Maple madness has begun in earnest in Vermont this year. Boyden’s Sugarhouse was boilin full tilt on Saturday!
Experience maple syrup making season with Bonafide Tours through March with visits to Boyden Winery and Morse Farm for great sugaring stories.
The autumn of 2016 was spectacular, with dry warm days and beautiful color palates. Guests of Bonafide Tours oohed and ahhed at every turn and were delighted in meeting Vermonters old and new, including Burr and Elliot Morse at Morse Farm Sugar House. These photos really don’t do the scenery justice, but they will remind us of how wonderful nature is if we just let it be. We at Bonafide Tours and Expeditions send out a special thank you to all of our summer and fall guests and we look forward to making new friends during the coming winter season. – Todd and Susan Comen
Bonafide Tours deserve high praise for their excellent service, knowledge, and personal attention when giving the tourist a ride to the attractions in Vermont. My trip in July was lifted to another dimension as I rode along with Todd, and another tourist I did not know prior to. At the end of the day I felt like I knew each of them for many many years. Information about the area, people, culture, and food satisfied my want to know about the area of Burlington.
A second day of touring was led by Todd’s wonderful wife, Susan, whom I could say became a sister to me in just one day. We had some things in common, one being the love of music, and The Sound of Music. This love called me to go to Stowe to see the Von Trapp Family Lodge. A hike in the woods, lunch at the lodge, meeting Johannes Von Trapp (youngest child of the Captain and Maria) filled my heart with joy!
We stopped along the way to taste some chocolate and drink some wine while talking about all sorts of things! This truly made a special day of touring for me. Thanks to both of you!
Montpelier is the vibrant state capitol of Vermont, and on Saturday’s during the summer, the vibrancy is pronounced! It is noticeable in the shops and in the colorful flower and vegetable displays at the farmers market. The taste of place is palpable in the food and beverages served at the farmers market and in the unique farm to table restaurants downtown. On Saturday mornings, the vibrancy is displayed abundantly on the smiles of residents and visitors alike during the warm months of summer.
Small, independently owned and operated businesses are bustling alongside the farmers market on Saturdays in Montpelier. Experience the vibrancy of Montpelier on a Bonafide Tour and Expedition this summer!
Spring rains have finally arrived, and the rivers are swelling, the soils are saturated, and Vermont is a verdant green once again. New born fawns nurse from their mothers and scamper across the roads and fields, corn seeds have sprouted and graceful plantings on the contour green up the landscape for all eyes to see.
Bonafide tours is preparing for the coming summer season with gusto, discovering great destinations for our guests such as Rankin organic dairy farm and Field Stone Farm where guests will dine alfresco on wood baked flatbread pizza and organic salad greens.
Today is the first day of the Montpelier outdoor Farmers Market and the day of the very popular Onion River Sports Bike Swap. To top it off, the sun is out and the thermometer is almost hitting 70. The streets of Montpelier, the smallest state capitol city in the U.S. are jammed with people, mostly locals, out for the first time since last October. It is a festive atmosphere, as are most Saturdays throughout the summer all across Vermont.
On market day it’s easy for locals and visitors to meet the artisans, farmers, and specialty food makers who set up in downtown Montpelier to share their stories and sell their carefully crafted products. Bonafide Tours features some of the farmers who travel sometimes over an hour to the market such as Laini Fondiller of Lazy Lady Farm, one of the pioneers of artisan cheeses in Vermont. There is George from Dog River Farm who we visit on the Wines and Covered Bridges tour. And always at the market are Lila and Dave, who, with their children, own Tangletown Farm, a diversified family farm which is featured on the Bonafide Tours Family Farms and Cheese Trail tour of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.
Montpelier on Saturdays is a special place; open, relaxed, interesting, featuring delicious specialty foods and beverages crafted in Vermont.
The sweet smell of spring fills the air in Vermont when finally the sap begins to flow to the tops of the birch, beech, and maple trees. Vermonters make time to celebrate spring by venturing out of their winter burrows to visit a Vermont Sugar house at the end of March. Those who do get out enjoy the sweetest of flavors of maple sugar on snow, and, if they go to the right sugarhouse, they’ll be treated to the sweet taste of hot dogs or eggs boiled in maple water.
Two generous, friendly, and humble sugar makers I know are Burr and Elliott Morse, two brothers who have been sugaring on the Morse family farm as the seventh generation of sugar makers for as long as they can remember. Burr and Elliott have a whole flock of followers, as well as long time employees, newcomers, and a host of grandchildren coming up as if breaking through the deep winter snow. Among the long-time employees is Audrey who can tell stories of long ago when her father operated the saw mill below the old Wrightsville Dam or when a young Gerald Pease, now in the heavenly barn for dairy farmers, would bark like a dog for one of those hot dogs boiled up so sweet to accompany his sugar on snow, which always, at Morse Farm, has the required dill pickle, and a generous helping of traditional plain, yet tasty doughnuts, from the famous Wayside Restaurant.
So get on out to a sugar house near you this spring, or find your way to Morse Farm Sugar house on the County Road only two miles outside of Montpelier. You are bound to have a really Sweet Experience!
In Vermont spring is sure to come. The question on everyone’s mind is, when? The sugar makers have tapped their trees, and a short sap run happened last week when the thermometer reached towards the 50’s in some locations. Yet spring is elusive in New England, and particularly in Vermont where today, March 15th, 2015, it is snowing and 32 degrees.
We shouldn’t be surprised. February was the coldest on record in Burlington and Montpelier, averaging just over 5 degrees for the entire month, well below the average of around 20 degrees according to “The Eye on the Sky” weather forecasters.surprised. February was the coldest on record in Burlington and Montpelier, averaging just over 5 degrees for the entire month, well below the average of around 20 degrees according to “The Eye on the Sky” weather forecasters.
Spring will arrive, however, and when it does, more than just the hibiscus flower, the owl, and the sugar makers will be shouting for joy and sitting in the sunny doorway taking in the warmth so missed during the long winter!