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Garden Harvests

The previous garden post focused on the garden plants and layout, in pictures, but intentionally omitted an important part of the garden – the harvesters!  As mentioned in that post, the garden workers are a crucial part of the gardening operation.  Tending plants and harvesting vegetables takes no small amount of work – here is a series of photos of garden workers around the Outdoor Center this summer. And a few photos of particularly nice flowers too!

Skier Liz Guiney with a beautiful bin of tomatoes

Skier Liz Guiney with a beautiful bin of tomatoes

Pam, Amy and Liz survey the tomatoes earlier in the summer.  By now the vines reach the roof.

Pam, Amy and Liz survey the tomatoes earlier in the summer. By now the vines reach the roof.

Liz in the tomato jungle

Liz in the tomato jungle

Weeding and pulling out old scallions. From left: Mary (SBTC rower), Pam (garden guru), Maggie (GRP rower)

Weeding and pulling out old scallions. From left: Mary (SBTC rower), Pam (garden guru), Maggie (GRP rower)

Kaitlynn (GRP skier) and Mary (SBTC rower) weed beyond the onion patch

Kaitlynn (GRP skier) and Mary (SBTC rower) weed beyond the onion patch

Rowers Mary and Maggie clean vegetables at the sink

Rowers Mary and Maggie clean vegetables at the sink

Picking kale

Picking kale

Onions!

Onions!

Beautiful colors of swiss chard

Beautiful colors of swiss chard

Green and yellow zucchini and summer squash, boxed and heading towards the kitchen

Green and yellow zucchini and summer squash, boxed and heading towards the kitchen

GRP skier Ida with a big bunch of parsley and garlic scapes

GRP skier Ida with a big bunch of parsley and garlic scapes

We have a large patch of flowers for making arrangements and decorations

We have a large patch of flowers for making arrangements and decorations

Brilliant red flowers

Brilliant red flowers

Foxgloves

Foxgloves

Echinacea flowers

Echinacea flowers

Posing with our flowers. GRP skier Caitlin (author), on left, GRP rower Jamie on the right, on a particularly hot and humid day in the garden

Posing with our flowers. Myself, Caitlin, on left, GRP rower Jamie on the right

Flower arrangements! Pam and Amy gave most of us gardening girls lessons in flower arranging, which is a fun way to keep the COC looking great!

Flower arrangements! Pam and Amy gave most of us gardening girls lessons in flower arranging, which is fun!

 

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Recipe of the Month- Garden Fresh Caprese Salad

There is technically still one day left in the month of August, so we figure it’s not too late to post our Recipe of the Month. It’s especially not too late to post a recipe this good; it’s all about simple, quality ingredients here. The greenhouses here at the Center are bursting with vine-ripened tomatoes, and the basil is flourishing behind the garden fence, so what better than to combine those two fresh ingredients with a little mozzarella, and create the perfect summer salad? Caprese makes an ideal light lunch or a delicious appetizer and the visual appeal can’t be beat. It’s also so easy that it won’t take longer than 10 minutes to make, and probably even less time to eat!

Yield- however much you want!

Local vine-ripened tomatoes (preferably from a farmer’s market or a nearby garden)
Fresh cow’s milk or buffalo mozzarella
Fresh basil
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the tomatoes ¼ inch thick, repeat with the mozzarella. Wash and dry the fresh basil. On a platter, arrange the tomato slices, top with mozzarella and garnish with basil. Optional: Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Buon appetito!

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2014 COC Gardens in Full Swing

The Outdoor Center gardens are bigger and better than ever this summer!

There are two main vegetable gardens around the COC campus in addition to a few smaller areas with edibles, and numerous flower beds surrounding most buildings. The main vegetable garden is located behind the office, with another garden in an upper field beyond our woodshed and garage.  Growing vegetables and herbs on-site keeps us directly involved with the food chain, from seed to plate – it’s a way to help keep our operation as local and sustainable as possible.

Rows of pepper and squash plants overlooking Big Hosmer

Rows of pepper and squash plants overlooking Big Hosmer

While our gardens don’t account for nearly all of the produce served in the dining hall (much of the rest is from Pete’s Greens and other local farmers!), every day during the summer at Craftsbury you’re bound to be eating a few things grown within hundreds of feet of the dining hall!

