We were back there for parents weekend at Bennington College. It was beautiful, so lush and green, and there aren’t even any sprinklers. Water falls from the sky regularly, what a concept! All we got was a little drizzle, but we did see where CNN had set up their cameras for those historic floods, and it was dramatic, even weeks later. When we first arrived on the campus, I immediately noted the apple trees laden with fruit. Looks good,
It was crisp, tart, fragrant and delicious. A few bugs had taken the first bites, but graciously left plenty for me. Naturally I envisioned scenarios of me lugging suitcases bulging with apples at the Albany airport, transferring flights in Chicago, and realized that would not be happening. At least not this time.
Close to the Bennington Monument in the graveyard of a very old church, we did have to visit the grave of one of our greatest American poets, Robert Frost. In case you cannot read his epitaph, it is
‘I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.’
We took a little hike in the woods, which is a mature deciduous forest, and I was in fungus heaven. Here is just a little of what we found! (As well as what found me, one of the many local mosquitoes is snacking on my forehead.) Zeke also shares my interest in mycology, and even identified a beautiful but very poisonous Amanita growing on campus. So do not ever eat a wild mushroom unless you can positively identify it.
Walking around Bennington I was looking into everyone’s backyards to see what they were growing, although interestingly, perhaps only 15% of the yards I saw had a vegetable garden. Although their growing season is relatively short, people were producing abundant semi-urban crops. This family really liked brussels sprouts, and how could any kid not like something that grew like this?
And across the street, the hedge bordering the yard was an old rose with masses of ripening rose hips. Rose hip jelly is something the Co-op is going to do, so please save any you can find. And in my garden, the deer do leave the rose hips for us.
Our freshman had a list of things he needed, so we headed for the Big Store. An electric tea kettle is good in a dorm, for those cups of cha as well as a ramen cup, so I headed into familiar territory, housewares. When I came around the corner I stopped dead in my tracks!
So the odd jangling sound in my carryon bag at airport security was two boxes of rings and lids. Less than $3 for a box of 12, I was not leaving without those at least. Can you imagine what people there might be doing with those apples? What a great place for a Co-op!
And just to close, here is a photo of a backyard garden in Grafton Vermont. Ahh, the beauty of it. Thank you so much Cyd for telling me about this little treasure.