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Enjoy Hebron - It's Here to Stay

Experience Dairy Farming at Hills Farm during Maple Fest

There is a new event at Maple Fest this year, and this is definitely one to put on your “Must Do” list.

Hills Farm, located at 527 Gilead Street, is reopening to the public, and this is your chance to experience life on a dairy farm first-hand.

As many know, Alan and Denise Hills retired from the dairy farm business about 7 years ago, but now, the farm is now back in full operation thanks to their son Greg and his wife Kim. The farmhouse itself goes back to the 18th century.

Alan was a 3rd generation farmer. “Farming is a hard life style, but it is also a ‘feel good’ profession,” said Kim. “Knowing what you have and where it came from gives you a real sense of a quality life.”

“Farming is such a unique lifestyle and something that I couldn't walk away from,” said Greg. “I hope someday that my kids will grow up the way that I did."

“We had been planning on restarting the farm for about 3 years and deciding what our niche would be, so we started fixing up the farm and the barns,” said Kim. “We got the cows in July of last year, and now we have 43 milkers and 7 young stocks.”

A lot of hard work went into getting the farm started again which couldn't have been accomplished without the amazing help of our family and friends," said Greg.

“We talked about it for so long, doing a lot of planning and preparation. “We knew we had to start somewhere, so we began shipping with a local dairy cooperative, DairyLea, whose products go into labels like Hood and Garelick,” said Kim. “In the meantime we are researching options for our own unique product line.”

At Maple Fest, the newest generation of Hills will be doing farm tours, showing the historic barns, milk parlor, and milk room. Visitors will be able to walk through the milking barn and calf pen area. They will also be able to take pictures with calves, sit up on tractors, and generally have some great photo opportunities for their special day at Hills Farm.

All of the Hills Farm Holstein cows have unique names, such as Sienna, Amar, Wilda, and Kimmie. This will be an extremely family-friendly event with residents and visitors able to personally meet, touch, feel and experience life on a dairy farm whose roots are grounded in Hebron’s origins.

“I don’t think people realize all that goes into dairy farming when they pour a glass of milk,” said Kim. “It’s powerful to understand where it all comes from and what goes into the production of such a daily staple in our lives.”

“We’re excited for you to visit our farm and see the family tradition!” said Greg.

Mark your calendars for the Hills Farm Exhibit on both Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Make the Hills Farm either your first stop into town, or your final stop upon leaving the downtown Maple Fest activities. Or just spend an entire day there!

A unique and very special treat is also in store for visitors when they come to Hills Farms. Greg and Kim will be selling baskets of fresh fried cheese curds with your choice of Maple Chiptole, Orange Maple Cranberry, Whiskey Maple Cream, or Mango Maple Barbeque sauce to dip or drizzle on the curds. All sauce recipes have been specially created by Kim and Greg.

You won’t find this kind of eating delight anywhere else… and you’ll get to enjoy the re-opening of the historic Hills Dairy Farm all at the same time!

“Early New England Gardens” is Topic for May Historical Society Meeting

Hebron Historical Society is pleased to announce that Cynthia Dias will be conducting a program on “Early New England Gardens” at their May 26 meeting.

Dias’ presentation looks at the gardens of early New England by tracing the roots of the early settlers back to the landscape of England.  Examining the walled kitchen gardens of Europe, we may see the influences in the historically-recreated gardens of living history museums, such as Plimoth Plantation and Sturbridge Village.  Examples of vegetables, herbs and ornamental plants will be discussed for those interested in creating their own heirloom garden.

cynthia_diasCynthia Dias is Director of the Willard House and Clock Museum.  She is a former Director of the Jonathan Trumbull Junior House Museum, Curator of the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum, and has also worked at Higgins Armory Museum and Slater Mill.  She was also employed for twenty years at Old Sturbridge Village where she worked in the gardens.

In addition to working in the museum field, Dias offers lectures on "John Trumbull, Patriot of the American Revolution,” "English Gardens,” and “Willard Clockmakers.”

A hand weaver and watercolor artist, Dias owns and operates her home business, Dovecote Studio, in Woodstock, Connecticut.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Hebron’s Old Town Hall. Old Town Hall is located just east of the intersections of Routes 66 and 85, adjacent to the Douglas Library. If necessary, overflow parking is available across the street behind Century 21.

dias_garden_lectureThe public is cordially invited to attend this free event, although donations are gratefully accepted to support our educational efforts. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact Program Chair Louise Casarella at 860-643-9288.

Farmer’s Cow Offering Free Ice Cream Samples at Maple Fest

farmers_cow_2Make sure you stop by Old Town Hall at Maple Fest and enjoy a free sample of Maple Ice Cream, compliments of Farmer’s Cow, a milk cooperative of local Connecticut dairy farms.

Farmer's Cow Ice Cream was launched last summer as a result of customers who enjoy the local cooperative’s milk, cream, eggs and seasonal beverages like cider and lemonade. But they wanted more, especially Farmer's Cow Ice Cream.