This year, we are growing the following:

Herbs: basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano, thyme, tarragon, chives, mint, lavender

Vegetables and various other edibles: Peas, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, kale, swiss chard, beets, onions, scallions, garlic, green and purple beans, nasturtiums, strawberries  ….and probably some others that I’m forgetting at the moment!

Ominous skies over one of the two tomato greenhouses

Ominous skies over one of the two tomato greenhouses

Green peppers

Green peppers

Marigolds at the end of a row of parsley. Marigolds help discourage bugs.

Marigolds at the end of a row of parsley. Marigolds help discourage bugs.

Swiss chard in with more marigolds

Swiss chard in with more marigolds

Purple kale and basil beyond it

Purple kale and basil beyond it

Basil

Basil

GRP skier Liz Guiney in the middle of the pea patch in July

GRP skier Liz Guiney in the middle of the pea patch in July

We grew purple snow peas this year, in addition to yellow ones and the more-normal green variety

We grew purple snow peas this year, in addition to yellow ones and the more-normal green variety

Mystery volunteer squash plants growing on a compost pile near the gardens

Mystery volunteer squash plants growing on a compost pile near the gardens

A green squash growing within the mystery vines

A green squash growing within the mystery vines

Hiding within the mystery pile, something orange

Hiding within the mystery pile, something orange

PizzaGarden

The “Pizza Garden” near the dining hall contains pizza ingredients like basil and peppers, as well as herbs including lavender and various thymes

Gardening takes constant work throughout the spring summer and fall, and planning ahead of time as well as prioritizing the work to do each day. Luckily we have a dedicated and experienced gardening team, headed by gardeners extraordinaire Amy and Pam.  A rotating cast of regular garden helpers includes GRP skiers and rowers, as well as SBTC rowers, and various friends and visitors. Especially in the busy growing season months of July in August, we harvest vegetables or herbs about 3-4 times a week, coordinating with the kitchen based on their meal plans and garden produce availability.

While the gardens are not “certified organic” they are effectively organic – we value a chemical-free and holistic approach, aiming to grow food that is full of nutrients and good for the people eating it.  Amy and Pam have extensive experience growing things but are never afraid to try new methods to keep pests away or enrich the soil with nutrients, so we have a combination of tried-and-true and more creative approaches.  Garden soil is somewhat of a “living organism” itself, composed of numerous minerals, organic material, microbes, insects, and many other critters.  Thus we feed it with compost, generated on-site from kitchen scraps, weeds and other detritus, as well as some more unusual things.  This year we’ve been giving all of the gardens an occasional dose of fish, molasses, and sea minerals.

[Numeric sidenote: According to www.gardeningwithmicrobes.com, "in one teaspoon of living soil there are 100 million to 1 billion bacteria,1 mile to 40 miles of fungal hyphae, and 1,000-100,000 protozoa." Incredible! The details of the immensely complex connections between these microbes and plants is not fully understood, but it's been shown that fish and molasses  provide nutrients and sugars to make the microbes and the overall soil happy, so it makes us happy to apply them! Healthy soil --> healthy plants --> healthy people!]

Jugs of fish puree and molasses, next to the watering can used to apply the nutrients to the soil

Jugs of fish puree and molasses, next to the watering can used to apply the nutrients to the soil

On the topic of larger critters, the rabbits and deer have been particularly voracious and plentiful this year, so we have fences surrounding much of the vegetable garden.  Crops that didn’t get planted within the fence, such as the pole beans, have become a snack for the roaming deer.  Luckily for us human consumers, the beans are still growing and the deer seem to be most interested in the leaves!

Pole beans growing over an old greenhouse frame, before the deer stopped by for a snack

Pole beans growing over an old greenhouse frame, before the deer stopped by for a snack

Ideally these pole beans would have leaves all the way up their stalks, but the deer ate them!

Ideally these pole beans would have leaves all the way up their stalks, but the deer ate them!

Earlier this summer the deer nibbled some unprotected kale.  Now it's all growing within a fence.

