2020 Programs, Events & Exhibits

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

Please click on program or event in the list below for more information, or scroll down.

You can register and pay securely online for many events.

March/April

Pruning and Grafting Fruit Trees Workshop (March 21, March 28) Canceled 

Beginner Beekeeping Class (March 22) Canceled

Whitman Brook Orchard Guided Walk—Pruning & Grafting (April 18) Canceled

May/June

Wake Up the Garden: Cultivating Morrill’s Historic Landscape (May 16)

2020 Opening Weekend for Guided Tours, Exhibits, &Gardens (May 23)  Postponed to June 19

Fiber-Dyeing Using Natural Materials (May 31) Postponed to Sept. 13

Open House: Justin Morrill State Historic Site (June 14) Canceled

2020 Opening Weekend for Guided Tours, Exhibits, &Gardens (June 19)

Walking Tour of Justin Morrill’s Strafford Village (June 20)

Gardens For Our Bees & Other Pollinators Presentation (June 27)

July/August

Gallery in the Garden: Silent Auction of “Morrill Minis” and Art Show Reception (July 3)

Art Show: “Farms & Barns, Roads & Rivers” (July 3-19)

Garden Talk with Margie Carpenter, Landscape Historian & Master Gardener (July 12)

Walking Tour of Justin Morrill’s Strafford Village (July 18)

Drawing and Watercolor Camp for Children for ages 6-12 (July 27-31)

Painting Botanicals Workshop with Jennifer Brown (August 2)

Photo & Video Story Camp for ages 12-16 (August 3-7)

Painting Botanicals Series with Jennifer Brown (August 4, 11, 18, 25)

Walking Tour of Justin Morrill’s Strafford Village (August 15)

Whitman Brook Orchard Guided Walk — Summer Varieties (August 22)

September/October

Wild Edible & Medicinal Plant Walk—with Michael Caduto (September 6)

Fiber-Dyeing Using Natural Materials (September 13)

Walking Tour of Justin Morrill’s Strafford Village (September 19)

19th Century Apple & Cheese Harvest Festival (September 27)
Winner: Top Ten Fall Event—Vermont Chamber of Commerce

Putting the Garden to Bed (October 3)

 


Pruning and Grafting Fruit Trees—Workshop with Mike Hebb

Canceled

Saturday, March 21 & 28, 1-4 p.m. (The same workshop offered on different days)

Morrill Education Center

Mike Hebb describes the basics of pruning apple trees for esthetics, health, longevity, better fruit, ease of harvesting and management, including correct pruning cuts and tools. Hebb’s hands-on grafting workshop shows how grafting can be used to control many of the characteristics of growing trees, including size, timing of maturity and fruiting, disease resistance, drought resistance, and fruit varieties. He’ll cover cultivars, asexual propagation, whip grafts, nurse grafts, bark grafts, cleft grafts, bridge grafts, top working, inarching, brace graft, graft compatibility, budding and information on pest control and root stock selection. Participants will practice the mechanics of grafting in the workshop and discuss after-care. A materials list will be sent to each registrant. (Whitman Brook Orchard Guided Walk on April 18 recommended as field experience to complement this workshop.)

$20.00 admission

Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org


Beginner Beekeeping Class

Canceled

Sunday, March 22, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Morrill Education Center

Taught by Sheri Englert of Vermont Beekeeping Supply, this class is designed to get you ready to start your beekeeping journey. Sheri will begin with history and different types of Honey Bees. Then you’ll learn about the parts that make up a beehive and their functions. We’ll talk about the best place to put your hive, what the bees like to eat, and how they find & forage for food & water. Sheri will show you the process of installing a package of Bees vs a Nuc, including the pros & cons of each. You’ll learn about pest management, swarming, supersedure, and more!

$30.00 admission     

Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by Bushway Insurance Agency.


Whitman Brook Orchard Guided Walk — Pruning & Grafting

Canceled

Saturday, April 18, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Whitman Brook Orchard, Quechee, Vermont

Rind Grafts. (Photo courtesy Whitman Brook Orchard)

This guided walk in Whitman Brook Orchard illustrates, across a variety of cultivars and conditions, how to perform annual pruning and grafting of apple trees in the field.  Participants see examples on various ages of trees and spacing, including those dating back to the original 1920’s orchard.  The walk also highlights different growing conditions and the corresponding pruning and grafting techniques.  Approaches to height reduction and long-term corrective pruning are shown in different stages as are sequential pruning techniques for five years following a multi-scion rind graft.  Examples of whip & tongue, saddle, cleft and bridge grafts are included. Special attention is given to techniques for top-working existing trees and healing grafts on larger cuts. Participants will see how to effectively start over and capitalize on a 100-year-old rootstock. The purpose of this walk to expose the participant to as many pruning and grafting conditions as possible.

