The Sunny Valley Preserve in New Milford will hold its annual Open Farm Day Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In addition to hayrides, a corn maze and animal exhibits, festivities will include the sale of pumpkins, the viewing of antique and modern tractors and farm equipment, animal face painting, a kiddie construction cornbox, games, a processing livestock feed demonstrations, an historical display, animal petting, a scavenger hunt and hiking.

New demonstrations will be held this year: soap making by Goatboy Soaps and maple syrup making by the New Milford Youth Agency.

Founded in 1970, when George D. Pratt Jr. donated multiple parcels of agricultural and natural lands to The Nature Conservancy, Sunny Valley Preserve comprises more than 1,850 acres in Bridgewater and western New Milford.

Current and historic land uses include dairy, orchard, tobacco, sheep, field crops and vegetable farming, agricultural research and silica mining. In addition, one farm field was once used as a fairgrounds with a horse race track, as evidenced in historic photos.

One condition of Mr. Pratt's gift is that the farms be kept in active agriculture for as long as it is practical.

The farms, leased by independent farmers, are privately operated businesses that enable the preserve to carry out the farming obligations of the trust.

Farmers at the preserve grow diverse crops and sell most products locally, thus providing locally-grown food and enhancing the economy of this community.

The event is co-sponsored by Marandola Fuel, New Milford Foundry & Machine Co., Rotary Club of New Milford, United Water CT and Webster Bank.

Guests, who will have the opportunity to walk through the fields and adjacent woodlands on the farm, are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to the farm, which is located at 8 Sunny Valley Lane.

For more information, visit