SHAFTSBURY -- In celebration of another harvest season, Clear Brook Farm hosted their 6th annual Ciderfest over the weekend.
Poetry, food, music and dancing were a part of the day's relaxed atmosphere. Those in attendance brought homemade foods to share in a potluck meal and sprawled across the lawn on a warm afternoon, listening to upbeat bluegrass tunes performed by John Gillette and Sarah Mittlefehldt.
Children ate apples and drank apple cider while playing near the shallow pond and around a brightly decorated poet shack.
Caroline Schneider and Melanie Virgilio were among those who came up with the idea to raffle off the tiny artist space known as a poet shack, to benefit their friend and Clear Brook regular, Carol Adinolfi.
A poet and healthy-food chef, Adinolfi was unable to attend the day after having recently undergone a stem-cell transplant. Funds raised will contribute to her recovery process.
Event organizer Amy Anselmo, of Threshold Collaborative, carried an iPad around to guests, saying "hello" and sending good wishes to Adinolfi in real-time.
Built by Anselmo's husband Randy, and friend Forrest Matthews, the shack is approximately 10 feet tall and eight feet deep.
"My chief design criteria was that if I was going to build it, it had to be big enough for someone to stretch out and sleep," said Randy.
Dozens of local artists, many from the fiber art group Southern Vermont Bombshells, donated knitted or crocheted pieces that were assembled to form the patchwork style on the outside of the shed.
Each piece incorporates a poem, in the form of a QR code, which can be accessed by scanning the squares with a smartphone that will enable listening to the audio recordings.
On display over the summer at Whitman's Feed Store in Bennington, the "yarnbombed" shack was transported to Clear Brook with donated time and equipment from the local store.
It is made almost entirely of 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood, given by John and Suzanne Ottomanelli.
"We went to a barn we knew was coming down and told the owners what we were doing and asked them to donate some of their wood," said Matthews, who estimated the project took two weeks to build.
About $2,700 was raised on Satuday; with the poet shack going to raffle winners Jesse and Isabelle Herbert, of Pownal, and their two young sons, Leo and Sam.
A bonfire ended the evening, and marked the close of the season for the farm stand.
"Carol wished she could be here today but this is our way of showing her that she is missed," said Anselmo.
Clear Brook Farm is owned by Andrew Knafel, who will soon complete his 19th season growing organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) crops in Vermont, along with his wife, artist Anne Hunter.
Contact Khynna at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @khynnakat.