Q: Why did the cow cross the road?
A: To get to the udder side.
I’ve got moooo-re, if you like… smile, wink, wink.
The thing is I’m on assignment in bucolic Vermont, a state that, until 2012, had more cows than people! That’s no longer true but the ratio is still charming – something like one iconic bovine to every five Vermonters.
I spent the day recording tree grafting at a small, family-run organic orchard northeast of the capital Montpelier on the rolling hillsides of Washington County.
Owner Todd Parlo of Walden Heights Nursery specializes in grafting non-GMO heritage variety fruit trees like apple, pear, cherry, plum and more. He demonstrated the melding of rootstocks from one variety to another using scions (cuttings), electric tape, and wax.
(Having shot a documentary last month about 19th celebrity “Plant Wizard” Luther Burbank, this assignment was as sweet as a bushel of blueberries.)
Visitors are welcome to visit, purchase products and learn techniques in grafting workshops.
Understandably, a lunch of healthy, sustainable, locally-sourced cooking was on our minds when we wrapped. Ten minutes down the road we found ourselves at the award-wining Cabot Creamery factory headquarters in the town of, what else, Cabot. The Visitors Center offers free nibbles of cheddars, syrups, jams, jellies, yogurts and specialty foods as well as tours of the facility. The history dates back 1919 when 94 farmers from the Cabot area purchased the village creamery and began producing butter and marketing it throughout New England.
Surprisingly, the plant doesn’t have an official luncheonette counter but Sarah’s Country Diner on the main drag through town does. With only two tables, four stools and one cook, you might need to wait some but the home prepared dishes are worth it.
To find the eatery, you’ll need to take an old-fashioned stroll past hinges, hooks and handles at Harry’s Hardware. I think Harry was fix’in a screen door when, with full bellies, we paid Sarah for one of the best chicken salad sandwiches (with pineapple and chipotle) we’ve ever had and happily went on our way.
Four hours later, I was home well “pasture” my bedtime and fell asleep counting Holsteins.