SHELBURNE-Historic Shelburne Farms, the 1,400 working farm on the shores of Lake Champlain will reopen Saturday, May 7, just in time for Mother's Day.
It will be the beginning of a busy season, with the farm's Inn open for breakfast, dinner and overnight stays, guided tours of the property throughout the day, seven days a week until mid-October, and the tractor-drawn wagon carrying excited children and their families to visit the farm animals at the Children's Farmyard. It is 39 years since the historic estate, founded in the 1880s by Dr. William Seward Webb and his wife Lila Vanderbilt Webb, became a non-profit organization committed to keeping the land in agriculture and exploring ways to communicate a message that would encourage a sense of connection to the land.
Today field trips bring thousands of school children to Shelburne Farms where they learn about nature, agriculture and how to take responsibility for the future, the network of walking trails provide access to the landscape and refreshment to the soul, the Inn welcomes guests from all over the world with its tradition of gracious hospitality.
The Inn's dining room showcases the produce of local farms, orchards and gardens while the on-site herd of Brown Swiss cows produce milk that is transformed daily in the cheese rooms of the Farm Barn into award winning cheddar cheese.
The farm's unique Children's Farmyard welcomes children (and every other age group, too) to meet farm animals, learn about their importance to our lives, and even how to milk a cow.
When you visit the farms, the Welcome Center and Farm Store at the main entrance to Shelburne Farms at 1611 Harbor Rd., at the corner of Bay Road in Shelburne, will be the starting point for a tour, the wagon-ride to the Children's Farmyard, and the walking trails.
Also, you'll want to check out the Inn at Shelburne Farms, open for breakfast, dinner and Sunday brunch and for overnight stays. Call 802-985-8498 for reservations.
This year, the record lake levels and resulting flooding of the parking field between the Inn and the Coach Barn, has resulted in the decision to cancel the Mother's Day house tours. Although no date has been chosen, organizers hope that the popular house tours can be rescheduled for the fall.
Check It Out: For general information about Shelburne Farms call 802-985-8686 or go to the website: www.shelburnefarms.org. It is open 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tours are daily at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for children 3 to 17. Free for Shelburne Farms members. Special tours of the Breeding Barn on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. for $5, and House and Garden Tea Tours (Tuesdays and Thursdays only) at 2:30 p.m. for $15. Reservations required.