begins MAY 12!
- Property Tours begin, Children's Farmyard, Farm Cart open
- Welcome Center & Farm Store Summer hours:
9:00 am - 5:30 pm
- Inn opens MAY 10 for meals & accommodations. 802-985-8498, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Is your membership current? Check with Jane Boisvert, 802-985-0312, email@example.com
- Walking Trails open year-round, conditions permitting.
Spring Soiree & Benefit for Shelburne Farms at the Inn!
Friday, MAY 4, 7-10:30 pm
Be the cat’s meow!
Swing to the music of Stolen Moments.
Nibble hors d’oeuvres.
Imbibe (Prohibition’s over!) at cash bar.
Bid on silent and live auction items. Proceeds benefit the Farm's education programs.
Tickets: $100/person. Purchase online
Space is limited. Info: 802-985-0342.
New web site promotes VT culinary & farm tourism
Just in time for the summer season, you can find public events, places, trails, and more at Dig In Vermont. Share in Vermont's farm and culinary experiences! DigInVT is a project of the Vermont Agriculture and Culinary Tourism Council. We're on the Council.
All our programs are online. Check our website regularly for new programs. UPCOMING:
- Wings are the Things, Sat., APR 21
Dairy Day at the Farm!
Sunday, MAY 6,
1-4 pm. $5/car; walkers free. No registration.
"MOOOOO!" That's "Come visit us!" in cow-speak. Explore the barns, visit the calves, milk a cow, and watch afternoon milking. See you there!
6th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference!
Thursday-Sunday, AUGUST 2-5
Online Registration scheduled to open MAY 7. Early Bird Rate: $290 until June 13. Scholarships available to Vermonters.
Four days of education, conversations and fun in Burlington, VT. Skill-building short courses, field trips to innovative farms and institutions, a diverse workshop program, and lots of opportunities to network with inspiring individuals nationwide. More information & registration
VT FEED, a partnership of Shelburne Farms, Food Works, and NOFA-VT, is the local host of this conference.
Last Winter Farmers Market in Burlington
Saturday, APRIL 21, 10 am-2 pm.
Beginning May 5, the market moves outdoors. We'll be there that day!
Residential Programs this Spring!
- Of Cows, Caves, and Cheese Friday–Sunday, MAY 11–13
A journey into artisanal cheese-making, from Shelburne Farms to The Cellars at Jasper Hill. More.
- Bedrock to Birds:
The Natural History of Shelburne Farms' Working Landscape Friday - Sunday, MAY 25-27 More.
- Words Take Wing:
A Retreat for Poets & Writers
Friday–Sunday, JUNE 22–24
Read, write, reflect and wander. No experience necessary – just a love of poetry and nature. More
2012 is the 40th year of the nonprofit Shelburne Farms. We'll be marking this milestone with a series of articles. This month, we hear from Chuck & Carla Conway, founders of O Bread Bakery, which operates in the Farm Barn.
My wife, Carla, and I first came to Shelburne Farms in 1977. We shared the bottom floor of the Farm Barn’s north “wing” with an enterprise called the Harvest Center. Sponsored by Gardens for All, it helped gardeners secure their crops for winter storage. It featured a battery of food-processing devices that any gardener would prize: steam kettles, commercial pressure cookers, juicer-pulpers, canning equipment.
Quite a number of us were working in this vein, kindred spirits at the time — back-to-the-landers, political planners, artists, mechanics, weavers, cooks, philosophers, and yes, bakers. We were all infused with the energy generated by a decade of remarkable social and cultural change, and a sense that the clock was ticking on our chance to turn things around. Back then, as today, the way forward is through education: a real, fundamental re-acquaintance with our own nature and our connection to food, water, air, soil.
Bread is a great common denominator—for teaching, for life. Pretty much everyone is on good terms with it, and it’s easy to trace the simple steps back to the plants, soil, and climate it came from. It’s what Shelburne Farms educators do with so many kids (and grownups!) every day. In the bakery, we help them make tangible that step-by-step journey of food production.
