2012 Events

A Garden of One’s Own

Sundays, April 15th & 22nd, at the Morrill Homestead Education Center

This two-part workshop is geared to helping you envision, design and create a garden that suits your own unique situation, desires and limitations. Starting with an overview of possibilities and inspirations, we will look at what makes a “good garden” and in turn begin to apply certain ideas and principles to our own sites. We will explore elements of design – color, rhythm, pattern – and of course plants and plant communities. Between classes you will be asked to do an analysis of your project/site, begin to formalize your ideas and gather images that support your thinking. Our final class will be spent working with your ideas to create a design you can begin to implement. This is a hands on workshop. Please feel free to bring whatever materials, books, or imagery that serves to inspire or articulate your vision.

Susan Howard is a horticulturist by trade. She runs Pyrus Horticultural, a garden design-installation consultation business with her partner Donald Dreifuss. Their work includes interior and exterior plantings, historical restoration, rehabilitation, herbaceous borders, containers, seasonal plantings, and events.

To register call Therese at the Homestead, 802-765-4288, or email: director@morrillhomestead.org

$200.00 for both classes. 1:00 – 4:00 PM



Open-Up-the-Garden workday at the Homestead 

Saturday, May 12th, beginning 9:00 a.m.

Bring your gardening tools, a lunch, and we’ll provide drinks and snacks.

Questions? Contact Margie Carpenter – gardener@morrillhomestead.org



Walking Tour of Morrill’s Strafford Village

Sunday, May 27th, 1:30
Take a walking tour through the historic Upper Village of Strafford with stops at Morrill’s boyhood home, his general store, the Morrill Memorial Library, the Morrill Mausoleum, and a visit inside the 1799 Strafford Townhouse, one of the most photographed town meeting houses in New England. $10 Rain or Shine.



Rustic Furniture (Sat) & Rustic Trellis (Sun) Workshops

Saturday & Sunday, June 16th & 17th
In these one-day workshops at the Morrill Homestead you will take saplings and with simple joining techniques make an outdoor trellis or piece of furniture. They may be as simple or as intricate as you choose and time allows. No woodworking experience is necessary. Presented by Mark Ragonese and the League of NH Craftsmen. To reserve a place or for more information, call Suzanne, 603-643-5384,  or email craftstudies@craftstudies.org.

$140.00 per day, materials included. 10:00 – 5:00 PM



Gallery in the Garden- “Farms, Fields, Flocks and Feathers”

Friday, July 6th, 5:30 PM       

PREVIEW mini paintings

A reception for the opening of a show celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Land Grant College Act begins at 5:30 PM. The exhibit features local artists and will be open weekends from 11:00 to 5:00 until July 22nd.

A silent auction of miniature 4″×4″ paintings will include works by these artists:

Ed Koren, Jennifer Brown, Micki Colbeck, David Macaulay, Nancy Dean, Dierdre Dennis, Andrea Doughtie, Kate Emlen, Kit Farnsworth, Katharine Fisher, Jim Gardner, Libby Gardner, Nancy Gerlach, Henry Isaacs, George Lawrence, Ann Leeds, Jo Levasseur, Andy Newman, Ann Semprebon, Bob Bauer, Gerry Bergstein, Gail Boyajian, Laura Clark, Kelly Coffin, Ned Coffin, Randy Coffin, Donna Hollinger, Pace Kendall, Lisa Kippen, Mary Louise Pierson, Patsy Root, Deborah Frankel Reese, Genie Shields,  Sherry Saint-Germaine, Bea Alexander, Margaret Lampe Kannenstine, Todd Binzen, Martha Davis, Lianne Thomashow



Drawing and Watercolor Workshops for children and teens

June 25-29,  9 a.m.-12:00
Explore the fantasy of nature and architecture through drawing, writing, mapping,
watercolor painting and more. Make your own handmade books for sketching and
finished work. A great opportunity to imagine history while creating something new!
Taught by Jennifer Brown and Anmari Kicza

For kids ages 8-13, June 25-29,  $75

July 9-13,  9 a.m.-12:00

This advanced class will focus on watercolor painting. We will explore color, value and methods to create depth in paintings.
We will use quick studies to practice our new ideas in handmade books. Working from ideas and skills documented in our books along with direct observation of the environment. Students will also have time to complete finished paintings.

