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12 Oct 2007
Fall Foliage Photographs

(c) Judith Lombardi Golden Acres Photography

There must be a billion photographs of Vermont fall foliage, mostly taken by us amateurs but there are some professionally taken examples that accurately render the scenes we saw but perhaps did not photograph too well.

One place to find excellent photos is at the fall foliage page on the Golden Acres website.

Golden Acres is the photography business run by Judy Lombardi of White River Junction, VT. She photographs mostly nature subjects which you can see on her beautiful web site.

Put a photo on your wall and you can enjoy a little of the magnificence of Vermont fall foliage year around!
VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  21:36 | permalink

18 Sep 2007
Two Great VT Products for Winter

Beagle Tracker Jacket

If you will be traveling to Vermont in the next few months, take a look at your winter jacket before you come. If that old coat has already lead a full, productive life, maybe it's time to retire it and start looking for a replacement. Or, if you are all set for another winter, maybe you are looking for unique gift ideas.

I have a couple of suggestions for two very high quality Vermont made products. Conveniently, their stores are only a few miles apart in northern Vermont (map).

Most every outdoors person in this state has probably owned a Johnson Woolen Mills product and probably still has one or two. The company has been around for 165 years and it is a traditional favorite of Vermonters, especially hunters and loggers. The company not only makes its products in the USA, they make them here in Vermont. Anyone who has ever spent time with the average Vermont worker will agree that the word that best describes these people is "solid." They work steadily and are quietly proud of what they do. But they're nonchalant about it too as if being proud is too close to being boastful.

In addition to jackets, Johnson Woolen Mills is known for its long-lasting woolen pants and hats, capes and ponchos, handbags, and more.

Coincidently, the company has a store in a village named Johnson. It is in the middle of town, on Route 15 (click map link above).

If Johnson Woolen Mills is "old school," Beagle Outdoor Wear is the high tech version. Their outdoor coats and other gear are treated with the latest in waterproofing technology:

"1. Beagle outerwear is made from very tightly woven wool, treated with DuPont Teflon® fabric protector, so water beads up and rolls right off!

"2. Most products are available with FABTEX®-5X, a thin layer of breathable laminate, which stops wind and water from passing through.

"3. For cold weather, choose our MICROTHERM© lined models. Besides the extra warmth, it also wicks moisture away from your skin, keeping you toasty warm and dry."

Both companies have an excellent reputation in Vermont and their products are WARM, even in the middle of a Vermont winter.

Johnson Woolen Mills Boston Bag

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor [except product photos which are owned by the respective companies] Grunberg Haus
VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  23:12 | permalink

15 Aug 2007
Vermont Holiday Cards

A Vermont holiday card created by a Vermont artist featuring a Vermont scene .

About an hour south of our inn, there is an artist who works in a small cottage producing richly detailed holiday cards that have a charming nostalgic look.

Mike Biegel, and cat Piper, live and work together near the village of Sharon. Mike produces a line of holiday cards to bring in some money to fund his ski habit and Piper's food habit.

You can see his full line of Vermont-inspired cards, and purchase them too, online at Vermont Holiday Cards and Holiday Cards Online.

Mike also has a web site for his commercial illustration work at mikebiegel.com.

Mailboxes across the country have already been filling with fall catalogs, and the Christmas holiday catalogs are not far behind. The more responsible of you reading this will probably be lining up your winter holiday card purchases soon so I thought I would get his posted now. For people like me, there will be a reminder on this blog in November.

Mike accepts assignments for custom work too. You can contact the artist directly at 802.763.7769 or toll free at 888.267.2300, or by email to mike{insert the "at" sign here]vermontholidaycards.com

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  16:58 | permalink

21 Jul 2007
"Ya Girl" Outdoor Clothing Made By and For Women

When I was in high school, I worked a few summers at the local J.C. Penney store. That was decades ago and, believe it or not, blue jeans for girls were just coming into fashion. I remember a number of high school and college girls strolling right into the men's clothing department to see if they could find a pair of jeans that would fit. Unfortunately, either the waist or the hips would fit but rarely both. It wasn't long before the manufacturers woke up and started producing jeans cut to fit women's bodies.

All that came back to mind when I came across Ya Girl work pants. These are tough, duck cloth work pants manufactured to meet the demands of outdoors activities such as hiking, farming, and gardening, while fitting the female body.

These rugged pants are made in the most rugged part of Vermont known as the Northeast Kingdom. It's a beautiful part of the state with a hardy environment. The people who live there are just as hardy (but friendly!) and most of them make their living outdoors. They need clothing that will stand up to a challenging environment and harsh work conditions.

"Ya Girl" clothing is designed, riveted, and sewn by women in Vermont. The next time you travel to Vermont, you can find them at Addison Outfitters in Vergennes, Middlebury Mountaineering in Middlebury, Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington, and The Pick and Shovel in Newport. Or order directly from the company's online store.
VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  21:20 | permalink

11 Jul 2007
Vermont Gift Idea for Skiers

Magic Mountain Red Chairs Now on Sale

Here is a perfect gift for skiers: a chair lift swing from Magic Mountain in Londonderry Vermont. At $500 plus shipping, it's a little pricey I suppose but it does have the swing frame and a coat of fresh red paint or other color if you wish. Considering what skiers spend on their sport, this is a bargain. And of course, you have to add in the cool factor. The swing even comes with a double black diamond Red Line sign.

Earlier this year, Mad River Glen was selling its historic single chairs at auction for a minimum of $1000 each so with Magic Mountain's chairs you are getting twice the chair for half the price!

As they say, you'll be the only one in your neighborhood with a chair lift swing. Heck, you might even be the only one in your state.

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor
VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  17:12 | permalink

14 Apr 2007
Two Old Saps Vermont Maple Syrup Producers

Vermont Grade A Dark Amber Maple Syrup - our favorite

We go through about 12 gallons of maple syrup per year at our inn. We were buying it from some neighbors but their evaporator pan (used to boil down the sap to make syrup) cracked and they don't have the money to get another one. Further, they "aren't getting any younger" and are therefore thinking this is a good time to retire from the hard work of making VT maple syrup. We had to locate another supplier and after several phone calls, we found the best price at Two Old Saps in Lincoln Vermont, about 30 minutes south of Burlington in northwestern Vermont

I met Paul, one of the saps, the other day and had a nice chat along with getting a look at their sizable sugar house where they boil down sap from 2,000 maple tree taps. A neighbor of theirs was also dropping off some of his sap when I drove up.

You can't order online at their website but they do have a toll free phone number: 1-877-683-0269. If you are in the area, you can stop by for a visit but be forewarned that a normal car (i.e., low and two wheel drive) probably won't make it up their long dirt road that goes fairly deep into the forest. If you have a four wheel or all wheel drive, you shouldn't have much of a problem but the driving will be slow because of either the frozen ruts or mud depending upon the weather that day. That's just the way it is during Vermont's sugaring season.

You can read more about the different grades of Vermont maple syrup at the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association website.

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor
VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  22:26 | permalink

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