Posts Tagged ‘Gardens’

Fresh from the Farm

May 6th, 2014 by Susan

If you live in or near a farming community you have doubtless heard of CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, which enables consumers to purchase local, seasonal produce direct from the farmer.Unknown

Farmers and consumers both benefit from the CSA scenario. Farmers have time to market their food before the start of their long days in the fields, they receive payment for their produce early in the season which helps with their cash flow, and they have the opportunity to meet the people who purchase the results of their labors.

Consumers benefit as well with absolutely fresh food full of vitamins and flavor, they learn about new foods and new recipes, they know where their food is coming from, and they develop a relationship with “their farmer(s)”.

Here in the Mad River Valley there are several CSA programs underway and we recently bought a “share” in Muddy Boots, a CSA collaborative effort between three organic farms, Kingsbury Market Garden, Wood’s Market Garden and Burnt Rock Farm. Other smaller producers will also be involved  so we will have the option of also receiving fresh bread, butter, sunflower oil, dry beans and a variety of other wonderful items.

Claytonia

Claytonia ready for harvest.

Aaron prepares his tractor,

Aaron prepares his tractor


Muddy Boots recently had an open house where we met one of “our farmers”, Aaron of Kingsbury Market Garden, who was getting his tractor ready for onion planting, and Marisa of Bragg Farm in Fayston, one of the smaller producers, who will be providing butter and cheese products.

Not only did we meet these two, we met a new-to-us food, Claytonia, which is quite delicate in appearance, tastes somewhat sweet, is full of vitamin C and will make a lovely addition to a salad of fresh greens.

This year at West Hill House B&B we will be incorporating items from our CSA share into our breakfasts so you, our guests, will be able to taste fresh, farm-to-tummy produce from our neighbors.

Picnic by the pond

May 21st, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

West Hill House Bed and Breakfast

Grace & Charlie enjoy a picnic.

A basket filled with Vermont cider, cheeses, crackers, home made cookies and other goodies brings smiles to Grace and Charlie who welcomed the warm spring weather with a picnic by our pond. Spring has indeed sprung in the Mad River Valley. Signs of the season are all around us; chipmunks are sunning themselves on the rocks, peepers are singing our guests to sleep each evening and our beautiful gardens are coming back to life with brilliant daffodils now in bloom. We won’t even mind a few April showers. Sugarbush has opened the golf course, folks are out walking and cycling as well as hiking on the many local Green Mountain trails.

Though we can’t guarantee that there will be warm picnic weather when you come, we can guarantee that a warm welcome awaits you.

See you soon!

Small Weddings: Budget & Family Friendly

April 20th, 2011 by Peter MacLaren

Family join Jennifer and Mark for their December 2010 wedding.

Your wedding should be a very special day which expresses your style and personality, even if you are working with a small wedding budget. Small weddings are the trend these days as couples are opting for a more personal occasion with just family and close friends. Small and intimate weddings provide an opportunity for the couple to visit with each guest, to relax and enjoy the occasion, to really put their personal touches on the celebration, and for the families to get to know each other in a comfortable setting. To say nothing of saving money to put towards a wonderful honeymoon, a house down-payment or even towards paying off student loans.

If you have an intimate wedding in mind why not consider a B&B venue? Such a location can provide a dramatic backdrop for your own special touches. Whether an elegant country estate, an urban city-scape, or like ours, a mountain setting with meadows, gazebo, handsome red barn, ponds and gardens, there is a B&B sure to suit your taste.

You can have the memorable, intimate wedding of your dreams with memories to last a life time, without breaking the bank. Small is beautiful!

At West Hill House B&B we work with highly qualified, local wedding professionals to help you plan a stress free occasion. We have facilities for weddings from 2 to 80 people and we still have a few June and July 2011 dates available for wedding bookings. We pride ourselves in providing you and your guests with personal attention and excellent service, all in a restful country setting near Sugarbush in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont.

Guest Blog: Columbus Day Weekend

November 17th, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Breakfast in the Sun Room at West Hill House

Breakfast in the Sun Room

From guests Jessica & David:

We spent a long Columbus Day weekend enjoying the fall colors and exploring the area. The West Hill House met every expectation of what we wanted in a New England B&B. Susan and Peter went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed our stay. The WHH B&B was very clean, very cozy and Susan’s breakfasts were delicious.

The number of guests seemed just right (it was full up at 16 guests) and we enjoyed making new friends. The woodstoves in the common areas and the gas stoves in the bedrooms added to the ambiance, along with the decorative lighting throughout.

We travelled with another couple and the four of us are planning to return in the winter for a ski weekend.The West Hill House is about a 5-minute drive from Sugarbush. (Editor – actually about 2 minutes.)

Relaxing in the Hammock at West Hill House

Relaxing in the Hammock

We were surprised at the number of good restaurants in the area, and we enjoyed the farmer’s market, Sugarbush quad chairlift up Lincoln Peak, the Sugarbush zipline, and a glider ride at Sugarbush Soaring.

Editor:  As you can see from their photos, our guests enjoyed great breakfasts and some nice relaxation in the hammock.

