A Bit of Green Magic in New England: Natural Healing and Healthy Food
Almost thirty miles into Vermont from the southern border of Massachusetts lays a confluence of healing and incredible food. The virtual sister towns of Westminster, Vermont and Walpole, New Hampshire sit opposite each other across the Connecticut River. In Walpole, a classic New England, white clapboard village you will find Burdick’s Chocolate Store and Restaurant (you can’t miss it as it is the only place with both American and Swiss flags outside). The chocolates are like none you have ever tasted, and the restaurant, unique to this Burdick’s, serves delicious food (and the best Pomegranate martini’s – is that green? they serve them with lime… does that count?) Really they serve local produce and meat, made-on-the-premises pastries and hot chocolate that should be regulated as a controlled substance – wow! Burdick’s owns the Walpole Grocery, two doors down, which sells a variety of specialty cheeses, gourmet and local foods.
Also in Walpole, a place of special healing can be found at the Stillpoint Center where for over twenty-five years, Meredith Young-Sowers has been offering courses about energetic components to health. Her latest program is called, What We Hunger For, groundbreaking work on our spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Please visit the website for full information about all Stillpoint has to offer, as well as What We Hunger For.
Across the river in Westminster, Vermont, you will find the Sojourns Community Health Clinic. Operating out of a renovated and expanded farmhouse, the non-profit center offers alternative and conventional health care, with over thirteen types of bodywork, acupuncture, naturopathic physicians and a natural apothecary in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. About one and a half miles up the road on Route 5 is Harlow’s Farm Stand selling local, organic produce and flowers from their farm and others, as well as some specialty foods.
These four “magic green” points are set in the backdrop of the New England landscape – lush green in summer, brightly colored in the Fall, and snow-covered in winter.
Unfortunately a major green downside of this area is the lack of public transportation. The reality is it is simplest to get around with a car, so try to rent or drive your own fuel-efficient vehicle. If you want to attempt public transport, there is an Amtrak train that stops in Bellows Falls, Vermont (about four miles north of Westminster) once a day called The Vermonter. And there is a Greyhound Bus that stops in both Brattleboro and Bellows Falls. The only local bus service makes four trips a day from Bellows Falls to Westminster, but the times do not correspond to the train arrival. And believe it or not, there is barely any bike rental in the town except for lovely Hilary and Campbell who offer bikes for rent. The next closest possibilities are in Putney, about ten miles south at the West Hill Shop and a few in Brattleboro (the stop before Bellows Falls on the train or Greyhound bus and about twenty miles south of Bellows Falls). So if you are in good shape, you could take the train or bus to Brattleboro, rent bikes there, and bike up to Westminster and Walpole.
However you get there, you will be sure to have a nourishing and nurturing visit – enjoy!
Please note: You should book ahead if you want appointments at or visits to the Sojourns Clinic and the Stillpoint Center. Unless you are only planning on a beverage and pastry or chocolate, you should make reservations at Burdick’s for meals to avoid disappointment.
Harlow’s Farm, Westminster, VT, Tel: 802-722-3515 or 9203. Two miles south of Bellows Falls on Route 5. Open daily 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sojourns Community Health Clinic, Route 5, Westminster, VT; Tel: 802-722-4023; Web: www.sojourns.org; open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturdays only until 1:00 pm.
Burdick’s Restaurant and Chocolate Shop, 47 Main Street, Walpole; café phone: 603-756-2882; Web: www.burdickchocolate.com; Chocolate Shop Open:
Monday, 7:00am to 6:00pm, Tuesday to Saturday, 7:00am to 9:00pm,
Sunday, 7:30am to 5:00pm; Restaurant open for Sunday brunch, plus lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday
Walpole Grocery, 47 Main Street, Walpole, NH; Tel: 603-756-9098; Open: Tuesday-Saturday 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Sunday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Monday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Stillpoint Center, 22 Stillpoint Lane, Walpole, NH; Tel: 603-756-9281; Web: www.stillpoint.org and www.whatwehungerfor.com; open Monday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Bikes for Rent in Bellows Falls – friendly Hilary and Campbell offer bikes for rent in Bellows Falls, Tel: 802-460-0440, and there is a small bike shop on Canal Street for repairs if you need them.
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