{know your historical farmer} Hancock Shaker Village

It’s the beginning of June so your local farmer is working day and night to bring you the summer bounty in the coming weeks and months. Its “go time”,  farm tours and on-site special events are {mostly] put on hold during this busy time of year. Around these parts, the spring season has been a challenging one with lots of rain, and few long stretches of sunny days. In addition, we’ve had some severe storms, that have included hail. Its been a challenging time for sure. In the meantime, to get the kiddies excited about all things farming, I suggest a trip to your local “living museum”. We have two great ones within 90 minutes of Saratoga Springs: Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, MA and The Farmers Museum in Cooperstown, NY. We’ve been to both within the past two weeks….here’s my first report; Hancock Shaker Village. ~Christina

My father-in-law was in town for an extended visit from Florida so we decided to make the most out of a Sunday-Road trip!

We took a leisurely drive to Hancock Shaker Village just moments over the NYS/MA border in Pittsfield, MA. The City of Peace, which began in 1780’s and grew to almost 300 believes and 3,000 acres by 1830 as a successful live/work religious community with a successful dairy and vegetable farm. Today it is still a thriving living history museum with acres of hiking trails, vegetable gardens, animals, amazing architecture (the 1826 Round Dairy Barn is to die for!!!), a working creamery (fresh ice cream and sorbet on site), demonstrations on everything from water power to letterpress printing, a multitude of tours,  lots of hands-on activities for children and best of all visitors can get up close and personal with the farm animals (in the fields WITH the animals, not behind a fence). Lastly, they have a successful CSA Program!!!!! GAH- perfection!

I’m a total sucker for living museums; the employees in costume, the hourly demonstrations, the horse-drawn carriage rides, the farm animals, the acres of fields for people to relax and enjoy. I. love. it. all. The big news of the day (week, as I was later told) was that the final pregnant sheep had her 2 lambs about 30 minutes before we arrived to the barns. When we arrived, she was cleaning her babies while purging the afterbirth. I had never seen newborn farm animals before. Yup, lots of “firsts” this month. It was a truly special moment, we were all mesmerized. Everywhere we went other employees asked if we had seen the babies, how they were doing, ect.

I would highly recommend Hancock Shaker Village, especially if you have children or are a homesteading/farm dork like myself.

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Categories: Events, Kid Friendly, Weekend Reading, {Know Your Farmer}

Author:Christina

Finding her true calling, connecting people to their local foodshed, Christina is the Editor & Founder of From Scratch Club and a proud CSA Member & Market Crew member of Kilpatrick Family Farm. At the homestead, she is the Chef de Cuisine, Master Baker & Head Food Preservationist to her husband Charles and their 2 year old son, Miles Jae. Although always a supporter of local, sustainable, humane and whole foods, Chris is now on a serious mission to bring those principles into her kitchen due to Miles Jae’s multiple food allergy diagnosis, asthma and the rare disease, EE. All of her recipes are dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten/wheat, pea, corn & sesame free.

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2 Comments on “{know your historical farmer} Hancock Shaker Village”

  1. June 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Hancock Shaker Village was one of my favorite day trips as a kid! (My family was known for killer educational day trip vacations :) I remember churning butter there and thinking it was so amazing. I love that they have a CSA these days!

    • June 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

      Dude, you have cool parents. I NEVER went to stuff like this as a kiddo. And I too was BLOWN AWAY that they have a very popular (very sold out) CSA Program. AMAZING. They are also having some fantastic looking Farm to Table dinner soon.. Should put that on {Weekend Reading} LOCAL EDITION…

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