Aug. 13-19—The fourth annual Open Farm Week will return the week of Monday, Aug. 13-Sunday, Aug. 19, and will feature a diverse schedule of rooted in Vermont on-farm activities for the whole family.
Open Farm Week is a celebration of Vermont farms offering visitors a backstage pass to learn more about local food origins, authentic agritourism experiences, and the chance to build relationships with farmers. This year visitors can explore regional trails, featuring multiple farms and activities, to take a deeper dive into the unique rural character of each corner of Vermont. Events vary from farm to farm, including activities like milking cows or goats, learning to make pickles, working with fiber, crop-mobs, on-farm dinners, or scavenger hunts.
Janet Steward of Greenfield Highland Cattle reflected on her Open Farm Week experience: “Everyone was so appreciative of the beauty of the animals and landscape, and what we do. We were able to show people how our beef is raised, and how we believe any beef people eat should be raised. The joy and peace on people’s faces, being on a working farm and being around animals was worth it to us.”
2017’s Open Farm Week event saw increased reach through partnership marketing with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing and Front Porch Forum, drawing visitors from Vermont and beyond to the many participating farms throughout the state. Visitors reported an increased connection with farms and farmers because of their Open Farm Week experience, with 80 percent of attendees responding that their visit has inspired them to purchase and consume more local food.
Open Farm Week is a collaborative statewide agritourism project organized by members of the Vermont Farm to Plate Network including the UVMExtension, Vt. Agency of Agriculture, Vt. Fresh Network, Vt. Department of Tourism and Marketing, Shelburne Farms and Farm-Based Education, NOFA-VT, and City Market. Open Farm Week helps reach Vermont’s Farm to Plate food system plan goals to increase farm profitability, local food availability, and consumption of Vt. food products.
In Central Vermont, Four Springs Farm in Royalton will be holding a Summertime Camping special for Vermonters, Monday -Friday, plus a tour of the farm on Thursday at 4 p.m. and Yoga in the Field Friday at 5:30 p.m. Vermont Farmstead Cheese Co. in South Woodstock will be offering samples and cheese making demonstrations, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. each day. Silloway Maple in Randolph Center will hold a pancake supper at the sugarhouse, with tour, Friday, 5-7 p.m. On Saturday, Howling Wolf Farm in Randolph will have a farm tour and family picnic day, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; and Small Farm in Brandon will hold a Family Farm Day at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m.
For a complete schedule of farms across the state, visit diginvt.com.
Photo courtesy NOFA-VT
A young girl carries a chicken, on a farm during Open Farm Week in 2015.