The Perfect Summer Day

July 3rd, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Today is stunningly beautiful. Blue sky, a few wispy clouds, a nice gentle breeze and about 79’F.  This morning before I started breakfast for our guests I took a few minutes to sit on the front porch with a cup of tea. I  gazed over the beautiful orange lilies and enjoyed the song birds,  the sound of the busy woodpecker,  the wind through the leaves and the antics of a couple of chipmunks chasing each other up and down one of the huge sugar maples in the front yard.

What a great way to start the day and what better place to relax and spend summer days than right here. The hammock is waiting for you…

Ahhh...

Vermont Festival of the Arts

May 16th, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

The Vermont Festival of the Arts is a month long celebration of the arts, including demonstrations and workshops in fields such as painting, cooking (& eating!), photography, poetry, meditation, gardening and many  more.

Capturing Vermont on Canvas

Charles Pruitt our Artist-in-Residence

Here at West Hill House we are delighted to be hosting artist Charles N. Pruitt, a West Texas native, born in 1941 near the small farming and ranching community of Colorado City, Texas. An award winning artist, Charles enjoys painting primarily landscapes of the Southwest however from  August 24-26, 2010 he will once again be turning his brush and oil paints to the wonderful Vermont scenery in the Green Mountains.

As our Artist-in-Residence Charles will be conducting plein air workshops and demonstrations as well as providing individual guidance to both novice and experienced oil painters. The location will be the beautiful gardens of West Hill House.

We are fortunate to have several of his paintings currently on loan and gracing the walls of the B&B giving guests a glimpse of  the special treat we have in store this August. Even if you are not staying with us you are welcome to come and view his paintings – please call to confirm a time.

Workshop Dates: August 24, 25 & 26, 2010

      Time: 11 till 3 each day

 

    Prices:

  • $60 per day (including lunch)
  • $150 for all 3 days (including lunch)Special: $50 for all 3 days with a 3-night stay

Please call to book: 802-496-7162.          Spaces are limited.

Participants should bring your own easel, canvas, paints, brushes etc. and a stool.

Spring in Boston

April 13th, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Flower pots

Spring blooms in Boston

Last week we were in Boston. Having only one full day to discover the wonders of this great city was, of course, not nearly long enough however we set off early to do as much exploring as we could in the time available.  We passed shops and homes decked with window boxes of bright flowers and tubs of spring blossoms keeping watch at doorways.

We had a lovely walk in Boston Common which we learned is one of the oldest city parks in the United States, dating from 1634. The ponds and fountains were being cleaned up ready for fresh water and the park was looking resplendent in its garb of spring colors.

Spring leaves

Boston Common spring colors

Only early April but the temperature reached nearly 90° and after this winter, the people in Boston were more than ready be in the park enjoying the sun! Despite the high temperature we had fun exploring the city, walking the Freedom Trail and learning some American history as we went along. A cool drink and a lovely French pastry at a sidewalk café concluded our day of adventuring.

While we look forward to another visit to Boston, we are happy to be back at  our quiet mountainside B&B welcoming guests and enjoying our own garden’s signs of spring… our first daffodils popped into full bloom yesterday! West Hill House B&B, a perfect place to come and relax.

Dear Deer

November 28th, 2009 by Peter MacLaren

Lunch time visitor

Lunch time visitor

We never cease to be amazed by the beauty that surrounds us here at  West Hill House. The sun through the bare branches of the trees, the clouds that float overhead, the stately pines that blow in the wind, the numerous birds and small animals that scurry around preparing for winter, the list goes on. Yesterday  we took this photo through the Sun Room window. While we were having lunch two beautiful deer appeared in our garden not more than 25 feet from us. One ambled over to our pond while the other stopped for a photo op. These two are helping us with the fall clean-up as windfall apples are throughout the garden and the deer seem to enjoy making a stop in our garden for their fruit. It is breath-taking to see these wonderful creatures up close!

Green Mountains

May 28th, 2009 by Peter MacLaren

Amazing shades of green

Amazing shades of green

What happens when the spring weather brings several days of rain to Vermont? Sure, the grass and dandelions grow like, well, like weeds! The gardens get a good watering so the flowers are happy. The creeks and rivers race downstream tumbling crazily over and around the rocks. And yes it’s true some of the roads do get a bit muddy. But stop for a moment and think about the word “Vermont” – from the French, vert = green  mont=mountain and that is exactly what happens when it rains, the mountains get green. I don’t know how many shades of green the human eye is capable of seeing but I’ll bet they can all be seen from our front porch. The greens are amazingly intense and vibrant! The trees, decked out in their new spring finery, display everything from the palest of greens which look almost white,  to the very dark and bold forest greens. Between rain showers the sun peeks through the clouds making the leaves glisten like they’ve been sprinkled with the finest crystals and the lilac blossoms shimmer silvery-lavender. Spring is a glorious season in the Mad River Valley of Vermont,  a photographers dream, the chance to capture on film, a rain bathed leaf or an open flower blossom cupping droplets of water. Come visit vert mont,  up close and personal through the lens of your camera. West Hill House B&B is a great place for a home base!

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