(This walk recommended as a field experience to complement Mike Hebb’s in-depth workshop on pruning and grafting techniques, which is offered on March 21 and 28.)

$15.00 admission

Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

Click here for directions. 


Wake Up the Garden: Cultivating Morrill’s Historic Landscape

Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. to noon
Morrill Homestead Gardens & Grounds

Work with the Homestead’s Gardener to manage and maintain the Victorian gardens surrounding the home of Senator Justin Morrill. This is the first of several 2020 projects designed to nurture the colorful annual beds in the pleasure ground and expand the kitchen garden—Morrill’s laboratory for experimenting with plant hardiness that contains a variety of roses, perennials, berry bushes, herbs.

Come join us and become a part of Vermont’s history as we care for the historic landscape of this very influential American. You can earn all of your Master Gardener outreach hours with us.

What is provided:
Basic garden tools will be on hand. Snacks and beverages will be available throughout the morning.

All Welcome.  Event is free, but registering helps us plan.

Online: Register free online
By Phone: 802-649-2940
By Email: aj.zwik.77@gmail.com


2020 Guided Tours, Exhibits, and Gardens at Justin Morrill State Historic Site

Postponed Opening Day: 

Friday, June 19 through Sunday, October 11
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday

TOURS: Guided tours of Morrill’s Gothic Revival historic house and art start on the hour. Self-guided explorations of the formal gardens, interpretive exhibits, and walking trails, at your leisure.

Admission: Adults – $6.00; Children 14 years & under – free

Public Tour questions: 802-765-4484
To Schedule a Group Tour contact Vermont Division for Historic Preservation: 802-828-3051
Directions: www.morrillhomestead.org
Email: Tracy.Martin@vermont.gov

Website: historicsites.vermont.gov/directory/morrill


Fiber-Dyeing Using Natural Materials

New Date: Sunday, September 13,  1 to 3 p.m.     Morrill Education Center

Join us for an educational and engaging hands-on afternoon with Justin Squizzero from the Burroughs Garret in Newbury, Vermont. Justin creates handspun, naturally-dyed, hand-woven textiles using methods and equipment from the 18th and 19th century. In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of natural dyeing using plants, minerals, and insects. Participants will take home samples of dyed textiles.

$15.00 admission

Online: Register & pay securely online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by Norwich Knits.


Open House at the Morrill Homestead

Canceled

Presented by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead and Vermont Division for Historic Preservation

Canceled

Sunday, June 14, 2-4 p.m.
Morrill Historic Buildings, Gardens, & Grounds

This event is held in partnership with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation’s weekend-long “Vermont Days”—offering free visits for all Vermonters and “Vermonters at Heart” at State Historic sites: historicsites.vermont.gov

Ice Cream Social, Live Music, Mingling with Justin Morrill, Guided Tours of the Justin Morrill Homestead and Interpretive Exhibits. 

Event is free, but registering helps us plan:

 Event Canceled

This event sponsored by M.C. Autoworks and Eric Thorp Diversified.


Walking Tours of Morrill’s Strafford Village

Saturdays, June 20, July 18, August 15, & September 19                                                                   11 a.m. leaving from the Morrill Homestead

Historical tours of Strafford’s village which remains much the same as in Morrill’s time. Tours include Morrill’s birthplace, his father’s blacksmith shop, two libraries, the Strafford Town House, and the mausoleum where Morrill is buried.

$6.00; Children under 15  free   Please pay when you arrive.

No registration required, but doing so helps us plan.

Please preregister:
Online: Register online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

Tours sponsored by Coburn’s General Store and Stone Soup Restaurant.


Gardens For Our Bees and Other Pollinators

Saturday, June 27, 10:00-noon

This presentation for gardeners includes honeybee history, current threats to pollinator populations, benefits of honeybees in your garden, and best choices for pollinator foraging. We will discuss chemical v.s. natural weed & pest control. Questions encouraged!                                Presentation by Sheri Englert of Vermont Beekeeping Supply.

$5.00  Please pay when you arrive.

No registration required, but doing so helps us plan.

Online: Register online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by E.C. Browns’ Nursery.


Gallery in the Garden

Silent Auction, Art Exhibit Opening Reception, and Guided Tour 

Friday, July 3
Morrill Historic Buildings, Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

The Morrill Homestead’s annual Gallery in the Garden art show and silent auction is a highlight of the Upper Valley art season. The 2020 edition features works created in an array of styles by fine artists from the Strafford community, the Upper Valley, and beyond. Fifteen artists present their unique perspectives on the theme “Farms & Barns, Roads & Rivers” in ways that are moving, playful, profound, and inspiring.

