Experience the vibrant energy every day in August with art, literature, and music at Billings Farm & Museum, open daily 10AM – 5PM. The month is filled with unique offerings featuring vintage tractors, sunflower splendor, and the unveiling of the inaugural Moos & Brews & Cocktails Too! After-Hours event.
Farm & Forest Book Club, Wednesday, August 3
Adult book lovers will find a welcoming atmosphere in which to gather and discuss texts about agriculture, land stewardship, and the notion of what makes a place a place in this book club launched through a collaboration between Billings Farm & Museum and the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park,. Discussion about the first book, “My Garden” by Vermont author Jamaica Kincaid, will take place from 5:30-7PM in the beautiful Billings Farmstead Gardens. Light refreshments will be served including Billings Farm Butter, Smoked and Woodstock Reserve cheddar cheeses, crackers, and herbal tea. The book club will continue with “Reading the Forested Landscape” by Tom Wessels on September 7 with a discussion led by Park Rangers at the National Historical Park. Additional meetings will take place on November 9, and January 11. For ages 14+. Each session is $5/person. Registration will open at billingsfarm.org on July 11.
Antique Tractor Day, Sunday, August 7, 10AM – 5PM
The 22nd Annual Antique Tractor Day will feature restored tractors from yesteryear, along with fun activities, stories, games, and food. Visitors can enjoy a Tractor Parade at 12PM & 4PM. An announcer will regale the crowd with fun facts about each tractor’s history, make, and model. As exhibitors shift into the lowest gear, guests can cheer on their favorite machines in the “Slow Race” at 2PM. Children can ride pedal tractors through an obstacle course, make a wooden tractor to take home, take a tractor drawn wagon ride, or enjoy stories about…you guessed it, tractors! Billings Farm & Museum would like to invite exhibitors with antique tractors that predate 1980 to join the fun. Registration is due by July 18. billingsfarm.org/events/antique-tractor-day-2022/
Moos & Brews & Cocktails Too! Friday, August 12, 5PM – 7:30PM
The farm will come alive with music, food, local craft beer, and moos! Against the bucolic backdrop of pastures and verdant hills, guests 21+ can get to know the famous Jersey Moos and enjoy tastings, cocktails, and a beer garden featuring Outer Limits Brewing and Silo Distillery. Local musicians Em and Nat will entertain the crowd with their Classic Rock sound. There will be tasty cuisine available for purchase from the Wicked Awesome BBQ Food Truck, as well as delicious Vermont-made ice cream, cotton candy, and Billings Snack Packs at the Farmhouse Café. Guests can take pictures with a cow, get up close with an adorable calf, and receive lots of loving cow kisses. Knowledgeable farm educators are happy to share fun Jersey facts. Guests can try their hand at butter churning and giant bubble making with Billing’s artist-in-residence Margaret Dwyer. Tickets are $25/person, $20/members for ages 21+. This includes two tasting tickets for 4 oz. pours, with additional drinks available for purchase. billingsfarm.org/events/moos-brews/
Dig in Vermont: Open Farm Week, August 7 -14
2022 Vermont Open Farm Week will celebrate local foods and farms across the state on August 7 -14. Billings Farm & Museum is pleased to participate with activities including Antique Tractor Day, Moos & Brews and the Billings Farm Cheese Booth at Market on the Green in Woodstock, VT. Guests can enjoy the bustling Farmer’s Market and sample delicious Billings Farm Butter, Smoked, and Woodstock Reserve cheddar cheese. billingsfarm.org/museum-shop-farmhouse-cafe/
Artist in Residence Margaret Dwyer will be on site throughout the month demonstrating her skills at illustrating nature through art. She will engage with guests, leading drawing and painting tutorials on Mindful Mondays. Junior Farmer and Farm Discovery Campers will have a chance to create polymer clay animals, shaving cream art, or explore needle felting. Dwyer will also lead an introductory watercolor workshop for adults. https://billingsfarm.org/art-on-the-farm/.
