Harvest Festival celebrates Vermont’s farms, forests, future

Sept-3-F-Harvest-Festival-SShelburne Farms will host its annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, Sept. 20. The day-long family-friendly event honors Vermont’s farm and forestry traditions through connection with food, agriculture, and community. Over 7,000 people are expected to attend to enjoy Vermont foods, farm-based education and other educational exhibits, craft demonstrations, and performing arts. The event will take place at Shelburne Farms’ historic Farm Barn courtyard and surrounding pastures.
Shelburne Farms Harvest Festival is celebrating its 36th year, a uniquely long history in the melee of local food and music festivals popping up around the country. The farm, an early comer to the American agritourism revolution, is an educational campus that provides the public the opportunity to see where their food comes from. The event reflects and supports Vermont’s commitment to preserving the working landscape, serving the nutritional needs of the population, and strengthening the agricultural community.
“Shelburne Farms’ Harvest Festival is an event to look forward to,” said Enid Wonnacott, Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT). “Kids, adults, and food and farm enthusiasts gather at the Farm Barn to celebrate Vermont’s harvest, it’s a true community celebration, unlike any other.”
Educational exhibitors include SunCommon, 350 Vermont, and Outreach for Earth Stewardship among others. There will be opportunities to try traditional arts and meet craftspeople such as cheesemakers, gardeners, rug hookers, and spinners. The festival will also host “forest to furniture” demonstrations of wood turning, carving, and pole lathe among other techniques. There will be a hay bale maze, as well as horse-drawn rides provided by the Green Mountain Draft Horse Association and Green Mountain Miniature Horse and Donkey Association. Throughout the day, families can participate in hands-on activities in the Family Tent and spend time with Shelburne Farms educators and farm animals in the Children’s Farmyard.
Performing artists include Very Merry Theatre, Burlington Morris Ale, Jim Burns and Mara Eagle, Celtic Company, Gary Dulabaum, Jon Gailmor, Jeunes musiciens du monde, Green Mountain Cloggers, Social Band, Atlantic Crossing, Brass Balagan, Zii Trees, Gigi and Joni, Mary Ann Samuels and Susan Reit, Stephen Grotto, Nulhegan Abenaki Drummers, and Young Traditions.
Locally produced Vermont foods will feature Shelburne Farms’ own Brown Swiss burgers, Maple Wind Farm sausages, Skinny Pancake crepes, Island Homemade Ice Cream, wood-fired pizza prepared by NOFA-VT, Shelburne Orchard apples, and Aqua Vitea Kombucha.
The Harvest Festival is free to Shelburne Farms members while admission for non-members is $10 for adults, $5 for children, $5 for seniors, and free for children two and under. The event is held rain or shine. For information, please visit www.shelburnefarms.org or call (802) 985-8686.