Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Breitenbach Dandelion Festival is a Must for Wine Lovers

Every May you will experience a unique festival at Breitenbach Winery, the Dandelion Festival.  They are one of the largest wineries in Ohio and they are the only one that I have come across that makes Dandelion Wine.  It is a very sweet, dessert wine.  During the festival they even make a Sangria using the Dandelion Wine.  They celebrate the Dandelion with a cook off, a craft fair, musical entertainment, food, and wine tasting.  Over the years the festival has gotten so large that they moved it to their Roadhouse Amphitheatre down the street from the winery.  They even have a 5K run.
In 2014 the festival starts at noon on May 2nd and runs all day on May 3rd.  This is also one time of year that you can take cellar tours and see where they make their award winning wines.  Find yourself a designated driver and come have some fun.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Gardening Tips in Ohio

When I asked an Amish neighbor, "How do you keep your gardens looking so beautiful?"  She replied that she didn't do anything . . . just left it up to God and Mother Nature.  A few nights later I saw her coming out of the barn with a wheelbarrow full of manure that she spread on her garden.  Since we don't all have barns and animals I thought I would share a few Spring Gardening Tips with you:

  1. Now is the time to pull weeds because the roots are not very deep and they will come up easily.  If you want to avoid new weeds you will want to cover bare spots with mulch.  Some people like to use the black plastic sheeting as well.
  2. If you decide to put mulch around your plants be sure to keep it a few inches away from the stems, or tree trunks, in order to prevent rotting.
  3. April is a good time to plant rose bushes before they starting budding.
  4. If you want to add some color to your garden before summer then try pansies.  There are many varieties that can handle some cold nights without dying.  If you want them to continue blooming all summer be sure to remove spent blossoms.
  5. You have heard the saying, "April showers bring May flowers".  Don't depend 100% on rain. Your garden can dry up so check it to see if it needs water.
  6. If you decide to plant seeds then you need to check if the soil is ready for planting.  If you grab a handful of soil and it falls apart in your hand then you are ready to plant.  If it clumps together then you should wait.
  7. While everyone is anxious to plant new flowers, in Northeast Ohio you should wait until May 15-20 to make sure that your plants won't get frost bite.
Gardens and gardening can bring a lot of joy in to your life and relieve stress, so have fun planting a garden this year.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ohio Native Plant Sale and Seminars

Whether you are a beginner at gardening or a Master Gardener you will want to mark your calendar for:
 April  26 & 27, 2014
The Wilderness Center in Wilmot, Ohio is hosting a native plant sale along with seminars on gardening.  Seminars include Shade Gardening, Bees & Butterflies, Cooking with Wild Edibles, Heirloom Vegetables, and more.  Naturalists are on hand to answer your questions.  The property has picnic areas plus six different nature trails for hiking.  There are enough things to do that you could spend an entire day.  There are no restaurants on site but packing a picnic lunch would be an excellent idea.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Lodging Special in Ohio Amish Country

Spring is a time of renewal and a great time to visit Ohio Amish Country.  As you travel along the country roads you will see flowers starting to bloom, baby animals pouncing around fields, and now you can save some money when you spend the night!

SPECIAL:   Help Our Garden Grow
WHERE:     Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast
WHEN:       May 2014

  • Stay at Garden Gate Get-A-Way B&B for a minimum of 2 nights in May
  • Bring at least 2 Perennial Flower Pots or 2 Flats of Annual Flowers with you to be planted on the B&B grounds (we will do the planting)
  • You will save $20 per night on your room rate!
  • Reservations may be booked online OR by phone.  The rate will be adjusted when you present the flowers at check-in
If you have never stayed at this award-winning bed and breakfast you will be pleasantly surprised.  There are a variety of rooms types/prices to meet all budgets.  Your homemade breakfasts are a great way to start each day.  Unwinding at the nightly campfires is a wonderful way to end your day.  The innkeepers will even help you plan out your day if you so wish because there are many things to see and do in the area: Amish Culture, wineries, cheese & chocolate factories, museums, animal ranches, historical homes, fine gifts, flea markets, great dining experiences, etc.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Soft Raisin Cookie Recipe from Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast

If you have ever stayed at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast you have met Carol's mother, Beverly.  Some people know her as "the cookie lady" because she often bakes the cookies that we put in the guest rooms each day.  One of Carol's favorite cookies that her mother makes is her Raisin Cookies.  They are soft, have a hint of spice, and no one can eat just one!

Raisin Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 c. water 
3 ½ c. flour
2 c. raisins 

1 t. baking powder
1 c. butter Crisco sticks 

1 t. baking soda
1 ¾ c. sugar 

½ t. ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten 

½ t. ground nutmeg
1 t. vanilla

Combine raisins and water in a small saucepan;
Bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes;
Remove from heat and let cool (do not drain)
In a mixing bowl, cream Crisco, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Combine the dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture and stir in raisins.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on greased baking sheets about 2”.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast's Spring Bucket List in Amish Country

Spring time is a time of renewal and Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast has come up with a "Bucket List" of things to do in Ohio Amish Country this season.  Many people return each year and always visit the same places so we hope that we have come up with some new ideas for you:

Visit Chalet in the Valley Restaurant across from Guggisberg Cheese and try their Cheese Fondue.  Their specialty is Swiss cooking but there are plenty of options from burgers to salads to fried chicken.

Visit historic Zoar village and learn the history of how the German Separatists settled here.    There is a tour that you can take that is very interesting and informative.  Make time to stroll through the gardens and visit the greenhouse.   They are open on Sundays too!

Go to School House Winery and do some wine tasting and have a light meal.  They are literally inside a one room school house and their wines have names that reflect the school/education theme.

No visit to the area is complete without a stop at a bakery. At Hershberger's Farm & Bakery on State Route 557 you will see some baby animals and can feed the goats.  Millers Bakery off of State Route 557 near Charm is an authentic Amish Bakery with so many delicious things that you will want to take some home and freeze them for future dates. Both are Amish so you won't find a website.

Take some time to stop and "smell the roses" by going to The Wilderness Center.  They have several nature trails, a picnic area, and a wonderful nature center with trail maps, interactive exhibits, and a gift shop.  Each month they have special bird walks, flower walks, nature hikes, etc.  The perfect way to relax.

Book your lodging at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast where you can sit around a campfire each night (unless it rains).  There are also porch swings and gliders on the property to swing, watch the birds, and enjoy the Spring flowers.  If you are a gardener please note that there is no extra charge to help pull weeds.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608