Quest with Me: Sharon Elementary School

Just before school started this fall, I visited Sharon Elementary School. I was excited to visit this stop on the Super Quest because I’ve also been working with a 4th grade teacher in Sharon whose class is writing the very first Quest in Sharon, Vermont this year. They are working on it right now–stay tuned later this fall so you can be one of the very first Questers in downtown Sharon.

While I was there, we visited the school’s gardens. Each grade level has it’s own garden plot where students can learn and get their hands dirty.

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The gardens were well-tended, even before school was in session! I’ve never seen such a beautiful elementary school garden.

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The school also has a production garden for vegetables that are served in the school cafeteria. Now THAT is eating local! (Interested in growing vegetables for your school? Want to incorporate harvest lessons into your classroom? Check out the Upper Valley Farm to School Network!)

Are you registered for the Super Quest? Don’t forget that you can win a prize just for registering your team! We are looking forward to checking off some more autumn stops on the Quest with some apples, pumpkins, and a corn maze–you have until November 1 to complete your Quest.

Quest With Me: Edgewater Farm

I stopped at Edgewater Farm in Plainfield, NH with my daughter last week to check off another stop on the Super Quest. We were greeted by a beautiful lush plants, gorgeous produce, and eager staff who provided us with lots of reading materials to help us on our Quest.

Talia contemplates Integrated Pest Management as we hunt for the solution to this puzzle

Talia contemplates Integrated Pest Management as we hunt for the solution to this puzzle

This Quest is all about Integrated Pest Management (IPM), so Talia and I checked out the plants and greenhouses to learn about insects. This holistic, environmentally friendly approach to pest management reduces the need for chemical pesticides. Edgewater Farm monitors plants to detect problems early, and uses “good” insects to keep the “bad” insects away.

Good bugs rule!

Good bugs rule!

Once we solved the puzzle (it was deceptively tricky!), we went back inside the farmstand to pick up some tasty fruits and vegetables for the week. Talia couldn’t wait any longer, so she snatched a tomato to eat while she toddled through the farmstand.

Enjoying a tasty heirloom tomato

Enjoying a tasty heirloom tomato

Have you registered your team for the Super Quest? Once you’ve completed your quest and solved the puzzle, you will be entered into the grand prize drawing!

13 Ways to Go Questing in August

1. Explore by water
Grab your canoe and get out on a lake. In the early morning or at dusk on this Quest at Mascoma Lake, you might spot a loon!

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2. Take a friend on their first quest
Pick your favorite quest and invite a newbie to join you. It’s always more fun with a friend! And maybe you’ll inspire a new lifelong Quester.

 

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3. Enjoy some poetry

Feeling creative?
Try this Quest in Hanover
Written in haiku! 

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4. Reach a fitness goal
Questing isn’t just fun, it’s good for you, too! Grab your pedometer and find a mountain to climb (or maybe just a hill).

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5. Go on the Upper Valley Farms Super Quest
Fresh foods, beautiful views, and alpacas, too. Solve the puzzle and you’ll be entered to win the grand prize!

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6. Visit a new place
Tired of the same old routine? Use our Valley Quest directory to discover a Quest in a town you’ve never visited, or a trail you’ve never noticed before.

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7. Be a photographer
Bring your camera (or your iPhone!) and photograph your journey. Send us your favorite snapshots and you might see yourself in a future blog post!

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9. Channel your inner architect
Look at the Upper Valley through a new lens. Try an architecture Quest, like this one that guides you through downtown Claremont, New Hampshire.

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10. Eat a tasty treat
Out of syrup? Try this Quest at Sugarbush Farm and enjoy some maple candy while you’re there.

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11. Be an Earthsaver
Bring a trash bag and clean up your path while you’re questing.  The planet will thank you, and so will your fellow Questers!

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12. Get inside on a rainy day
Got the rainy day blues? Try an indoor Quest, like this one at the American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vermont.

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13. Write your own quest
Feeling ambitious? Create your own Quest in your favorite special place. Find instructions here, and don’t forget to share it with us when you’re finished!

 

Quest with Me: Hurricane Flats Farm

This week, my daughter and I continued on our Super Quest and visited Hurricane Flats Farm in South Royalton, Vermont. What a picturesque Vermont family farm! The farm was hit hard by Irene in 2011, but you would never know it now. Geo and his family were hard at work in the gorgeous fields when we stopped by on Monday.

This stop on the Super Quest would have been a very challenging one if Emma hadn’t been working nearby to point me in the right direction. We followed the road from the farm stand down into the field, and turned right after the corn patch. We paused here to take a picture of another pastoral view

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The sign you are looking for on your Quest is hidden along the banks of the river, among some tall grass. I’ve covered up the answer with this happy cartoon bear!

Visit Hurricane Flats Farm to see what’s hiding behind the bear!

After we found the puzzle solution, we enjoyed a leisurely walk back up to the farm stand. We couldn’t leave without some Ruby Red popcorn. I’ve been told by good sources that it is the best popcorn on the planet. I’m looking forward to taste testing it myself!

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Make sure to register your team for the Super Quest if you haven’t already registered. Once you’ve completed your quest and emailed your puzzle solution to me, you’ll be entered to win the grand prize! Next week, we will be questing at the Lebanon Farmer’s Market. Hope to see you there!

Quest with Me!

As the new Valley Quest manager and the newest member of the Vital Communities team, I’m very excited to dive right in and get started this summer! One of my first adventures is completing the Upper Valley Farm Super Quest. I’ll be posting throughout the summer as I explore these local farms, and enjoy all the fun (and delicious!) stops along the way.

My first stop was Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center in Thetford, Vermont. My daughter, our neighbors, and I visited just in time for strawberry picking. The kids loved hunting for bright red berries in the fields, and of course they taste-tested them too.

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After we picked our 6 pounds of strawberries, we headed to the farm stand to complete the quest, and to pick up some fresh veggies for dinner too.

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Have you registered for the Super Quest? Stop by our Facebook page and tell us about your adventures. And be sure to check out the latest news on the Vital Communities Facebook page too! Next week, we are headed to Hurricane Flats Farm in South Royalton.

-Lauren

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