Phone:508-495-0248
Phone:508-495-0248

Category Archives: eco-tourism

Snow Photos 2015 from Woods Hole, Cape Cod

February 28, 2015 by Beth Colt

view of Stoney Beach winter 2015 with open water and hashtag snowThis winter brought more snow than usual with the month of February racking up over 100 inches in Boston, breaking snowfall records all over the region.  Our snow photos always intrigue summer visitors who only see Cape Cod at 80 degrees.  It’s hard to imagine Coast Guard ice cutters crisscrossing the Hole, intrepid explorers out seventy five feet on Buzzards Bay, MBL scientists enjoying pick-up hockey on Eel Pond, ferries dodging ice cakes clogging the Passage, massive navigational buoys drifting like toy boats.

My quest for snow photos typically involves rushing out the minute it starts, as the snow always seems to melt within a few minutes.  Not so much for snow photos 2015.  We have been covered in a decent blanket since the first blizzard hit in late January.  Since then, I have lost count of how many more days it snowed, although I remember Valentine’s Day — soft quiet accumulation all night with a dramatic blizzard slamming like a hangover in the morning.  These winter storms had romantic names like Neptune and Juno, Greek reminders of god-like forces greater than us.

In addition to the relentless snow fall, cold air blasted us for most of the month.  We now have significant sea ice formed all along our shores rendering the landscape at water’s edge into something otherworldly, arctic.  If you have not seen satellite photos of this phenomena, check this out, as it appears to be frozen at least half way across Buzzards Bay.

To keep the harbor open, the US Coast Guard sent ice cutters to maintain the ferry system connecting us to Martha’s Vineyard.  Out on Nantucket, a local photographer captured slushy waves that made the New York Times, while here in Woods Hole we watched, mesmerized, as the ice floes and some of the buoys moved through the currents of the Woods Hole passage.

When the Eel Pond froze over earlier this week, the first intrepid explorers were scientists from our local labs in special suits designed to prevent drowning.  But once it was proven solid, lots of Woods Hole lemmings (including me) rushed out to experience the feeling of walking and skating in the middle of the village.

I particularly love this birds-eye-view film shot by my neighbor Brian Switzer (a wonderful director and inspired teacher in our local public schools) of Woods Hole in these extraordinary conditions.  I think you will enjoy it, and perhaps the snow photos 2015 in my photo essay that follows.  For daily photos, check out my Facebook page #WoodsHoleColors.

MBL Street engulfed in snow during blizzard Woods Hole 2015snow in Woods Hole on Cape Cod winter 2015thermometer outside in Woods Hole porch showing zero degreesEntrance to Eel Pondin Woods Hole filled with icesnow photos Cape Cod 2015Cape Cod snow photos 2015snow photos 2015 hungry ducks in Woods Hole on Cape Codsnow photos 2015 Cape Codsnow photos 2015

Stormy Cape Cod in November

November 9, 2014 by Beth Colt

Fall comes slowly to Cape Cod, with the height of our foliage season happening now in early November.  As the nights begin to cool, winter storms start to head our way.  We had our first nor’easter of the season last weekend, felt a little early for it especially when the snow began to flurry, but the old timers nodded like this was normal — Cape Cod can be wicked this tima yehr.

My Sunday started especially early as power was out.  Here is the pole I discovered down in front of our neighbors at the Sands of Time.

Woods Hole stormWith the generator humming early, Charlene put out breakfast and hot coffee as the winds howled outside at 50 MPH.  We were able to warm up quiches, cakes and bread puddings and we added a platter of Dunkin Donuts because stormy days require extra fortification (and God forbid that generator did not work — I’m always thinking about the contingency plan:)breakfast Woods Hole Inn Most of our weekend guests headed home as it was a Sunday, but the wind kept blowing all day long.  By nightfall, the Woods Hole Inn filled back up again with islanders stranded in Woods Hole as the ferries stopped running.  There was a really dramatic sunset, all purple and red with only the horizon glimmering with light.  This photo barely captures it’s extreme beauty, but you can see the gusts of wind still moving across the puddles.

storm Woods HoleThe next few days were the most stunning clear weather, and the north wind from the storm gave the trees a major wake up call – time to lose those leaves!  This magical period with bright colors before the leaves tumble are some of my favorite days on Cape Cod.

foliage 1Later in the week, I headed over to Martha’s Vineyard for a cocktail party, boarding the ferry at about 3.45 pm as the gloaming was setting in, and the weather looked extremely ominous once again.   Another storm…already?,  I thought.

storm Vineyard ferry Woods Hole storm storm on Vineyard ferryI must admit, I was happy to be on a vessel this size, and am always confident in the judgement of the Steamship Authority captains who would never head out in unsafe weather.  My thirteen foot Boston Whaler has been dry docked for the season, but I would not venture out with that mean looking cloud hanging over me in a smaller boat.  As it played out, it looked worse than it was, and we had an uneventful passage culminating in this extraordinary view as we entered Vineyard Haven:

Vineyard Haven lodgingThis bejeweled vision really gave me pause.  Like, take a deep breath and relax.  Count your blessings.  Revel in the splendor of nature.   Enjoy getting off the beaten path.  Visit the Vineyard more often.  Get your nose out of the camera phone and just look, take it in, appreciate the gift of this view.

Woods Hole bed and breakfastAdd this moment to the sunset that came two nights later, and I pinched myself for being lucky enough to live in as magical place as sometimes stormy Cape Cod.  The winter winds will come, the leaves will fall, but each sunrise and sunset is it’s own small miracle here on the sand spit we call home.

 

Spohr Gardens Daffodil Days in Spring on Cape Cod

May 19, 2014 by Beth Colt

Fun Falmouth Romance Getaway

Springtime on Cape Cod invokes images of fields germinating, baby lambs darting across meadows, the bright green of fresh grass and of course the ubiquitous daffodil, a harbinger of summer which is right around the corner.  The best place to see fields of waving daffodils is on a drive to Woods Hole where they will entice you all along Woods Hole Road and lead you right into the incredible six acre Spohr Gardens, one of the loveliest small public gardens on Cape Cod.

This land was placed into conservation by a very generous couple, Margaret and Charles Spohr, and a non-profit group called Friends of Spohr Gardens maintains it.  From the parking lot, a gentle sloping path leads you past thousands of daffodils nestled in the trees amid a series of grist mill wheels artfully placed.  At the bottom of the hill, enjoy the view of Oyster Pond where you might see a swan or two swim past.  From here, you can smell the salt water as the southwest wind blows the spray off Surf Drive and across the pond.

