An Autumn Harvest Meal
You can tell the harvest season is upon us by the sudden appearance of scarves, the endless supply of Halloween candy in stores, and the return of college football. Now is the time to indulge in the last bounty of the growing season and feast like royalty. It's also the time for those blessed root vegetables, potatoes, squashes, onions, pumpkins, lamb, grass-fed beef, sheep's milk cheese and apples.
Trapp Family Lodge and Stowe Spared by Irene
Greetings from our Green Mountains,
We have been touched to receive so many inquiries into the impact of Tropical Storm Irene. Both Stowe and the Trapp Family Lodge were very fortunate not to have sustained significant damage, in spite of over six inches of rain and heavy winds. Erosion and wind damage were the chief concern, but we sustained almost no impact to our buildings, roads, and trails. Our capable crew was well prepared for the event, and our guests were able to enjoy the day with a fire in the Lounge and service in the DeliBakery. I spent much of the day outdoors, unplugging culverts and checking the status of buildings and trails- my Austrian loden hat is still drying out!
Unfortunately many towns near us were impacted significantly, as has been reported by the media. Our thoughts go out to those who suffered more damage than we did, and we look forward to doing our part to help neighboring communities, many of which are home to our amazing team of hotel employees.
While some secondary roads suffered damage, all major arteries to the Trapp Family Lodge are back up and running as usual. We continue to operate at 100%, with nothing more than minor erosion and fallen trees. All our restaurants are operating, and our trails are open for hiking and biking. While our gardens took a beating, they continue to produce veggies for us, and the apple and pear trees somehow managed to hold their fruit. The trout are probably still a bit traumatized, but our Scotch Highland cattle barely seemed to notice that anything happened.
Thanks to those of you who have expressed your concern- please share your prayers with those who fared worse than we did.
Sam von Trapp
Executive Vice President
Trapp Family Lodge
Green Mountain Showdown 2011
Stowe, VT — Five of the best action photographers in New England are set to square off in a multi-media battle that will play out live on the big screen in front of a capacity crowd of 200.
Each contestant has from July 16 to August 22 to scout, shoot and compile a five-minute slide show that they feel best captures the essence of their assigned theme: “Bike culture in Vermont.” The final slideshows will be projected onto an outdoor screen on the grounds of the Trapp Family Lodge, the central hub for all the day’s events. Entries will be judged on composition, quality, adherence to the assignment and on choreography—but the cheers of the crowd will surely factor into deciding who takes home the $1,500 cash prize.
Trapp Garden Crop Circles
Giant Sun Flower Spiral
The Rye Connection
Cabbage and Kale Circle
If interested in the crop circle phenomenon, see: http://www.temporarytemples.co.uk/
Hal the Gardener
America's Best Family Hotels
"There’s no need to leave the kids at home, thanks to Travel + Leisure’s list of the best hotels for families in the U.S."
Mid-summer in the Trapp Family Gardens
The very wet and cool spring has given way to the mid-summer heat and plentiful sun. Annuals and perennials are now in bloom and the vegetables are beginning to ripen. Mid-summer is the best time for observing and enjoying the many flowers in bloom. The plentiful moisture and summer sun this year is resulting in an outstanding display of blossoms throughout the Trapp property.
Vegetables are beginning to produce fruit. Peas, garlic, summer squash, cucumber, tomatoes and potatoes to name a few. The vegetables will be harvested and used in the Trapp Dining Room and Deli. Raspberries have been plentiful and our bakery has been using them to make tasty treats.
My biggest challenge this year has been staying ahead of the weeds and potato beetles.
Please stop by the gardens during your summer visit to the Trapp Family Lodge!
Adding compost to leaks yields a larger white bulb at harvest
Row by row,
Hal the Gardener
Vermont Beer Road Trip
What's the first thing that comes to your mind when I say Vermont? Mountains? Maple Syrup? Ben & Jerry's? While all of those may be accurate, for me now the definitive answer is beer...and quality beer at that. This past June some friends and I embarked upon a whirlwind beer tour throughout the state including stops at Hill Farmstead, a very special visit to Lawson's Finest Liquids, the beer-friendly town of Burlington, Trapp Family Lodge & Brewery and The Alchemist.
