Travel to New England

Hill Farm by Sagra made its debut this fall after 10 years of renovations.

Hill Farm by Sagra in Sunderland, Vermont. Hill Farm by Sagra

An 18th-century farm in Vermont has been transformed into an agritourism site where travelers can experience sustainable vegetable cultivation, hands-on activities and meals from farm to table.

The owners of Hill Farm Inn in Sunderland, situated in the Equinox Mountain Valley in southern Vermont along the Battenkill River, teamed up with the Sagra hospitality company to create Hill Farm by Sagrawhich opened on September 23. The new restaurant, Grange at Hill Farm, is slated to open on November 26.

“Hill Farm offers travelers a great opportunity to connect with Vermont’s agricultural history while enjoying beautiful views, strolling or fishing along the historic Battenkill River and getting to know the nearby city of Manchester,” said David Rust, Sagra CEO, in a statement. “We hope they all go away with a deeper connection to the ground and the way our food is grown.”

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Bedroom at Hill Farm by Sagra. Oliver Parini

The estate, which covers 70 idyllic acres, began as a dairy farm in 1779 and began hosting overnight guests in the mid-1800s, according to the company. Its current owners, the Pollard family, have renovated and refurbished a historic inn, cottages and barns over the past 10 years.

Guests live in 11 rooms in the inn and among four three- and four-room private houses on the property, which are equipped with kitchens. The rooms are a blend of modern and rustic and are designed with elements from local and sustainable artisans such as Cieri Fabrication ceramics and the Vermont Heritage Wool Company.

Amenities include guides, books on food and agriculture, and seeds for home planting.

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Inside the Sagra Hill Farm. Oliver Parini

Grange at Hill Farm will open in a new attic barn with open kitchen and wood-burning stove. It will replace the current on-site restaurant and will be open to the public. According to the company, guests can sit at the chef’s counter with mountain views and on the terrace with 360-degree views of the Equinox Mountain Valley and the farm.

Vermonter-based chef Austin Poulin, formerly working at Blue Hill in Stone Barns, New York and Albi, Washington, leads the culinary team at Hill Farm by Sagra. According to Poulin, he creates wood-fired dishes “that surround the surrounding food storage”.

Diners will experience a-la-carte dining services and monthly shared lunches on the farm. The menu changes daily and includes Fried Chicken of the Woods with black garlic, lemon and roasted baba, Studio Hill Farm Lamb stuffed with Tropea onion, celery leaf gremolata, zaatar and pepperhini, and Whole Brook Trout with sprout cabbage, tomato water. and rotary cereal tabs. There will be a curated menu of craft drinks.

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Dish at Hill Farm by Sagra. Oliver Parini

Farm Manager Nicole Duch, who has 15 years of farming experience in New England, “brings new life” to Hill Farm soil through regeneration practices and a vegetable garden.

“The new Hill Farm crop rotation is key to balancing soil nutrients and maintaining a healthy ecosystem,” the company says. “This includes applying compost and other natural adjustments, making sure that heavy forage crops such as tomatoes and cabbage are followed by lighter forage crops such as lettuce and peas, and the cultivation of cover crops to nourish the soil.”

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Farm Hill by Sagra farm tour. Oliver Parini

Guests at Hill Farm by Sagra can choose from a variety of activities that connect them to the mainland, including farm tours, cooking lessons, alpaca feeding, harvesting, fly fishing, hiking, natural coloring and yoga. They can also relax by the pool or by the fire.

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Visitors around the fire at Hill Farm by Sagra. Oliver Parini

Hill Farm in Sagra is the company’s second location. His inaugural property opened last year at Stemple Creek Ranch, California, and a third property is planned in the Catskills region of New York in 2023.

Prices at Hill Farm by Sagra start at $ 279.

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