Walk out onto the small dock and look back at the reinforced shoreline which has been arranged with old anchors and ship detritus painted jet black.  If you are lucky an osprey will swoop past.  Or a butterfly will alight, resting for a moment from the breeze.  Consider bringing a kayak for a paddle around this lovely pond, where on the opposite side you will find a bird sanctuary.  Birders delight in this kind of quiet locale where Cape Cod birds tend to gather in droves, in springtime the swans nest and you might see their cygnets.

Spohr Gardens is a short walk or drive from the Woods Hole Inn, and is especially appreciated by locals and guests at this time of year.  Don’t miss a visit to this special place in spring on Cape Cod.

Woods Hole spring gardensromance Falmouth MA getawaysromance Falmouth MA

Takes a Village

August 16, 2013 by Beth Colt

Cal Peternell, Chez Panisse, Quicks Hole

Despite setbacks including intermittent rain and no power to the building for at least an hour mid-day, our James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef dinner called “Starry Starry Night” came off in style this past Tuesday evening August 13, 2013.

We started the night before, renting a truck and emptying the restaurant of all it’s furniture to make room for the chefs to work.  Early in the morning, our parking lot was emptied of cars, the dramatic Sperry Tent raised, True North’s gorgeous farm tables assembled, glassware and plates and table dressing delicately placed with guidance from Susan Ryan Ackell and Jen Chagnon of the Pink Polka Dot.

With celebrity chef Cal Peternell of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, CA and Anna Kovel former food editor of Martha Stewart Living at the helm, the kitchen was an incredible thing to witness. Cal held a meeting of staff at 9 am and the Quicks Hole crew led by our executive chef Stephanie Mikolazyk jumped into action prepping lobster, roast fennel, fish stock, fresh mozzarella and much much more.  All day was spent bustling, chopping and prepping but the tone of the kitchen was calm, relaxed, jovial even.

All key ingredients for the meal were sourced from local farms, fisheries and the Falmouth Farmers Market.  Running short on fish bones, I dashed to the Clam Man early in the morning where our friends there had saved this key ingredient for excellent stock, the critical base of the fish and lobster bouillabaisse.

One hundred lucky guests gathered on the deck of the inn with Woods Hole harbor twinkling beyond to enjoy bellini’s while noshing on passed appetizers like Washburn Island and Island Creek oysters with mignonette, smoked bluefish toasts with roasted fennel, fried panisses and summer vegetable fritters.   Moving to the tent below, we were seated at farm style tables and the courses started arriving, first a salad of heirloom tomatoes and freshly made mozzarella, then this incredibly light saffron and tomato bouillabaisse with scallops, lobster, mussels, cod and a Maison Villatte grilled bread topped with rouille.

Nectarine galettes (along with all the delicious breads) were provided by chef Boris Villatte of Maison Villatte an authentic french bakery here in Falmouth and dressed up by Chef Peternell with creme fraiche.  Lavender chocolates from Sirenetta Seaside Chocolatier were passed with gooseberries.

Oooh La La!

We gathered to support both the James Beard Foundation and our local Falmouth Hospital which is in the process of raising money to expand it’s emergency room.  Representatives from both organizations attended the dinner, and I spoke briefly about how important that emergency room is to the community, and how lucky we are to have such a good one.  Jeff Black spoke on behalf of the James Beard Foundation.

Our celebrity guests included captains of industry from Boston, Providence, Newport, Falmouth and Woods Hole.  Artists in the crowd were directors Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett, singer China Forbes of Pink Martini and actor James Waterston, all dear friends of mine who made the evening special.

As guests trickled from the tent at the end of the night, I enjoyed the gushing about this unique venue and Cal’s  amazing food.  After months of planning and the gauntlet of the day, it was really satisfying to have made people happy.  I am also so grateful to the event sponsors including Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, Bank of Woods Hole, Robert Paul Properties and the Sea Crest Beach Hotel and hope they will join us next year as we build on the success of this evening.

James Beard Foundation rep Jeff Black told me that despite seven years of circling America hosting 20+ dinners like this one per year, he had never hosted a celebrity chef dinner with anyone from Chez Panisse as the restaurant tends to stay focused on it’s roots.  We are so grateful to Chef Cal Peternell for coming and falling in love with Woods Hole!

I am deeply grateful to the farms and vendors who supported this event, plus our volunteer staff who served so beautifully and made the night incredibly special:  Allen Farm, Cabo Cado, Cape Cod Beer, Cape Cod Saltworks, Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, Carpet Barn, Clam Man, Courtney’s Floral Creations, Edible Cape Cod, ElizaJ, Eva’s Garden, Fishmonger Cafe, Half Shell Co, Island Creek Oysters, Jacquelines Catering, Kayak Cookies, LKnife, Mac’s Seafood, Wellfleet Fish Co, Mahoney’s Garden Centers, Maison Vilatte, Mionetta Prosecco, Moonlight Rose, MS Walker, Narragansett Creamery, Newport Winery, Peachtree Circle Farm, The Pink Polka Dot, Pocasset Pretzel Co, Polar Beverage, Rentals Unlimited, Running Brook Vineyard, Shy Brothers Farm, Sid Wainer and Sons, Silverbrook Farm, Sironetta Chocolatier, Sperry Tents, Stella Artois Beer, Travessia Urban Winery, True North Event Rentals, Vermont Creamery, and Washburn Island Oyster Farm.

Finally, it must be noted that it takes a village to put something like this on, and the village of Woods Hole rallied to make this possible.  Every business in the village helped out in some important way — offering sandwiches to feed our staff, extra parking places to wash dishes and clear up, walk in cooler space when we ran out, cocktail napkins that we forgot to buy and so much more.  We are so lucky to work next door to places like the Landfall, Pie in the Sky, Jimmy’s, Coffee Obsession, Fishmonger, Phusion, Captain Kidd, Woods Hole Market, and Shuckers — could not make it through the summer without the support of our terrific peers.  When you come to the food mecca of Woods Hole, you must try all these special spots.  Thank you all!

Here are a few more photos of the evening for you to enjoy.

