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and to make cheddar cheese from milk provided by the herd of Brown Swiss cows introduced by Derick in the 1950s. In 1987, Shelburne House was renovated and opened as
The Inn at Shelburne Farms. Today, the nonprofit, whose staff emphatically refuses to call
it a museum, operates on a yearly budget of $9
million, 70 percent of which comes from revenue streams such as the sale of cheese and
income from the inn’s rooms and restaurant.
(Charitable contributions and grants fund the
remaining 30 percent.)
An organic garden provides food for the
inn and staff, with excess sent to the local
farmers’ market and to area food kitchens.
Solar panels atop the Farm Barn and in the
Solar Orchard provide half of the estate’s
electricity; whey, a cheese-making byprod-uct, is spread on the fields as fertilizer. The
property has earned a National Trust for
Historic Preservation Honor Award, and
National Historic Landmark designation.
Programs reach as far as China and Japan to
forge partnerships for sustainability educa-