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Burlington, VT pt II: A Tiny House and a Big Farm (A Perfect Sunday).

Photo: Dan Kirk

Sundays in the Fall in Vermont now always remind me of my friend Jess, and our long drives while up at school, through the “country;” peeping leaves, admiring houses, and of course stopping for snacks along the way. Though Jess wasn’t with me this trip, I really had the perfect lazy Sunday in Vermont. The air was crisp, and there was a light breeze throughout the morning. Being out of the city, just breathing seemed like a vacation in itself. It was a beautiful day in Burlington, but it was the quick drive to Charlotte that was really the perfect picture of an autumn afternoon.

Dan’s Microhouse is located on an amazing piece of property, on a dirt road, set way back from the street in Charlotte. All the leaves were really in their peak, a fantastic background splattering lit by the bright sun of brilliant reds, and warm orange and yellow hues. Everyone had already been working on the house for several hours by the time I arrived (I did afterall, say this was a lazy Sunday) and we couldn’t stay long if we were to make it to brunch on time– but we got the full tour of the project, and it was great to finally get to see the real thing!

Mike & Mr. Kirk, hard at work on the Microhouse.

We were all really impressed by what the guys have done so far, especially my dad who still has not stopped talking about it. I look foward to watching the project progress, and can’t wait to see it when it’s all done! You can get additional information, and follow Dan’s Microhouse on his blog.

It was a lazy Sunday for Wyatt too.

After our quick visit at the Microhouse, we headed to Shelburne Farms for brunch. Shelburne Farms is a membership-supported, nonprofit environmental education center, as well as a 1,400-acre working farm, and a National Historic Landmark all right on the lake. The estate, built in 1886, is now home to the Inn at Shelburne Farms, and an incredible restaurant that uses produce from the farm’s market garden, as well as their own dairy, meats from other local farms, and items from Vermont food purveyors.

The Inn at Shelburne Farms

All the fresh ingredients of the day are displayed at the entrance of the dining room:

We had a really amazing meal. I of course started with a bloody mary (which was a little thick for my liking, but still pretty delicious). Both my parents had the Maple Sausage, Apple, and Cheddar Omlette, and I had the Market Garden Fritatta, with sunchokes, foraged mushrooms, and other tasty veggies. The eggs were light, fluffy, and really delicious, and the vegetables were all very mild in flavor, but cooked perfectly, and worked very well texturally. The house-made sausage was really amazing– tender, juicy, and seasoned to perfection.

After our meals we walked around some of the expansive grounds, stopping down at the farm to see all the animals, and the numerous Dutch Brown Dairy Cows.

The farm was crowded with families, and there were a lot of little kids very happy to be around the animals, and having the opportunity to pet them, feed them, and even milk them. The farm is not only a really beautiful place, but the educational programs offered for children and adults are really incredible. The farm has a huge impact on the local community, and is a really big part of organizations such as VT FEED, a group that links Vermont farms to schools throughout the area that has done some really inspiring work.

After spending a few hours at Shelburne Farms, we ventured down the road to another favorite spot, Shelburne Orchards. While we usually go apple picking, this time we opted for some apple pie, and hot cider instead. We sipped our warm drinks, and sat at picnic tables on the top of the hill listening to bluegrass music taking in the view. The pie was delicious, and the sight was spectacular, I’m not sure I could have asked for a more perfect day. And though I love living in NYC, I can honestly say in that moment I didn’t miss the subways, sidewalks, or smells, the attitudes, or the people that posess them. I didn’t even really miss the food.

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