Sunflower’s Splendor Watercolor Workshop with Margaret Dwyer, Wednesday, August 17, 5:30PM – 7:30PM
Capture the sunflower’s magnificent blooms in watercolor as they reach their peak in the Billings Farm Sunflower House. A myriad of shapes, colors, and sizes will provide incredible inspiration for this watercolor workshop, designed for painters of all levels. To capture the sunflower’s splendor, this workshop will focus on the importance of brushwork and mark making through which students will learn to express the sunflower’s bright, bold, and captivating elements on paper. The most challenging aspect will be choosing a favorite bloom. The workshop is $65/person, $60/members with materials included. Advanced registration is recommended. To billingsfarm.org/events/sunflowers-splendor-watercolor-workshop/
Billings Backyard: Late Season Pollinator Care & Beekeeping, Saturday, August 20, 10AM -11:30AM
For the curious backyard beekeepers and enthusiasts, beekeeper Troy Hall will provide an overview of beekeeping fundamentals including basic equipment and hive management, with a focus on preserving and establishing spaces for bees and pollinators. The session will be followed by a 30-minute Q & A. To register, visit billingsfarm.org/billings-backyard/
The Sunflower House is in Full Bloom!
Billed as the largest sunflower house in the United States with a footprint of 20,000 square feet, this mandala-inspired living floral labyrinth will welcome guests to roam, play, and take lots of photographs! Participants in the #VTSunflowerHouse Instagram Challenge even have a chance to win Billings Farm Cheese! With flowers ranging in height from 18 inches to 14 feet, the space will feature blooms in a colorful palette ranging from orange and red to golden yellow. The Sunflower House is a breathtaking and magical sight to behold. The sunflowers are typically in bloom through early September. billingsfarm.org/sunflower-house-and-billings-farmstead-gardens/
Sunflower Sunday, August 21, 9AM – 9:45AM
Guests can enjoy a meditation walk through the Sunflower House followed by light stretches. This mindful moment will be complimented by herbal tea after the class. This event is free to all.
Date Night Cooking Class Featuring Mediterranean Inspired Cuisine, Thursday, August 25, 5PM – 7:30PM
Couples will explore fresh ingredients and learn cooking techniques in this fun, chef-led cooking class. Incorporating local seasonal bounty harvested from the Farmstead Gardens, this class will highlight the principles of Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Emery Gray will share her extensive kitchen knowledge as she leads this hands-on cooking experience. Couples will enjoy a mezza platter of Dolmas, which are stuffed grape leaves, and a sampling of olives, feta cheese, and specialty olive oils. Following step-by-step instructions, participants will prepare a multi-course menu including a tomato, cucumber herb salad, Kibbeh, or ground beef kabobs, and a vegetarian option of Falafel and Tzatziki, finishing with a Baklava style dessert. Guests will have a chance to dine on their delicious creations at a family style dinner table in the beautiful, restored Billings Farm Activity Barn. For ages 21+, the class is $85/person, $80/member. Registration for two is required to hold a space. To register, visit billingsfarm.org/datenightcooking/
Billings Farm & Museum will incorporate weekly themes into daily offerings to expand education and enjoyment of the beauty and breadth of the farm experience.
- Mindful Mondays will focus on wellness through rejuvenating programs or a stroll in the Farmstead Gardens or along the walking trail. Guests can sip on herbal tea and breathe in the serenity of the farm.
- Time Travel Tuesdays will demonstrate 19th century pastimes with games, artifact guessing and activities in the 1890 Farm Manager’s House and around the site. Interpreters will be dressed in historic clothing from the 1890s.
- On Wagon Ride Wednesday, from 11AM – 3PM guests can enjoy a wagon ride around the scenic farm.
- Thursday Threads is a celebration of fiber arts with demonstrations of textile-related crafts such as weaving, knitting, felting, or crocheting. Guests can create a take-home craft.
- Foodie Fridays focuses on farm to table, then and now featuring culinary demonstrations, delicious recipes, and interactive programs using seasonal ingredients from the Farmstead Gardens.
The Billings Farm Volunteer Program is a way to make meaningful connections with the Billings community. Volunteers make new friends, share their enthusiasm for farming, rural life, gardening, and history, and learn new skills. There are a range of positions and flexible timeslots available. Volunteers will greet guests, educate about our artifacts, give out Billings Farm Cheese samples, take care of our farm animals or help in the Billings Farmstead Gardens. To get involved, please visit billingsfarm.org/volunteer/.