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Shelburne hosts draft-horse field day

SHELBURNE The vanished days of 19th-century Vermont agriculture will be demonstrated in the fields of historic Shelburne Farms as draft horse teams and their drivers gather for the annual Green Mountain Draft Horse Field Day Saturday, July 26. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be demonstrations of traditional farming methods an easy walk from the Welcome Center. A combination of antique farm machinery and new equipment produced by Pioneer in Pennsylvania to meet the needs of the Amish farmers, but popular with Vermont farmers who use draft animals, will be used during the day. The mighty Clydesdales, Belgians and Percherons, bred for power and strength, pull plows, reaper mowers, rakes, tedders, and balers in the hay and grain fields. There will even be a horse-drawn manure spreader. There will also be horse-drawn hayrides, and demonstrations of using draft horses to pull logs and move huge round bales. An antique threshing machine powered by a tractor will separate the grain from the straw of oats that have been cut and dried in anticipation of the Field Day program. An exciting element of the Field Day is the chance to talk to the people who use draft animals on their home farms and even for innovative activities such as Pat Palmers weekly rounds to collect the recycling in the town of Bristol. There will be food for sale at the site of the Field Day demonstrations from the new Shelburne Farms Farm Cart with its delicious menu of locally raised vegetables and creative paninis. Admission to the Green Mountain Draft Horse Field Day is free with admission to the Shelburne Farms property. Admission to Shelburne Farms is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for children 3 to 17, free for members of Shelburne Farms and children under 3 and includes use of the many miles of walking trails on the property, visits to the Childrens Farmyard and watching cheese being made in the Farm Barn. For information call 802-985-8686.

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