Catch up with cowboys riding buckin’ broncs when we head West (West Central Vermont, that is) for a day in the saddle and a night at New England’s only weekly rodeo when we visit the O’Rourke family’s 2,000-acre working ranch - Pond Hill, just west of the Green Mountain National Forest, near Castleton, Vermont.
Discover why one family traded their home in Washington, DC for Washington, Vermont, and how their ingenuity with a flock of Romney sheep, Angora rabbits and South American llamas helped make life on an 18th century farm fashionable for artists and visitors who want to escape to a simpler time.
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Fun Facts about Romney Sheep
- Wool from Romney sheep is desired by hand spinners due to its lustrous fleece which hangs in separate locks for easy cleaning and wool preparation, making it ideal for purposes from sweaters to rugs.
- The low grease content of Romney wool makes the weight loss of washed fleeces minimal.
- Originally from the marshy area of Kent, along the windswept south coast of England, where climate and geography led to development of a breed resistant to foot rot and fleeces that remain healthy in harsh weather.
- The first Romneys were imported to North America in 1904 by William Riddel of Oregon.
Out & About visits the University of Vermont's Morgan Horse Farm in Weybridge, VT charged with preserving and strengthening the Morgan Horse, one of the first horse breeds developed in the United States and the official state animal of Vermont.
The university takes on apprentice-interns who help to maintain and improve a herd of about 50 horses. UVM continues groundwork laid by Colonel Joseph Battell who set up a barn in 1878 to begin to preserve the horse’s bloodlines. That historic barn is still the centerpiece for the operation.
The breed began with a single colt named Figure. In 1789, a Vermont teacher named Justin Morgan took him in payment for a debt. Figure apparently possessed incredible strength and speed. As was the practice at that time, the horse became known by his owner's name.
Solid, strong animals, Morgans were known to be calm under fire and became the favored mounts of many Civil War regiments. The federal government appreciated their value and took over the operation from Battell from 1907 until 1951, when the university stepped in.
Even Hollywood has been inspired by the story of the Morgan Horse.In 1972 Walt Disney made a movie called Justin Morgan Had a Horse starring Don Murray as Justin Morgan.
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Community Cinema participants viewed the film, then discussed it with two of food experts at the library. The panelists were: Jeff Roberts, President of Cow Creek Creative Ventures; author and international food consultant, and Ilene Siegel, Registered Dietician; Certified Diabetes Educator.
Funding for the panel discussion video was made possible by ORCA Media. Recorded January 9, 2013.
Community Cinema participants viewed the film, then discussed it with a panel of area artists at the library. The panelists were: Delia Robinson, painter, sculptor and illustrator Daniel Barlow, photographer for Green Mountain Graveyards and founder of Trees and Hills Comics. Sam Talbot-Kelly, conceptual apparel and mixed-media painting/design James Secor, acrylic painting
Funding for the panel discussion video was made possible by ORCA Media. Recorded December 12, 2012.
Set amid 6,000 private wooded acres, with a base elevation of 2,100 feet, Bolton Valley provides 165 acres of ski-able terrain with 6 lifts and 61 trails. It’s summit is at 3,150 feet with a vertical drop of 1,704 feet. Open since 1966, Bolton welcome downhill and cross country skiers as well as boarders. Riders of varying skill levels can try out 3 different, onsite terrain parks.
Film buff and itinerant reviewer Collin Parker gives us the lowdown on movies with a regional connection that we can enjoy at home. This week, Collin takes a look at Portrait of Jennie (1948), The Shining, The Grey, and White Christmas.
Collin has been the movie critic for examiner.com and at Essex Cinemas in Essex, Vermont, and Cumberland 12 in Plattsburgh, New York, since 2009. In ‘real’ life, he is the Marketing Director at The Essex Resort & Spa. Follow him on Twitter at @popcollin.
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