Shelburne Farms
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"The care of the Earth is our most ancient, worthy,
and most pleasing responsibility. To cherish it and
to foster its renewal is our only hope."



TwitterFacebookFlickRApril 2013 Newsletter

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Crafting with Raptors

APRIL 27, Saturday | 10am-12pm

Soiree & Benefit May 3
Be the Cat's Meow!

MAY 3, Friday | 7-10:30pm
Enjoy a great night out to support the Farm's education programs.

Tickets on sale now. $100/person

Dairy Day!

MAY 5, Sunday | 1-4pm

Water Critter Wonders

MAY 18, Saturday | 9:30-11:30am, 12:30-2:30 pm.

connect Online

Awakening to Transformation

Did you miss this series with Fran Stoddard, which we co-sponsored with All Souls Interfaith Gathering and Shelburne Museum? You can now watch them online.

Transforming Education towards a More Sustainable Future: Green Teacher Webinar

with Sarah Kadden and Jen Cirillo of Shelburne Farms. Listen to it free until April 29!

Design-Thinking: A Learning System for Tomorrow's World

Sarah Kadden shared her thoughts on integrating design-thinking in educational settings as part of this blog for Partnerships for Change.

news Bites

Walking Distance
Walking Distance

To prepare for the long-distance hikes described in their new book, local authors Bob & Martha Manning did a lot of training here at the Farm. Come find out why. Their book is on sale at the Welcome Ctr.

Conservationist honored

Darby Bradley of the Vermont Land Trust was honored April 4 by the Vermont legislature for his contributions to land conservation in Vermont. In the early 1980's, Darby helped us develop strategies to conserve Shelburne Farms, and VLT now holds easements on approximately 700 acres of our prime farmland. Congratulations, Darby!

Ensuring Safe Farm Visits

Based on her experiences at our farm-based educators workshop in March, Sanne Kure-Jensen has written several articles for Country Folks Journal:



Vermont just scored #1 in this localvore index that examined each state's commitment to local foods by availability and consumption. The Champlain College students in this 1-minute video offer proof why! (with guest appearance by our Josh Carter, Market Gardener).

Young Writers and Farms

A young writer just submitted this essay about Shelburne Farms to The Vermont Young Writer's Project for its "Farms and Food in Vermont" project.


from The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry.

around The Farm

Cookbook Recipe Testing
Cooking up a new School Cookbook

VT-FEED is working collaboratively on a new cookbook for school kitchens that will offer great, healthy recipes that kids will eat, and conforms with school food guidelines. Recently, we gathered some chefs to do some recipe testing. WCAX covered the story here. The cookbook is due out this fall.

Vermont FEED is a partnership of NOFA-VT, Shelburne Farms, and Food Works at Two Rivers Center.

Spearheading new effort in Agricultural Tourism

Vera Simon-Nobes recently joined our staff to create an agritourism "best practices" resource for Vermonters who are considering or already offering hospitality on their farms. The three-year research project will tackle business planning, liability issues, and education programs. Agritourism is growing in Vermont and is recognized as a way to strengthen the farm economy and working landscape. We'll be developing the resource with many partners, including: VT FARMS!, VT Agriculture and Culinary Tourism Council, VT Agency of Agriculture, University of Vermont Extension, Farm to Plate Network, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, NOFA-VT, and Farm Based Education Network.  

Josh CarterSpring in the Market Garden!

Josh Carter just uncovered the garlic in the Market Garden ("always a rite of spring" he says). Next week he'll start transplanting grafted tomatoes into the high tunnel, or "hoop house." He's cut his first salad greens, planted new strawberry plants, and had 10 piglets delivered, which he'll raise for the inn restaurant for mid-July. For the first time, he'll integrate all the winter manure and bedding straw from the dairy barns into his compost system. You can enjoy the "fruits" of his (and his staff's) labor at the Inn restaurant beginning May 11, or at Shelburne Farmers Market starting May 25.

Photo: Josh Carter in a rare moment of idleness in late March.

Maple SyrupHow it all sugared out

Dana Bishop and Marshall Webb made just over 200 gallons of syrup from our sugarbush this year. That shatters our previous record of 149 gallons! We're even going to offer some for sale. (Get updates on availability schedule on Facebook or Twitter.)

Spotted SalamandersHidden Travelers

By Bailey Willett

On rainy spring nights when the temperature is above 40°F, salamanders and frogs cross roads, hills, and forests to get to their breeding grounds. I help lots of these amphibious friends cross my road in Huntington, VT. Helping them is fun and gratifying (but you have to be patient because they are at their peak around 9 pm). By gently lifting them off the road and to the bank near the water, it’s one less death from a passing car. The more we protect these spring treasures by helping them complete their journey, the more diverse we make our special Vermont ecosystem. So on rainy nights, slow down on dirt roads near water, and look for these little marathon runners trying to get to the finish line.

Bailey WilletBailey is a participant in Shelburne Farms' Aspiring Naturalist Teen program (and many other Farm programs). These young naturalists will periodically share a phenology tidbit with you. Phenology is the study of the timing of natural events and cycles.

Find out more about helping spring salamanders here.

PHOTO ABOVE: Three spotted salamanders that Bailey found on Sherman Hollow Road in Huntington, Vermont.

from the Inn at Shelburne Farms

Karen PolihronakisInn opens May 11

As shutters come off windows and pastures green up, I'm getting excited to welcome back both long-time friends and new acquaintances this season!

Over the winter, we've been busy on projects ranging from fixing old plumbing pipes to reupholstering, rewallpapering (East Room), and resetting flagstones on the outdoor dining terrace. The marvel of the formal garden restoration also continues (more below). We are so grateful for your support that makes it all possible. Thanks and we look forward to seeing you!

Karen's signature

Karen Polihronakis, Inn Director

The mystery inside the last safe

Eric Dion working on the safeOf the four massive Mosler safes that secured Webb family valuables at Shelburne House, only one—the "Silver Vault"—lies still unopened in the basement. We can't get inside! Last spring, Eric Dion of Dion Locksmiths in Burlington began a "three-day" job to open the vault's inner safe. Many drill bits, saw blades and hours later, he can taste victory! By the time you visit, we should have the answer to "What's inside the safe?" Here's a clue.

(In 1928, Farm Manager Edward Gebhardt wrote Lila Webb a memo with combinations and instructions for the safes. Then he advised her to promptly destroy any such memos, adding, "If I don't have any other means for destroying the memo, I chew it.")

Inn Formal GardensThe Inn gardens: What's happening this year?

Starting in May, workers will begin restoring the central stairs leading down to the Lily Pool, and the brick walls on the south side of the upper gardens. This will complement last year's Lily Pool masonry work that has created one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces on the Farm. Restoration of the upper gardens will culminate with reconstructing the pergola on the north end in 2016.

We continue to seek funding to complete the Shelburne Farms Formal Gardens Restoration Project. $900,000 still needs to be raised to cover the cost of the remaining work. For more information and to support this effort, please contact Alec Webb or Sue Dixon.

Shelburne Farms 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