Sun Shines on Farm to Ballet at Philo Ridge Farm

Nearly 400 people turned out for the Farm to Ballet Project’s 4th performance of the summer at Philo Ridge Farm in Charlotte on August 15.  The rain departed just in time for the performance, which is a is a full-length production that reinterprets classical ballet choreography to tell the story of a Vermont farm from spring to fall. The production, directed by Chatch Pregger, starts with the geese returning for the spring and proceeds to planting, irrigating, tending and then harvesting the farm’s produce.

Hosting the production was a natural step for Philo Ridge Farm, a diversified farm located on the scenic corner of Mt. Philo and Hinesburg roads in Charlotte. The 400-acre property has transitioned from a historic dairy farm to a diversified farm that integrates livestock, orchards, gardens and community events.  

“Welcoming the public on this beautiful, functional piece of land is part of our vision for the farm,” Diana McCargo, owner and longtime Charlotte resident said.  “We were so excited when this opportunity to engage with the arts and agriculture together came about through this creative piece.”  

In addition to showcasing ballet and the spectacular August landscape, the Farm to Ballet performances raised funds to honor the work of local farmers and the food movement.  Each host site contributed ticket proceeds to relevant non-profits.  Philo Ridge Farm, a conserved property, raised over $2000 for the Vermont Land Trust's Farmland Access Program, which provides farmers with opportunities to purchase or lease affordable farmland so that they can start up or expand agricultural businesses.

Farm to Ballet attendees and dancers alike savored the flavors of the farm as they purchased dinner on-site.  The Hindquarter food truck served up Philo Ridge Farm pulled pork sandwiches and marinated chicken salads, while Field Stone Farm from Plainfield, VT grilled pizzas.  The farm’s own pasture-raised pork, chicken, duck eggs, chicken sausage, flowers, and certified organic garlic was available for guests to take home.

The Farm to Ballet Project has launched is 2016 fundraising campaign! Learn more:

For photos, see the Philo Ridge Farm Facebook Page

Photos: Jonas Powell Photography