Hello! Sorry, but I still haven't been able to get into my craft room to make anything due to my retail job and the busy holiday season, so I'm going to post more vacation photos of our New Hampshire vacation that we took in August. Today's post is a continuation of our fourth day of vacation. We started the morning touring Quechee Gorge
and Quechee Village
, and from there we had planned to visit a historic town but ended up taking a detour due to a bridge being out from Hurricane Irene. It is actually a funny story, because when my husband and I were at breakfast that morning, we were discussing what we wanted to see on our last day of vacation when a lovely hotel representative approached our table and started telling us about all the wonderful sites in the area to be sure to visit. One of the places she mentioned was Sugar Bush Farms
, and I immediately replied that I wasn't interested in seeing a farm at all because I live in central Wisconsin and I see cows and horses all day, everyday. So she immediately moved on to tell us about other spots to tour. Well, after we were done in Quechee, and we were driving through the countryside on our way to our next destination, we kept seeing these yellow signs plastered on every other tree everywhere in Vermont advertising Sugar Bush Farms. I said to my husband 'Boy, they really want you to stop there!', and my husband said 'Are you sure you don't want to go there, it might be fun?' 'No!' I replied. 'I'm from the dairy land capitol of America, I don't need to see a farm. I want to see something I normally don't have a chance to see!'. So, we kept driving and hit a roadblock. The bridge to get to our next destination was closed off. Now what? We didn't know how else to get there based on the map we had, so I very reluctantly said, 'We might as well go to the farm.'. When we pulled into the parking lot the first thing I noticed was a few animals. There was an old horse, a baby cow, goats, and roosters. Yep, I see those everyday. No special thrill. So I walked over to the animals and petted the baby cow. She was a sweetie. Then I went over to the horse, and he wanted nothing to do with me. Every time I tried to pet him, he would walk away then slam his nose on this box attached to the fence. I tried several times, but the snobbish little guy wanted no affection from me. Finally, I made the connection that he kept hitting the box so I opened it to see what was inside. There was a bag a food to buy for 50 cents to use to feed the animals. DUH! No wonder the horse kept hitting the box. What a smart guy! So I paid for the food and suddenly I had some one's attention and affection. What a personality this little guy had, and apparently a lot smarter than I am too!
I had so much fun feeding this little character, as you can probably tell by my smile in the photo below. He is a bit selfish though. Once I started feeding him, quite a few goats came by for some food too, and every time I tried to move away from him and feed someone else, he would manage to get his nose in there and push his way in.
In addition to feeding the animals, there is a Maple Tree Trail you can walk through the woods that shows all the trees that produce syrup and signs that explain the process. We didn't take that tour because we had enough walking through the woods after our first two days of vacation.
So after some much needed hand washing from visiting the animals, we proceeded to the old farmhouse. No one lives inside the home anymore, it has been converted into a store where all the products that are made on the farm are sold. When we walked inside, we were very warmly greeted by some wonderful women who give you samplings of all their cheeses and syrups. Now, I'm from Wisconsin and I love cheese, so to taste all these delicious varieties of cheese was pure heaven to me! The ladies first give you a pad of paper with a list of everything the store sells and a pencil. As she gives you a taste of the product, you can mark down what you really like to help you remember it when you go shopping! The cheese is made and aged right on the farm: it's not cut, then wrapped in plastic like most of us are use to getting our cheese. I cannot even begin to tell you how DELICIOUS this cheese was! Our favorites were sharp cheddar and smoked cheddar cheese. I use to think Wisconsin cheese was the best, but after this visit, Vermont Cheese wins hands down. Sorry Wisconsin. One thing our hostess pointed out was that Wisconsin visitors always have a problem with the fact that Vermont Cheese is white, and Wisconsin Cheese is yellow. She said, 'all cheese is white, the yellow/orange color is simply a food coloring'. Wow! I never knew that! Why do people always think we need to 'add things' to our food to change them from the original state? Fresh and natural is always best.
After our 'cheese tasting' we went to the store where we purchased several blocks of cheese, of which we planned to take back to Wisconsin, but I think it was all devoured before we got home. We met the owner of the farm at the check out, who was quite the character. She said to us 'I love it when people from Wisconsin and England buy my cheese!'
There was also another building that you could go into to view how maple syrup is made, but we didn't visit that area.
After our visit to Sugar Bush Farms, I left a very happy woman. I couldn't believe how much fun I had, and all the wonderful, interesting people and animals I met. I was so happy that the bridge was out, and our trip was detoured, because it ended up being quite an adventure I would have missed out on otherwise. The owner even gave us directions on how to get to our next destination without going over the bridge. And when we told her about how we kept seeing all her little yellow signs advertising her farm all over the place, she said "The town officials don't like her signs and take them down, but she keeps putting them back up!'. It seems the signs are an eyesore to the well -to- do townspeople, but the farm would be impossible to find through the curvy hills of Vermont without them.
Sugar Bush Farms is a wonderful, beautiful farm located on top of a hill with a beautiful view of the Vermont Countryside. If your ever in the area, stop in and say 'hi!', you will be very warmly greeted. And if you have children, it is a 'must place to visit', they would love it there!
Have a great day! Amy