lower part of our back yard where a youngster or two like to sample the blueberries. There are several bear families in the Green Mountain National Forrest, just up the road. We heard the coyotes singing this week. Moose are about and early spring is the best time of year to see one. We do have a couple pronghorn bucks who has snack on our garden.. Deer in Vermont are more cautious than those in the suburbs and every spring I have a talk with them about the tradeoff between eating my vegetables and becoming venison. Usually works:-). Be careful on the roads, especially at night as the shoulders are narrower than what you are used to. Don't trust your GPS too much as it doesn't show moose or deer in the road.
P.O. Box 146 | East Dover, VT 05341 Telephone: 802.348.6333 | Toll Free: 800.783.3229