For kids ages 10-15, July 9-13,  $75

To register for either or both classes, call Therese Linehan at the Homestead 802-765-4288 (please leave a message) or email: director@morrillhomestead.org



The Morrill Symposium

Celebrating the Sesquicentennial of Lincoln’s Signing of

the Morrill Land Grant Act

Saturday and Sunday, August 11 & 12, 2012, Strafford, Vermont

2012 will mark the Sesquicentennial of Lincoln’s signing of the Land Grant College Act which helped to create universities in every state, making higher education accessible to millions of working class and minority Americans.  This piece of legislation, written and championed by Senator Justin Morrill of Strafford, Vermont, effectively changed the direction of higher education, creating for the first time universities that gave students a practical education in areas such as engineering, agriculture, economics and the sciences.

The Friends of the Morrill Homestead will host a two-day Chautauqua-like symposium, on August 11 and 12, 2012, to explore what led Senator Morrill to conceive the Land Grant legislation and, of greater importance, to look at the issues facing education today and what we as a country can do to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

Click here for more information on the Symposium.


Fiddleheads, Lamb’s Quarters, Nettles and Nuts: Wild Edible, Medicinal, and Poisonous Plants

Sunday, September 23rd, 1:00-2:30

Can someone really become immune to poison ivy after drinking milk produced by a goat that has eaten that plant? What did young Quaker women use for rouge when their parents forbade them from wearing makeup? Which has more vitamin C-a glass of orange juice or a glass of pine needle tea? On this walk we’ll share Colonial and Native American folklore and information to learn about the myths and realities concerning the use of wild edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants. We will also sample many of these delectable treats. If Socrates had attended this workshop he may have realized that you can drink tea made from the boiled needles of the hemlock tree, but not from the small herbaceous plant called poison hemlock.

Michael Caduto—well-known as co-author of the Keepers of the Earth series—has written and taught extensively on herbalism and has studied the uses of plants among the indigenous peoples of the Northeast. His other books include Native American Gardening and Everyday Herbs in Spiritual Life.

A 1.5-hour walk, including stories and sampling plants in the field as well as prepared wild edibles.

$10 adults – $5.00 under 14.


19th Century Apple and Harvest Festival

Sunday, October 7th, 11:00-4:00
Press cider in an antique press, sample cider, taste heirloom apple varieties, play period games, hike the lookout trail, play Valley Quest, lunch. Rain or shine.

$8 adults (includes lunch) – $3.00 under 14.





Senator Morrill in the News

The Morrill Act, 150 Years On: Is This Still in Our DNA?   By Charles P. Pierce.      Free Press Story

Vermont Public Radio’s website has a nice story and picture of “Senator Morrill” as he addressed a crowd on the steps of Morrill Hall at UVM on July 2, the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land-Grant College Act.   Free Press Story

Burlington Free Press featured an excellent article “Justin S. Morrill – The Most Influential Vermonter You’ve Never Heard Of ” by Tim Johnson in the Sunday, June 10th issue.  Free Press Story

University of Vermont press notice – Senator Morrill, as portrayed by David McWilliams, will speak at the launch of the fifth year of the university’s free, weekly historic tours, and on the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Land-Grant College Act – noon, July 2 at University of Vermont.  Free Press Story




A wonderful commentary  by Dennis Delaney, former Vermont State Senator, about the Morrill Act aired on VPR on March 27th. Here’s the link:



*The Homestead opens  Saturday,  May 26th, 2012. The season runs through October 8th.  Saturdays, Sundays, and Monday Holidays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

These programs are presented by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead in partnership with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.