Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Almost Time for the Lupine Festival!
With the weather warming up nicely, we are preparing for the wonderful days of the Fields of Lupine Festival that takes place right here in Bethlehem and surrounding towns in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire over two glorious weeks at the beginning of June, from the 3rd through the 19th.
Even though there are dozens of planned activities, our favorite pastime during the Festival is taking a leisurely drive around the area to view the roadside lupine fields, with stops for some photo taking and oohing and aahing over the beautiful spikes of blue, purple, pink, white, and even yellow flowers that grace the countryside. Most of the lupine fields stretch away into breathtaking views of the mountains, so everywhere you look you are surrounded by natural beauty. Be sure to stop along Sunset Hill Road in Sugar Hill where a path is mown into a private field and passersby are invited to wander among the lupine blooms. The view is spectacular!
Did you know that lupines grow wild in North America and Europe, and have been cultivated for at least 2,000 years? Here are some interesting lupine facts from this year’s Official Program Tour Book:
• Lupines are named after the wolf because ancient peoples believed that the flower robbed the soil of nutrients. Lupines actually add nitrogen to the soil and are very often used as forage and green manure crops.
• The Karner butterfly feeds exclusively on lupines.
• Lupine seeds have been used through the ages for medicinal and magical purposes.
• Flowers from lupines were used to dye cloth.
• Lupines have been mentioned in the literature of Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as in the Jewish Talmud.
• In ancient times, lupine seeds were used by the poor to make bread.
We think this is the most amazing fact: A single lupine was the first plant to bloom on Mt. St. Helens two years after the volcano erupted in 1980. The plant emerged in the barren “pumice plain,” and within four years, 32,000 plants were in bloom from that one plant, creating a lush blue carpet on the volcanic rock. Truly magical!
After you get tired of looking at the lupines (not possible!), you’ll find plenty of activities – an Art Festival, wine tastings, live music and much, much more -- to keep you interested.
Here at the Adair Country Inn & Restaurant, we’ll be welcoming guests each day during the Lupine Festival for tours of the inn, along with tea and cookies. While you’re here, be sure to take a stroll through our gardens, which were designed by the Olmsted Brothers. We also invite you to join us for a Cooking Show & Demo where you can learn all of Head Chef Orlo’s secrets or visit Innkeeper Ilja at the outdoor market in Sugar Hill for “a taste of Adair” food as prepared by Chef Orlo. On June 14th, enjoy great music, dance and delicious desserts at “Swing and Sweets.” Swing North Big Band will be performing an "Open Rehearsal" concert at the Sugar Hill Meeting House. Local Restaurants & Inns will present a selection of fine desserts, including Head Chef Orlo's specialties. Also on our menu of Festival events is our Father’s Day BBQ Brunch Buffet. To add to the enjoyment, we’ll have the Sugar Hill Fire Department’s bright and shiny Engine #2 on hand for picture taking with all the dads.
The events at Adair Country Inn & Restaurant are just a taste of what’s available during the two week Festival. There are so many exciting things to see and do that we recommend picking up a copy of the Festival Program Tour Book. There are special recipes contributed by local inns, restaurants and businesses, discount offers, maps that show where to find the best lupine viewing, a daily calendar of events, and other useful information to help you enjoy every minute of the Festival. Many of the activities are free for those presenting the Lupine Festival Tour Book. You can get yours for just $5 at the Franconia Notch Chamber of Commerce, at Festival businesses like Adair, and at www.franconianotch.org.
Hope to see you in June for some lupine viewing!