Travessia Rose Anna Kovel formerly of Martha Stewart Living fish stock for bouillabaisse table settings for Starry Starry Night Courtneys Floral Creations event servers

radishes farm-to-table Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett, Tracey Roberts, PK Simonds Jim Taylor and Kim Taylor Bouillabaisse by Cal Peternell of Chez Panisse at Quicks Hole China Forbes of Pink Martini Buzzards Bay Little Necks on the half shell Quicks Hole staff Sperry Tent at Quicks Hole view of Woods Hole harbor the day of the event

Bike Tour of Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard

August 5, 2013 by Beth Colt

Two bikes at the beachBack by popular demand!

We are hosting another bike tour weekend on October 18 – 20th 2013 with the Woods Hole Inn and our good friends at the Captains Manor Inn as your home base.

Come away to the sea-side town of Falmouth, Cape Cod and explore Falmouth’s coastline and villages as well as nearby Martha’s Vineyard island.  Your getaway package includes luxurious accommodations, great food and lovely scenery seen from your guided cycling tour.  Your personal guide Rob Micelli, owner of Cotuit Cycling tours, will guide you on two leisurely bike tours during your weekend getaway.

Price includes all elements of the tour as listed below, with two nights luxury lodging at your choice of the Woods Hole Inn or Captains Manor Inn.  Queen $645, King $835, double occupancy.  Ask about staying a third night when you reserve.  This will sell out — so get your reservation by calling us TODAY!   Bring your own bikes, or call us to coordinate rentals (not included).

Itinerary:

Friday October 18th   2013

3:00     Check-in to your Inn

5:00     Wine and Cheese Reception

Evening on your Own

 Saturday October 19th

8-9:00 Full Breakfast at your Inn

9:00   Falmouth Village Cycling Tour Begins

12:00 noon     Cycling Tour Ends

3:00     Afternoon Refreshments at your Inn

6:00     Lobster Tacos and a pitcher of Sangria/Cape Cod Beer at Quicks Hole

Evening on your Own

 Sunday June 16th

8-9:00  Full Breakfast at your Inn and check out (bags can be held at the front desk)

9:30     Ferry from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard

10:15   Arrive in Oaks Bluff and begin cycling tour

2:30     Cycling Tour Ends & Ferry returns to Woods Hole (you can return later on your own if you so choose)

Falmouth Village Center Tour (Day One)
Ride the best kept secret on the East Coast! We’ll explore the The Shining Sea Bikeway with it’s oceanside views of Martha’s Vineyard, a sneak peek of a Frank Lloyd Wright home and a stop on the hilltop view of Nobska lighthouse. The route follows the famous Falmouth Road Race and leads us past the marshes of Sippewissett to the village of Woods Hole, home of the Marine Biology Labs and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.   Explore the peninsula that separates Buzzards Bay from Vineyard Sound, and get a sense of the gentle topography of Falmouth from it’s peaceful, car-free bike path.  All with the delightful leadership of our guide Rob Micelli.

The Vineyard Tour (Day Two)
We’ll ferry to Oak Bluffs and tour the sites and sounds of Martha’s Vineyard. We’ll travel bikeways and quiet back roads, beaches and boardwalks.  Come see what all the fuss is about, exploring the Vineyard at your own pace with a group of eager cyclists.  With rolling hills, plenty of bird life and lots of places to stop for a swim, you will delight in a day of fun and sun on the Vineyard with our knowledgeable tour guide showing you all the secret spots and best routes.

Bikes together, Martha's VIneyard

 

Visiting Chez Panisse

January 20, 2013 by Beth Colt

Last week, Stephanie Mikolazyk and I were honored to “guest chef” at one of the most famous restaurants in America — Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.  Head chef Cal Peternell invited us (as he will be coming to Woods Hole this summer for an epic farm-to-table dinner at our restaurant Quicks Hole on August 13th) and its safe to say we JUMPED at the chance.

We helped out in the kitchen for two full days, starting with the chefs meeting at about 1.30 pm, through all the prep work, then service for two seatings of 50 lucky customers and an extraordinary meal (see menus and photos below…not for the faint of heart).

We chopped, swept, cleared, plated and generally tried to stay out of the way in our Chez Panisse chef jackets.  We were also invited to the chefs meal, where the kitchen crew sits down together to eat what they have cooked that night in very civilized a half-hour break between the first and second seatings.

I was astounded by the restaurants commitment to going green — every scrap of waste is composted or recycled if possible, all produce is sourced locally and organic — and the incredible calm demeanor of the staff.  This kitchen has a culture of mutual respect and teamwork unlike any workplace I have ever seen.  Alice Waters was not there, but you could feel her presence in this culture, a feeling that the process of working together, making the food with love, and sharing the journey was imbued in the copper lined walls, soaked into the butcher block tables and baked right into the wood-fired grill.

What follows is a photo essay of the highlights from our incredible experience.  Thanks to all the chefs at Chez Panisse for making us feel so welcome, and especially to Cal whose calm leadership style is a personal inspiration.

Menus:  The first night the menu was warm salad of cardoons and leeks with chervil, egg and black truffle followed by Tomales Bay clam brodetto with grilled fennel and Espelette pepper, then Becker Lane Farm pork loin with chicories, balsamic vinaigrette and sage, new onion and Lady William apple fritters plus tangerine millefoglie for dessert.  The second night the menu was Chino Ranch radicchio and orange-scented beets with ginger vinaigrette, then Louisiana Gulf shrimp risotto with toasted sesame seeds and fried leeks, then Salmon Creek Ranch duck breast grilled with coriander, fennel and green garlic, with roasted parsnips and pickled persimmon relish and for dessert Meyer lemon ice cream profiteroles with pistachio-anise nougatine.

I re-read this menu and think – OMG!!!   Yes!  Yes!  Yes!

Remember the scene in Harry Met Sally when Nora Ephron says, “I’ll have what she’s having…”  ??

It was like that:)

 

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Exploring the SEA

June 18, 2012 by Beth Colt

Corwith Cramer open for tours in Woods Hole.

Yesterday, the Sea Education Association (SEA) opened the hatches to their primary Atlantic sailing vessel, the sturdy clipper ship Corwith Cramer, for an afternoon of guided visits.  Students and teachers were on board explaining the ship, their scientific mission, and the logistics of day-to-day life on a floating school.

