It amazes me how every single Squam experience can be so different. This gathering was especially unique given the partnership with Taproot. The focus was on simplicity, sustainability and self-sufficiency. Classes ranged from canning and preserving, to carving wooden spoons and dying wool with foraged ingredients. The people who attended the gathering were an incredible group- many are homesteading, homeschooling, creating and nurturing in ways that simply amazed me. It was an honor to lead a class on both Thursday and Friday, and to spend time getting to know their stories.
We drove through the countryside around Holderness, New Hampshire exploring local treasures along the way. The weather ranged from sticky hot in the high nineties, to cool and rainy. You’ve gotta love New England- if you don’t like the weather…wait a minute. The leaves were just beginning to change, and feelings of fall were everywhere. We visited a creamery that made the most incredible cheeses and ice creams (their coffee ice cream was a taste of heaven on earth, made with real strong black coffee- yes!)
If you should find yourself in the area, Tamworth is the most charming town, and absolutely worth a stop. I was only a bit heartbroken to miss their farmers’ market on Saturday morning as I can imagine it is simply perfect. Oh yes…and please order an iced latte at the Tamworth Lyceum (trust me on this one!). When we asked for a double shot, the girl behind the counter replied, “Everything I make is a double.” My kind of barista.
For lunch, we headed up the road to The Community School– an amazing alternative school and farm. We were lucky enough to tour both the farm and school, and be treated to a true farm-to-table lunch. Venison stew, kale and apple salad and homemade brownies. It was hardy, flavorful, and all locally sourced.
The farm and school are surrounded by the White Mountains, and the views were breathtaking. It rather put to shame my dull suburban high school. A few of the students were helping the farm managers pull the cutting bed in order to make room for a student garden. It was part of their Stewardship Class, and can I just say…I was so jealous. Can you imagine spending time outside, planting, weeding and learning about farming as part of your curriculum in high school?
We finished off the day with some thrifting, which, I’ll be honest, was a little hit or miss. But I suppose that’s the charm of thrifting, isn’t it? There were a few treasures to be had, but mostly browsing. As someone who is allergic to clutter, I always find that browsing is half the fun anyway.
It was such a unique Squam experience, as I was very removed from what was going on back at camp. I left a bit early (heading home on Friday night), so I also missed the fair. I have a hard time being away from my boys for more than a few nights. I arrived home past 11pm, and crawled right into bed. In the morning, Vijay climbed into our bed and said, “I missed you so much, mama.” And my heart melted. Sometimes, you just know when it’s time to come home.