Almost every guest of the Vermont’s Woodstock Inn experiences the resort’s five-year-old Kelly Way Gardens - even if they don’t personally visit the grounds.
All of the 10 tons of certified-organic produce grown on the 2.5-acre site goes directly to the inn, meaning those who dine at The Red Rooster or Richardson’s Tavern have probably tried some of the 200 varieties of vegetables, 50 varieties of herbs and edible flowers, 75 varieties of berries (including strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries) and orchard plantings (plums, apples, and pears), or numerous types of mushrooms. Those passing through the lobby and other parts of the inn will catch some of the 200 varieties of cut flowers grown at the garden arranged into beautiful bouquets.
Kelly Way Gardens is nestled on a hillside, one mile south of the resort’s main property and overlooking its breathtaking 18-hole golf course. Resort executive chef Rhys Lewis said during the tour he gave us that more and more is happening every day - and he couldn’t be more proud.
Guests of the Woodstock can sign up for tours of the garden, as well as on-site classes such as cut-flower arranging, organic gardening, and mushroom foraging. Landscape-lovers can even hold parties and other events like wedding ceremonies and receptions there.
In fact, on October 1, 2017, Master Gardener Ben Pauly will host an insightful tour and talk on the garden’s heirloom vegetables, followed by a demonstration of How to Cook Game presented by Lewis. Rounding out the I Got Game Dinner is a family-style meal that will be served on the hill overlooking the colorful scenery.
Following a massive renovation of the garden’s massive barn, it will host tastings and dinners prepared by the resort staff.
If checking out such a massive garden sounds like too industrial, never fear. Kelly Way is as peaceful as the surrounding Kedron Valley and Vermont forests; the small staff of four completes all the work by hand – no mechanical machinery whatsoever.
At the Woodstock Inn and Resort, farm-to-table isn’t a fad; it’s a journey back to mankind’s roots as well as a chance to experience the freshest and tastiest produce possible. And you really can’t get more farm-to-table than the Kelly Way Gardens. After all, even the garden’s tables were made by the resort’s carpenters using local wood!