As you all know, we have a thing for farms. Someday, I suspect, we shall live on a farm. With a pig. Chris loves pigs. And, chickens. He loves chickens, too. After our (my) tour of Ben & Jerry’s, we headed to Shelburne Farms, a 1400-acre farm that sits on the shores of Lake Champlain. Given our slight obsession with farms, we had heard of this place earlier in the summer. I was interested in checking it out so with the Airstream in tow, off we went!
When we pulled into the Farm, we noted the admission price. I confess. We’re pretty cheap. Yes, I’ll pay $3.00 for an ice cream tour but did I want to pay $8.00 to see a farm? I saw a lot of farms this summer. For free. We parked the Airstream and sat inside it while I fed Emerson and we discussed whether we wanted to see the farm or continue on to our campground in Burlington. We were tired…Chris from driving and me…well…I was probably coming off my ice cream sugar high. Oh, and that whole minor detail of the fact that we have a newborn and nights of peaceful sleep are just a memory at this point. So, yeah, we were tired.
We convinced ourselves, however, to go and check out the farm. There have been too many occasions where we ended up not going to certain places because we didn’t want to pay the fee and too many people have informed us that we made a big mistake by not seeing said places. Well, we were not going to be accused of that this time!
We loaded up the stroller with child and the bazillion things necessary for child and took off for the farm. (Seriously, how can someone who is not even 10lbs require this much stuff?) The trail to the farm was 3/4 mile through an open field and then into a wooded area. It was a beautiful day for a walk and Miss Emerson seemed quite content in her stroller. She loved the bumpy gravel trails.
Neither of us knew what to expect but as we came out of the wooded area the trail opened up again and in the distance we saw the amazing farmhouse. Or, farm mansion.
Developed in 1886, the farmland was to be a “model agricultural estate.” At one point, the farm had 300 employees working the land. Today, it is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conservation education. The grounds encompass a farmyard where children (and Lani and Chris) can meet the farm animals, a cheese-making building, an elementary school, an inn, a conference center, beautiful gardens, and miles of walking trails. Additionally, it still remains a working farm.
We explored the grounds, checked out the petting zoo, and watched some cheese being “cheddared“. (I learned something new during my visit!) But, the highlight of our day were the piglets that were only three days old. Oh. My. Goodness. They were too cute. We stood and watched as the piglets battled one another to nurse on mama pig. It was an amazing sight. So, amazing in fact, that I took a video of the piglets and it here it is for your viewing pleasure: (Sorry about the poor video quality.)
Isn’t that the cutest? It does make me happy I only have one child to feed. (And I thought my nipples were sore!) Watching these piglets was worth the $16.00 we paid. We could have stood and watched them all day long. But, we didn’t. We checked out some of the trails and I burned off some of the ice cream calories. It was a beautiful and wonderful day for all three of us! So, if you find yourself near Shelburne Farms, I highly recommend stopping. If you don’t you’re making a big mistake!