Celebrating 25 Years of Open Farm Day at Sunny Valley Preserve

Stepping onto The Nature Conservancy’s Sunny Valley Preserve on 8 Sunny Valley Lane in New Milford is like stepping back in time. It is a picturesque setting of rustic, working farms that produce fresh, sustainable food for local residents and visitors alike. Once a year, the community and visitors from far and wide join to celebrate this special place during Open Farm Day—an event that is now in its 25th year. It’s a Conservancy tradition providing a chance for every member of the community to celebrate conservation and Connecticut’s agricultural history—and to see how agriculture will continue to play a role in the state’s future.

There is evidence of farming here that stretches back almost a thousand years, and at Open Farm Day, visitors are treated to a host of activities inspired by this history: wool-spinning, maple syrup-making, pumpkin painting and more. Antique and new farm equipment are on display and there’s even a petting zoo for children to meet farm animals.

This year’s Open Farm Day there will be more attractions than ever before, including:
Pony rides
Petting zoo
Border Collie herding demonstrations followed by a meet & greet of the dogs and ducks
Kids “barnyard” where they can collect eggs from chickens and milk a cow
Oxen demos
Sheep-shearing demos
Chainsaw wood carvings
Pumpkin painting
And much more!

Visitors can also hike on trails and learn about nature, land management, and environmentally compatible farming at several observation sites on the property’s 1,850 acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and meadows.

The land, donated by George D. Pratt Jr. in 1970, was conserved under the condition that the farms be kept in agriculture as long as possible. Today, about 650 acres of the preserve are in active agriculture.

For a newsletter on area events www.litchfieldhills.com

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