SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – On Sunday, Aug. 26, yogis gathered on a sunny, warm morning at Wellwood Orchards for a restorative Vinyasa flow, complete with baby goats. The five baby goats were born in early July and had made weekly appearances in the yoga class since they were a couple weeks old. Now eight weeks old, they were yoga experts, jumping onto participants’ backs and curling up by their sides.
At the front of the class, Aggie Mark calmly led the class, even as one of the momma goats jumped into her lap and nibbled on her clothes. Mark has been teaching yoga for three years, but this was her first time working with goats. Her modified Vinyasa flow allowed for more time on the mat. “When you have baby goats on you,” Mark explained, “you have to be more aware of your body and engage different muscles.”
Participants had to sign a waiver before each class acknowledging that the goats may try to eat their belongings or relieve themselves on their yoga mats, but the participants don’t mind little accidents. Instead, they enjoyed the goats playfully leaping around them or curling up on their laps for a few moments for pats and relaxation.
The first year of goat yoga has been very successful, according to Mark. They’ve made adjustments to allow the class to run more smoothly, including putting up temporary fencing to keep other petting zoo animals from breaking into the yoga designated area, and sprinkling sawdust on the yard to remove waste.
With apple picking season fast approaching, the baby goat yoga classes are over for the season, but Mark explained that they will bring it back next year and hopefully with more baby goats!
While baby goat yoga may be over, Customer Appreciation Day is just around the corner. On Sept. 1, 2018, welcome the official start to the apple harvest at Wellwood Orchards starting at 10 a.m. with a magic show by Tom Joyce. The games, food, and other entertainment will follow at 11 a.m. That day, the petting zoo will have free admission and a free lunch of hot dogs, chips, and a beverage will be offered.
“We cook about 2,000 hot dogs,” Linda Mark Friedman explained. “It’s one of the longest lines of the day.”
Kids can enjoy panning for gold, going on a treasure hunt, face painting, and contests with prizes. Local police and fire departments will be present for a meet and greet. Cheryl the Clown will create balloon animals, and The Imperfectionists will provide live music. Wagon rides will take customers into the apple orchard to pick their own apples to purchase at the country store. New this year, Wellwood Orchards is selling their first batch of grapes in the store, along with their cider donuts, baked goods, gifts, and more.
Customer Appreciation Day is Sept. 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wellwood Orchards is located at 529 Wellwood Orchards Rd. in Springfield, Vt. For more information, call 802-263-5200 or go to www.wellwoodorchards.com.