My husband and I had always been avid homesteaders, growing much of our produce every summer, foraging mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns, and raising chickens. Then we purchased our first home, settling on the dark side of a mountain in Fairfield. Vegetables we were accustomed to growing did not get enough sunlight, a wild animal ate our chickens, and locals already had the market on more mushrooms.

The first winter we lived here was particularly cold with heavy snow. Weeks passed as our cabin fever grew… we were eager to get out of the house. One Saturday, we found ourselves following a maze of road signs winding down Mount Hope Road. “Tree to table tours! Perfect pancake breakfast!” the signs boasted. We pulled in to Camp Eder’s parking lot and were greeted by friendly faces upon arrival at Mount Hope Maple Madness.

Kara Ferraro is the executive director of the Strawberry Hill Foundation. Strawberry Hill inspires stewardship of our natural world by connecting the community with educational opportunities.

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