Shelburne Farms Enewsletter
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Take our Survey

Take our Survey

As we begin our 40th year as a nonprofit organization, we invite you to share what you think about Shelburne Farms. Complete the survey by February 10, and you'll be entered to win an overnight stay and dinner for two at The Inn at Shelburne Farms. Thanks in advance for participating!

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Upcoming Programs

See all offerings. Check our web site regularly for new programs as details become available. UPCOMING:

  • Butter and Bread, Sat., FEB. 18
  • The Knitting Circle, Mon., FEB 20
  • Owl Prowl, Sat., FEB. 25
  • Tracking and Trailing a Vermont Carnivore, Sun. FEB. 26

Residential Programs this Spring!

  • Of Cows, Caves, and Cheese Friday–Sunday, MAY 11–13
    Take a journey into artisanal cheese-making, from Shelburne Farms to the Northeast Kingdom for a rare opportunity to see The Cellars at Jasper Hill, a revolutionary cave aging facility. More info.
  • Words Take Wing
    A Retreat for Poets & Writers

    Friday–Sunday, JUNE 22–24 
    Do you write poetry? Wish you could? Find your own voice, and take time to read, write, reflect and wander. No experience necessary – just a love of poetry and the natural world. More info

Summer Camps are online
Summer Camps Online!

This year, all of our 2012 Summer Camp offerings are online. Our registration process includes a lottery for all applications received before February 23rd (read details). After the lottery deadline, applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis for any remaining openings or for our waitlist.

Chicken in poncho
(Not our) chic chicken

She went viral on Facebook after we posted the photo (who would've guessed?), but she's not one of our flock (chickens aren't so chic in Vermont.) We found her on this blog. And since many of you appear to be knitters, we hunted online for a pattern. The closest thing we found is here. We hope she's warm wherever she is (and we'd like to see some of that snow!)

1,000 Places to See Before You DieWe're 1 of a 1,000

We're listed on p.888 In the new, 2nd edition of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Add us to your "Bucket List!"

2012 marks the 40th year of the nonprofit Shelburne Farms. Over the course of this year, we'll present a series of articles commemorating the milestone and mapping our way to 50. Marshall Webb shares his thoughts first.

Marshall Webb Founding the nonprofit in 1972 was the culmination of over 3 years of intense family conversations about the future of the Farm and our planet. We (Derick Webb’s children) incorporated Shelburne Farms Resources to serve as an organizational umbrella for all sorts of educational activities on the Farm. It was our response to the question: how can we best use the farm to improve the future?

To understand how forming a nonprofit was the answer to this question, we have to back up a few years. The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970. The environmental impact of 3.7 billion people living on the planet was making its way into the national consciousness, and a movement to counteract planetary degradation was beginning. A few days earlier on April 18, a group of us observed the first Green-up Day by driving an old flatbed dump truck out on Bay and Harbor Roads to pick up roadside trash. We spent all day between the Fishing Access and South Gate picking up three full loads of beer bottles, soda cans, and garbage.

Campers at Burlington Farmers Market, 1973That summer of 1970 Alec started the first summer camp on land that is now part of Shelburne Bay Park. Two years later, I took over the camp and moved it to the Market Garden. We plowed up one acre of the heifer pasture in front of the house and built a small greenhouse and cedar pole structure. About 18 kids, half from low-income families in Burlington and half from a private school in New Jersey, lived in tents for 5 weeks. They picked produce to sell at the new Burlington Farmer’s Market (we were the only vegetable vendor that first year), dug clay for wood-firing handmade pots, and much, much more.

That fall of 1972, I filed the application for 501(c)(3) status for Shelburne Farms Resources. A few months later it was approved, and the Farm was headed toward a new future.

Marshall Webb

Marshall Webb

Spring Series on Education for Sustainability

Thursdays, JANUARY 26- APRIL 26 (no session March 8 - spring break)
TIME: 4-5pm • LOCATION: Aiken Center, UVM campus, Room 102
Parking available in the Jeffords Lot (free after 3:30)

A great new series featuring national speakers, including Bill McKibben and Greg Smith, local practitioners of Education for Sustainability; panels and workshops. Come to one or ALL! More information. Join us for the kick-off on January 26, where our Jen Cirillo, Coordinator of Shelburne Farms' Sustainable Schools Project, will be one of the featured speakers!

This seminar series is being offered by Shelburne Farms and its partners: UVM: Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resource, GreenHouse Residential Learning Program, Sustainability Faculty Fellows Program, College of Education and Social Services; the Burlington School District, and the Vermont Commons School, the Sustainability Academy.

Doug FlackReal Foods, Real Health -
Late-breaking program!

Wed., FEBRUARY 22, 6:00-8:00 pm. FREE.
Limited Registration. Call 802-985-8686

Join Doug Flack, farmer and sauerkraut producer from Flack Family Farm in Enosburg Falls, as he sparks a discussion about the modern American diet, how we got here, and how we as consumers can make different choices. Look at a fascinating timeline of industrial food production, and learn more about farm-fresh foods like raw milk, cultured dairy products, lacto-fermented vegetables and more.

Co-sponsored with City Market.

Farm to School Updates

Read Vermont FEED's recent newsletter here.

Farm to School Awareness Day! Wednesday, January 25
• Celebrate the achievements of Farm to School efforts around the state.
• Hear the new 2012 grantees of Farm to School state grants announced.

Farm  Barn Solar PanelsDo solar panels work
in the winter?

With a second set of roof panels on the Farm Barn (they went up in November — see photo), and our solar orchard in full swing, we thought we'd answer this common question.

Solar panels work on light not heat, so they operate fine in the winter. In fact, as temperatures fall, photovoltaic cells become more efficient (as long as there's sun). Last year, the Farm Barn panels produced the most energy on March 27. Shorter daylight hours in winter, however, do affect power production. Also, if panels are covered with snow (not a problem so far this winter!), they stop producing power. When the sun melts the snow, or if the snow is removed, panels resume operation. Our one solar tracker tilts up automatically every morning to shed snow.


As we begin 2012 – the Farm’s 40th year as a nonprofit organization – we extend heartfelt thanks to all of the members, volunteers and staff who, over the years, have contributed time, support and expertise to help Shelburne Farms become the thriving education organization it is today. We appreciate your support and look forward to keeping you involved in our Education for Sustainability programs in the coming year. Cheers!

Shelburne FarmsTwitterFacebookFlickR Shelburne Farms cultivates a conservation ethic for a sustainable future. We are a nonprofit
education center, 1,400-acre working farm, and National Historic Landmark.
1611 Harbor Road • Shelburne, Vermont • 05482 • • 802-985-8686