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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

A Green day on the GRP

7.May.2016 by Heather Mooney

Like the summer training we do, a lot of the work we put in now towards Outdoor Center projects will pay off in later seasons. As we finish up our first week of “official” training, we’ve gotten going again on a few of these tasks, such as the raspberry fences that Caitlin, Emily and Alex put up this afternoon!

 

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This morning, not pictured, but also in the vein of spring time work for later-date benefits, we helped with a community work day, mulching blueberry bushes at our neighbors’ farm, Browns, followed by collecting trash for Green Up Day on one of our rollerski roads in Greensboro.

Along with trees finally starting to bud, and the grass beginning to grow again, it was a very “green” day in Craftsbury. Tomorrow we’ll round out the week of training with a running time trial up Mt. Elmore.

“Alex Howe contributed reporting, and pictures”

Signs of Fall

9.Oct.2015 by Caitlin Patterson

It’s unmistakably fall, and there’s no way you could miss it (or miss appreciating the changes) if you’re in Vermont right now! From multicolored bright leaves to tractors in the fields, morning frost on the grasses to geese making their presence known on the air currents, the signs are everywhere.  Here are a collection of photos I’ve taken over the past few weeks, since the GRP skiers returned from Austria, that exemplify the autumn season at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and for the GRP.

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Many types of winter squash, stored away for fall and winter eating

Heather brings an armful of acorn squash into storage

Heather brings an armful of acorn squash into storage

Rowers Maggie and Liz transporting squash

Rowers Maggie and Liz transporting squash

A little mouse, looking for a warm spot to curl up. Not in our squash! (Luckily this was outside before we moved the squash in, but mice have been sighted fleeing indoors too!)

A little mouse, looking for a warm spot to curl up. Not in our squash! (Luckily this was outside before we moved the squash in, but mice have been sighted fleeing indoors in our house too!)

Frosty mornings!

Frosty mornings!

Campfire gathering to watch the eclipse

Campfire gathering to watch the eclipse late in September

It's hard to take a photo that captures how big and strangely red the moon seems, and yet also what a tiny part of the sky it takes up. If you look closely you can see the silhouette of the roof and trees, and just a tiny speck of the moon above.

It’s hard to take a photo that captures how big and strangely-red the moon seems, and yet also what a tiny part of the sky it takes up. If you look closely you can see the silhouette of the roof and trees down near the bottom of the photo, and just a tiny speck of the moon in the starry sky above.

Supermoon eclipse, a photo I took from outside our house in Craftsbury

Supermoon eclipse, a photo I took from outside our house in Craftsbury

Emily helps during a shooting clinic

Emily helps during a shooting clinic prior to the Oktoberfest biathlon Singletrack Shootout race. Some of the GRP organized or helped out at the race, while others of us competed – check the Outdoor Center website at www.craftsbury.com for results from the races.

Gordon and NIls (both former GRP) on the range, with Ethan and Hannah (current GRP) on the scopes watching

Gordon and NIls (both former GRP) on the range, with Ethan and Hannah (current GRP) on the scopes watching

Checkpoint Challenge - a crazy adventure/challenge/orienteering race that GRP skiers enjoy hosting every year - knot tie station

GRP rowers Maddie, Maggie and Liz and junior coach Anna during the knot tying station of the Checkpoint Challenge – a crazy adventure/challenge/orienteering race that GRP skiers enjoy hosting every year.  See the GRP Facebook page for photo albums with more photos from the Singletrack Shootout and Checkpoint Challenge.

Checkpoint Challenge log crossing/water carry station

Checkpoint Challenge log crossing/water carry station

Checkpoint Challenge winning team, with Gordon, Nils, Hannah, Sarah, returning to the finish

Checkpoint Challenge winning team of Gordon, Sarah, Hannah, and Nils returning to the finish

Ethan, Mike and Alex went goose hunting and came back with four. A few days ago we ate the geese for dinner at Elinor's, in the form of a very tasty goose schnitzel!

Ethan, Mike and Alex went goose hunting and came back with four. A few days ago we ate the geese for dinner at Elinor’s, in the form of a very tasty goose schnitzel!

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Seed-pods sowing

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So briefly bright and then on to decay

Kait rollerskiing through the colors of Jericho

Kait rollerskiing through the colors of Jericho

Late afternoon light makes the colors seem even more intense

Late afternoon light makes the colors seem even more intense – the GRP skier girls out for a dirt road cruise

Through a golden tunnel on our ride

Through a golden tunnel on our ride

Susan cruising up the hill

Susan heading back up the hill

A late afternoon all-girls dirt road bike ride

All smiles, enjoying the view (and waiting patiently for me to take a picture or two or a dozen…). Left to right, Liz, Susan, Hallie, Heather, Kait.

We finished riding through the sunset, and it got dark very quickly after that...

We finished riding through the sunset, and it got dark very quickly after that…

The rowers are off in Boston for Head of the Kevin now and preparing for Head of the Charles next weekend. Early next week the biathletes will be off to Lake Placid, NY for a training camp and the skiers fly to Park City, Utah for a fall training camp with the US Ski Team and many other club athletes.  Until next time, thanks for reading!

 

Vegetables and beyond in the Craftsbury gardens

14.Aug.2015 by Caitlin Patterson

The gardens at Craftsbury are flourishing! Seeing them every day, working on garden projects with the other GRP women, it’s easy to take the nutritious beauty for granted. So I wanted to share some scenes of growing things and garden work, before the season passes!

