Saturday, July 30, 2011

Road Trip - The Lake Champlain Islands and Shelburne Farms

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As most of you know, we went on a mini-road trip to Burlington, Vermont not too long ago. Here are some photos we took on our journey to the islands of Lake Champlain and the famous Shelburne Farms estate in the town of Shelburne. Athough we were only able to spend one night in Northern Vermont, we're looking forward to returning this Fall, hopefully when the weather is cooler and the foliage is at it's peak.

Shelburne Farms
is a magical place and a "must" destination for all visitors to the area. There's even an inn on the property where guests can stay while they spend a few days exploring the 1500 acre estate. For our day trip, we were only able to visit the 'Farm Barn' complex, which provides many activities geared toward young children and houses the farm's cheesemaking facility. We're planning on exploring many of the farm's other sites, including the 7-acre market garden, when we return in a couple of months.

Anyway, here are few pictures of our trip:

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The surrounding mountains, as seen from a bridge to the Lake Champlain islands.

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The Lake Champlain islands remind me of Long Island, New York in many ways. I was surprised to find so many farms on this seemingly narrow stretch of land. Driving up Route 2, you see farms and hay fields dotted across the island landscape.

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A dairy farm on the island of North Hero.

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The next day, we were off to explore the grounds of Shelburne Farms.

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We came across this rather interesting display of hand-carved wood.

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The estate's open pastures stretch as far as the eye can see.

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We eventually found our way to the Farm Barn, home to many of Shelburne Farms' educational programs including a private elementary school.

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We entered through the side of the facility and came across this rather interesting children's garden.

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The architectural features of this huge facility is stunning to say the least.

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We then made our way to the animal stalls where the children's program was being held that morning.

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The first animal we met was Bella, who was a gentle cutie pie. Shelburne farms makes all of their cheese from Brown Swiss cows.

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These kids didn't seem very excited to see us.

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The chicken parade - We learned a bit about chickens and watched as they were let out of their coop for the day. We were also allowed to pick them up (or at least try to) and hold them. Afterwards Jonathan and the rest of the kids went into the coop to look for eggs.

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Later that morning, it came time to get up close and personal with Bella.

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She didn't seem too excited about getting milked, that is until they brought her some haylage to munch on.

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The children each got a chance to milk her. Jonathan must be a natural because he was able to get a good steam from Bella on the first try. Marc and I on the other hand struggled a little bit.

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An antique tractor in the children's playroom.

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We then made our way to farm's cheesemaking facility.

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We were able to sample some of the farm's delicious cheddar cheese and then watched as they cut the morning's batch of curds.

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Then it was Jonathan's turn. You can see me in the background chatting it up with one of the friendly cheesemakers. Of course I had to purchase a cheesemaking kit before we left.

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Soon it came time to say goodbye to Shelburne farms and all of their beautiful cows.

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We hitched a ride on a wagon back to the farm's welcome center where we purchased some amazing cheddar cheese to take home. We were really disappointed that we didn't get a chance to see more of the farm that morning (which was bloody hot by the way) but are looking forward to coming back in late September for a longer stay.

8 comments:

  1. What a delightful tour! Jonathan is so lucky to have parents that take him to such neat places. This is what wonderful memories are made of :-)

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  2. What a fun trip. I love the sculptures. I really need some art in my garden.

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  3. Oh how fun! We were there when my son was a 18months old. A chicken landed right next to him and he got the funniest shocked/affronted expression on his face. We also got the BEST pick-your-own strawberries, super sweet and juicy. Anna in MD.

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  4. What a fun trip. Your making me want to plan a visit up to the northeast. Putting it on my list. September will be beautiful for another trip.

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  5. It looks like you all had a very nice time. Jonathan is such a cutie. It is so nice to see pictures of you and Marc too.

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  6. Thanks ladies! We had a blast. Maybe we should plan a blogger's convention there!

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  7. that's it!! in such a great place I'd like to live. just look at this. so lovely

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  8. that's right - amzing place!! I'd love living here (just keep me away from these idols, okay?? :D :D )

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