We were having lunch at Pho Hong, our favorite restaurant in Burlington, when Silverbelle Sandy said “Something I really want to do before the summer is over is to pick peaches in Addison County.
“Vermont’s not exactly known for its peaches,” I said. “But if you’re serious, you better get on the stick, because I don’t know how long peach season lasts in Vermont.” So, as we were waiting for our spring roles to arrive, she got on the stick, i.e. her phone, and started Googling.”
“How the picking?” she asked the lady at Champlain Orchards who answered the phone. “Great,” came the answer.” “Excellent,” said Sandy. “I think well be over on Sunday.” “Oh,” said the lady, “It’ll be all done by then.” After a quick consultation, she said “In that case we’ll be there this afternoon.”
We finished out excellent meal, once again Pho Hong did not disappoint, hurried through our remaining errands, and headed south. Shoreham, Vermont is roughly one hour south of Burlington.
We drove mostly on Vermont Route 7 south, which parallels Lake Champlain and offers some spectacular vistas across the Adirondacks. We were encouraged to notice how many new green businesses there were along the way. Vermont is a caldron of entreprenial activity and environmental consciousness, so it wasn’t surprising, but gratifying to see.
We were making a beeline, but when we passed a creemee stand called Vermont Cookie Love, Sandy started making a strange noise … something part growl, part gurgle, part chortle, and part something I’ve only heard from Susan Blair in The Exorcist. “You wanna turn around?” I asked as Cookie Love was disappearing in the rearview. “NAR-RAW-GEE-HARG!!” she responded in some primal language I’ve never heard, but whose meaning I instantly understood. I jammed on the brakes and did an illegal, but entirely justified U-turn. You think I’m a dummy? We are now reduced to ordering “Kiddie” or “Baby-“sized cones, but the indulgent pleasure is still there.
An hour after Pho Hong we were picking peaches in Shoreham. Only in Vermont!
It took only nano-seconds to pick the peaches that we needed for ourselves, so we started picking for friends and neighbors, too. The gift of a handful of ripe peaches can only do good things for a relationship. Sure the peaches are smaller than the Jersey peaches we get at the local market and they cost more. But they’re worth more, because they are somehow more precious.
Looking over the gentle hills of Addison County, across the lake to the foothills of the Adirondacks, we were reminded that we love the place we live. That’s got to be worth something.