Once a year, hubby and I head up to the small town of Dover in southern Vermont to hike, relax, and spend time away from Long Island.
We’re big hikers. There’s something so incredibly gratifying about getting to the top of the mountain, looking out at the beautiful landscape, and just breathing. Every time I hike, I find myself saying “this is what the world is supposed to look like.” It’s raw and beautiful and just really makes you think about life.
Vermont offers some incredible hiking trails – we’re always finding new ones to explore! – plus quiet, homey inns to spend your nights, and some great food!
Vermont is progressive when it comes to organic food and labeling; they were the first state to pass GMO labeling laws. Ironically, their farming practices are old fashioned and haven’t changed much throughout the generations. Over the past few years, I’ve spoken with a few restaurant and market owners, along with a few farmers who supply them. It’s always a treat, though I think it should be the norm, to sit down at a restaurant where the owner can tell you exactly which farm down the road her meat is from. Ground beef is something I avoid, but knowing where its from and knowing that it’s sustainable is different, in my opinion.
Multiple restaurants not only listed “grass fed, local beef” on the menu, but specified which farm and could answer all of my questions without hesitation. The farmers themselves were also incredibly friendly and willing to talk to me about how they feed and raise their cattle. Most of the dairy farms in Vermont cannot afford to be certified organic, but adopt most, if not all, of the same principles. A few farmers commented that they believe in using antibiotics when their cattle truly and naturally get sick. In my opinion, the use of antibiotics is incredibly different when we’re dealing with the rampant spread of disease associated with the lifestyle of CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) raised cattle.
In Vermont, the cattle roam free on pastures and are genuinely cared for by their farmers. It’s the type of food system that America needs to be returning to, and it was a pleasure to see a state that never really gave up on it in the first place. This is how I wish I could eat everyday!
Every ounce of produce and cheese that we ate up in Vermont was grown or made locally and the farmers and shop keepers truly support one another. A dairy farmer, who also sells maple syrup, kindly sent us up the road to a local ice cream stand that uses her maple syrup to sweeten her homemade (and phenomenal) maple soft serve.
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my Vermont meals. I’m also linking up with Jenn’s WIAW campaign because looking at food is fun, and I love showing people how easy it is to eat consciously and still enjoy vacation. Maybe I’ve even convinced you to spend a weekend up in beautiful Vermont!?