Be sure to check out our brewery page!
An Emo Deer
As I’ve told you, we have a mini-Maria on our hands around here. E. is completely obsessed with The Sound of Music. The day I got her the DVD may have been the happiest day of her life so far.
Ever since we got it, she’s been singing the songs over and over. She watches all of the scenes with the von Trapp children closely to try and learn all the moves. Since the movie is 3 hours long, she only gets to watch it on weekends (usually over several viewings). Luckily for me, a certain captain is easy on the eyes...
The Sound of Music Home Movie Footage
Never-before-seen clips from personal home movie footage of the making of "The Sound Of Music" in 1964, provided by Charmian Carr (Liesl), Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich), Heather Menzies (Louisa), Angela Cartwright (Brigitta) and Debbie Turner (Marta).
The Bright Side of Rainy Days
To say that we have endured a wet spring here in the Green Mountains would be a gross understatement. The fact of the matter is, everything feels a little damp around here and I can’t remember a day when I haven’t wanted to change my socks after guiding a tour. Spring weather, in our mountains, can be a bit fickle at times. Most Vermonters I know share an innate tolerance and good natured humor for, shall we say, our peculiar weather. Those that can’t laugh at mountain weather and roll with the punches often suffer needlessly and, are often viewed as a bit soft - adding insult to their perceived injury.
Fear not the rainy day! Every storm cloud has a silver lining. My silver lining has come in the form of mud puddles. The soft rain saturated soils have been a boom for tracking our resident wildlife. Their prints tell stories of the comings, goings, and nightly ramblings of those creatures that call our northern forests home.
Each day on the birding and forest ecology walks I take note of each mud puddle we pass. Sometimes it is a single track you find. Other times an entire path winding through the forest is laid out in plain sight. You can tell a lot about an animal by the marks they leave on the forest floor and vegetation. Their size and stride tell us how big an individual might be. The number of tracks often give insight as to whether animals are either moving in groups or as a solitary individual. The condition of the track can often tell how long ago the animal moved through, and whether they were running or walking. Often times the tracks and path as a whole tell where an animal is headed, and if you pay close enough attention, what that animal might be eating along the way. These stories are played out on a grand scale across the landscape. The amount of information in the prints and paths collectively are a graphic illustration of the circle life as it plays out in our forest.
Over the last few weeks we have seen a great number of these events play out in the mud puddles. This year’s white-tailed deer fawns are now moving about very confidently with their mothers. Look closely and you will find their dainty prints purposefully following their mother’s. When our fawn’s confidence gives way to hunger or fear you can discern where they stood together. The tracks often tell how the little one either took shelter and nourishment under the doe’s belly or bolted for the safety of the thick forest cover.
In addition, there are numerous places where the small song birds are coming down to bath in the puddles. The numerous prints combine to create a pattern that looks like the crackled glaze on an old ceramic vase.
But the crème de la crème has been those tracks left behind by a black bear passing through Maria’s Plaza headed down through the Sugar House woods. It’s steady un-interrupted gate and deep prints are straight as an arrow. The tracks are so clear, un-hurried, and self-assured that one is left with the impression that the bear had a purpose in mind as it walked through the tall sugar maples. I have a long history with black bears. They are magnificent animals. Any sign of their presence is - in my mind - good luck, and just as much proof of a benevolent God as any religious relic or doctrine. So, you can imagine my excitement.
Every storm cloud has a silver lining and every rainy day has a bright side to it. Animal tracks show up in the soft mud a lot better than they do on hard, dusty ground. The tales told by the prints in the rain saturated earth are of endless fascination to me. They document the: who, what, where, when, why and how of the animal community as they move about the landscape; while we aren’t looking. So a little rain is nothing to mope around about.