We’ve milled a lot of wheat (even grown some of it here), mixed a lot of dough, and baked a whole lot of breads. Visitors, young and old, are captivated by the mechanics and the process, and are gratified, or even changed, by being able to apprehend the closing of the circle that connects farm and table.
Chuck & Carla Conway
Educator Linda Wellings honored as "unsung hero"
"...cherished as the 'Facilitator of Wonder,' Linda's energy, enthusiasm, and humor enfuse everything she does and inspire all who know her."
— JoAnn Winterbottom presenting the award to Linda
"I get my glory and joy from the children that I teach. How can I be honored for doing something that I love, with the most adorable kids in the world? I get so much more from them than I give to them."
— Linda Wellings, accepting the award
Our Director of School Programs Linda Wellings received the "Laura's Spirit Award" last week from the King Street Youth Center and the Laura K. Winterbottom Memorial Fund for being an “unsung hero who makes a real impact on the lives of
King Street Center kids.”
Every week, Shelburne Farms brings King Street kids to the Farm or the Farm to King Street. Linda is usually at the helm.
Winterbottom was an avid outdoors-woman and art teacher when she was murdered in 2005. The Laura K. Winterbottom Memorial Fund and award were established by her family to celebrate her legacy of community spirit. This year, the Fund is helping the King Street Center raise funds for a summer artist-in-residence.
Your responses to our survey in January overwhelmed us. (We're calling it a "tsunami of goodwill.") Nearly half of our members, as well as inn guests and town residents, shared their thoughts. One of the most common refrains was "Keep up the good work!" With your support, we intend to do just that. Here's a sample of what else you said:
"Thank you for being there, for pioneering, and for leading the way!"
"We have been going to the Farm for 16 yrs and we still love it even as our children get older. Hey, I never would have milked a cow if it had not been for taking my boys to Shelburne Farms!"
"I'm so glad Shelburne Farms exists. It's like an oasis of common sense. When I visit with children I want them to soak up what they see around them: the idea that everything matters — the animals, the grass, the trees, and by extension ourselves."
"You represent all the wonderful things about Vermont – education, small farms, conservation, friendliness and beauty."
Getting into the woods just got easier
Shelburne Farms works hard to accommodate students and visitors with differing abilities. Our new "Wike" makes that job easier. This enhanced bicycle trailer will help give students with mobility issues equal
access to the fields,
ponds and woodlands
of Shelburne Farms. We've already used it for field trip students.
Our Wike purchase was made possible by an anonymous donor.
Jr Iron Chef Results
"Jr. Iron Chef Vermont and the Vermont Farm to School movement are models
that I am proud to recommend to the whole country."
— Senator Patrick Leahy,
addressing Jr. Iron Chef participants this year
You can find all the winners at last month's 5th annual Junior Iron Chef competition on its web site. You'll also find all the winning recipes! More than 300 middle and high school students from across Vermont
showed off their culinary skills, preparing dishes that were delicious, nutritious,
seasonal AND can be served in the school cafeteria.
Jr Iron Chef is hosted by the Burlington School Food Project and VT FEED (we're a partner).
Educators On the Road
Erica Curry recently presented at the Dig In! Food and
Garden Conference in Potsdam, NY, together with Tom Gilbert Executive
Director of High Fields Composting. Then she traveled with members of the VT FEED team to
Sturbridge, Mass. to present at the Massachusetts
Farm to School Convention.
Meanwhile, director of professional development Jen Cirillo and Colleen Cowell (local science coach) presented at the
National Science Teachers Conference in Indianapolis last week on the
subject of science and sustainability.
We intentionally share what we do and learn from others to help build and maintain a network for educational change supporting a sustainable future.
The (educational) power of solar
This Friday, some of our educators are meeting with VEEP, the Vermont Energy Education Program to explore ways to more effectively "convert" solar power into educational power for field trips and visitors.
Spring by the Numbers
- 56 gallons of maple syrup (a weird, warm, and early season)
- 10 heifer calves born (26 cows have yet to calve)
- 76 lambs. We had one set of quadruplets! (We still have 18 ewes due to deliver in mid-May.)
- 550 schoolchildren attended sugaring field trips.
- 1,472 4-H pancakes consumed by community at Maple Open House weekend.