SEA runs semester and summer learning excursions for high school and college age kids.  The group we met yesterday had spent five weeks in Woods Hole training and preparing, then the last six weeks sailing up the East Coast from St. Croix aboard this very ship.

Home port for the "Corwith Cramer" is Woods Hole.

The ship is a floating laboratory, replete with a science library, and lots of gear for water collection, monitoring and analysis.  Students had vacated the hold that morning, and will spend the next two weeks preparing research papers on the data collected in the cruise.

Since getting out on the water is one of the great perks of the marine scientist, you can imagine that there is a long list to berth/study on the Corwith Cramer, and I got the sense that the students were very serious in their pursuit of science.

Corwith Cramer below deck in Woods Hole.

Being in the hospitality business, I was curious about the sleeping arrangements…Let’s just say this is not a pillow top mattress!  But students said the narrow berths were very comfortable, especially when exhausted by a long day at sea.

Corwith Cramer, an SEA vessel, docked in Woods Hole.

Every young Jacques Cousteau dreams of life on the water, and these students get to live it, literally learning the ropes needed to hoist the full sails of the ship.  Students told us that while there is a motor, most of the journey is under sail, including maneuvers to collect water samples that involve jibing and going in irons.  Tricky stuff even for experienced sailors!

"Steer a course for others to follow"

It was a great afternoon on an incredible clear summer’s day, but I especially loved the school motto, emblazoned in brass on the helm:  “Steer a course for others to follow.”  Words to live by.

Landfall Restaurant and the rest of Woods Hole seen from the deck of the Corwith Cramer, Cape Cod summer.

New Rooms

May 6, 2012 by Beth Colt

The Nonamessett Room is made more special with a lovely flower arrangement.

While we renovated the inn this winter, we did not renovate our website, SO for the time being, this post will serve as an introduction to the look, feel, vibe of the “New Rooms” at the Woods Hole Inn.

Some general comments:  these rooms are all on the second floor of the inn.  They all have vintage restored wood floors, the same wood floors that were always here just polished up.  All have rain showers and bath tubs.  All have views either of the village of Woods Hole, or over the harbor of Woods Hole.  All have king beds, luxury linens, ipod docking stations, cable TV with DVD players. air conditioning AND free wireless internet access.  Two have private water view decks, and all share a large deck with a great view of the Martha’s Vineyard ferry coming and going.

We continued with numbers on some, and others received names, like the birthing of infants which is not unlike how making them felt at certain moments.  So without further ado…here they are:

ROOM 10: private entryway, private bath, king room with peekaboo view of the Eel Pond

Romantic getaway in Woods Hole.

Cape Cod getaways start in Woods Hole, near Martha's Vineyard.

ROOM 11: private entryway, private bath, king corner room with views out over the village green

Vintage restored king room at the Woods Hole Inn.

Romance starts with red tulips and clean modern design on Cape Cod.

Nobska Room: Delux private bath with vintage bathtub and glass rain shower, king room with killer views of the harbor and Martha’s Vineyard ferries

Cape Cod's best lodging.

Vintage restored Woods Hole Inn.

Penzance Room: Private water view deck, large private bath with twin pedestal sinks, vintage bath and glass rain shower in a large king room with water views

Woods Hole Inn's honeymoon suite.

Marble tile shower and vintage exposed brick.

Nonamessett Room: Private water view deck, large private bath with distinctive wall mount sink, vintage bath and glass rain shower in a large king room with water views

Views of the harbor and a private deck in this sunny corner room at the Woods Hole Inn.

Modern decor and amenities at the Woods Hole Inn.

The ultimate Cape Cod bathtub, at the Woods Hole Inn.

So there you have it, pictures and information about the five new rooms!  Please use our secure online booking agent at www.woodsholeinn.com OR call 508-495-0248 to book these rooms.  We look forward to welcoming you to Woods Hole.

A Walk in Beebe Woods

February 12, 2012 by Beth Colt

Walking the Cape Cod woods in winter is a special treat, especially after a light dusting of snow. The jewel in Falmouth’s crown of conservation land is a 300+ acre property called Beebe Woods, which astounds the visitor with ponds, paths, ridges, hidden stone walls and wildlife.  I wandered there for several hours yesterday, seeing few other people and enjoying the way the new snow makes the woods come alive with color.

Despite the low cloud cover, everything was aglow — the rusty colored pine needles lining the paths, dark roots growing over lichen covered rocks, sand pocked with footprints from deer and coyotes, slippery patches of swamp-mud and the flat black surface of the icy ponds.  We spent two hours exploring and never crossed our own path — from Ter Heune Drive (near the hospital) clear across to Peterson Farm with its wide open meadows, from a high ridge path fit for mountain goats to the edge of Ice House pond near Sippewissett Road and the perimeter of the Punch Bowl, another incredible kettle hole pond.

This refuge, a sanctuary in the Walden Pond vernacular, is an incredible asset to the town of Falmouth and it’s many visitors.  Here, you can visit the high church of nature and commune on your own with a spirituality that soars through the high tree cover like a red-tailed hawk hunting voles (which you may well see on your journey).  Moving though this landscape in silence — listening to the crunch of boots on thin snow, scanning the hilltops for deer or fox — erases your everyday woes, De-fragging the hard-drive of your barnacle-crusted brain.

Tracing the old stone walls, green with lichen and frosted with snow, made me think of the early settlers who spent decades hand-digging rocks from the sandy soil and marking the boundaries of their primitive homesteads.  How must they have felt, looking at these hard-earned walls?

Here are a few things I saw along the way:

Peterson Farm, birdhouse, winterBird houses covered with lichen…

Lichen covered stone wall in snow, New England.Old stone walls nestled between decades of un-raked leaves and fallen limbs…

walking on Cape Cod in winterSandy soil paths, roots exposed when worn by thousands of walking visitors like me…

Falmouth Mass, walking in winter, snowThe icy black water of the Punch Bowl… no swimming today.

For a map and more information about this astounding resource, read more about the 300 Committee here.  Without the vision and generosity of a few local leaders, this land would have been developed into cul-de-sacs with matching mailboxes and over 500 cookie-cutter homes.   Forever insuring that this land is available for wildlife and the appreciation of nature, the 300 Committee is to be commended for all their efforts — my appreciative donation is in the mail.  And I encourage all visitors to the Woods Hole Inn to explore this unique spot in any season.   Ask us for the map at the front desk.

