If collaboration is the key to success and survival – as I believe it is – then the Floating Bridge Food & Farms Cooperative is poised for both. This co-op of 18+ farms, restaurants, and B&Bs has joined together to offer Maple Sugaring Vacation packages, and this weekend I am blessed to be enjoying one!
We began yesterday (Friday) evening with dinner at Ariel’s Restaurant in Brookfield. Chef Lee Duberman put together a tasting menu featuring some of her best offerings, including ricotta gnocchi with roasted cauliflower and a roasted Cavendish quail stuffed with housemade sausage. Because it is maple syrup weekend, we finished the meal with maple bread pudding (studded with dried cherries) and homemade maple ice cream, drizzled with Fat Toad Farm caramel.
I’m lodging at Green Mountain Girls Farm in Northfield. The guest room is in a lovely finished space above the barn, meaning as I approached the door I was greeted by the sweet smell of hay and the tiny faces of several goat kids–and their watchful mother. I awoke to the sun rising over the hoophouse:
Today we’ll explore the area, beginning with a tour of Fat Toad Farm in Brookfield and then enjoying a hot lunch at Turkey Hill Farm in Randolph Center where we’ll join Stuart and Margaret Osha as they gather sap – with a horse team – from the maple trees and get it boiling down to syrup in the evaporator.
Here’s hoping the sun holds. For the sap to run requires cold nights (which we’ve had plenty of!) and warm days (impeded of late by lots of gray, rainy days). Shine, sun, shine!