Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Anenomes

Sunday, September 25, 2011

62° here on the mountain, dripping wet from last night's rain but quiet, save for the loons at Peacham Pond and the rooster down the road. My walk with Karl the Wonder Dog was uneventful but after the heavy rain, the critters of the woods are slow to stir.

Yesterday was an interesting day here at the house. The State of Vermont marketing folks have yet to gain my trust and yesterday in conjunction with the Agency of Transportation they pulled a nice one. Vermont has two major east-west roads and Route 2 is one of them and it misses our house by exactly three miles. Yesterday the highway folks closed part of Route 2 so they could work on repairs resulting from Irene. We'll be happy to see the work by the Marshfield Reservoir and the bridge over by Roy Folsom's farm replaced with a real bridge and fewer potholes but the way they pulled this off could have been handled better. September should be when Vermont has a bazillion tourists coming to see our fall foliage and help our businesses but because of so much national media on the destruction, travel is down. Yesterday didn't help.

The highway staff erected a small detour sign in Marshfield village pointing to Cabot and left it at that. At the bottom of RT 232 they closed off Route 2 so anyone who missed the sign in the village kept coming until they reached the barricade. Typical response was to turn just before the barricade and presumably turn again at some point to get around the problem area. Only problem was there were never any signs and the highway folks wanted everyone to use the Cabot Road. The marking was small, poorly placed, not identified as a problem in advance and just plain incomplete.

On an average day, Route 2 has 12,000 vehicles worth of traffic. Yesterday a bundle of these ended up going by our house on Peacham Pond Road. You had to see it to believe it. I thought something was strange around 5 AM when it seemed like a lot of people were going fishing at the pond. It was too dark to see that I was not seeing boats and trailers but just plain lost people. By 6 when the first person stopped for assistance, I knew what the problem was. Two men were heading to Maine moose hunting and their question to me was "Where'd Route 2 go?" By nightfall we were still giving directions and a lot of these folks were out of state tourists trying to reach their accommodations. This is the second time the State crew has done this but this is the time when struggling businesses need happy customers, not irritated, lost, confused travelers.

Our governor is probably getting ready to go someplace right now to shake hands and hold babies but at some point he and his staff need to show some real concern about business in Vermont. One day's worth of half empty rooms, or a parking lot empty of cars translates to a long winter and pressures some businesses to cease. Many Vermont businesses are that close to failure right now. For years now there has been a philosophy that micro management is wrong and that managers should be left to make their own decisions. That's fine with me as long as the person calling the shots doesn't forget everyone that makes Vermont the great place it is. The Governor needs to crank some of these people up a little.

On a more colorful note, gardeners unfamiliar with fall anenomes might consider them. Several colors, a great cut flower, and a range of heights. They must have a fragrance I cannot detect as the butterflies love them!

Foliage in the Northeast Kingdom is changing nicely and there's lots to see. Bragg Farm down in East Montpelier has had a summer of road and bridge challenges too so if you're down Route 14 way, stop by for a maple creamee and some syrup. They have a fine business and it's a nice place to stop. The Cabot Creamery is always busy but this time of year more people get a chance to stop. Take the tour if you can as it tells a lot about cheese making. Plenty of cheeses to sample and many Vermont products to buy. Burtt's Apple Orchard is open and the apple picking is special this year. This is one of Vermont's younger orchards but the people are great and the produce is going fast. Try some Honey Crisp apples if you haven't yet and bag enough fresh Macs for a nice pie or apple cake. And if you get tired or just plain lost like many did yesterday, slide into the Marshfield Inn. No guarantees but they may have a room for the night or at very least will point you in another directions. Every one of these businesses care about Vermont and like visiting here at Vermont Flower Farm, you'll always leave with a smile and a welcome to return.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where Mrs Doe Deer and the twins have just entered the field below my office window. Breakfast of fresh grass and late blooming daylilies! More coffee for me!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also as George Africa
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Stop at VFF where we'll help you grow your green thumb!

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