Driving onto the Shelburne Farms property takes my breath away every single time. There is magic behind the stone pillars at the front gate. My mind starts swirling with stories and history as we pass the Farm Barn (which we call “the castle barn”) and as we continue along the windy dirt road we “moooooooooooooooooo” to the brown swiss cows and stop to look for sea glass along the rocky shoreline.
Shelburne Farms is a non-profit organization devoted to education, conservation, and sustainability. This 1,400-acre working farm and National Historic Landmark is located in Shelburne, VT on the shore of Lake Champlain. “Shelburne Farms directs numerous leading-edge educational programs, such as its professional development for educators and school field trips. Shelburne Farms is the Northeast regional lead for the National Farm to School Network, coordinator of the Vermont Farm to School Network, a partner in Vermont Food Education EveryDay (VT FEED), and backbone organization to the Farm – Based Education Network.”
I think that you could spend a week visiting the farm and still find more new things to explore. There are ten miles of walking trails, the children’s farmyard, the Inn, which has 24 guest rooms, a public restaurant, and so much more!
Our family loves to take the tractor ride from the Welcome Center to the Farm Barn to visit the animals. Highlights of each trip include watching the chicken parade (and looking for the rooster), milking the cow, brushing the rabbits, and looking for chicken eggs (my son’s favorite thing to do).
On our last visit to the farm we were able to watch Feta the goat have her hooves trimmed and meet the new goat kids. Every time we visit there is something new to see, something new to learn, and more things to be part of.
My children were also welcomed into the garden, invited to try the herbs, and put right to work pulling weeds. The time the staff took to make this such an enriching experience encouraged the kids to be more helpful in our garden at home.
After visiting the animals we walked along the trails, following a Storywalk (a deconstructed book bordering the trail). It was a fun way for my six year old son to share a story with his sister. There were stick teepees along the way to investigate and flowers to pick.
The kids ran and laughed with their cousins all the way to our picnic spot. When they got to the top of the hill they were excited to see the great view of the Inn, the lake, and the New York mountains.
Shelburne Farms is special for everyone… young and old, Vermonters and visitors. We try to go there at least once per season, as each season holds different things to do on the farm.
Would you like to visit Shelburne Farms? They have sent us TWO family day passes to share with Try Vermont First readers.
ENTER HERE TO WIN THIS GIVEAWAY:
Thank you Shelburne Farms for the countless happy memories you have made for our family.
Here’s to many more!
PS: Shelburne Farms hosts weddings too! 7.22.2005