The sun was shining warmly upon the happy guests at the Farm of Milk & Honey at Sunday’s Open Barn Party. Kids and adults alike could not resist the delicious combination of homemade cookies, some brought by guests, and the cause of celebration: farm fresh raw milk. The milk was such a hit that at least 4 gallons were sampled, with many people coming back for seconds! The milk samples were in such high demand that if you arrived past 3pm you may have missed a chance to try some, and it was no surprise that eventually the Farm of Milk and Honey sold out of milk to purchase. This Open Barn Party was surely the place to be on a beautiful September afternoon—according to a neighbor, “Doyle Road has never seen so many cars!”
Visitors from as far as the Burlington area and even Montreal (!!) came to the farm to celebrate raw milk and the recent law that allows raw milk delivery to farmers’ markets. The attendance of 80+ people at the event stands to show how important this issue is among Vermonters. Rural Vermont’s Director Andrea Stander spoke to the crowd about the “unique role Rural Vermont plays in helping farmers have a voice in policies that are affecting them.” In addition to sampling milk and cookies and purchasing raw milk, guests also had the opportunity to peruse a mini farmers’ market – beyond the Farm of Milk & Honey, this included Tunbridge’s Mountain Home Farm and their value-added dairy products, South Barre’s Bear Roots Farm and their veggies, and Berlin’s Burelli Farm and their meat and poultry. Everyone was invited to enter a free raffle of meat, dairy, and vegetable baskets; these items were donated by the farms participating in the mini market. The lucky winners were Diane DesBois, Karen Mikkelsen, and Taylor Katz.
Following countless requests for host farmers Susan and Ryan Hayes to lead a tour, a large group of visitors accompanied them on a walk around the beautiful property. The cows and pigs were glad to meet visitors and the feathery friends on the farm were particularly delighted to visit with kids offering “chicken treats” provided by the Farm of Milk & Honey.
Along with the lively music of John Holland moving through the breeze, children’s laughter could be heard all around. Visitors stocked up on fresh foods at the market, chatted with old friends, and became acquainted with some new ones. We are surely looking forward to the next Open Barn Party and hope that you’ll be able to join us for another great time!