The Journey is Half the Fun

January 19, 2012 by Beth Colt

Vintage restored bathtubs headed soon to the Woods Hole Inn.

Figuring out how to restore stuff from a creaky old house is complicated.  Who can bring these aging beauties back to life?  Where do you have to go to find old-world craftsmen?  Who cares about worn and antique stuff anymore?

I am headed down to New Bedford to the workshop of the “Tub Doctor” this week.  For $500, the doctor will re-porcelain your worn cast iron tub, and sandblast the exterior to ready it for paint of any color.  He is a colorful fellow, the Tub Doctor, and you will learn all about his life when you visit him.  He prefers black feet on the tub to chrome, he wishes that women were more faithful, and he is looking for investors in a new business idea that will double your money in less than three months.  I am resisting calling his eccentric conversation style over-sharing…. how about peppered with interesting and specific information.

Just finding the studio is intense.  Imagine a series of abandoned brick factory buildings, sprawling over acres of empty asphalt behind chain link and razor wire with an old wooden door that might be in a travel blog about Moldova or Croatia.

The workshop is set in the middle of the largely-abandoned mill compound, and this section is littered with debris, broken tile, odd concrete.  When they say New Bedford never recovered from the collapse of the Industrial Revolution, they are talking about places like this.

On the inside, vast chambers disappear as far as the eye can see and you can feel the spirit of the mill girls from the 1890’s, giggling and laughing at their sewing tables, even in today’s dank and empty silence.

Once you get into the  Tub Doctor’s lair the heat is on, a radio plays and the smell of cigarettes mixed with paint fumes makes you feel like you are back in the 21st century.  The Doctor is friendly and chatty, telling me about his baby, his son’s landlord and the price of the lunch he plans to eat later today.

We debate the cast iron tub feet and I defer to his taste about the chrome  — never looks good,  he tells me,  chrome paint just looks like chrome paint.  I like how the feet look like chess pieces, pawns clustered in a corner for safety.  Maybe the ghostly mill girls play with them after dark, I think to myself.

I pay him cheerily, genuinely happy to have stumbled upon this odd corner of the world.  I look forward to seeing him again when he delivers the final product to the Woods Hole Inn in a month or so. I drive out of the compound, back in the sharp winter sunshine, and smile.

You can find the old tubs plus the Tub Doctor yourself by calling New England Demo and Storage.   Leave a little extra time for the stories, because let’s face it … the journey is half the fun.

High School Dating…

December 29, 2011 by Beth Colt

Construction blogging is like high school dating.  You flirt, you kiss for the first time, and then all of a sudden you have nothing to say to each other.  Yes, hard to imagine but I have run out of clever things to say about wood framing, Marvin windows and drywall.

In truth, quite a bit of drama unfurled at the Woods Hole Inn as we hurdled towards 2012.  But I can’t really go into it in any detail without hurting feelings or pissing people off.  There was the fight over an 8 foot hole in the roof (abated), the struggles with NStar (we gave up), the drama of the chimney flues (unnecessary) and the saga of crumbling masonry (ongoing).  There were highs and lows, and suffice it to say that so far, the highs have it. Could I really ask for more than that?

The sub trades came and went.  I met with the contractor and architect weekly.  The bills came monthly and I kept a difibrulator in the office in case of heart attack.  (Wow, stuff is expensive on Cape Cod! )  The bank visited to be sure we are actually spending the money they lend us for the building.  There are cautionary tales told, about borrowers who bough Ferrari’s instead (hmmm) and people over 90 days in default (oooh, that sounds uncomfortable).

But we plowed onward.  The wind blew yesterday, too hard for the roofers which was a disappointment as it was otherwise fortuitous :  clear, dry and not too cold.  We are gunning for the “rough framing, plumbing and electric inspection,”  the first big step toward completion.  After we pass that, then we can insulate, sprinkler and drywall.   It’s all downhill from there with finish carpentry, painting and decorating.  Sounds easy, huh.   And here is what you came for, the photos of progress and action as of late December 2012:

Construction at the Woods Hole Inn, December 2011

We struggled with Marvin Windows as their lead time is much longer than other companies, and they are pricey.  But they look really nice once installed.  If they last a nice long time in the salt spray, I will be happy.  Call me in fifteen years.

Woods Hole Inn windows installed, December 2011

And the views through those windows.   Wow…

View from the Woods Hole Inn as the ferry lands on a windy December day.By late afternoon yesterday the wind was howling and it was clear why the roofers decided to wait a day as this ferry was swept sideways trying to get into it’s slip.

Woods Hole Inn December 2011Taken from the street on Christmas Eve, here is the Woods Hole Inn in late afternoon light.

Thanks for following along and see you all this summer…

The Second Dormer

December 2, 2011 by Beth Colt

As the walls come down at the Woods Hole Inn, new bright lumber is installed next to the aged, dark timbers of 140 years ago — marrying the old with the new.  Vintage, restored.

This week, they ripped the second dormer off the top of the building.  I always knew these roofs would need to be re-built (as the structure was compromised years ago with the addition of shed roofs improperly installed) but I will admit that when I approved of that concept, I never imagined that the whole thing would come off and look open to the sky like this.  It is exciting to watch, and makes one think (briefly) of making it a solarium with a glass roof.  And from so high up over the harbor, you really feel like one of the seagulls circling the ferry for scraps.

The feeling of flying is augmented by the steady breeze off the water, and significantly more pleasant on warmer sunny days like this one.  The crew looks frequently at the weather forecast, because rain at this delicate juncture would be a disaster for the rooms below.  But, knock wood, very sunny all this week with hopes that this will be closed up tight in three days.

I went to visit my next door neighbor Joyce yesterday, to say hello and make sure she was alright with the proximity of all the banging and hammering.  She has run the shop next door “Under the Sun” for decades and she lives above it, making most of what she sells in her fabulous workshop filled with lamp shades in progress, metal wire for jewelry making, wool for felting, paints for water coloring and so much more!  She bought the property in the 1960s from the McLean family who also owned the Woods Hole Inn at that time.

She said she loved the radio and the sound of the crew singing along (we have one particularly loud crooner on site).  She said the sound of those hammers was music to her ears: “I have been waiting for this for thirty years!”   She is excited to see what it will all look like when it’s done.  Me too!

