Preserving Our History, Our Way
Magical Farm to Become Unique Lodging Retreat and Cultural Heritage Center
As African American-owned farms are becoming rarer, one of the largest and oldest black-owned farms is in the state of Vermont. The Clemmons Family Farm is nestled between the Green Mountains and the Adirondack Mountains, just minutes from beautiful Lake Champlain. The farm stretches out over 148 acres of fertile land, expansive open meadows, forests and woodlands packed with wildlife, grazing pastures, ponds, streams, and walking trails. Owned by the Clemmons family since 1962, the farm includes five historic buildings (circa late 1700’s to mid-1800’s): dairy and hay barns, a granary, a blacksmith shop, a Colonial house, and a spacious residence built in the 1980’s.
Picture yourself here enjoying the tranquility, vastness, greenery, and calming waters. This place is destined to become the talk of Vermont and beyond. Flowers, waters, trees, breathing in fresh air, and peaceful sceneries. Sounds like Utopia? Well, its hard to imagine a more fitting place to let all your cares dissolve away!
But wait there’s more!
The Clemmons family is also turning parts of their farm into an African American Heritage Center. Continuing the Clemmons family tradition of blending farming with the arts, health sciences and more, the center will allow opportunities to learn about African American heritage and multiculturalism. There are many museums, exhibits and historic buildings across the country dedicated to celebrating African American heritage, but there is yet to be identified another African American Heritage Center in the United States that compares to the size of the Clemmons Family Farm, in terms of acreage (148 acres), structures (5 historic buildings), and vast beautiful grounds.
This is destined to be one of the largest and a most significant
African American Culture and Heritage Centers in the Diaspora!
Yes, you can get to enjoy a relaxing vacation or retreat and learn cultural heritage at the same time. Talk about two for one! Many of the farm’s activities will soon be open to the public and shared with the local community, and visitors from near and far.
Outdoor farm-related activities at the farm’s Barn House will include seed swaps, planting season parties, harvest festivals, and goat-hugging, as well as opportunities for the public to participate in daily farm work.
Each month, the Barn House will feature events and activities related to farming, the Arts, and African American Heritage. Activities will include lectures, workshops, storytelling, demonstrations, music and culture performances, cooking classes, and pop-up art galleries.
There are also plenty of outdoor leisure activities around the Barn House grounds and meadows including star-gazing, firefly-catching, picnics, meadow and forest walks, bird-watching, and catching glimpses of the many wildlife (moose, deer, fox, wild turkey, bobcats, etc.) who live in the forest. In the winter, there’s sledding, ice-skating, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, snowball forts, and building snowmen!
Click here to learn more about the Clemmons Farm and Legacy
With work studios, office and meeting space and lodging accommodations, the
Barn House is a haven for visiting artists/scholars/farmers-in-residence- all
celebrating African American Diaspora and multiculturalism.
A Glimpse Inside the Barn House Of the five historic buildings on the Clemmons Family Farm, the Barn House is first that we will get ready.
Our goal is to raise at least $25,000 so that we can begin the upgrades needed to get the Barn House and grounds ready for exciting activities and events.
This legacy preservation campaign is like no other. You will receive very nice gifts for your donations. (Psss.. Don’t say I told you, but these gifts are probably more valuable than the donations.)
The souvenirs gifts were collected by the Clemmons Family during their work and travels on the African continent in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
When Jack and Lydia Clemmons were in their 70’s, they pursued their dream and traveled throughout Africa. Medical professionals, they worked in the major hospitals of Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Mali as volunteers. During their travels, Jack and Lydia enjoyed going to the open markets to explore the wide-ranging assortment of market goods and vendors with local foods, imported goods, clothing, fabrics, perfumes and incenses, charcoal and kerosene, handcrafted furniture, artifacts, crafts and art. They came back and gave away their African collections away as gifts and souvenirs. Setting up a shop to house their gifts on the farm led to the formation of Authentica African Imports in the small rural town of Charlotte, Vermont. In 1985, it was the very first African art mail order business in the United States. Now some of the art and original gifts can be yours for your contributions to this legacy.
Some of the Authentic gifts you will receive for your donations
A Malawi2Vermont Ebony Fertility Bird Statuette
Symbolic of grace, wisdom and pregnancy, these statues are beautifully carved in Malawi from solid, smooth ebony wood. A great gift for family and friends who are planning to have a child! These birds are full of the good vibes and blessings of Jack and Lydia Clemmons, who fell in love with them at first sight during their forays in the craft markets of Malawi in the 1980’s. Only a small quantity remain, so first come, first served!
Tanzania2VT Banana Tree Bark
Paintings, picked up by the Clemmons during their trips to the art markets in Arusha, Tanzania. Delicately crafted with hand-cut banana bark set in a on burlap and wood frames, the designs vary from elephant, zebra, ostrich or women pounding grains.
For your generous donation, you also can get a chance to stay at the joyous Barn House. Learn How
Don’t miss out on being a part of this legacy and receive unique African art and gifts.
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