4 p.m. – Guided House Tour  

5-6 p.m. – Reception for the art show opening in the Carriage Barn.  Matt and Jennifer Brown are the featured artists and inspiration for the Farms & Barns, Roads & Rivers exhibit.

5:30 p.m. – Silent auction of “Minis for Morrill” —magnificent 4″x4″ mini paintings by artists of regional and national reputation.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

The 2020 silent auction will include works by these artists, and many more: Gerry Bergstein, Gail Boyajian, Dierdre Dennis, Jim Gardner, Jean Gerber,

Jean Gerber’s “Untitled”

Jo Levasseur, Jeanne McMahan, Andy Newman, Mary Louise Pierson, Kate Reeves, Stephanie Reininger, Celia Reisman, and Sherry St. Germaine.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW some of the Mini Paintings offered at the 2019 silent auction.

Free event

Underwritten by Mascoma Bank and sponsored by Dr. Alicia Willette, DDS and Chippers Inc.


Art Show

Farms & Barns        Rivers & Roads  

Fri., July 3 through Sun., July 19 

Wed. through Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Morrill Carriage Barn Gallery

Jennifer Brown’s “South Strafford in July”

In styles ranging from classical to abstract, and from realism to impressionism, artists present the world around us in a fresh light, exploring the theme “Farms & Barns, Roads & Rivers.” The exhibiting artists for 2020 are Gerry Bergstein, Gail Boyajian, Dierdre Dennis, Jim Gardner, Jean Gerber, Jo Levasseur, Jeanne McMahan, Andy Newman, Mary Louise Pierson, Kate Reeves, Stephanie Reininger, Celia Reisman, and Sherry St. Germaine.

Matt Brown’s “Red-winged Blackbird”

 

 

Jennifer Brown and Matt Brown are the 2020 feature artists and inspiration for Farms & Barns, Roads & Rivers.

Exhibit included with $6.00 general admission to historic house & exhibits.

 

Show sponsored by Athena Advocacy and Kate Cassidy at Four Seasons-Sotheby’s Realty.


Garden Talk with Margie Carpenter, Landscape Historian & Master Gardener

Sunday, July 12,  2 p.m.

Justin Smith Morrill was a serious student of landscape design and an avid horticulturist.  His designs and plantings for the walkways and grounds around his home are in the best tradition of the mid-nineteenth century Romantic Landscape Movement in America. Morrill’s landscape plans draw from Victorian tastemaker and horticulturist Andrew Jackson Downing. His gardens were filled with new plants just being introduced to this country from Europe, Asia, and South America.  Come learn more about our famous Senator’s landscape design and horticultural interests.          Suggested donation: $5

No registration required, but doing so helps us plan.

Online: Register online

This event sponsored by E.C. Browns’ Nursery.


Drawing and Watercolor Camp (ages 6 to 12)

Monday-Friday, July 27-31, 9 a.m. – noon
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

Explore the nature and architecture of the Morrill Homestead through drawing, nature journaling and watercolor painting. Make your own handmade books for sketching and finished work. Drawing will include direct observation of nature, drawing games, and techniques to improve your skills.

Children will be inspired by the natural surroundings of the gardens, trails, and stream. Each child will learn new painting methods and practice watercolors of the buildings, forests, and pond. Students will have time to complete finished drawings and paintings. Instruction will be tailored to children’s experience and interests.

Instructor Jennifer Brown is a longstanding illustrator for Stave Puzzles and has taught art at Sharon Academy. Jennifer teaches watercolor classes at the Morrill Homestead and at AVA Gallery in Lebanon. She is a member of the Vermont Watercolor Society and exhibits her paintings at the Matt Brown Fine Art Gallery in Lyme.

$125 per child

Online: Register & pay securely online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by Agatha’s Resale Clothing.


Painting Botanicals Workshop (Adult) with Jennifer Brown

Sunday, August 2, 1-3 p.m.
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

In this watercolor workshop we will emphasize painting the beautiful flowers blooming in the Morrill Homestead Gardens. The focus will be to follow in the tradition of observing and painting botanicals with lots of encouragement for embracing your own original style. This class is an introduction to a longer series. A suggested materials list will be provided upon registration.

Jennifer teaches watercolor classes at the Morrill Homestead and at AVA Gallery in Lebanon. She is a member of the Vermont Watercolor Society and exhibits her paintings at the Matt Brown Fine Art Gallery in Lyme, N.H.

