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Hearty Eats, Shelburne Falls, MA

Have you ever been to Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts? The Village of Shelburne Falls sits in the Northeastern part of the Berkshire Mountains, and it has been described as a haven for artists and artisans.

We were initially drawn to the area by the more than satisfying vegan restaurant, Hearty Eats. The owners of Hearty Eats believe that good cooking starts in the garden, and they pride themselves on providing organic plant based meals at fast food speeds, and prices. One of their goals is to make it easy for everyone to eat well every day, by sourcing their ingredients locally, and sustainably, without chemicals and pesticides. Interestingly, Hearty Eats is a tipless establishment, and patrons really don’t have a chance to interact with a server (the restaurant increased its pricing to include service fees, and adjusted their employees wages accordingly). Although the service wasn’t entirely warm and fuzzy due to this kind of setup, we really did enjoy our food, and the dining experience.

We started with hot tea, miso soup, and a side of organic tortilla chips that included a lovely hummus dip. We then selected the “Build Your Own Bowls” option, and we were able to add all kinds of tempting organic ingredients, including black beans, sweet potatoes, scallions, zucchini, tempeh, carrots, green leafy veggies, and brown rice. The food was tasty, and the prices were reasonable too. We finished our meal, perused the community bulletin board (which was entertaining in itself), and embarked on a 5 minute walk to the highlight of our visit, the Bridge of Flowers.

The Bridge of Flowers connects the towns of Shelburne and Buckland and is only open between April and October. The seasonal footbridge, once a trolley bridge, has a garden of flowers covering its entire expanse. According to Wikipedia, “In 1929, with the bridge covered in weeds, local housewife Antoinette Burnham came up with the idea of transforming the bridge into a garden. Since it was not needed as a footbridge and could not be demolished because it carried a water main between the two towns, the community agreed to her idea. The Shelburne Woman’s Club sponsored the project in 1928, and in 1929, eighty loads of loam and several loads of fertilizer were brought to the bridge. Several women’s clubs around town raised $1,000 in 1929…The bridge also contains two and a half feet of soil at the top of the arches, and is nine feet deep at the piers”.

I couldn’t tell if the garden was more like a bridge, or if the bridge was more like a garden. Regardless, the Bridge of Flowers is beautiful, and I have never seen anything quite like it. We briefly met the inspired curator, who clearly took great pride in his work, and the continued legacy of the bridge. 🙂

The bottom line on Hearty Eats restaurant, and the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts? Highly recommended, of course! 🙂

Click here for a link to the Hearty Eats website.
Click here for a link to the official Bridge of Flowers website.
Click here to learn more about the health benefits of miso soup.

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