Posts Tagged ‘Owl’s Head Blueberry Farm’

it ain’t over

August 24, 2009
Violinist/Artistic Director Soovin Kim

Violinist/Artistic Director Soovin Kim

Summers here are all the sweeter for the outdoor music. Right? It starts with the big bang of the Discover Jazz Festival just after Memorial Day. From there on out every restaurant, park and tent-able space erupts in sound, happily for weeks on end.

Did I mention the berry patches? Those too. One of my favorite places to kick off the shoes and enjoy some live tunes is the Owl’s Head Blueberry Farm in Richmond. Tuesdays and Thursdays through July and August offer live musical accompaniment to pick a few quarts. It’s great. And hey – it’s almost over. This is the last week, check out the schedule and by all means get there if you can. July’s rain has made for some of the biggest, fattest, sweetest berries in years. The 8 brimming quarts in the freezer can back that one up. I’m hoping to go for 16 before the week’s over. It’s a long time before next summer.

This year we even had the extra bonus of the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial events to keep things exciting through the end of June and start of July, before the “real” festival season fired up later in the month with the annual Vermont Mozart Festival, Marlboro, the Killington, Manchester, and Central Vermont’s Chamber Music Festivals, and … on.

So we come to late August and it feels a little empty. Like the day after Christmas, or that odd quietness in the house the morning after hosting a really great party.

Enter the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival. I first heard about the plans around a year ago when Soovin Kim visited us at Vermont Public Radio. He came that day to play violin, and he mentioned his role as Artistic Director in getting the first plans for this summer’s LCCMF off the ground. It all seemed so far away then. Now it’s here: a new music festival starting in late August just as so many others are wrapping up.

The events began today as artist-in-residence David Ludwig led the first of the week-long “Listening Club” sessions (today’s subject: Shostakovich’s Op. 127 songs on poems by Alexander Blok). Schubert’s lovely song cycle Liederkreis is tomorrow’s discussion subject, and then you can hear soprano Hyunah Yu singing the Blok song cycle in the first of the Festival concerts on Weds. night, at 7:30. Two more concerts follow on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Summer’s not over yet. It’s just rounding third now, fueled by the afterburn of an already very fine live music season.

Festival details (all concerts at the Elley-Long Music Center on the St. Michael’s campus):

the complete schedule, with the Listening Club workshop information

schedule information for concerts only


found my thrill

August 4, 2009
8/4/09 - Moon over Owl's Head

8/4/09 - Moon over Owl's Head

Pick blueberries, big as grapes.

Eat blueberries (you know, not a lot, that would be rude. Just a couple to find out where the sweetest bushes are).

Take a break, enjoy a picnic in the setting sun with a backdrop of blueberry bush-covered hillsides and rolling green mountains.

Do a little dance to Dixieland favorites like All of Me, I Got A New Baby, and…wait a minute. Really?


It’s the special summertime experience of the Owl’s Head Blueberry Farm in Richmond. Right around this time every year when the blueberries get as big and ripe as the August full moon, the bands come out to play and the hillsides fill with folks picking berries, having picnics on the grassy spaces between the bushes, and…dancing. Always dancing.

It’s between work and home, and not far from where I live. I try to get there at least once a summer.

Quarts of sweet blueberry goodness

Quarts of sweet blueberry goodness

Music figures into the experience every Tuesday and Thursday (weather dependent – everything is) from around the third week of July until the end of August.

Over the last few summers of visits I’ve heard guitarists, recorder ensembles, and, tonight – a Dixieland band – all playing to an audience of friends, families, and rows and rows of busting blueberry bushes.

Tonight’s haul: 8 quarts, one picnic, two ears full of cricket songs and sweet Dixieland clarinet, and, a moonlit ride home through the Valley.

A pretty good summer night overall.

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