Friday, August 07, 2009

Pat's Nearly Famous BBQ


Just past 8:30 PM here on the mountain. It's been a hectic week but with sunshine at last, Gail and I cannot complain. When I finally made it to the nursery this afternoon, Gail had customers scattered around, she had a tired look on her face and what appeared to be Bela Lugosi stains on her shirt. She pointed in the direction of a couple in the lower shade house and I knew that meant she had not greeted them yet. Everything that happened from that point on for the next couple hours remains a blur.

When gardeners and visitors stop at the nursery, we always try to greet them as soon as possible and orient them to what is available. Many haven't been to a nursery that digs daylilies from the garden and some don't even feel comfortable walking into the daylily fields or down to the work-in-progress hosta garden without asking first. Making that first connection with first time visitors is really important. It shows we care and shows what kind of folks we are.

Gail had called me at work earlier in the day to say that Lynn from Lynn's Garden: Best In Bloom Today had phoned to say she would be stopping by for a visit. I really wanted to get in the truck and come back to meet her personally but I had a meeting that just couldn't be changed. Lynn and I have conversed via our blogs for some time and she has made some purchases from Vermont Flower Farm. It was quiet when she arrived and she and Gail got to spend a little time together. Maybe next time for me.

Later in the day, a family from Utah finally made it to the nursery. They have bought hundreds of daylilies from us. It was really great to meet them at last and let them see where their plants were grown. They have become ardent daylily fans although there's no doubt they are real gardeners anyway. I say "ardent" because the Utah deer ate the buds on their daylilies and they moved everyone of them from their first planting spaces to protected gardens within a fence at their house. I've never been keen on planting things twice but gardeners have a devotion and a drive for success that doesn't stop.

As customers and visitors thinned out a bit I got on the tractor and began mowing the 3 acres of grass lawn that intersects the gardens. About half way through it occurred to me that I'd really like a pulled pork sandwich for dinner. There was no convincing Gail that after the long week, one less meal to prepare sounded good. She picked up Alex as I finished mowing and we headed to Hardwick, 20 miles away.

Hardwick is an interesting town that to a degree has become almost a suburb of Montpelier. Housing in the Barre-Montpelier area has increased in price and people have moved 20-25 miles away for quieter living and nice houses at less expense. The community is reorganizing and there is a great restaurant there named Claire's. Hardwick is the home of the Center for Agricultural Economy that deserves a lot of praise, is just down the road from High Mowing Organic Seeds, offers up the Galaxy Bookshop and the Buffalo Mountain Coop and has an assortment of other restaurants, coffee shops and stores. Hardwick is not big but it is fun to visit.

Hardwick has had several fires in recent years and the tragedies have encouraged rebirth and everything has been very positive. The old boxing club building along the river that offers up histories you don't necessarily want to know about needs a little help; so does the three story store/apartment complex at the center of town that caught fire but was saved--kind of. The mix of residents is interesting for sure and there's plenty going on. Then there's Pat's.

Earlier this summer, a small trailer moved alongside the highway over towards Riteway Sports. It's the seasonal home of Pat's Nearly Famous BBQ. Pat and his wife and helpers make a pulled pork sandwich and curly fries and slaw that just tickles my fancy even though I have to drive to get it. This is one of those walk-up, place-your-order, sit-outside-under-a-little-tent places. There is a little chit chat as tables get bused and food is delivered. White vinegar in a spray bottle is in the condiment tray. Pat's wife told me Pat was a pipe fitter for a while but I am happy he mastered pulled pork sandwiches. Gail and I enjoy them while Alex repeatedly has less creative sauerkraut piled on his hot dogs. If you're in Hardwick in season, try Pats. He's open 11-2 daily and until 8 at night Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

There was a chill in the air as we left Pat's. The Eye On The Sky weather folks at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium predicted 40 degrees or less tonight and it feels as if there's a good chance for "or less".

Daylilies at Vermont Flower Farm continue to bloom. Many have slowed to occasional flowers while some later ones are just starting their first bloom. Every morning we pick representatives of what is currently in bloom and put the blooms on display in the shed in small jelly jars so you can see everything in one small place for easy comparison. The fields are colorful and have dried out from July's 15" of rain so walking is easier now. If you have some time this weekend, stop by and walk with us. if you aren't familiar with daylilies, we're sure you will be impressed.

Now in bloom including Bonanza up top and about 140 others:

Becky Lynn

Barbary Corsair

Anne Warner

Best garden greetings from the mountain above Peacham Pond. Karl the Wonder Dog just said "Let's walk" so I have to get going!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener

1 comment:

lynn'sgarden said...

That darling Barbary Corsair came home with me, George! And I needed a taller and darker bloom to compliment Lilting Lavender...they'll look great together! Yum, Pat's pulled pork BBQ would really be good just about NOW!