Adorable Animals, New Projects & Expanded Offerings in the 40th Season
With spring comes new life, fresh beginnings and at Billings Farm & Museum, budding excitement for the opening of the 40th Season. Anticipation is growing for the expansion of the Billings Farmstead Gardens, the installation of Interpretive Signage along the Walking Trail as well as expanded camps, food programs and after-hours events!
Opening Day April 8, 10AM – 4PM, A warm welcome to the season with a free locally made scoop of ice cream from the newly named Farmhouse Cafe. Follow the StoryWalk featuring “Woolbur” by Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by Lee Harper. Page by page, the story unfolds on signs along the pasture fence. Enjoy the lamb scavenger hunt hidden among the Farm Life exhibits.
Following Opening Day, the first weekend of the season will be adorably fun with the ever-popular Baby Farm Animal Celebration, April 9 & 10, 10AM – 5PM. Meet some of the farm’s newest additions up close. Pet lambs and goat kids. Hold a peeping chick, meet Jersey calves, piglets and bunnies and learn all about the animals and how they are cared for on the farm. Create adorable pom-pom chicks and piglet crafts to take home. Celebrate springtime by planting an heirloom seed in a peat pot to take home. Looking for a delicious lunch option? The Wicked Awesome Food Truck will be at Billings throughout the weekend.
Sheep Shearing & Herding, April 23 & 24, 10AM – 5PM. Watch live demonstrations of sheep shearing and Border Collie herding. Pick up a Sheep & Wool Passport to follow the steps of the wool process all around the farm while collecting stamps at each station. Observe how raw wool is processed, then see the wool take on structure and color through dyeing and spinning. View the creative possibilities made by weaving, felting, knitting and crocheting. Children will have a chance to spin and take home their very own woolen bracelet. Purchase raffle tickets to win Woolen Treasures made by Billings Staff on display in the Activity Barn. Sheep & Wool Week continues April 25 – 29, 10AM – 4PM. View displays on how wool is processed and see the freshly shorn sheep in the pasture.
Join the growing Billings Farm Volunteer Program, where meaningful connection with the Billings community is a daily occurrence. Make new friends, share your enthusiasm for farming, rural life and history and learn new skills. For more information and to get involved, please visit billingsfarm.org/volunteer/.
New this season at Billings Farm & Museum:
Redesigned and expanded, The Billings Farmstead Gardens, opening in June will offer further engagement and educational opportunities against a beautiful backdrop. Wander the meandering pathways through six distinct gardens, under trellises and arbors and past hundreds of varieties of plants and flowers. Take a moment to observe garden life with benches and natural stump seating at intervals throughout. See history come to life in the Heirloom Garden with typical 1890 kitchen garden varieties and in the Victory Garden, a WWII era necessity to support the war effort at home. Watch bees, butterflies, birds and insects alight on an array of flowers in the Pollinator Garden. Visit the low maintenance, self-caring Permaculture Garden that mimics the balance and beneficial relationships found in nature. Discover delicious ingredients for healthy, home-grown meals in the Pizza, Herb & Chef’s Gardens.
Billings After Hours will feature evening events for the adult crowd including Date Night Cooking Classes, a great night out with your partner and Moos & Brews, a new event that cleverly combines craft beer and cows.
Billings Interpretive Walking Trail is slated to open Memorial Day Weekend. Stroll along the beautiful pastures and Ottauquechee River to learn the story of the landscape and people who have shaped and changed Billings Farm over the years. Highlighted is the vital importance of the natural forest buffer near the river, the birth of Vermont’s dairy industry, and the legacy of responsible agriculture and stewardship of the land passed down through generations by the Abenaki people, George Aitkin and the Billings Women.