More photos of progress this week:

And so we continue!  To remain sane, I enjoy walks at dusk around Woods Hole with my family.  The photo at the top is a panorama shot on Penzance Point where stately houses line the harbor looking out toward Martha’s Vineyard.  Divine at dusk.

Farm to Table

April 14, 2011 by Beth Colt

Exploring the hands behind the farm part of farm-to-table.

At the Woods Hole Inn, we often spend a lot of time on the “table” part of farm-to-table but today I got to head out into the field and see one of the farms that we source food from in the summer.

Coonamessett Farm was founded over 30 years ago by Ron Smolovitz, who along with his wife had a passion to save a piece of open land slated for development.  On their 2o plus acres, Ron farms everything from lettuce to turkey.  His rolling meadows with their vineyards and neat rows of lettuce, tomato, zucchini and summer squash are quite the summer destination for everything from weddings to the passionate members of his CSA.

Spring is the time to visit if you want to see where all that bounty comes from, so I headed over there yesterday in the pouring rain with a list of the produce we consume weekly to supply our breakfast kitchen and Quicks Hole — for example, 50 lbs of fresh tomatoes a week to make our signature pico de gallo fresh daily!  Try over 20 dozen eggs a week for the Woods Hole Inn’s fresh baked breakfasts?  Yeah, it all adds up.

It was pouring anew when Ron and I zipped into his rain covered golf cart and sped across the meadow to the growing cluster of greenhouses.  Ron put in a windmill a few years back and he explained that running the farm vehicles on electricity rather than gas helps keep down the price of vegetables.

We met with Stan Ingram, field boss at Coonamessett, who was literally ankle deep in mud transplanting rows of baby plants to larger containers (those are his amazing hands in the photo above).  The long low plastic roof of the greenhouse cast the most gorgeous diffused light and the drum of rain on the roof was soporific.  A lovely tiger cat leapt to greet me with a deep purr.  What a peaceful place, I thought.   “Earlier today when it was really coming down, we could not have held a conversation in here,” Stan remarked with a wry smile.

We talked about when they expect certain crops to come in, why they can’t grow tomatoes earlier (heating the greenhouses to 55 degrees costs too much money) and the logistics of getting relatively small batches of produce down to Woods Hole two or three times per week.  Their crispy arugula is essential for our “Wicked Fresh” salad — a best seller at Quicks Hole — but at the end of the day, it’s all about logistics.  Stan offered to plant more basil and cilantro to meet our weekly demand.  He also cautioned me against holding him to any dates.  I guess the plants mature when they feel like it, not just for our Quicks Hole opening day (which is May 6th this year, by the way).

Another exciting development is the local cultivation of oysters which Ron is going to distribute.  I signed Quicks Hole up for weekly delivery of the new “Sippewissett” which is out in Buzzards Bay fattening up right now from the cold winter.  Ron says the first of them will be ready by mid May.  Yum.

I left with a list of wholesale prices, an order form…  and a greater sense of purpose.  It’s not easier to source this way, actually it’s much, much harder.  But the sense of satisfaction in knowing my little business can be a part of keeping this meadow open for Ron and his golf cart?  Yeah, that feels good.

Hopefully it tastes good too.  Come check it out this summer at Quicks Hole, 6 Luscombe Ave in Woods Hole.  More info and our menu at www.quicksholewickedfresh.com.

Lettuces feeding the people of Falmouth all winter grow in the Coonamesset Farm greenhouses.

Stan Ingram, field boss at Coonamessett Farm, in the greenhouse earlier today.

Ron Smolovitz, owner of Coonamesset Farm told me how he learned to do all this as we toured his many greenhouses: "Trial and error," he said.

Going Green in Woods Hole

April 13, 2011 by Beth Colt

What is this plaster cow doing in Woods Hole? Read on...

Woods Hole — Members of the Woods Hole Business Association were treated to a tour of the Woods Hole Research Center facility this week where they learned about the scientific organization’s cutting edge green building practices as well as the scope and nature of the WHRC’s research and policy initiatives.  The morning started with a presentation by Dr. R.A. Houghton, acting director of the WHRC and world authority on the carbon cycle,  and was followed by a tour of the main offices of the WHRC on Woods Hole Road.

The buildings that house the 60+ employees of the WHRC are about as green as it gets,  using eco-friendly strategies to offset 90% of the energy consumed on the campus.   How do they do it?  With special heat transfer systems that capture natural energy and reuse the heat that comes off computing centers,  many solar panels, a new windmill, extensive insulation strategies and plenty of window light combined with all compact fluorescent lighting.  Because the WHRC is especially focused on carbon use, the organization selected sustainably forested and reclaimed woods for most visible locations in the building.

WHRC also works hard to change individual behaviors — many of the scientists and staff walk or bike to work, buy carbon offsets when they travel, turn off the lights when they leave a room.  The most interesting strategy for behavior change in the building is the use of a plaster cow with a tattered straw hat pulled over its well-worn ears that sits in a main hallway, waiting to be dragged to an office if anyone forgets to close their window before leaving the office at night.  Tour guide and research assistant Tina Cormier said, “You do not want to arrive in the morning and find that cow in your office…  It only happens once.”

Member of the Woods Hole Business Association are committed to bringing green principles into their daily work as well.  The restaurant owners partnered with Cavossa Disposal last summer to start a paper and plastic recycling station where the waste stream is greatly reduced by proper sorting and re-use.  This effort would not have been possible without the donation of dumpster space on Woods Hole Oceanographic (WHOI) property and will continue this year with more local businesses joining in as well.

In addition, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has just completed a renovation of the Loeb Laboratory, winning gold level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification of the 66,000 square-foot facility in the middle of Woods Hole.  The Loeb Laboratory is the MBL’s central research training facility and the cornerstone of its world-famous life sciences education programs.   “Climate change is one of the most pressing scientific problems facing our generation. I’m honored and proud that the Loeb Laboratory has achieved LEED gold certification and look forward to continued efforts that we can take here at the MBL to be a responsible member of the global society,” said MBL Director and CEO, Gary Borisy.

Speaking for the business community, WHBA chair Kevin Murphy said, “We are in the epi-center of one of the most important research communities in the US, if not the world.  When our esteemed neighbors tell us that the small changes we make to our business practices can effect the world?  We show up and we listen to that.”

Natural light floods the WHRC campus.

Amazing board room table made of a sustainably harvested Brazilian hardwood anchors the sunny conference area.

