Monday, July 22, 2013

Open Farm Day at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community

Shaker Meeting House, New Gloucester, Maine

It's been a long, busy time since we last updated the blog, but I thought it was time to do so!  The Maine studio is now up and running, open for hooking Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with more hours likely to be announced in the fall.  Yesterday, however, I got a little break from the routine and participated in Open Farm Day at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community in New Gloucester, Maine.   For those who do not know, this community is home to the last living Shakers in America, and they are wonderful and incredibly kind people.  I felt very fortunate to be part of their event.

The Shakers put on a lovely day for Open Farm Day with hay rides, barn tours, museum tours, an explanation of their herb gardens and bee keeping facilities, wonderful food, crafters, and so much more.  It's a real treat - I'd recommend book marking their website and referring back to it often, because not only do they host events like this one, they also have classes ongoing throughout the year on a variety of skills.

I set up my table next to Donna's Greenhouse's.  She had an amazing array of plants and some hand made items.  Donna herself was really fun to meet and chat with, and is even considering taking up rug hooking. Also there were wonderful wood workers and the New Gloucester Historical Society.

Donna's table, left and mine, right, from behind.

My table from the front.
The variety of people I met was amazing and their stories were fantastic.  So many times during the day I heard accounts of people's grandmothers teaching them hooking, or of the types of rugs previous generations had left to the future.  I met knitters, spinners, applique artists, felters, & quilters, to name a few.  I had two young boys, the oldest could not have been more than eight, try their hands at hooking.  The older boy was very enthusiastic about it and I found out that he is already an accomplished knitter!  I also met a woman whose mother and aunt, who had been orphans, had been raised by the Shakers.  I encouraged her to write down as many of their stories, and her own - the Shakers were like family to her - as possible and seek a publisher.

What follows are the additional pictures I was able to take, which, unfortunately are limited by the fact that I was tethered to my table and not able to photograph the many events taking place around the village.  When in Maine, I highly recommend a visit to this historic place, and then pop in to our Maine studio about another half hour north!

Hay rides at the village.

Side view of the Shaker store - lots of wonderful goods and goodies in there.

Herb garden area.

Shaker museum.

This was my view from my table.  Not bad!

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