Sunday, September 21, 2008

Just Good Apples

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A fair morning here in Vermont with fog visible through the distance but an early promise of sun despite forecasts to the contrary. Yesterday morning I decided to make some scones and this morning it was really supposed to happen. Opening the door on the fridge was instant reminder to the gallon of milk I didn't remember to bring home last night. The scone idea was put on hold and I decided to take Karl the Wonder Dog and head for town the long way.

This part of Vermont used to have a railroad that ran from Montpelier to Wells River. The train ran 4 times a day and carried the mail until 1952 when better methods and economies materialized. The railroad bed was thrown up but remains today as a nice road for early morning bird and wildlife cruises.

Karl and I made our first stop just before Ethan Allan Corners. I like to look down across the swamp and see if I can see any ducks or geese landing in water pockets or anxious woodcock flying helicopter-like and then returning back to the swamp to peck for worms. Today the only sign of movement was the whispers of fog swirling above the meandering stream bed.

As we approached the corner, I looked to the left. The straight edge of conifers the length of the swamp was telltale evidence of a railroad bed from a previous life. We made the turn and headed for Marshfield Village Although Karl found plenty to bark about on the ride, we returned home in half an hour and his tail wagging must have tired him as he headed back to bed and I started on the scone recipe.

I just about got the batter heading to the pan and Karl went into attack mode at the back door. The smiling face looking through the glass was Eric, our friend from Groton. Eric really lives and works in Massachusetts but this time of year he gets to Vermont every weekend he can. His family has a camp and it is a nice release to trade city life for some quiet.

Often Eric stops by for a visit as he's a gardener and he's always had an interest in our progress. We always share stories and I always tap his professional knowledge of the bird world when I see something fly by that I cannot find in our books. Anyway Eric appeared just in time for some coffee and warm scones but not before he presented us with a nice bag of one of the nicest apples going: Honeycrisp.

The problem with this apple is that you can't find a place to buy it. At least I cannot. Buying a tree is a different story and the only place to look in this part of Vermont is Elmore Roots Nursery They also have another favorite I reported on last year, an apple named Beacon which makes some of the best cider you'll ever taste.

Anyway the breakfast snacks were great but the conversation had to be cut short as Gail from Peacham was waiting to help. This Gail is originally from New Hampshire but she's making a new home in Vermont and is helping us close up for the year. Coincidentally she is planting some apple trees and one is a Honeycrisp!

As the recent frosts encourage the foliage to provide autumn colors and excitement, we are picking up little messes and getting organized for next year. Along the way it's fun to be able to break for a few minutes and share thoughts and treats with friends. We hope you get the same chance soon.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where it's a warm 45 degrees which makes for good sleeping. But first, maybe a few slices of "just good apples"!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
Vermont Gardens

PS Thanks to the Christian Science Monitor for picking up our two blogs. It's nice to know we are being read and shared by gardeners everywhere

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