Woods Hole, a picture postcard village, postmarked from around the world.

Great Reviews

August 19, 2010 by Beth Colt

Looking out to sea, a short walk from the Woods Hole Inn.

There have been days spent just looking out at the water, contemplating why we are here and what does success mean.  Of  course, many hours are consumed with the day-to-day keeping guests happy, making beds, whipping up batches of chocolate muffins, hanging out the last of the laundry in a stiff breeze.  Sometimes it gets so busy you can barely think.

And it all feels worth it when a reporter comes to stay and really “gets” what you are trying to do.  I could not be happier about the recommendation we just received from Westchester Magazine and thank Malerie (who we loved visiting with when she came by on her research trip) so here it is (read the full article here with all her fab recommendations):

Woods Hole Inn
28 Water St /// Woods Hole, MA (508) 495-0248
From White Plains: 4 hours

The Woods Hole Inn is located just steps from the Martha’s Vineyard ferry.

Beth Colt and P.K. Simonds (producer of Ghost Whisperer) purchased a dilapidated hotel/boarding house, originally built in 1878, and turned it into a nautical chic, “vintage-restored” inn. With walls of turquoise and seafoam pastels, white wainscoting, distressed wood floors, and knickknacks cleverly displayed, the Inn is on the funky side of adorable. Across the street from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), it’s just a fishing rod cast away from the Martha’s Vineyard ferry. Woods Hole (which Colt nicknames WoHo), draws both island hoppers and brainy scientists to its almost-too-perfect-to-be-true fishing village environs.

Room: Nine rooms are witty studies in white with walls and pillows in emeralds, jades, and blues for punch. White furniture is topped with trinkets that can be found in Home Goods or local gift shops—and small white extremely clean bathrooms are stocked with handmade green starfish soaps. Ask for room #4 ($150-$280), which has a direct view of the Ferry and the WHOI Research Vessel (of Titanic discovery fame). Beyond the boats you view the serene harbor and at the end of the day a rapturous sunset over the harbor islands.

Board: Until late 2009, the inn did not have a resident breakfast chef, so reviews were, let’s just say, unkind. Enter Sara Dillon, foodie extraordinaire, hired to put the B in the B&B. Her soaked steel-cut oats granola and asparagus/caramelized onion tart are revelations. She happily bakes breakfast from scratch every day and, says the divorced Sara, “I’m the happiest housewife on the planet.” For lunch and dinner, try soup or salad at Pie in the Sky (10 Water St) or, if you want to feel like a pirate, have a beer at the 100-plus-year-old Captain Kidd (77 Water St). Discerning diners won’t have to go far at all. The pier-side Fishmonger Café (56 Water St) next door has an inventive chef who can purée cauliflower, cook fish, and sauté mushrooms to perfection.

Only Here: Colt is so sure that you’ll be enamored of the drawbridges, lighthouses, boat-filled harbors, and secret beaches in Woods Hole, she’s got a weekend photography package, which allows you to tag along with an award-winning photographer to make your own memories ($495 includes two nights’ lodging, a two-hour “photo walking tour,” and a copy of Walking Woods Hole, a guide to walking around Woods Hole, as a keepsake. After October 31, the price is $400).

While Here: Skip on over to the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry (steamshipauthority.com; $15 roundtrip) and spend the day on the island that celebs and presidents love—only 30 minutes away.

Facts: Room rates ($99-$325) include afternoon tea and coffee, chef-prepared gourmet breakfast, and free parking.

We look forward to welcoming the good folks of Westchester with open arms:)

Pets welcome at Woods Hole Inn

July 28, 2010 by Beth Colt

Pooches and kitties are welcome in Room 6!

Why leave charming Fido at home when you will both be happier if you stay together?

Grab a leash and show Fido this quaint walking village.  Cross the drawbridge and peek at the mansions of Penzance or head toward Surf Drive on the quiet bikepath.  You will be amazed by the vistas across Woods Hole Great Harbor,  across Vineyard Sound or up Buzzards Bay to the Cape Cod Canal.  Fido will like the smell of the freshly mowed grass and the bunny rabbits that scamper under the hedgerows.

You will enjoy the local shops; he will appreciate the cool sea air.

You will like the choice of restaurants; he will gobble the treat at check in.

You will like the pillow top mattress; he will thank you for the stylish doggie bed.

At the Woods Hole Inn, we understand the joy of traveling with your pet.

Keeping it local

July 24, 2010 by Beth Colt

Downstairs from the Inn, we are lucky to be neighbors with an amazing little restaurant called Quicks Hole.

Open for lunch and dinner, this place is beyond the bomb-dot-com.  Our favorite part about it is their commitment to going green.  Like us, they support local farmers and fisherman, use compostable takeaway products and generally do everything they can think of to be responsible about the environment.

Chef Steph from Quicks Hole shops the Sandwich Farmers Market, July 2010

Chef Steph Mikolazyk grew up on the coast of Rhode Island, daughter of a lobsterman.  So she knows her lobster rolls and makes a wicked authentic quohog chowder with roasted local corn.  Steph ventures from behind the line a few times a week to visit local farms and pick the produce herself.  She likes to take heirloom tomatoes and use them with her crispy skin striped bass, or garnish the brioche lobster rolls with sweet pea tendrils.  Whatever looks good this week ends up in her amazing specials.

Keeping it local and fresh takes extra time, but it’s worth it when you taste the food.  Inn guests delight in a cool sangria with hot lobster tacos moments after check in, and most of our staff eats at Quicks every day.  You know its the coolest spot in town when you also see the local plumber, two fisherman and a nobel laureate sharing chips and salsa at cocktail hour.

Quicks Hole— another great reason to stay at the Woods Hole Inn.

Quicks Hole unites with water-loving community to celebrate Independence Day

July 4, 2010 by Beth Colt

Wacky water-loving locals and researchers combine sea life and patriotism to celebrate the Fourth.

The not-so-sleepy town of Woods Hole kicks off the Fourth of July every year with a town parade sponsored by the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. The event showcases the summer lab students who convert their knowledge of the local marine life into festive water-themed floats.

Quicks Hole, an eco-friendly newbie to the Hole, joined in on the fun and passed out 300 Melville’s Olde Tyme handmade lobster pops to the crowd along Water Street on Sunday that included a coupon for a free bruschetta bite.

