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Barns and Farms of Vermont

Grand View Farm, Stowe, Vermont

Vermont has traditionally been an essentially rural, agricultural state.  Dairy, sheep, beef, fruit, lumber and pulpwood, and notably Maple Syrup are among its primary products.  Part of traveling and photographing Vermont is, hence, finding and photographing farms, barns and agricultural views.  Everywhere you go in the state, you can find “tucked away” areas with farm scenes and barns.

Farm on Bragg Hill, Waitsfield, Vermont

I found this barn (with some help from my friend and fellow photographer, Carol Smith) near the highest point on Bragg Hill Road just East of Waitsfield, Vermont.  It is a great specimen of a current, Vermont working dairy farm.

Mountains and rivers mean rough, hilly, rocky farmland.  This farm on Briggs Hill Road near Bristol, Vermont is a splendid example of the “hardscrabble existence” of many Vermont farmers.


Briggs Hill Road Farm, Bristol, Vermont

Farm, Parsonage Road, Bridgewater Corners, Vermont

This Bridgewater Corners farm illustrates what seems the norm; with every farmstead, there is a sugarhouse lurking somewhere.  We might have completely missed this one had the foliage been as full as we hoped.

It is not clear that all the old farmsteads in Vermont continue to be full time, working farming operations.  This Turkey Hill Road farm near Northfield, Vermont shows signs of activity, but its cleared and mowed meadows could as easily be rented out to nearby farmers.

Turkey Hill, Northfield, Vermont

Not all Vermont farms are old, “hardscrabble,” or working examples.  The Sleepy Hollow Farm, one of Vermont’s most photographed Barns, is currently owned by the drummer for a “big name” rock and roll band.

Sleepy Hollow Farm, Woodstock, Vermont

However, it is clear that the majority of ongoing, farms in Vermont are still working dairy operations, Like this modern, working dairy farm in Fairfield, Vermont.

Mayotte Dairy Farm, Fairfield, Vermont

8 Responses

  1. Hi Andy,
    Thanks for the “shoutout” and I’m so glad you were able to make it up to Bragg Hill Rd. in Waitsfield. I really enjoyed this blog. I think I mentioned to you that I am doing a Portfolio Project and the theme that I have chosen for the project is New England Farms. Of course there will be several farms from VT included in the portfolio! This blog has provided me with some inspiration, as I have a lot of work ahead of me.

    • Thanks, Carol. That could be a pretty broad portfolio topic. My blog really would better have been titled “Barns of Vermont” as I really didn’t depict any working farm subjects. I have always wanted to build a portfolio of Agriculture subjects. You will see on my photo website that I actually have an “Agriculture” gallery. It is currently only populated with one image. I have some others that I just haven’t ever post-processed properly. 60-70 percent of my work as an Estate Planning and Transactional attorney involves farm clients (in fact I have even recently started a Michigan Agriculture Law – related Blog). I certainly have connections and opportunities. I wonder, though, if I show up at my clients’ farms and businesses during the week, do they think maybe I am not working hard enough for them :-).

      I remember from writing in college that when we chose a topic or subject, the professor would often make us go back and write almost a “mission” statement to try to focus (pun intended 🙂 ) our subject more precisely. Not being a camera club member, I don’t have any familiarity with portfolio projects. Do you do something like that (write down a detailed “mission”) before you start?

      • Very good questions and points made Andy, Yes, the theme of “farms” is a broad theme, but I have spoken with 2 other semi-professional and one professional photographers who all have previously done a portfolio project and they all felt the farm theme would be appropriate and not too broad of a subject. I already have taken a few photos that at this point will make it into the portfolio (the sheep in the Waitsfield barn that Al commented on at one point is an example of one of them) I am planning on visiting some local farms, and asking the farmers for access to their properties in exchange for a framed print when I am done. I would like to visit each farm at different times of the day ie: sunrise, sunset, during a snowfall etc and work each farm from many different angles trying to think “outside of the box”.
        You are correct about the “mission statement”. I have already written my first draft of my “artist statement” once I identified my topic and approach.The artists statement is a short document in which you have an opportunity to tell the viewer of your portfolio something about why you were moved to put together that particular collection of images. It is where you set down your intent in creating the
        portfolio, and perhaps describe the process you went through to complete it. My first draft will probably change somewhat as the project elvolves. Once the 12 photos are chosen, the project will be published in a book and also made into a slideshow which will be judged at a camera club meeting in May. Lots of work ahead of me! 🙂

  2. How do I find out who the photographer was for these pictures? I’m particularly interested in the Sleep Hollow Farm picture.

  3. I mean – was it you or are these various pictures posted from several photographers? Sorry – I wasn’t clear about that.

    • Laura: All the images on my blog are made by me. Many of them can also be seen on my website, which is linked here on the blog. The Sleepy Hollow Farm is on my website in the Landscape and Nature area, which contains a Vermont Gallery.

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