$35

Please register by Sunday, July 26.
Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by Janet Cavanagh Landscape Architect.


Photo & Video Story Camp (ages 12 to 16)

Monday-Friday, August 3-7, 9 a.m. – noon
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

Would you like to use drones, cameras, and audio recorders to create your own multi-media stories? Join World Story Exchange teachers, Lindsay and Scott McClure Miller for a one-week photo and video camp at the Justin Morrill Homestead. Campers will create photographs and documentary stories from start-to-finish using a variety of media tools while exploring the history of the Justin Morrill Homestead and the local environment of Strafford.

$150 per camper

Online: Register & pay securely online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by MC Autoworks.


Painting Botanicals Series (Adult) with Jennifer Brown

Tuesdays, August 4-25,  5-7 p.m.
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

In this series we will continue to work from life and explore the world of flowers. Using plants found on the grounds of the Morrill Homestead we will study and explore nature up close. Some drawing instruction will be provided along with tips and practices in watercolor techniques. A suggested materials list provided upon registration.

Jennifer teaches watercolor classes at the Morrill Homestead and at AVA Gallery in Lebanon. She is a member of the Vermont Watercolor Society and exhibits her paintings at the Matt Brown Fine Art Gallery in Lyme, N.H.

$80

Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by Janet Cavanagh Landscape Architect.


Whitman Brook Orchard Guided Walk — Summer Varieties

Saturday, August 22, 2-4 p.m.
Whitman Brook Orchard, Quechee, Vermont

Terry Dorman, owner and manager of Whitman Brook Orchard, leads this tour as the orchard prepares for harvest season. Learn the history of certain apples, as well the characteristics and uses for a number of the lesser known varieties grown at Whitman Brook. The walk offers a close-up look at the reclamation and restoration of a 100-year-old abandoned hillside orchard with an opportunity to examine the evolution of grafting techniques on older trees.  Participants will not only see the results of this year’s spring grafts, but also the evolution of earlier grafts now bearing fruit.

$15.00 admission

Online: Register & pay securely online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

Click here for directions.


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

Sunday, September 6, 1-3 p.m.
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

Do you know which wild plant has sap containing salicylic acid (aspirin)? Why do apple seeds contain a touch of cyanide? What native plants exude sap that can cure warts, or treat poison ivy? Which has more vitamin C—a glass of orange juice or a glass of hemlock tea? On this walk we’ll share Colonial and Native American folklore and information to learn about the myths and realities concerning the uses of wild plants for food, medicine, and materials, as well as identifying poisonous plants to avoid. We’ll taste some of these delectables in the field and sample a mystery wild treat.

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.

Walk includes stories and sampling plants in the field as well as a prepared wild edible.

$15 adults – $5.00 under 15

Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org


19th Century Apple & Cheese Harvest Festival

Sunday, September 27, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Morrill Education Center, Gardens, & Grounds

AWARD WINNER! “Top Ten Fall Events” —Vermont Chamber of Commerce

Come celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday! Bring the whole family to a harvest festival at the Justin Morrill State Historic Site. Features face-painting and live music by Out on a Limb. Meet live farm animals—the kind that Justin Morrill would have had on his small 19th-century farm. Make your own cider in an antique press, taste heirloom apples, fine artisan Vermont Cheeses, Vermont ice cream, and homemade apple pie. Play period games, and hike the lookout trail. Also includes gardens, exhibits, an icehouse, ice pond, and a historic home decorated with gingerbread designs.     Rain or shine.

$10 adults – $5 under 15

Includes lunch!

Registration is not required.
Please pay when you arrive.   

For more information:
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event underwritten by Mascoma Bank and sponsored by  Strafford Village Farm, Bushway Insurance Agency, and Flint, Blake, & Boles Roofing.


Putting the Garden to Bed

Saturday, October 3, 9 a.m. – noon
Morrill Homestead Gardens & Grounds

kitchen garden photo 1mbAssist the head gardener with the annual autumn “putting the garden to bed” day at the Justin Morrill State Historic Site in Strafford, Vermont. Tasks include cutting back perennials and pulling annuals, raking, mulching, weeding, bringing old plants to compost area—generally cleaning up the kitchen garden and ornamental garden beds and preparing them for the winter and the next growing season. (Master Gardeners can earn outreach hours with us.) All Welcome.

What is provided:
Basic garden tools will be on hand. Snacks and beverages will be available throughout the morning.

Rain or shine

All Welcome. No registration required, but doing so helps us plan.
Online: Register online
By Phone: 802-649-2940
By Email: aj.zwik.77@gmail.com