Saturday, August 24, 2013

Shelburne Farms

In the garden at Shelburne Farms
Today we were up and out early to beat the heat - our destination, the Shelburne Farms. They are famous around here as a grand estate, built up by William Seward and Lila Venderbilt Webb in the late 1880s, but also now as a not-for-profit organisation which is a sustainable farm and education centre.

The grounds (Frederick Olmsted) and architecture (Robert H. Robertson) are simply stunning,
We went on a tour, where the guide told us in detail about the sustainable dairy practices in the farm: rotational grazing is the key she explained. I could almost SEE the exclamation marks rising from the top of Bruce's head. " We don't know how lucky we are in NZ" he murmured, as we drove away from the dairy shed.

The farm barn was pretty fun, though. It had almost a medieval feel with its central courtyard and animals. We watched the cheese makers at work (I want to be a cheese maker!!), and tasted the cheese, and discovered that cheddar is a verb (did you know that? Me neither). We sat outside the 'barn' and ate sticky buns baked on the premises, and said hello to the donkeys and the piglets.

The 'cottage' was....well, not the way you'd normally think of a cottage.

The view from the cottage was to-die for.
I'll admit Bruce's white legs don't add to the view. 

We went for a long walk in the grounds.

I am being Gandalf

We took home from the farm all we needed for a picnic lunch: fresh cheddar chilli bread, smoked cheddar cheese, and crisp local apples.

We had planned a quiet afternoon, since it was very hot. But our landlords popped round to tell us it was Vergennes Day and we really should go. So we set off south, and spent a happy hour listening to an excellent local jazz band on the...I want to say village, but Vergennes is officially a city - so, city green.

And the day wouldn't be complete without an evening on the lake.

1 comment:

  1. If that's a cottage, I wonder what they'd call my place?