Wednesday, October 26, 2016

It's Apple Season!

Ignoring the fact that it snowed briefly today, we are in the "official" apple-picking season! Obviously, now that the snow is starting, things are winding down, but there is still time to grab a bag and a cider donut. For next year, the best times to go are early September to late October. 

Shelburne Orchards
The two orchards I'll be talking about require access to a car to reach them, but apple-picking is a common club-bonding activity, so you'll probably go at least once, even if you don't have a car on campus. If you can't get to an orchard yourself, plenty of orchards (and cider mills!) have stands at the Burlington Farmers' Market, although this weekend is the last outdoor "summer" market. The winter market will start up again on November 12 at the Davis Center at UVM (590 Main Street, Burlington).

Without further ado...

1. Chapin Orchard 
If this name sounds familiar, it probably is! First-Year Apple-Picking, one of MOVE's earliest service events, goes to Chapin Orchard. All of the apples from First-Year Apple-Picking (and there are a lot) are donated to a local food bank. MOVE stands for Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts, and is Saint Mike's community service group on campus. The bulletin board outside the MOVE office in Alliot is always filled with a variety of service activities for students. 

In addition to apples, Chapin's barn contains a wealth of other delicious fall foods, and even has nice dorm-friendly small (not pictured below) jugs of delicious cider. If you did not go to First-Year Apple-Picking, definitely check Chapin out!

2. Shelburne Orchards 

I went to Shelburne Orchards with the Saint Mike's chapter of Love Your Melon, for a team-bonding activity. Shelburne was very suited to that, as they have different sized apple bags, so you don't get stuck with twenty apples for yourself. They have a wide variety of apples with different ripening times, so there is always something for everyone - call if there is a specific type you're hoping for. 

As might be expected, Shelburne Orchards has the standard cider and donuts, but we also saw signs for pick-your-own grapes, which isn't something I've ever seen before. Since we were also there during pumpkin season, there were plenty of pumpkins and unusually-colored gourds to choose from. Although we were there too late for this, they also sell fresh-baked pies that I am extremely tempted to go back for. 

I stood on a pile of grass to get this photo, but here's the view from the orchard!
Even if apples aren't necessarily your favorite fruit, there's always (always) donuts! Apple-picking is a good social activity, and it doesn't cost very much at all. Both of these orchards are between 20-30 minutes away, which is fairly close by Vermont standards. Plus, if you stay out late enough, you might get a crazy sunset-mountain view like this:

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Note: All of the pictures from Shelburne Orchards are my own; the two pictures for Chapin Orchard can be found at:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Five Instagrams a Purple Knight Should Follow

Is your Instagram feed lacking in pictures of Saint Mike's foliage? Do you want photo evidence of what's going on on campus? If you're not a Facebook person (or if you are but also love Instagram), Instagram is a great way to know what our Purple Knights are up to and get some ideas of things to do for yourself. 

If you're a current Purple Knight, Saint Mike's alum(na), or debating joining our family (which you totally should - we're awesome), these are the Instagram accounts you should definitely look up.

1. Saint Michael's College - @saintmichaelscollege 

A photo posted by Saint Michael's College (@saintmichaelscollege) on

The official Saint Mike's account, this is your go-to account if you want gorgeous pictures of our wonderful campus. During our peak foliage season, this is a must. And if you use the #smcvt, your posts might make it on the account, like Jill's did!

2. SMC Adventure Sports Center - @smcadventure

If you're trying to become more outdoorsy, or just want to know more about the Adventure Sports Center (formerly the Wilderness Program), follow @smcadventure! There are photos from recent trips and excursions, as well as posts like this one, which gives a nice update about upcoming programs. Trying something new through the Adventure Sports Center is a must for a Purple Knight; see what interests you through Instagram, then visit them in Alumni Hall.

3. Knight Life - @knightlifevt 

Run by SMC students (which could be you), every week gives a different perspective on the Purple Knight life - see what I did there? This account is probably my favorite; not only does it give me ideas of what to do around campus and in Burlington, but Study Abroad students are also featured. This week, enjoy a trip to Switzerland in spirit with senior Jennifer Toner! 

4. Saint Mike's Her Campus - @hercampussmcvt 

A photo posted by Her Campus SMCVT (@hercampussmcvt) on

Just started last fall, Saint Mike's Her Campus chapter is a recent addition to the many groups on campus. An online magazine, check out Her Campus SMCVT for student interviews, articles about current events, and posts on college life in general. Their Instagram is will keep you updated on article publications and events they're hosting on campus, and is a great moodbooster if you need some positivity in your day. 

5. Saint Michael's Athletics - @smcpurpleknights

If you are not making it to as many SMC sports events as you'd like, this is a great account to follow. Besides posting featuring specific athletes, @smcpurpleknights also does an awesome job with videos, so you still catch that crucial goal in the latest soccer game even if you could not attend. This repost also features @hopehappensheresmcvt, which focuses on mental health advocacy for student-athletes. Also started last year, Hope Happens Here is already having a huge impact on campus. 

6, 7, 8...
Obviously, there are many more accounts on Instagram that are SMC-related. These are some of my personal favorites, but I left out a key source - your friends! On top of following the college itself and groups on campus, your friends and fellow students' accounts can provide the same things I have mentioned here, but on a more personal level. So do follow these accounts (if you want), but don't forget to find some personal accounts that speak to you!

As a small self-promo: you can follow my personal Instagram as well - @lauralinsanity.