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Kait and Heather picking herbs. The leafy green plants are flourishing with all the rain and sun we’ve had – pictured here is kale, dill, radicchio, beets, basil, parsley. Of course the weeds are flourishing too, but we try to stay on top of it as much as possible, and just staged a major weed knockdown yesterday (after this picture was taken…it’s a bit messy here) which helped a bunch!

Trees of kale

Trees of kale

Vibrant rainbow swiss chard

Vibrant rainbow swiss chard

 

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Bumblebees on echinacea flowers near the herb and vegetable gardens. If you’re in the area it’s worth walking by to see the flowers too!

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Heather clipping tomatoes, using the handy features of straps to store some extra clips. We clip the tomato vines up along strings to help support their weight.

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Stunning clusters of fruit

Cherry tomatoes bursting with flavor, such a treat!

Cherry tomatoes bursting with flavor, such a treat!

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Kait and Pam spot a big “sucker” – if we don’t watch out the tomatoes will try to grow into bushes, instead of the way we want them growing vertically. Careful pruning of the suckers prevents this from happening, but they grow quickly and often get away from us.

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One night the skiers decided to stay home and cook our own dinner, partially for the fun of collecting and preparing so many local ingredients – zucchini, kale, tomatoes and more, to go with fantastic hamburgers and homemade buns. Cooking for ourselves one night reminded us how nice it is that we are able to eat amazing meals at the dining hall, cooking for yourself takes serious planning and time, especially in a house of 12+ athletes!

Our house smelled amazing with so much basil

One day several of us skier GRP girls worked on the project of making pesto. First we picked the basil from the COC garden, leaf by leaf, then processed it with walnuts, cheese, oil, and garlic. Our house smelled amazing with so much basil around.

Fresh garlic piled up for processing

Fresh garlic piled up for processing

Liz on the food processor and Heather drying basil leaves

Liz on the food processor and Heather drying basil leaves

Heather, Kait, and Liz checking the pesto... have to make sure it tastes good!

Heather, Kait, and Liz checking the pesto… have to make sure it tastes good!

Heather samples the favorite snack of the day, fresh pesto on a walnut. Great fuel for our strength workout coming up!

Heather samples the favorite snack of the day, fresh pesto on a walnut. Taste = verified to be amazing! Great fuel for our strength workout coming up!

Liz clipping garlic scapes. The COC dining hall made excellent scape pesto when they were in season.

Liz clipping garlic scapes. The COC dining hall made excellent scape pesto when they were in season.

Raspberries and spider webs in the early morning

Raspberries and spider webs in the early morning

Wild black raspberries. It was the best wild berry year I've seen yet in 4 years at Craftsbury!

Parting photo of wild black raspberries. It was the best wild berry year I’ve seen yet in 4 years at Craftsbury!

 

Science Class with the Garden Gurus

31.Jul.2014 by Jamie Chapman

Last week I asked Pam what she needed help with in the garden, she said that they were going to spread fish on the plants. I pictured tossing actual dead fish at the crops’ roots, naïve about what this would do besides attract bears. Bears aside, I wasn’t far off.   So I asked the Pam and Amy, our Garden Gurus, and got a science lesson to rival Bill Nye. Supplemented with some expert Wikipedia research, here’s what I learned. Fish hydrolysate is basically pureed fish, sourced from fishing boats’ bycatch and then ground-up to be sold as agricultural supplements. I won’t overstep my primitive science knowledge, but Pam explained it as giving the earth a dose of the sea, rich in nutrients and minerals that elude terrestrial beings. There’s some magic in the fishies! Try this at home: into a full watering can, mix one full tablespoon fish and one scant tablespoon molasses, then give the plants a generous drink. Molasses for the sugar content—a fish and molasses smoothie!

One watering can, plus one T of fish (middle container) and one T of molasses (dark container) does the trick

Fish and molasses: one watering can, plus one T of fish (middle container) and one T of molasses (dark container) does the trick

We source lots of produce for the kitchen from our gardens, and it’s cool to see something that I’ve planted, nurtured under the watchful eye of the Gurus, and then harvested end up in the hot meal line or in the salad bar.   It has flourished under the construction of a new fence to keep the bunnies and deer away from our delicacies.

From left: kale, more kale, onions, garlic

From left: kale, more kale, onions, garlic

From the front: rows of parsley, basil (on the left, more parsley on the right), chard just after being harvested for the kitchen, baby beets, peppers, tomatillos, and peas in the back.

From the front: rows of parsley, basil (on the left, more parsley on the right), chard just after being harvested for the kitchen, baby beets, peppers, tomatillos, and peas in the back.

Peas for days

Peas for days

Lots of purple snow peas!  We also have yellow snow peas and sugar snap peas, now growing fast enough to pick a few small bags every couple days.  I have a high eat:pick ratio, especially with the sugar snaps.  Benefits of growing organic!

Lots of purple snow peas! We also have yellow snow peas and sugar snap peas, now growing fast enough to pick a few small bags every couple days. I have a high eat:pick ratio, especially with the sugar snaps. Benefits of growing organic!

But there’s only so much produce to harvest, and sometimes we want to make the place look nice, too.  Amy and Pam gave a few of us girls a lesson in creating flower arrangements, a task that has skyrocketed to the top of my favorite jobs at the Center.  Tricks of the trade: more is more, purple and yellow don’t match, and embrace unorthodox materials–kale and stripped limbs of wild berries add a little spice.

Tricky stuff: Caitlin and I with the raw materials, on a really hot and humid day in the garden.

Tricky stuff: Caitlin and I with the raw materials, on a really hot and humid day in the garden.

Voila!

Voila!

Beautiful from all angles

Beautiful from all angles