“We decided it was time to oblige, and turned to our customers to tell us about their favorite flavors,” said Robin Chesmer, Managing Member for Farmer’s Cow. “We held an online survey to see what flavors our customers wanted to see in the freezer at their local grocery store.  The top choice was vanilla, followed by chocolate and coffee.  Farmer’s Cow members then took the suggested list and narrowed it down to nine flavors.  We then held a naming contest and were overwhelmed with well over 3,000 entries from all over Connecticut.”

The winning names all have a unique agricultural appeal:  Hay! Hay! Hay! Vanilla; Cow Barn Chocolate; Up Early Coffee; Fields of Mint Chocolate Chip; Milking Time Cookies & Cream; Farm Stand Cherry Vanilla; Heifer Nutter Peanut Butter; Black Raspberry Moo Chocolate Chip; and Summer Summer Meadow Strawberry.

Farmer's Cow Ice Cream uses only The Farmer's Cow fresh milk and cream plus natural ingredients and flavors from our Connecticut family farms, including Hebron’s Mapleleaf Farm located in the historic Gilead section of Hebron.

Farmer's Cow dairy products are never ultra-pasteurized but are pasteurized the traditional way to enhance goodness and flavor.  “We hope that folks will buy our ice cream because they enjoy buying local products from local farms, but we also hope people will crave it because it simply tastes great!!,” said Farmer’s Cow representative Kathy Smith.

“We will give everyone a chance to sample our special edition of Sugar Shack Maple Walnut ice cream, topped with locally produced maple syrup and our very own The Farmer's cow whipped cream,” said Smith. “There will be other flavors too, including the opportunity to tell us what you think of a brand new flavor that will be introduced soon - Muddy Boots Knee Deep in Chocolate.”

For an additional WOW factor: everyone that samples Farmer's Cow ice cream will receive an “I Licked The Farmer's Cow” sticker.

Make sure your Maple Fest plans include a stop at Old Town Hall to sample this wonderful maple-themed treat, compliments of Farmer’s Cow!

Historical Society Plans Great Maple Fest Experience

For the 22nd consecutive year, Hebron Historical Society will be welcoming visitors to their annual Quilt Show, with over a hundred quilts displayed at Old Town Hall, located adjacent to the Douglas Library right in the center of Hebron.

Nathalie Peltier-Horton is again hosting the show. If you have a quilt you’d like to display, please contact Peltier-Horton at 860-645-8421.

“This is a Quilt Show that is very unique every year due to Nathalie’s creativity,” said Maple Fest Coordinator Annie Piggott. “She collects different quilts of all styles and colors, and artistically displays them in a manner that makes each show unique.” Visitors are allowed to photograph (but not touch) the quilts, so remember to bring your cameras!

Read more: Historical Society Plans Great Maple Fest Experience

Dino & The No-Names to Perform at Maple Fest

Dino & The No-NamesHebron Historical Society is pleased to announce that local bands will be performing this year in front of Old Town Hall. “We are blending our past and our future with the addition of these bands to our traditional events,” said Annie Piggott, HHS Maple Fest Coordinator.

Dino & The No-Names is a local rock music band that consists entirely of RHAM students. (Think Columbia Fields, all RHAM musicians who have since opened for Bon Jovi!) All the students are currently freshman at RHAM High School. Though young in age, the band has an obvious maturity level in their music.

Dino & The No-Names have been playing together for about a year and a half. Dino Marino (guitar, tenor sax, lead vocals and songwriter), Ryan DiPasquale (vibraphone, organ, and backup vocals), and Tom D’Auria (drums) were all involved in a program since 5th or 6th grade called “Jazz for Juniors,” coordinated by Dominic Marino and sponsored by the AHM Youth Organization. Jake Fenton (bass) and Dan Busa (guitar and backup vocals) joined Dino & The No-Names in middle school.

All the boys started playing instruments in elementary school under the direction of Stephanie Bancroft, and have been playing since at least the fourth grade.

Dino & The No-Names has played for dances at RHAM Middle School, Epoch Arts in East Hampton, Marlborough Day, private parties, and at RHAM High School’s Benefit Concert. Their most recent gig was a benefit concert for the Marlborough Food Bank and Hebron Interfaith Human Services, which they organized themselves and raised almost $800.00 for their local communities.

The band claims as its influences the Rolling Stones, Beatles, John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen and the Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, along with other classic rock bands. They currently have more than 18 original songs, in addition to another dozen plus songs that Dino is working on with his father, Dom.

Dominic Marino, who composed the words and music for “Hebron Rocks” in honor of Hebron’s 300th anniversary celebration, featured in the Society’s Quest for Home play, is a professional musician who has opened for and played with many famous acts, including Alan Gorrie of the Average White Band, Robert Cray, and Lou Reed.

Dino & The No-Names will play just west of the entrance of Old Town Hall on Saturday, March 12, from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m., and again on Sunday, March 13, from 11:30 until 12:30 p.m. This upcoming band, sure to have a fantastic future, is also available for private parties and events. Contact DB Management at 860-228-8194 or email dinoandtheThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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