Earlier this month I enjoyed a visit to Shelburne Farms for the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival. Shelburne Farms is a 1,400-acre nonprofit global education center for sustainability, working farm, and a National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain in Shelburne, Vermont.
Each year at Shelburne Farms, 170,000 pounds of farmstead cheddar cheese is crafted from the milk of Brown Swiss cows. The Farm also harvests maple syrup, lumber and wood fuel from 400 acres of sustainably managed forests. Solar panels on the Farm Barn roof and a solar orchard offset 70% of the Farm's electricity use.
Visitors at the Farm can enjoy walking/running trails, the Farm Barn children's farmyard, the Inn and Farm Cart restaurant, property tours and special events.
During my visit, my friend Tania and I stayed at the Orchard Cove House, which used to be a privately owned residence and is now being used by the Farm to pilot multi-day retreat-style residential programs.
I didn't get to do any kayaking, but I did do some jogging and explore some of the trails. I also enjoyed the views of Lake Champlain and finally got a chance to wear my Columbia Sportswear water shoes (the water was a bit cold so water shoes are the way to go).
Before we left, we had brunch at the Farm Cart, where 80% of the menu ingredients is sourced from the Farm's seven acres of organic gardens or from local Vermont producers. I had the most incredible house churned buttermilk pancakes topped with powdered sugar, fresh peaches and maple syrup.
If you leave the farm for dining, I highly recommend stopping by Pauline's Café in nearby South Burlington. The spice crusted hanger steak, tarragon aioli and vegetables.
If you plan on visiting Vermont, you should definitely check out Shelburne Farms. The scenery and greenery is gorgeous and everyone on staff is helpful and welcoming. The Farm is always hosting events and there's plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Thank you to Shelburne Farms and the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival for having me and hosting my stay!
The Orchard Cove House included lemon, geranium and cedarwood shampoo and conditioner and grapefruit lavender shower gel, all which smelled amazing!
- Kim Weling