Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's not Aunt Jemima....

As we ventured out through central Vermont, I was fascinated with the different covered bridges. Vermont has the highest number of covered bridges in the country - 114 of them! Each one has their own distinct personality and style and gives a unique and scenic look to the Vermont landscape.






One of the things that we really wanted to see while in Vermont was a sugaring farm - where they gather and process real maple syrup. (Did you know that Aunt Jemima makes CORN syrup?) We drove up to SugarBush Farms, which is a family owned working farm on 550 acres in central Vermont. At SugarBush, over 6000 trees are tapped each spring and harvested, then made into maple syrup. It takes over 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of syrup! After learning about the work that it takes (and seeing the snowfall measurements), we decided that maple syrup should be worth its weight in gold!! We tasted all four grades of syrup and toured the sugar house, where they boil the sap over a wood fire, and bottle the syrup. During sugaring season, they may spend 18 t0 20 hours a day keeping the fires going and working in the cold to make the final product. (Charles, my mom and my aunt Linda pictured) At SugarBush they also smoke and package cheese, and we sampled most of the 14 varieties!! Our favorite was the award-winning sharp cheddar (aged 18 months) and the fresh blue cheese!! Yum! We also purchased sage cheese and jalapeno cheddar, but it was hard to not buy them all!!
Another highlight of our day was driving through beautiful Woodstock, Vermont. This little village town was quaint and full of charm. It seemed like a great family community as the police closed the main portion of the town for the local elementary school to parade through in their Halloween costumes. We joined the other parents on the curb and enjoyed watching small town America at its finest.

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