We welcome you to join us for a few restful days or weeks here at our historic Vermont farm where we carry on an uninterrupted tradition of grass farming begun in 1779. Stay in an autonomous 2-3 bedroom apartment imbedded in our 240 year old farmhouse.
We, Meghan and Steve, welcome you to join us for a few restful days or weeks here at our historic Vermont farm where we carry on an uninterrupted tradition of grass farming begun in the late 1700's. While Sunrise Farm is a fully operational and productive farm, it also rests in one of the most idyllic and biologically diverse sites in Vermont.
Most notable about the farm is our lack of pretense. Every working farm is a work in progress, balancing between daily chores and seasonal rhythms, busy summers and rejuvenating winters. We are fluent in the language of sweat equity and value muddy boots. For many visitors this can feel more like a welcoming foreign country than a shiny Holiday Inn.
If your interest lies in making the most of nearby Brattleboro and other area gems our location, ten minutes from I-91, makes that a breeze. If you prefer spending time hiking, swimming, or bird watching, our farm swimming pond and miles of well maintained private trails though our 200 acres of Vermont beauty are here for you. Diverse wildlife from moose to goshawks make their home here as well.
Your hosts can explain explain the intricacies of Vermont farming and forestry from maple sap production, timber growing and sawmilling, pasture management for beef and poultry, and vegetable growing and preserving.
The residence is an autonomous 2 bedroom, 2-story apartment that is part of the original 240 year old farmhouse. It has its own kitchen, bathroom and living room. Outfitted with a Queen and Full bed, this is a welcoming place for families or couples traveling together. Additionally, there is a small room that can be used for families wishing to spread out, outfitted with bunk beds and a trundle, potentially accommodating three children. There is an extra charge for this room ($30 /night - just book for 5 people when you make the reservation, and the fee will be included). The kitchen is stocked with everything you will need to prepare your own meals. In season, pick your own garden produce such as fresh cut greens, ripe tomatoes, or fruit from the orchard. Or, you can enjoy Brattleboro's great selection of restaurants with suggestions available from your hosts.
The style of the farm is relaxed, as it's an interesting conglomeration of the 2 families who have farmed here. You will see the original hemlock floor and hand planed moulding in the living room from the founding Thurber family, Bertha Thomas' 1900s wallpaper in the stairwell, and wide pine floors grown and milled at the farm in one of the bedrooms. The furniture is auction -eclectic mixed with some beautiful antiques.
Most who stay here comment about the "magic of Sunrise Farm ", remarking on the noticable confluence of natural energy here. Please email us with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.
Interaction with guests
We leave that up to our guests. If you prefer privacy, we respect that. If you want to be more social, we love to meet new people, share our knowledge of farming and our corner of Vermont, and trade ideas on anything from the meaning of progress to progressive agriculture.
Other things to note
Seasonal activities at the farm:
April - Gardens are starting to be planted. Feeder cows go out to pasture at the end of the month.
May - Earliest greens are ready to eat from the garden. Unequivocal reprieve from winter's chill.
June - Garden is abundantly producing. Strawberries are ripe. Afternoons at the farm pond swimming.
July - Blueberries are ripe. Fence maintenance to tame summer's growth. Mid-summer weight checks for beef stock. Garlic is harvested. First of the broiler chicks go out to pasture.
August - Canning and freezing of garden produce. Peaches and plums are ripe. Wood-splitting for winter heat continues. Hot afternoons spent tubing on the West river.
September - Raspberries are ripe. Gardens wind down. Chickens and cows continue to grow on pasture. Fall colors come late in the month.
October - First frost comes. Fall colors peak the first half of the month. Remaining beef and chickens are put in the freezer. Wood stoves get fired up.
November - Forestry work starts, thinning out the maple stands, harvesting firewood. Great time for hiking.
December - Continued work in the forest. Start of snowshoeing and cross-country ski season.
January - Blessed rest. Stacking wood, replenishing wood supplies. Keeping stoves lit. Reading.
February - Preparations for maple syrup season. Sap lines are repaired. Late in the month, trees are tapped. Seedlings started for summer garden.
March - Maple sap flows. Delivered to the neighbor's sugarhouse each evening when conditions are right (warm days, chilly nights). Nurse cows calve, many new calves on the farm.
This is an early to bed, early to rise farm, encouraged by our resident Black Copper Maran rooster, so late check-ins cannot be accommodated.
Please, no dogs.
This is a smoke-free household, though smoking is okay outdoors (just not in the garden, to help prevent the spread of tobacco mosaic virus).
Please turn off the porch lights at night, as the night sky is gorgeous.
Fences are electric, though feel free to walk through pastures (just keep the gates closed).
We have two ponds. One is open all the time for swimming, the other one is open all the time except for between 3:30-5pm (this may fluctuate a bit depending on the weather), when we ask for a bit of quiet time ourselves for pond use.
We both like to have our hands in the dirt and our minds in a good book. Meghan, as a midwife, delivers babies at our local hospital and Steve, as a forester and tree farmer, delivers logs to the farm sawmill to make into useful products for the community. Our first love, other than each other, is sustainable agriculture, whether growing healthy grass-fed beef and chickens or growing and preserving much of our own food on our 200 acre, 240 year old farm.
We love Vermont for its land-use aesthetic and progressive politics, and between us, have over 30 years in this beautiful state.
Between us we speak enough rudimentary Spanish and French to help with travel and other details.