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Posts Tagged ‘mountains’

Photo: http://www.knollfarm.org/
Knoll Farm’s Icelandic sheep.

We stayed in a perfect little ski house — fitted up with everything you could imagine needing on a weekend, including toys for the grandkids. Our son and daughter-in-law rented it through Vacation Rental by Owner.

The drive up the steep road featured gorgeous mountain and farm views.

One farm had a sign out that sent us straight to our laptops once we got settled: “Knoll Farm, Center for Whole Communities.”

According to the Whole Communities site, “The Center for Whole Communities (CWC) fosters inclusive communities that are strongly rooted in place and where all people – regardless of income, race, or background – have access to and a healthy relationship with the natural world. …

“Through our programs and ongoing support we network more than 1,200 leaders working in 500 organizations and communities in 47 states.” More.

One of the center’s videos, below, explains the process community members in Waitsfield, Vermont, went through to reconnect “with the sun and the land” by getting off the grid and using only renewable energy sources.

A separate, related site describes the farm products: “We still have some gorgeous purebred Icelandic 2013 ewe and ram lambs, as well as mature ewes and rams for sale. Check out our Icelandic Breedstock pages for more information.

“Order whole and half shares of lamb for the holidays and winter supply anytime until November 4th. After that we will be selling cuts here at the farm and farmer’s markets.  Read more.

“Our farmstand has our grass-fed lamb and frozen organic blueberries in stock through the winter, or until we sell out. New hours: Open 8 am-6 pm every Saturday and Sunday. We also have our home-made blueberry jam, as well as free-range eggs, blankets and sheepskins.

“New Product: Heirloom quality pure wool blankets woven from our own Icelandic fleeces. Learn how to custom order your own Knoll Farm blanket.”

More here.

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Newport, Vermont, is way up north near Canada. It’s the southern port of vast Lake Memphremagog, whose name comes from an Abenaki Indian word meaning “beautiful waters.”

Any destination near Canada, as I should have known, means having access to French radio on the drive up, one of many small bonuses. Another bonus was the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center, which provides shop space for sellers of many Vermont products under one roof. I bought a very nice turkey sandwich there and a bottle of Granny Squibb‘s Unsweetened Black Currant Tea. (I thought Granny might be a local, but the bottle says she’s a “Rhode Island original.”)

Discover Newport blogged about the Tasting Center in June, “The Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center, LLC, has completed its equity financing and will open its doors to the public this summer, announced Managing Partners Eleanor Leger and Gemma Dreher.

“ ‘This is a unique enterprise that we hope can serve as a model for other rural areas, not only in Vermont but in other regions that value their working landscape,’ said Eleanor Leger, the primary leader of the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center project.

“A total of sixteen individuals and two foundations purchased equity shares in the holding company that purchased the building at 150 Main Street in downtown Newport in September of 2012.  Their equity of $562,000 is being leveraged with $750,000 in financing from Community National Bank and the Vermont Economic Development Authority [VEDA]. …

“Said Gemma Dreher, an early lead investor. ‘The Tasting Center will benefit from all of the changes happening in the Kingdom, but it will also play a key role in keeping our local farms and food producers viable for the future.’

“The building is fully leased to four local food and beverage businesses that feature products from across the region.” More.

You can learn how Newport conducted a visioning process to get input from residents on what they would like their community to be like in the future, here.

And there’s more at Newport’s website, here.

While I was enjoying my turkey sandwich and currant tea, my friends were taking a tour of nearby Jay Peak, which is benefiting from that special type green card that foreign nationals can get if they invest $500,000 in high-unemployment or rural areas. The resort is posh. I don’t think Princess Mononoke would like the loss of woodlands, but I am pretty sure the people getting the new jobs are grateful.

By the way, even if you hate superhighways, the drive  to the Northeast Kingdom, as that part of the world is known, is spectacular — green mountains, rivers, farms, red barns, cows. For all the photo ops, there are not nearly enough places to pull over and capture the autumn asters or the clouds over the mountain over the farm over the river.

Photo: http://discovernewportvt.com/fresh

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