Monday, August 29, 2011

An apple (or two) a day...

Throughout the summer you will find blueberries, strawberries, and peaches on the Little River B&B breakfast menu as they all come into season in New Hampshire.  The end of August marks the start of another season...and we have already picked our first batch of the year.

Paula at the Norway Hill Orchard stand

It's late August which is the start of the season so just the Paula Reds are ripe for picking at Norway Hill Orchard in Hancock as well as Ginger Golds and Sansas at Alyson's in Walpole.  Depending on the orchard, apple picking season lasts until early November so there is lots of opportunities to get out there and bite into a sweet (or tart) but always delicious fruit fresh from the tree.

Fresh apples also means fresh apple cider ;)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Madame Sherrie's Forest

Hidden in the very Southwest corner of the Monadnock region is one of the area's "wicked" cool secrets...Madame Sherrie's Forest.  From what we have read, Madame Sherrie was an eccentric French costume designer who built her home (some would call it a castle) in the woods of Chesterfield where she would host extravagant parties.

The majority of the home was destroyed by fire in the 1960s but the exterior spiral staircase that led to a second floor balcony remains as well as an interior chimney and some other stonework.  Trust's cool!
The state forest is more than just the ruins, among the 488 acres is a 2+ mile trail Ann Stokes trail that leads to some fabulous views of Indian Pond and East Hill.  Of course there are also a few geocaches to add to the enjoyment of the hike :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls

As many of you may know, Paula grew up in Central Connecticut, so we often find ourselves traveling on Interstate 91 through Massachusetts on our way to visit family.  So many times, we have passed the sign for The Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls and have thought "We need to stop there", but time of day, time of year, weather, etc. just never seemed to be right.  On a day in late July though, everything worked out just right and we made our move.

Shelburne Falls - Glacial Potholes (in foreground)
Shelburne Falls is a quaint little village along the scenic and historic Mohawk Trail (Route 2) in Massachusetts (about 8 miles from I-91).   It is home to artists, a natural feature in the Deerfield River called Glacial Potholes, the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, and our destination for the day... The Bridge of Flowers.

The Bridge of Flowers was originally a trolley bridge built in 1908, but by 1927 the railway company went bankrupt, unable to keep up with modern progress such as the invention of the automobile.  Quickly, the unused bridge became overrun with weeds, but in 1928, a town resident had the idea to turn the weed-filled "eyesore" into a bridge of flowers.  By 1929, with funds raised by the Shelburne Falls Women's Club, the project was in motion.  In 2011, this former "eyesore" is absolutely stunning!  Filled with beautiful, fragrant flowers and mature trees, it is a treat for all... including the birds and bees.  (As we were taking pictures of some beautiful red flowers, a hummingbird decided to visit them as well!  If you look closely in the photo, just to the left of center, you can see him, or her!)

Crocosmia Lucifer flowers with hummingbird

An interesting tree on The Bridge of Flowers
We often have guests that stay with us in Peterborough as part of a larger trip visiting multiple New England states.  We've found that Williamstown, Massachusetts, home of Williams College, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as other art, theater and cultural activities, is sometimes on their itineraries.  If this is part of your travel plans, then a drive on the Mohawk Trail and a stop in Shelburne Falls is definitely worth the trip.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Beautiful Bounty from the Farm

The harvest from our CSA this week was amazing... and beautiful!

And the farm itself presented some pretty nice photo ops too. 

Although we've been members of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm ever since moving to New Hampshire, this is our first year with Nubi CSA and it has been great.  The farm is part of the Nubanusit Neighborhood and Farm that is just around the corner from us... almost in our back yard!  It is so close that we can just walk over for work sessions and pick-ups.  We weren't exactly sure how the work sessions would fit into our schedule (most are on Saturday mornings and our Saturdays can already be quite busy), but some mornings after breakfast, Paula will grab her hat and gardening gloves and join in on the farm work.  (Admittedly, Rob doesn't have much of a green thumb, so he usually takes care of things here at the B&B while Paula is at the farm.)  Lately, the farm work has involved a lot of harvesting and weeding, but earlier in the season we prepared beds for planting helped with other chores as needed.  Even the farm work has been a great experience!

Now back to this week's share... tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers, cilantro, etc.  With a quick trip to the market for lime and jalapenos, we had all the makings for some salsa... likely to be seen at a breakfast soon!