News Release — Shelburne Farms
Sept. 19, 2013
Shelburne Farms holds its 35th Annual Harvest Festival on Saturday September 21, a day-long celebration honoring Vermont’s farm and forestry traditions through connection with food, agriculture, and community. Over 7,000 people are expected to enjoy music, dance, storytelling, farm-based education, traditional craft demonstrations, and Vermont agriculture educational exhibits at Shelburne Farm’s Farm Barn courtyard and its surrounding pastures.
Throughout the day, families can participate in hands-on activities in the Family Tent and spend time with Shelburne Farms educators and farm animals in the Children’s Farmyard. Educational exhibits will feature antique farm machinery, birds of prey, farm animals, and more. There will be opportunities to meet craftspeople — rug hookers, woodworkers, weavers, spinners, cheesemakers, and gardeners — and try some traditional arts. There will also be “forest to furniture” demonstrations of wood turning, carving, pole lathe, and more. The festival will include a hay bale maze, as well as horse-drawn rides provided by the Green Mountain Draft Horse Association and Green Mountain Miniature Horse and Donkey Association. Music and theater will be provided by Burlington Morris Ale, Jim Burns and Forrest Newton, Celtic Company, Tony Bemarco and Siobhan Butler, Gary Dulabaum, Fiddleheads, Jon Gailmore, The Irregulars, Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder, Jeunes musiciens du monde, Ed Larkin Old Time Dancers, Pete Sutherland and Rose Diamond, Bob and Andrea Teer, Sparkle Stories and The Very Merry Theatre.
Locally produced Vermont foods will feature Shelburne Farms own Brown Swiss burgers; Maple Wind Farm sausages; Skinny Pancake crepes; Island Homemade Ice Cream; roasted vegetables prepared by NOFA-VT; Shelburne Orchard apples, apple cider, caramel apples, and cider donuts; Aqua Vitea kombucha; and Theo’s World Famous Maple Lemonade.
With more farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA), and food hubs per capita than any other state, Vermont has strong agricultural heritage and many economic initiatives focused on food and farming. This annual event reflects and supports the state’s commitment to preserve the working landscape, serve the nutritional needs of the population, and strengthen the agricultural community.
“For 35 years, Vermonters have been coming together to celebrate the harvest at Shelburne Farms. Friends, families, and neighbors gather to connect, relax, and enjoy,” said Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets Chuck Ross. “For more than 40 years, Shelburne Farms has been teaching the next generation of Vermonters about the importance of agriculture, sustainability, and conservation.”
Harvest Festival is one of Shelburne Farms’ many programs that build community connections to food and agriculture. As part of its work to cultivate change for a sustainable future through educational collaborations, Shelburne Farms is also the backbone organization to the Farm-Based Education Network and a partner with the Vermont Farms! Association in research on best agritourism practices. Shelburne Farms has a Certified Humane grass-based dairy and award-winning farmstead cheese operation, a farm-to-table restaurant supported by its organic market garden and pastured meats, a sustainable forest, and seasonal inn. Its campus for learning is a 1,400-acre working farm and National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain in Shelburne, Vermont. Recognized by Yankee Magazine for “Best Hands-On Farm Programs” in New England, Shelburne Farms serves over 145,000 participants a year onsite alone.
This year’s Harvest Festival lead sponsor is Dealer.com. The event is also made possible with support from Edible Green Mountains, Kids Vermont, and Vermont Tent Company, as well as volunteers, including those from the Charlotte-Shelburne Rotary, Middlebury College, University of Vermont, and Saint Michael’s College. Admission to the Harvest Festival is free to Shelburne Farms members. Admission for non-members is $8/adults; $5/children; $6/seniors; children under three years of age/free. The event is held rain or shine. For information, please visit www.shelburnefarms.org or call 802-985-8686.