Cider doughnuts

by Robin LeBlanc | May 21st, 2015 | Leave a comment

Cider doughnuts are becoming a sort of specialty thing here in New Hampshire.  We have had them a few times and quite frankly, were underwhelmed.  However, during our charrette in Chichester last fall, we were introduced to the cider doughnuts from the Chichester Country Store. On a scale of 1 to 10, they are a 15. OMG, as they say. Fresh and light.  Oh, so light.

Last month, we were travelling to Concord and had a little time to kill.  “Ah,” we thought.  “We can take a little detour and go get a cider doughnut.”  The Chichester Country Store is just up the road from the Epsom Circle, where Main Street meets Route 28.

The Chichester Country Store is worth a visit
The Chichester Country Store is worth a visit

Who knew there were choices? We got one dipped in sugar (not powdered!) and took it out to the car.  Took a bite. Simply.  the.  best.

We headed up Main Street, which we have to say is probably one of the prettiest, rural Main Streets we have seen in our travels.  It was early spring at the time, the sun was shining and all was turning green.  We got to the top of the hill and pulled in to the library.  Here is the view – it’s hard to see here, but you are actually looking across a field and then a valley across to those distant hills (Nottingham?) …

The view from the Chichester Library is spectacular.
The view from the Chichester Library is spectacular.

Reason #73 we live and work in New Hampshire.

The library corner here (the road takes a sharp turn just to the right of this picture)  was a focus of our charrette in October.  It’s a beautiful location on a beautiful road in Chichester.  We sat for a few minutes, looking at the view and finishing that doughnut.  Bliss on many levels.

Then we  continued on Main Street, around a couple more corners and through the town center, which had been the main focus of our charrette work, and then back to the other reality of Route 4.

Such a great little town.  With great cider doughnuts.





Communities for All Ages

by Robin LeBlanc | May 05th, 2015 | Leave a comment

Think of your favorite town. Why is this place special? How would you enhance this community you already love?  Last month UNH Cooperative extension, Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design, the National Endowment for the Arts and Plan NH worked alongside other organizations and City of Franklin residents to explore “Aging in Place.” Throughout the weekend, we discovered the love residents of Franklin have for their community. Many wish to stay there.

In Franklin, like many NH and United States communities, the population of baby boomers turning 65 is on the rise.  According to AARP, ten-thousand people turn 65 every day.  Eighty percent of those people want to remain in their current communities as they age.

“Franklin for A Lifetime” guest speakers Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur from AARP, Philip B. Stafford from Indiana University and Josh Bloom from the CLUE group, among others, made it clear: “Aging in Place” does not focus on those who are elderly. Instead an age-friendly community is one that is livable for anyone. Think of “Aging” not as a medical condition but as change. We age, every day. Lifestyle, availability to resources, transportation, environmental stimuli and personal happiness need consideration when adapting for that change.

As we reflect on the takeaways and anticipate Franklin’s next steps, we will be sharing a series of blog posts addressing some key points from the experts at “Franklin for A Lifetime” Workshop.

Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out these sites for more information:

Calculate your community’s livability score or discover AARP’s 8 domains of livability