B&B

The Best Times to Book a Visit to Vermont

In Vermont, there’s something for everyone and planning your visit at the right time of year can make a world of difference as to how you experience your getaway. Planning your trip during the shoulder ‘in-between’ seasons can provide a more intimate experience of Vermont’s area attractions. Now is the perfect time to start planning your Vermont vacation.

Late winter is a sweet time of year to experience Vermont. Whether you’re getting first tracks on Vermont’s many ski and snowboard trails or visiting apres-ski events at the many breweries and local-food sourced restaurants, it’s a great time to visit.  For those interested in history, culture and craft hobbies, visiting Vermont in February or March, during the Maple sugar season, is a sweet and memorable experience. Many farms open up their “sugar shacks” for maple syrup tastings. There are plenty of birds to watch at the birdfeeders. With nights below freezing and sunny, warmer days, maple season is a nice time to spend the day snowshoeing, touring maple production, and sampling some of the local cheese purveyors.  

Collecting maple sap, to reduce into syrup

Collecting maple sap, to reduce into syrup

 

Plan your visit for the start of the growing season and you may find that you have a private B&B getaway. Visiting in early May, you’ll experience everything in full bloom. The countryside will be filled with the scent of blossoming trees and flowers. On many farms, baby animals will be venturing out to pasture and kicking up their hooves and feet for the first time. Many farms have events to meet baby lambs and goats. A visit to small-town hardware stores and you can see fluffy little yellow chicks, ducklings and goslings, heading to area farms. What could be cuter?

Apple blossoms, alongside the barn

Apple blossoms, alongside the barn

Late August through mid-September is a great time to experience the bountiful Vermont foodie scene, as farmers are harvesting their crops and producing craft treats with local ingredients. The swimming holes are still open, while not being too crowded for a dip in a mountain stream. As a visitor, you can experience all of the verdant landscapes of the Green Mountain state before the foliage season peaks and restaurants fill with tourists. Don’t forget to check the local concert listings, as there are many outdoor music festivals that showcase world-class musicians in a beautiful setting.

 

Beer and wine flow all year long, and the weeks between foliage season and the first snow is the perfect time to plan a relaxing getaway in Vermont.  “Stick season”, as the period after the leaves fall off the trees is called, is a great time to pick up a growler of local beer and hike the Green Mountains to enjoy the clear view and crisp air. After adventuring outside, many of our guests enjoy cozying up by the fire and reading a book or playing games.  

The nearby Appalachian Gap, photo credit: Lindsay Dahlheimer

The nearby Appalachian Gap, photo credit: Lindsay Dahlheimer

 

No matter the season, you’re bound to find something to suit your interests so don’t delay in planning your Vermont getaway. If you have questions about planning your trip, take a look at a few of our favorite spots or feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to give you an insider’s view to guide your travel plans.

-Carin McCarthy

Lucky Ducks! (Take two)

We love providing fresh food to our Bed and Breakfast guests, so this year we decided to raise ducks and chickens. In May we picked up three day old ducks that we had ordered in the spring from our local hardware store. When we put in our order we were not able to specify whether we wanted male or female ducks, we were only able to order a "straight run." Since we only wanted females for egg production we hedged our bets and ordered three ducks, hoping for at least one female who would produce eggs for our breakfast menu.

Duck eggs are particularly rich and good for baking. In addition to being larger than a chicken egg, ducks lay their eggs all year round, while chickens tend to slow down in the winter months. It takes a few months for either bird to develop to adolescence and start laying. We were hopeful that the cute little ducklings would turn into a brood of layers so we could make delicious breakfast breads and muffins!

Zucchini Apple Bread, made fresh from the farm!

Zucchini Apple Bread, made fresh from the farm!

As the weeks passed our little ducklings got their voice and started speaking to us. Not a distinct quack, but a shallow raspy honk almost. From everything I had read this was a telltale sign that we had males. Hoping for at least one female we waited a few more weeks for their full feathers to come in to find out exactly what we had. Sure enough, as their full feathers came in we saw a distinct curled feather on each of their tails. We had three drakes. No eggs would be coming our way.

The little ones, on their their arrival day!

The little ones, on their their arrival day!

After doing a little research I found out that when customers order from hatcheries, hatcheries fill the order for females or males first, then they fill the "straight run" orders after. Since a lot of customers are in it for the eggs, the female ducks get ordered first which leaves the straight run orders largely male. Since the local hardware store only fills orders for straight run ducks, I knew we would be in the same situation next spring if we ordered more. So, in early September I made a bold choice and special ordered four female ducks from a hatchery.

Taking a field trip to meet the neighbors!

Taking a field trip to meet the neighbors!

Our four female Pekin ducklings shipped from Metzer Farms on September 6th, and they showed up at our Post Office on the 8th first thing in the morning. It's only been a few weeks but I can already hear a difference in their voices from the males. They are nearly fully feathered now and can go out and join their mates on a full time basis.

Enjoying the grass and pool on a sunny day!

Enjoying the grass and pool on a sunny day!

We started out by housing them in the shed under a heat lamp with some supervised time with the other ducks and chickens. Now they have full run of the coop but are still finding their way around. They haven’t yet figured out how to climb back up the ladder to their house, so every night we collect them by hand and make sure that they are tucked in, cozy and warm under the heat lamp in their house. As the nights get colder, it’s a bit of race to see how quickly their full feathers come in.

The little ones enjoy the heated lamp at night, while their mates prefer to sleep outside under the stars.

The little ones enjoy the heated lamp at night, while their mates prefer to sleep outside under the stars.

The little ones are getting along well with the chickens and other ducks. We’re hoping they will figure out how to climb the ramp into their house on their own but until then, we’ll continue to make sure they are cozy and warm before we turn in for the night. 

-Luke McCarthy

Cooking Up Some Projects on the Farm!

After a successful summer and fall season here at the B&B we've realized something: we go through a ton of eggs! We had always wanted to get a small flock of chickens but after going through so many eggs this year our plans have been moved up a little. While our new flock of baby chicks wont be here until early May, there is no time like the present to build them a nice and cozy home to live out their days. 

Read about the DIY build project and design.