Tag Archives: Vermont

Patagonia + Tenkara

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My husband is an avid fly fisherman and this time of year he talk of little else than fishing. I’ve been meaning to pick up the sport so I can join him on his fishing trips, especially when we visit my family near the Battenkill and Mettawee rivers in Vermont. As if on cue, Patagonia sent me their new Tenkara rod along with flies, line, and Yvon Chouinard’s new book Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rode & Reel.  Tenkara is a traditional fishing method first practiced in Japan about 200 years ago. It’s primarily used for mountain stream trout fishing. The tenkara rod is perfectly suited for beginning anglers, or advanced fisherman who want to renew their deep connection with the fly fishing experience. Due to its simple design, the tenkara method directs the fisherman’s attention to the movements of fishing vs. wrangling with equipment.  The accompanying book, Simple Fly Fishing, makes picking up the tenkara technique a breeze with comprehensive tips on wet fly, nymph, and dry fly fishing. I’m almost done reading the book and ready to take my road on the road. We plan on packing up our new (to us) XC70 most weekends this spring and summer, and I have a feeling many of those will be spent fishing with my new tenkara rod. I’ll be sure to post photos of the experience.

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Sugaring in the 1940s

Stumbled across these amazing vintage snapshots of sugaring in the 1940s on Modern Farmer. Makes me long for the snowy mountains of home in Vermont and a simpler life.

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Giveaway: Ursa Major x Skida

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Ursa Major and Skida are two peas in a pod. Two Vermont peas to be more precise that are  both making products that celebrate the greatness of the Green Mountain State. The two decided to collaborate on a product in time for Valentine’s Day. The result is a limited-run gift set with a selection of Ursa Major’s best sellers along with a cold weather bandana by Skida featuring one of their classic plaids with an Ursa Major twist. The “Queen City Plaid” is in honor of their shared city of Burlington and is perfect for any occasion, stylish around town or functional on the mountainside. I say it’s definitely a better gift option for him than a box of chocolates (although delicious, it’s usually gone within minutes).

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Only 200 were made so lucky for you readers, I’ve got one set to give away! Simply comment below and I’ll pick one winner at random on Thursday, February 6th at 12pm EST so that I can get an address from the winner and mail it in time to get to you by Valentine’s Day. Only US addresses please. Good luck and don’t forget to share!

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Vermont Gift Guide

Now for the cream of the crop, my home state, the motherland . . . Vermont! We’ll be enjoying a white christmas at my home this year after spending the holidays in Maine last year. Couldn’t be more excited to be home! Check out the rest of the New England Gift Guide here.

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Got someone on the list who loves to chase fresh powder and ride backwoods trails? A PowderJet Snowboard in West Rupert will make them jump for joy, out the door, and straight to the mountain. Jesse Loomis started crafting his own boards with the rugged Vermont mountainside in mind. His shop uses sustainably US grown maple and poplar laminates because they’re strong and lightweight, sandwiches them with bio resin and fiberglass, and then hand finishes each board. The boards are beyond simple and make for the most fun ride you’ll ever have. A PowderJet board is the ideal “East Coast powder jammer”.

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Skincare connoisseurs Ursa Major in Burlington have made holiday shopping easy with a wide selection of kits marked “Holiday Set” on their online shop. Sets range from $24 to $125, making them a great option for anyone on your list in need of a bit of a spruce-up. Founded by husband and wife team Oliver and Emily, Ursa Major was built from a desire to provide a healthy and effective skincare line that was an all-natural alternative to the toxic products that were littering the market. The result is a line of products that smell and feel great.

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For the syrup fiend and connoisseur, grab some Vermont Fancy Syrup from Bobo’s Mountain Sugar. Based in Weston, VT this husband and wife team stay true to the land and you can taste it in their syrup. Stock up till December 23rd with 15% off and free shipping off of all syrups. And be sure to check out their list of recipes worthy of some Bobo’s.

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Fellow Connecticut College alums Taylor and Misha (who is also a native Vermonter) started a farm in White River Junction called Free Verse Farm, specializing in culinary herbs, herbal remedies, and  herbal teas. They keep a very environmentally clean set up on the farm, using no chemicals or tractors. Taylor and Misha tend to their fruit trees, berry bushes, herbs, and six chickens on several acres using only hand tools (or just letting nature take its course and do what it does best!). I’m keen to try their Earl of Vermont tea and herbal remedies.

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For the sweet tooth on your list, you can’t go wrong with Fat Toad Farm’s goat’s milk caramel. This is a repeat stocking stuffer for me and my husband (who has a chronic sweet tooth). Fat Toad Farm keeps happy goats in Brookfield who are rotationally grazed on high quality pasture, which in turn enhances the delicious local flavoring of the caramel. The goats are milked twice a day, and their milk is then heated and hand-stirred with organic can sugar for 6 hours. For flavors, cinnamon sticks or Kentucky Straight Bourbon are added to the dissolving cane sugar before adding the milk. The caramel is then poured into jars which are then hand labeled and packaged, just for you!

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Gift the gift of letter writing with stationery from Scout’s Honor Co. Based in Burlington, designer Annmarie hand-letters each design which is then locally printed on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper. Her whimsical work is inspired by the beautiful state of Vermont, classic Americana, vintage signage, and the nostalgia of New England. I love her Mountain Town design, it reminds me of home in the valley of Southern Vermont.

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Keep your loved ones warm with a Johnson Woolen Mills blanket. Just north of Stowe in the little village of Johnson, the company still makes the shirts, iceman’s pants, and jackets that they’ve been famous for for almost 50 years. The family that still runs the business traces their roots back to crossing the pond from England and settling in Vermont at the end of the 1700s.

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Hotel Vermont

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Fall is fast approaching and it’s getting me in the mood to return to my homestate. Being from Southern Vermont, I don’t always have the excuse to trek it North. But this fall we’re hoping to drive farther upstate (after visiting family of course) so I was looking into some neat places to stay. One hotel that stuck out was Burlington’s brand new Hotel Vermont. It perfectly balances the line between Vermont rusticity and modern minimalism. The floors are poured concrete made from stones from Lake Champlain (which is right outside the hotel’s door), the walls feature local oak, each room has a Johnson Woolen Mills wool blanket, and the bathrooms are stocked with local Lunaroma products. Other features include bikes from local shop Old Spokes Home, a full-service yoga room, farm to table dining at their restaurants Juniper and Hen of the Wood, Vermont-distilled liquers at the bar, and art by Vermonter Duncan Johnson. Officially getting the calendar out and renting the car.

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