Sample the season in Shelburne

This is the year to make Shelburne Farms Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese your holiday star! Besides being a delicious addition to your holiday entertaining menus, it makes a much-appreciated artisanal gift that speaks to the best traditions of Vermont.

On the weekend following Thanksgiving, Shelburne Farms provides a great opportunity to learn about Shelburne Farms cheese, enjoy discounts on mail order and avoid the crush of the malls. Sample the Season at the Welcome Center and Farm Store at Shelburne Farms is a chance to taste the delicious (and award-winning) cheddar cheese, talk about the cheeses produced on the historic farm, and place mail orders for gift giving to friends and relatives all over the country and around the world. The mail order and catalog staff will be ready to consult on the choices of cheese, maple syrup, breakfast combinations, and so much more, as well as advising the best time for shipping in time for holiday delivery. Sample the Season will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26 and Saturday, Nov. 27 at 1611 Harbor Rd., in Shelburne.

It will be a chance to learn about the history and mission of Shelburne Farms, the herd of Brown Swiss cows that make the milk, and the process of making Farmhouse Cheddar. There will be samples of cheeses and cheese spreads for tasting. And Farm Store Manager Carol Wellings will have discounts on the wide selection of gift items in the store.

A special part of the Sample the Season tradition is a horse-drawn hayride with teams of handsome draft horses pulling wagons through the fields near the Welcome Center from 11 to two each day. The rides are $2 per person.

New this year: Shelburne poet, and long-time Shelburne Farms resident and friend Rick Bessette, will read from his newly published The Vermonter's Heritage: Listening to the Trees and sign copies from 11 to 2 both days.

Shelburne Farms is an environmental education center, 1,400 working farm and National Historic Landmark.

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