This nonprofit, educational farm began when a group of locals wanted to preserve American traditions and encourage healthy, environmentally friendly choices. They bought and restored the 412-acre property, which dates back to the 1800s. Today, families, student groups, and individuals just like me visit Hillside to learn about sustainable living.
I arrived at The Lands at Hillside Farms in Shavertown just in time for the morning cow crossing, when volunteers lead the herd across the road to the pasture. The cows couldn’t care less about the spectators and stopped cars, but I was fascinated to see the inner workings of the farm!
After the cow crossing, I explored the historic barns and met goats, donkeys, horses, alpacas, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, and even peacocks!
Next, I visited the dairy store. It was a foodie paradise! The farm sells its own Hillside Gold milk and butter, free-range eggs, and pastured meats. It also offers vegetables, honey, maple syrup, cheese, and baked goods from over 20 local producers.
As if my mouth wasn’t watering already, I noticed the famous ice cream parlor! Sundaes, shakes, and dozens of flavors… I finally decided on a scoop of maple walnut, a refreshing treat for a hot summer day.
I wandered to the mercantile barn, which sells local, fair trade, and eco-friendly wares like jewelry, bags, scarves, soaps, candles, art, and décor. I also browsed flowers, herbs, and vegetables in the greenhouse.
Before leaving, I visited the Education Center, which hosts children’s camps on science, agriculture, ecology, and history. That day, the kids showed off the chicks they just hatched. Hillside also offers free programs to grieving children and children with special needs.
See how old-fashioned farming can lead to a greener future at Hillside Farms! It’s open to the public year-round and hosts seasonal events.
You can also do your part to preserve the farm. Volunteer, donate, or make a purchase at the store to keep these programs alive. For more information, visit www.thelandsathillsidefarms.org.