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.
Clement and Keyo Ford donated their estate to the Audubon in 1961. They envisioned a future where their property, then known as Bog Meadow Farm, would serve as an educational nature center for everyone to enjoy nature.
The Hal Borland Room in the main building is a tribute and memorial to the writer who wrote editorials for the New York Times, he formerly wrote for the Times for 6 years as a staff writer, prior to becoming a editorial contributor in 1941. He was a well-known American author, journalist and naturalist, whose editorials about the outdoors was very well known. He wrote for a variety of publications over the years, and his editorials about the outdoors was later compiled into two books. The room includes photos, his books and typewriter.
The Emily Winthrop Miles Wildlife Sanctuary was originally owned by Emily Winthrop Miles, a poet, writer and artist. Much of the inspiration for her large body of work come from nature. She donated the land, 740 acres of it, to the National Audubon Society in 1962. The property now covers over 1,500 acres surrounded by over 5,000 acres of protected open space. The sanctuary still honors her legacy with visitors being able to visit the building, see her sculptures, and hike and walk the surrounding land.
Sharon Audubon Today
The Center operates a wildlife rehabilitation program which currently houses over 20 non-releasable birds, more than 16 different species of avians. The birds primarily reside in large, outdoor aviaries, with birds such as owls, hawks and falcons that are filled with as close to their natural habitats as possible. The aviaries are a short walk from the main building.
The Main Visitor Center offers a refuge for animals that cannot be released into the wild mainly because injuries would prevent them from surviving on their own. It also includes a reptile center whose residents were either former pets who’s care became unmanageable for their owners, or like many of the birds, ones that could no longer live on their own in the wild. Every year the Center admits and cares for hundreds of wild animals to their rehabilitation center with the long-term goal of releasing them back into the wild when they are able to take care of themselves.
The Sharon Audubon Center consists of 1,147 acres of mostly forest and includes 11 miles of trails and two ponds. The main Visitor Center building houses a small hands-on natural history museum, the Audubon Nature Store, and the Children’s Adventure Center. The immediate grounds include Raptor Aviaries, the Herb Garden, the Eleanor Loft Bird & Butterfly Garden, and a working sugarhouse (formerly an ice house). The Visitor Center & Nature Store are closed Mondays and All Major Holidays. If you are in the area and staying at the Inn, the Center is a wonderful place to check out, the Center has things for all ages.
Center & Store Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Aviaries & Trails: Open Daily, Sunrise to Sunset (small fee)
If you need a vacation, or just time to de-stress or decompress, pair a holiday or vacation away at the Hilltop House B&B and pair it with some classes at the Omega Institute for the perfect solution to reaching the perfect OM!
Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies has served as a destination for creative individuals who want to explore the arts, as well as enhance and learn leadership skills and explore personal growth.
Located on 200 acres in the heart of the Hudson Valley, the institute offers retreats, workshops and classes in it’s Rhinebeck location, as well as to others in it’s other locations around the world.
A non-profit, Omega has hosted over 23,000 people at their events, and has been at the head of innovations for natural healing and programs that explore and connect people with science to spirituality. Omega attendees come from all over the world to learn more about health, growth, personal change and development. In addition to classes, there are additional event offerings at Omega, including purification lodges, community dances, talent shows, arts and crafts fairs.
The name “Omega” came from the teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a renowned 20th-century philosopher, who used the term “Omega Point” to describe the peak of unity and integration toward which all life is evolving.
Staff and Community Members consist of about 75 people who expand to several hundred during the main season between April and October. They help and provide assistance to the thousands of people who attend the workshops, trainings and retreats that Omega hosts.
Check out just a few of the upcoming workshops at Omega!
Body Mind and Spirit Workshops:
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction In Mind-Body Medicine
An Introduction To Yin Yoga
Celebrating Your Second Journey
Introduction To Solarplate Etching
And many more…
Health and Healing Workshops:
Become Your Healthiest Self
Stretch Your Lungs With Breatheology
Yoga & Mindfulness For Emotional Well-Being
The Happiness Program
And many more…
Creative Expression Workshops:
The Art Of Monoprinting
Warm Water Yoga Teacher Training
Scripting Your Soul’s Purpose
Conquer The Enemy Within
And many more…
There is almost nothing better than the smell of walking into a sugar house and smelling boiling maple sap! The best thing after smelling it, is tasting it! Drizzling real maple syrup on the delicious pancakes and waffles that you will wake up to while staying at Hilltop House!
While you are here for a visit, check out some of the local Sugar Houses! Maple Weekend and the Sugaring Festival is coming up soon, and what better souvenirs to bring back to friends and relatives (and keep a tasty stash for yourself!) than good maple syrup and other maple goodies!
Annual Maple Sugaring Festival
March 4, 2017
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Adults $15, children $10.
The Institute for American Indian Studies (About 45 minutes from the Inn)
38 Curtis Rd. Washington, CT 06793
Enjoy an afternoon celebrating the taste of Maple Sugar. Enjoy pancakes, local maple syrup, coffee and more (served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.), and learn how Native Americans traditionally made maple syrup. Learn about the technique of collecting sap and boiling it down into syrup, and its importance to Native American culture. Connecticut Valley Siberian Husky Club’s dog sledding and mushing demonstration from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
For more information visit http://www.iaismuseum.org
Maple Syrup on Snow (Also called Sugar on Snow)
Soukup Farms (About 12 minutes from the Inn)
271 Halls Corners Rd., Dover Plains, New York
Maple Weekend will be held on March 18th & 19th and March 25th & 26th from 10 to 4 each day at the sugarhouse. They will have ongoing tours and explanations of how they make maple syrup from tree to bottle. They will also be offering samples of all four grades of their maple syrup and will have it for sales as well!
Crown Maple (About 20 minutes from the Inn)
47 McCourt Road, Dover Plains NY 12522
Winter Hours of Operation: Open Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Tours at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. The Crown Maple Estate will resume regular hours of 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday March 18th.
Some fun facts about maple syrup:
It takes 40 to 50 gallons of tree sap to make one gallon of syrup.
A tree takes about 40 years before it’s big enough to tap
A quarter-cup of maple syrup is high in minerals
Stored properly, a sealed container of maple syrup can keep for several years
If you put a glass of water and a glass of maple sap side by side, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
A gallon of maple syrup weighs 11 pounds
The sugar content of sap averages 2.5 percent; sugar content of maple syrup is at least 66 percent or more
Tapping does no permanent damage and only 10 percent of the sap is collected each year. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 or more years.
Did you know what the different grades of maple syrup mean and what’s best used for?
• Light Amber or Fancy Grade has a mild maple taste and is made early in the season. This is considered best for fine maple candy.
• Medium Amber has a little more maple flavor and is made about mid-season.
• Dark Amber, although slightly darker and with a stronger maple flavor, is fast becoming a favored table syrup.