“We’re a restaurant that’s all about our community,” said Beth Colt, owner of the restaurant and Woods Hole Inn. “We are a Cape Cod loving establishment that only sources local seafood and produce. We love the locals and we jump at any chance to interact with them.”

Quicks Hole is a casual dining experience that offers Baja themed cuisine located at 6 Luscombe Ave., just a block away from the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.

Everything is genuinely wicked fresh and prepared daily by a chef who knows the water. Raised by a commercial fishing family, Stephanie Mikolazyk from Rhode Island can attest to the positive influence that Quicks is having on the community.

“The demand is fresh and we are ready and able to provide that,” she said. “That being said, we’ve got to give back to our oceans. People notice what we’re doing: most of our dishware is compostable, we recycle everything we can and support efforts to keep everything local. It’s a great feeling to be giving back everyday.”

The restaurant has only been in business since the summer of 2007 but is quickly becoming a staple stop in Woods Hole. It now includes a fresh market that is restocked daily with local eggs, free-range organic honey, produce, grab-and-go lunch items, milk and specialty cheeses. Quick and convenient are at the top of their list at Quicks, but above all, they strive for providing a unique dining experience with friendly service and of course, wicked fresh seafood.

Quicks Hole marches in the annual Fourth of July parade outfitted in lobster costumes.

Everything is wicked fresh at Quicks Hole and just by eating there, you’re helping create change.

Divine Granola

May 13, 2010 by Beth Colt

A message from a recent guest, verbatim:

I was a guest at your wonderful inn over the weekend, and TRULY enjoyed my stay. It was the icing on the cake for my weekend in Martha’s Vineyard, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it! I am emailing now to ask you a question that you probably do not get often, but I really enjoyed the breakfast I had on Sunday morning, and I couldn’t get enough of the granola you guys had out to mix with the greek yogurt. I went to the local grocery store after I returned to Boston to find a similar type of granola, but I couldn’t find anything like it. Do you mind telling me where it is from? It was a very dark granola with raisins in it, and it was really delicious! I would appreciate it so much if you could please let me know!

Thank you and I hope to hear from you!

Sincerely,

Veronica

Dear Veronica,

Our unique Woods Hole Inn granola is growing more famous by the moment and we regret that we can not reveal the special formula.  When a national food magazine contacts us for the inevitable story about it, we promise then and only then to reveal the secret to the world.  In the meantime, you will just have to come back and stay with us again!

Continental breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn; homemade granola with Greek-style yogurt is on the bottom left.

Spohr Gardens

April 30, 2010 by Beth Colt

A public garden near the Woods Hole Inn.

I took a walk in Spohr Gardens the other day.  It was so quiet in the woods, with these cool old millstones lining the path that leads down to the pond.  Along the pond there is a spot to launch a canoe or kayak, and a collection of huge old metal objets like anchors and enormous chains.  I sat by the water for a few minutes, ripples of the dominant southwesterly breeze fluttering over the protected pond.  How rare the opportunity for quiet contemplation in our busy world!

This amazing resource was given to the public by Martha and Charles Spohr whose main stipulation was that their six-acre property on Oyster Pond be open daily.  Volunteers keep it well-planted and beautifully maintained.  I’m told the daffodil display in spring is particularly impressive, but they were not up yet for my meditation.

Cape Cod needs more Spohrs, generous souls willing to give away a valuable piece of property despite it’s potential for residential development.  Pockets of open land like this one are a prized part of the fabric of life in Falmouth.  What an incredible resource, both for visitors like me but also for all the frogs, geese, swans, osprey — the flora and fauna of the Cape perpetually squeezed into smaller open spaces.

If you come to Woods Hole, don’t leave without a jaunt into the Spohr Gardens.  This temple of nature will refresh and revitalize you — not just with it’s beauty, but also with the spirit of  it’s inspired donors.   Thank you, Charles and Martha, for my own mindful meditation on your land the other day.   Your gift inspires me.  And I’m quite sure I am not alone.

Upright millstones and an plaque honoring the generous Spohrs.

Daily Dish

January 31, 2010 by Beth Colt

Homemade continental breakfast offered each morning at the Woods Hole Inn.

Every complaint is a gift.

And we received a few “gifts” about our breakfast last year. So come New Years, we made our resolutions about 2010 and one of them was to improve breakfast.

I’d like to welcome chef Sara Dillon to our staff. Sara comes to our little Inn with years of fancy restaurant experience.  And I am pleased to tell you that she has completely re-conceived our breakfast offerings and service.  Maple Creme Brulee French Toast anyone?  Roasted tomato and asparagus tartlette?  Sippewisset Sour Creme Pound Cake..covered with fresh blackberries?  Hello!  I’m picky and I will tell you, this stuff is delicious.

Add this to our already incredible local coffee (thanks Erik at “Pie in the Sky” for artisan-roasting our exclusive breakfast blend), and a charming “to-go” bag if you have to leave us in the early morning, and you have a recipe for breakfast success.

Sara is as devoted to living local as we are — she is making our Greek-style yogurt from scratch, she pioneered a WHI homemade granola that has guests sneaking into the larder for more, and she found a working gristmill in Sandwich to source locally ground corn meal.  We know you will love her locavore spirit.

So rest assured, when it comes to the fantastic breakfast part of “bed and breakfast“…we have it covered!  And a special thank you to every customer who nudged us toward this stellar addition to our staff.

B & W continental breakfast

Continental breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn. All new menu from our professional chef in 2010.

Keeping it Green

October 15, 2009 by Beth Colt

Breakfast is served in this sunny room at the Woods Hole Inn in Woods Hole, MA.

At the Woods Hole Inn, we stay GREEN by the deep BLUE sea.

How do we do it? Let me count the ways:

We recycle. We re-use. We use low VOC paints even though they cost a fortune. We never print on paper what we can file electronically. We offer discounts to customers who come by bus. We keep the heat turned down and do not use AC, ever! We turn lights and fans off when we can. We ask guests to participate with us by re-using towels and sheets when they can. We supply eco-chic toilet paper even when guests sometimes beg for evil-Charmin.

What do we hope to do? Add solar panels. Build a roof garden for herbs and natural insulation. Finish insulating the building. Find a local farm to take our compost. Build a chicken coop and serve eggs made from our own hens. Plant a garden to keep it super locavore. Live on the 100 mile diet.

Any other good ideas for me?

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