Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to find someplace that resonates so deeply with me it’s almost as if I’ve entered a magical wonderland. All my cares and stresses evaporate, leaving me in a state of serendipitous joy. That’s how I felt visiting the wonderful Shelburne farms hidden in Vermont.
All I knew was that it was a farm. Ok. Cool. I’ve been to lots of farms. As I pulled up, I saw a tractor pulling a hay cart filled with people down a long windy road. I was told I could wait for the next tractor or walk, and I decided to take a stroll. As I walked through a grassy field, the path curved into a forested area and then shortly opened up and you could see an enormous farm off in the distance.
As I got closer to the campus, I realized how huge it was. At one end was a bakery, right next to a cheese monger. Cheddaring was taking place in the back. What an amazing process to watch. They stack loafs of cheese on top of each other, allowing the weight to squeeze additional whey out. In front was a cheese tasting area. As I tried each type of cheddar, I found one that tasted like pineapple. When I asked why this was, the monger was impressed stating that that was the subtle sweetness of the grass the cows ate coming through. Furthermore, each cheddar would be unique for that exact reason making them each like a batch of wine. Amazing.
Next door, was a petting zoo with cows and goats. Children ran around two their hearts content and the sound of laughter filled the air. I really don’t know how to describe the atmosphere. It was so unique. I took a stroll our back and found two kids chasing turkeys. I’m not sure how much fun the turkeys were having, but the kids were having the time of their life. Chickens ran around pecking at whatever they saw fit while sandboxes were strewn about. In the distance one could hear the he-haw of a donkey.
I walked down a path in search of that donkey and found a seating area made out of logs. I heard a rustle on the ground and saw a small snake lunge at a mouse, catching it between its fangs and swallowing it in one gulp. Sadly, you could hear the squeaks of the mouse faintly disappear as it was gulped deeper into the snake. Then a gentleman informed me he was about to do a small presentation with two owls that he cares for in the farms wildlife rehabilitation center. Amazing. I sat there for the next 30 minutes learning about barred owls.
After the presentation, I grabbed a bite from the food truck. I have a serious question. How can one get a better grilled cheese than one where the cheese is made from the cows 100 ft away, the heirloom tomatoes are grown 300 ft away, and the bread is backed 500 ft away? Answer: You can’t.
So as I enjoyed my sandwich I walked into the back trails of the farm, enjoying seeing fruits growing from the hovering trees. For hours I enjoyed this serenity. I can’t wait to experience this place again.
Closest Supercharger: South Burlington VT
222 Dorset St, South Burlington, VT 05403
1611 Harbor Rd, Shelburne, VT 05482