Successful hops planting

Thank you to the wonderful folks who helped plant hops over the weekend. Despite some persistent rain, about a dozen people showed up to learn about this historic crop and help plant the rhizomes which will produce mighty hops vines to be harvested in the fall. Thank you to Rick Scully for bringing this project to us, to Scott Russell and the South Royalton Market for providing the Rhizomes, and to Adam Krakowski for sharing his research of hops and its history in Vermont. What a great start to this project!

Landscape Design for the Natural Garden

Join this three-session workshop at the Justin Morrill Homestead in Strafford, VT featuring design with native plants for the residential garden.

Our instructor, Liz Krieg, is a landscape designer for Chippers, an instructor at the New England Wild Flower Society, and a certified organic land care professional. She will focus on native plants and native plant groupings appropriate for the site and our zone, and the techniques needed to draw a planting plan for a quality garden from start to finish. Each participant will walk away with a shovel ready plan.

Dates for this workshop are Sunday March 6, 1-3pm; Saturday, March 12, 1-3pm; and Sunday, March 13, 1-3pm. Participants should plan to attend all three sessions.

Cost: $150.00. Please email Margie Carpenter ( to register.

Class size limit: 15 participants, first come, first served.

Sops of Wine! Greening's Rhode Island! Roxbury Russett!

Join us Sunday October 10th 11am -4pm to celebrate one of Vermont’s most important harvest – APPLES! This year we will have an expanded heirloom apple selection from Scott Farm of Dummerston, Vermont.

Come help press cider in an antique press! Taste heirloom varieties and hard cider (21 and over!) Come play Clara’s games and hike the Coburn trail for a beautiful view of Strafford.

Other activities include: Raffles for Adults and Kids, Children’s activities such as painting, “Write and Type”, Apple & Donut Snap and more.

Do you have the best apple pie recipe? Enter our Apple Pie contest and you could win prizes from King Arthur Flour. Adult and kids categories! Try the prize winning pies at our Bake Sale as well soup in the Education Center.

$10 adults/$3 children 14 and under. A $2.00 voucher for the bake sale is included in admission. Please consider carpooling as parking is limited.

High Tea at the Homestead!

Join us Sunday September 5th for a High Tea at the Homestead!

In addition to tea, scones and other delectable treats, this event will include a tour of the house, a walking tour of Morrill’s Strafford and the opportunity to stroll the restored 19th century landscape of Strafford’s “gentleman farmer”.

The walking tour will examine Morrill’s lasting legacy through the buildings and structures he left behind. Led by Co-President Mary Victor Giersch, this tour will expand your understanding of this important Vermonter. Tour at 12:30, $28. Pre-registration is required, call 802. 765.4288 or email

Interested in just the house and walking tour? $13, no registration needed. 

A Call for Volunteers!

We need your help with AppleFest! A 19th century heritage harvest festival, AppleFest is the Friends of the Morrill Homestead’s premier event.

With activities such as apple pressing, apple pie contest and scarecrow making, we’re in need of help for planning the event, the day of and of course, clean up.

If you’re interested please contact us. 802.765.4288 or email

Strafford in 1810

Justin Morrill was born, raised, conducted his business, built his home and is buried in Strafford VT, the town he loved. In 1883 he said to his fellow townsfolk, ” Here to me the stars, the planets, and the moon shine more brightly than elsewhere.” What was community that Morrill was born into like 200 years ago? Strafford Historian Gwenda Smith will present a free program on that topic on Sunday August 8 at 2p.m. in the Justin Morrill Education Center. The program is sponsored by the Strafford Historical Society, who will have a short annual meeting preceding the talk. Due to the fact that there was both a population census and industrial census done in 1810 there is a good deal of information about that time. All are welcome to attend this interesting look at the past.

Gala Opening a Success!

Our summer art show: Homestead Gallery in the Gardens is officially open. We have 18 local and regional artists showing their pieces that explore Cycles of Life. We hope you come visit soon. The show is opening Saturdays and Sundays, July 3rd – July 18th, 11am to 5pm. The house is open for tours during the same hours.

Homestead Gallery in the Garden Opening Gala!

Friday July 2nd – 6pm

Join the artists for an evening of celebration. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, beverages and a stroll in the beautifully restored gardens.

The exhibit open 11am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays July 3rd – July 18th.

UPDATE – The Friends of the Morrill Memorial Library will be holding their annual, MASSIVE book sale next door from 5-7!

Putting The Landscape Back The Way it Was and Why it Matters

“Gardens are living witnesses of those who made them, tended them, discovered new plants to go into them.  Gardens cannot be separated from their origins or originators.”  Anne Leighton, American Gardens of the Nineteenth Century

The Justin Morrill Homestead is one of the finest examples of a mid-nineteenth century gentleman’s farm existing in New England.  Morrill’s hand drawn plans for his landscape reveal a man who was keenly interested in science, horticulture and landscape gardening.
Continue reading “Putting The Landscape Back The Way it Was and Why it Matters”

2010 Schedule of Programs Now Available

The Friends of the Morrill Homestead are happy to announce the 2010 schedule of programs at the Justin Smith Morrill Homestead in Strafford, Vermont. Click on a link below to learn more about any event, and don’t forget to check out the Google calendar of events.