Taking the Registry Outside the Box: 10 Farm-Friendly Wedding Gifts for 2014

Sure, we could use a Kitchen Aid Mixer (don’t forget to ask for the meat grinder attachment!) but for those of us who enjoy giving (and receiving) unique experiential gifts, here’s a great list of farm-friendly trips, events, and hand-crafted gifts that will stand out from the other boxed gifts in the registry.  Brides, don’t be afraid to ask these producers how you can add these items to your registry!

1 – Wool Throw from Fifth Fence Farm

Fifth Fence Farm Wool ThrowMichael and Vera are a young couple raising sheep on Charlotte, VT pastures.  Their wool is processed without chemicals at Green Mountain Spinnery and woven into enduring throws in classic plaited twill and herringbone patterns.  These small-batch blankets are not-to-miss gifts for the couple that appreciates eco-friendly elegance for a cozy home.

2 - Farm Stay at Green Mountain Girls Farm, Northfield, VT

Lattes on the hoof? Yes, you read that right! Green Mountain Girls Mari and Laura are located just two-miles from Route 89, and will invite you into as much (or as little) of their farm as you’d like! Learn how to milk goats, set up baby chick housing, make cheese, hike through pasture and woods, or just enjoy the stunning Vermont hills in a picturesque setting.  “Eat. Stay. Farm”.

3 – Cooking Class at the Little House at Saltbox Farm, Concord, MASaltboxFarm-short-ribs

Here’s a fabulous non-Vermont option for a farm visit –  the adorable teaching kitchen at Saltbox Farm offers classes in seafood, butchery, sushi, pizza, honey bees, and so much more. Take a custom class or meet others in their Little House kitchen.

4 – Night out at Hotel Vermont and Hen of the Wood

There’s no doubt that Hen of the Wood meets its goal of providing a true Vermont dining experience and showcasing the region’s most vibrant foods. Give your friends an experience they’ll never forget – from the cocktails to oysters, Kennebec Potatoes & Smoked Bluefish, and Brown Butter Crepes – Chanterelles, House Ricotta, Braised Leeks, Winter Squash, and, well, you get it…Skip the drive home and stay over at the chic Hotel Vermont, where local meets global, sophisticated meets natural, and hand wrought meets high tech.

5 – A Spectacular 5-course Dinner Experience on a Fabulous Farm

Outstanding in the Field DinnerOutstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999 they have set the long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors: a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.  Tour locations change each season.

6- A Pasture to Palate Journey at Shelburne FarmsShelburne Farms

Love cheddar? We thought so. Experience the cheesemaking process from the ground up during this three-day program, offered annually at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT.  Using The Inn at Shelburne Farms and their dairy barns, pastures, and cheesemaking facility as your classroom, go behind-the-scenes of dairy farming and cheesemaking to experience the story of their farmhouse cheddar cheese.

7-  Enjoy a Relaxing Tour of Vermont’s Best Vineyards with Vermont Farm Tours

Visit idyllic vineyards on the shores of Lake Champlain, meet the growers and vintners, and taste their award-winning creations. Enjoy beautiful tasting rooms and a special wine and cheese pairing with local artisan cheese. A three-course lunch at the vineyard is included on full-day tours.

8 - A Custom Built Cheese Board from Ironwood Building & Design

Ironwood Cheese BoardsHandmade by Bay and Josiah Jackson in Bristol, Vermont, this board is crafted from premium quality Vermont maple. The unique shape is inspired by gem stones, adding style to your home and kitchen. Each board is sanded to a silky finish then sealed with a Botanical Tung Oil. The handle is painted with a food safe natural clay paint.  Lovely artisan quality.

9 – A butchered pig from Meeting Place Pastures

There’s nothing like having a freezer full of meat to launch their lives as newlyweds.   If Meeting Place Pastures isn’t local for you, find a local farmer and ask about purchasing a partial or whole animal.  It’s an economical way to stock the freezer and provide endless ideas for meals for those nights they decide to stay in.

10 – Tickets to Vermont Cheesemakers Festival

Savor the sixth year of Vermont’s premier cheese event at beautiful Shelburne Farms. Join over 30 of Vermont’s artisan cheese makers, local food producers, bakers and chefs for New England’s premier cheese festival. Taste award winning cheese, local wines, craft beers and spirits, and sample fine foods all in the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms. Multiple seminars, cooking demos and cheese making demonstrations.

Have other suggestions for outside the box registry ideas?

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Happy planning,

Olga