Earlier this summer the deer nibbled some unprotected kale. Now it’s all growing within a fence.

Amy next to one of our impromptu deer fences, the white cloth is protecting cucumber plants

Amy next to one of our impromptu deer fences, the white cloth is protecting cucumber plants

Welcome garden visitor - a bee pollinating a squash flower

A welcome garden visitor – a bee pollinating a squash flower

Unwelcome visitor - snails chew holes into the kale and other plants, so we pick them off by hand at every chance

Unwelcome visitor – snails chew holes into the kale and other plants, so we pick them off by hand at every chance

We're happy to see earthworms, which aerate the soil

We’re happy to see earthworms, which aerate the soil

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Videos from Evan Scales

scales blogWant to relive some of the summer of 2014? Craftsbury Runner Evan Scales shared two cool edits with us, one of Masters week, the other more general. Find them both on YouTube:

Masters 2014
Craftsbury 2014 Scenes

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Going The Distance – Craftsbury Couples

The last couple of years we’ve had all sorts of family combinations at running camp:  father/son, mother/daughter, sister/brother. This was the summer of the Craftsbury Couple: spouses who love running and who came to camp together.

Meet Mary and Art, Matt and Kasia, Michael and Susan and Caitlin and Kristofer.  Susan and Michael are multi-returners from MI. Michael is a doctor and Susan is a physical therapist and coming to Craftsbury gives them a chance to kick back and enjoy the camaraderie of the week.  The other three couples, hailing from CT, IL, and WI came to Craftsbury unsure of what to expect and they left with 2015 registrations in hand. Art let us know that his week at Craftsbury was his first formal training in his 45 year running career. Matt came to us having lost over 100 pounds and taking up running in order to run with Kasia who is a new runner. Caitlin is a cyclist/runner who wanted to share running with Kristofer. For these four couples, running is a way to enjoy time and experiences out in the world together.

Art and Mary at all comers week

These two never missed an opportunity to leap into Big Hosmer – in this case after the Ridge Run

Kasia and Matt came on the recommendation of their friend, Craftsbury Wall of Famer Ed Sell

New runners, Matt and Kasia stretch before the hill workout

Caitlin and Kristofer entertained us with tales of frigid winter runs in Wisconsin

Caitlin and Kristofer with Kim on their last morning at running camp

Michael and Susan with our sports nutritionist Chrissy.

Michael and Susan on the last day of camp with Coach Lynn. It’s always hard to say goodbye.

 

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Summer of Stretching

This was Stretching Summer at the running camps. Realizing this quotidian task was being neglected made the coaching staff vow to make the runners stretch and stretch some more. The runners stretched: every runner (including coaches), before and after every workout, every day during each week of camp. All. The. Time.

Teens Sam and Rachel work on eagle pose

Coach Pierre captures eagle pose

Coach Melissa partners with Eilidh during high school week

Bryce concentrates on getting it right

Masters stretch at the Common

Masters stretch after the track workout

Phoebe gets it done during all comers week

Coach Laurie and Willie lean on each other

Mary and Kim stretch their calfs during all comers week

Mike bends to the task

Claudia and Kim prove even stretching can be fun with a friend

Stretching in a beautiful place equals enjoyment at running camp

 

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All Comers Synergy, Part 2

More highlights from All Comers week:

The sunlit veranda was the perfect place to gather for our group photo

The coaching staff: Donna, Brett, Pete, Bobby, Lynn and Laurie

Suzanne stretches before the workout on the Common

Jen and Kasia warm up before they run fast

Coach Brett flies around the Common

Art keeps moving during the fartlek workout

Grassy feet after the barefoot Common warm down

Coaches Pete and Laurie keep the tent from flying away during an idyllic beer, wine and cider social

Mike, Ed and Matt chat it up

Kim, Willie and Mike are strong friends

Matt was suprised by a hand-made birthday cake. With wife Kasia’s specs in hand, local junior athlete Ani created a beauty with fresh strawberries on top

Mike and Coach Pete roll past on the Ridge Run

Coach Laurie, Mike, Willie and Fred finish the Ridge Run in style

Thank you all comers runners – we had a terrific week. The summer’s running camps are over. See you in September for the two autumn Foliage and Running weekends!

