Ready for a swing-your-partner and do-si-do, lively good time? Gather the folks and come on down to the Harvest Celebration on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9, 10:00AM – 5:00PM at Billings Farm & Museum to learn about harvest traditions of the past and present.
What better way to honor the harvest than with food, crafts, games, live music, and a barn dance? At the two-day Harvest Celebration, there will be activities for the whole family with tractor-drawn hayrides from 11:00AM – 3:00PM, pumpkin bowling, and a chance to meet the farm’s sheep, goats, and calves up close. Children can turn paper leaves, apples, and pumpkins into smiling Harvest Buddies, make leaf rubbings, or cozy up inside for stories about the harvest at 11:30AM and 2:30PM. Guests can swing through the Historic Barn to view Common Threads: Land, History, Art a vibrant solo exhibition by Artist-in-Residence Margaret Dwyer.
Throughout the day, there will be Harvest Programs where guests will learn about and reap the rewards of summer’s bounty as they harvest vegetables and herbs from the Farmstead Gardens. There will be an opportunity to husk and shell corn, press apples into delicious cider, and select a variety of sunflower seeds to take home for next year’s garden. For ideas on how to best preserve and process fresh produce, there will be a display with recipes and how-to instructions on canning, freezing, drying, and quick pickling. In 1890 Farm Manager’s House, interpreters will demonstrate historical methods of peeling and drying apples, as well as how to make apple butter and apple sauce using techniques and cooking implements from the past.
Guests will enjoy the toe-tapping, melodic joy of Shady Rill with Patti Casey and Tom MacKenzie. They will weave together traditional tunes and invite everyone to join the joyful jubilee with barn dancing on the Grassy Oval. With easy-to-learn steps and spins, a caller will guide the moves with simple instructions. On both Saturday and Sunday, barn dancing will commence on the hour between 12:00PM – 3:00PM.
A celebration of the harvest would not be complete without delicious treats. Along with local ice cream and savory snacks, the Farmhouse Café will feature the quintessential taste of fall: local spiced cider and apple cider donuts, available for purchase from 11:00AM – 5:00PM. The Wicked Awesome BBQ Food Truck will be on site Saturday and Sunday from 11:00AM – 4:00PM, serving traditional American BBQ for purchase.
New England Dairy’s Mobile Dairy Bar will be stopping by on Saturday, October 8 to serve up flavored milk samples. They will provide a tasty experience on wheels, complete with education about dairy nutrition and sustainable practices. On Sunday, October 9, guests ages 21+ will have the chance to taste “Vermont in a Bottle” with samples of handcrafted, locally sourced liquor from Vermont Spirits.
The Billings Farm Volunteer Program is a way to make meaningful connections with the Billings community. In October volunteers will have the chance to share their love of the Upper Valley with people from around the world, as groups visit the site to experience the best of fall foliage. Volunteers will greet tour groups, give out Billings Farm cheese samples, serve ice cream bars, and help support the Gift Shop. Volunteers can join Harvest Celebration to help with crafts, read stories to children, play historic games, and do some barn dancing. There are a range of positions and flexible shifts available. To get involved, please visit billingsfarm.org/volunteer/.