Open Farm Day slated for Sept. 21

The 26th edition of Sunny Valley Preserve’s Open Farm Day in New Milford will be held in September.

The event, set for Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., was held annually for 25 years through 2017, but moved to a biennial format thereafter.

In 2017, more than 2,000 people attended the 25th annual Open Farm Day.

The popular event will feature hayrides, face painting, kitten adoption, chainsaw wood carving demonstrations, pony rides, farm animal petting, free games, pumpkin picking and painting, goat brushing, border collie herding demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, cow milking, music, washable farm animal tatoos and more.

Lunch, snacks, beverages and fresh farm produce will also be available to purchase.

Sunny Valley Preserve was founded in 1970, when George D. Pratt Jr. donated multiple parcels of agricultural and natural lands to The Nature Conservancy.

One condition of Pratt’s gift is that the farms be kept in agriculture as long as possible.

Today, about 650 acres of the 1,850-acre preserve on the Housatonic River are in active agriculture.

The farms, leased by independent farmers, are privately-operated businesses. The farmers grow diverse crops and sell most products locally, providing locally-grown food and enhancing the local economy.