 

 

 

 

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All Comers Synergy, Part 1

Rachel, Mike and Frank strike the Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Meb Keflezighi stances

All comers week – it’s the last summer running camp and it attracted runners spanning from 18 – 66 years-old. With running as a common bond and with their variety of life experiences the runners once again created a synergistic, energetic and hugely fun week. Eleven brand new to Craftsbury faces mixed in with the multi-year returners brought high energy and interest with plenty of laughter all week long. With 22 runners, all comers week has grown!

It was misty and foggy during our hill workout,  a gorgeous day for the negative splitting track workout plus relay, blue skies for Endurathon Day, and a crisp sunny morning for the fartlek/tempo session on the Common. It was a week to remember.

Art, Mike, Rachel and Coach Bobby head to the final hill of the morning workout: the Matterhorn

Caitlin is a cyclist/runner who came to camp unsure of her skills. She demonstrated her hill mastery on the Matterhorn

A rower, Jeff came to Craftsbury to learn more about running so he could match strides with his long time runner Dad

Wall of Famer Ed stays another week after masters week – lucky runner!

Mary is concentrating hard during the repeat 800′s

Friends Mike and Carol share the pacing duties during an 800

Willie is a city guy who loves Queen Anne’s lace flowers and the cows on Creek Road. He endures the fast stuff on the track

Suzanne comes to Craftsbury to get reinvigorated for the long cold Canadian winters – she’s a tough runner

Rachel and Frank pushed and pulled each other on every single interval – they were fast!

Mike showed his strength. He is recovering from an injury and was happy to push his fitness forward this week

Claudia hands off to Matt in the 4 X 400 relay

Phoebe zipped her 400 leg – she’s getting ready for the Hartford marathon

Art gives the stick to Bobby who is ready to fly

 

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Mastering Craftsbury

We paused briefly in Irasburg on Endurathon Day

Every July a group of hardy runners comes together for a week. For Nedim and Dave the week was a brand new experience. For Jules, Laura, Michael, Bill, Elaine, Richard, Ted, Lawton and all the others the trip to Craftsbury is an annual migration. It’s one they dream about and look forward to during the intervening months. It’s a week to reconnect, to revel in the common bond of being long-time runners and to have a whole lot of fun while being coached by a staff that understands the trials of miles.

This is masters week:

Laura and Jill greet this year’s iteration of the Creek Road garden scarecrow

Michael smiles after biking, hiking and before running 6 miles to Westmore Beach – he’s a veteran of 12 Endurathon Days!

Dave is a track man from way back and he circled the oval with finesse

Jill is on the comeback trail after an injury – her form looks as good as ever

Feisty on the track, 82 year-old Jules rips off an 800 like it’s nothing

At 13.5 years old, Towhee is part of the masters gang. Now retired from running, she rests and takes it all in at the track

Warming up for the fartlek and tempo session on Craftsbury Common, a most idyllic place to run fast

Richard concentrates during the tempo run on the Common

Michael and Susan chat it up with our sports nutritionist Chrissy during our evening social

The Ridge Run mists were legion and Ted was in the middle of it all

Elaine and Laura on King Farm Hill with a few miles left to go on the Ridge Run

This year’s Ridge Run shirts designed by Hannah Dreissigacker were hugely popular. Thanks Han!

Thank you for a terrific week, see you in 2015, Masters!

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Craftsbury in the Southern Hemisphere

DSC_7155Our globetrotting endless winter members the Massey-Biermans are getting some early (or maybe it’s late?) season k’s in on snow in Argentina. From Paul -

“Craftsbury well represented in 4 km girls pursuit race yesterday – run on the FIS sprint course where they cancelled the races for the weekend when there was no snow.

Post race dinner for the kids (and parents) involved boxes of empanadas and piles of cake and ice cream. Podium was stairs of local coach (and former Argentina Nordic Olympian, Sebastian, who is in blue jacket) and prizes were local chocolate.

They sure know how to have fun down here!”

Looks like!

DSC_6804 DSC_6842 DSC_6772 DSC_6741

 

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