It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Winter is over! Yay! Berry season is just beginning and some would say the king of berries, strawberries, are the first to show up each year and if you haven’t experienced visiting a local farm and picking your own at a strawberry picking farm you’re missing out on one of life’s simplest and sweetest joys.
Wash and dry them and set them in a single layer on a tray to freeze so they keep their shape until they’re frozen enough to fill freezer bags. This will extend your joy throughout the year. Smoothies, pie, pancakes….the possibilities are endless.
Not far behind the delectable strawberries are raspberries, red and black. That’s black raspberries, a whole different animal than blackberries, of which I personally am not a fan, but black raspberries are my absolute favorite. You can find them growing wild if you’re lucky! We used to pick them when we were kids and eat them with milk and sugar. Yum! They’re not nearly as familiar tho to a lot of our guests as the much bigger blackberries are, but I love them so much, I planted my own bushes and you’ll see some of my harvest from our bed and breakfast in the photo below. Don’t they look amazing?
Just after the raspberries come the longest lasting summer berries, the beloved blueberry! So delicious and so good for you! And there’s no comparison to the ones you get at the supermarket! You can see some of our own mixed in the black raspberries below. Our bushes have just about doubled in size this year. They say it takes 6 years for a blueberry bush to really produce!
Our own blueberry bush!
Chances are, if you come for a visit to Amenia, NY you’ll be enjoying some of the “fruits of our labor” for breakfast! Hope to see you soon!
The Berkshires comprise large tracts of wilderness noted for its beautiful natural scenery.
If you’re looking for a nice easy (about 1.5 miles) hike to head to this Spring, Summer or Fall, the dramatic Bash Bish Falls is the tallest single-drop waterfall on the New York/ Massachusetts border Bash Bish Falls
There are so many hiking spots near this Amenia B&B and we’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg, but Bash Bish is one that we kept hearing about and it didn’t disappoint! It starts out as an easy slightly uphill trail thru the woods. If you have small children with you, you’ll need to keep them close because of the steep drop to one side where the water from the
Bash Bish Falls
falls runs thru. As you approach the top it opens up into a beautiful double sided waterfall. You can climb down the stairs to get close.
I’m so happy that Spring has finally arrived (on the calendar at least) but the warmer days and sunshine can’t be far behind! So it’s time to think about the fun and exciting variety of yearly events that are held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds May 31- June 2nd 2019 in Rhinebeck NY! It’s just a 40 minute drive thru the lovely and picturesque countryside and stunning farms along the route from Hilltop House here in Amenia to the fairgrounds. One of my very favorites is the Country Living Fair! click here Some call it junking! Making good of cast-offs is good for all of us; it produces less trash in the long run. The pendants above are made from old optometrist lenses–“do you see better now? how about now? and now?”–with nostalgic images secured inside. We made the photo big so you could see how wonderfully involving they are.
antique soup tureen lids
This photo above, shows a whimsical wall decor of pottery lids which have lost their bottoms long ago. I always thought that the lids were the first to break, “Auntie Em, I love these sweet potatoes, oops! Hot lid! Sorry.” but someone somewhere pulled all of these beauteous pieces together and they made for a compelling display. And you know, there’s money to be made in them thar lids, even if you don’t have a bottom seeking cover, they’re very handsome just on the wall (come to think of it, I wonder if any of those were used for chamber pots?).
There is so much to find and be inspired by in Dutchess County and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut. You’ll find a little piece of heaven here waiting for you here in one or all of our Hudson Valley towns. Come on up and see us! click here
Trade Secrets, a rare plant and garden antiques show, is a yearly Spring time event held at beautiful Lion Rock Farm in Sharon Connecticut. Located just over the New York border, the event is held to raise funds for Women’s Support Services, a non-profit that assists victims of domestic violence.
After hosting many guests here at Hilltop House that come back year after year to attend this event, I decided it was time to go and check it out for myself. Well, to say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement! Featuring over 60 vendors and artisans you’ll be sure to find something you just can’t live without! Trade Secrets is packed with every beautiful thing you could want for your garden, from rare plants to antique garden furniture and art to hand made pots and planters, topiaries and so much more.
Below you’ll see just a sampling of some of the lovely things you can find at this amazing garden show.
Make sure you bring cash or checks because they aren’t set up for credit cards.