Abbott’s Mill Celebrates 35th Anniversary with Meal & Festival
Thirty-five years of improving the environment through education, advocacy and conservation.
Abbott’s Mill will hold its 35th anniversary Autumn Celebration Weekend on Friday, Oct. 14-15. The two day event will start with a ‘Meal at the Mill’ followed by the ‘Autumn at Abbott’s Festival’ in Milford, Del.
The Meal at the Mill will welcome guests at twilight to enjoy a featured brew from Dogfish Head while strolling the tree lined boardwalk and touring Abbott’s Mill’s preserved, working grist mill.
After introductions, diners will conjoin for a family-style, three-course seated dinner under the stars. The menu will feature delectables grown on Delaware Nature Society’s own Coverdale Farm Preserve, in Greenville with a menu pairing by Abbott’s Grill and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery ales.
Matt Babbitt, director of Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, says Meal at the Mill is similar to the Farm to Fork dinner at Coverdale Farm.
“Coverdale Farm regularly grows food. They raise the chickens all summer long which we’ll serve and we’ll be telling the story of the food the guests are eating, how those chickens were raised—hopefully they’ll taste the experience.”
Babbitt says Abbott’s Mill’s partnerships with Coverdale Farm Preserve, Abbott’s Grill and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery are incredible. Dogfish Head will serve the Delaware Native Ale during the event. All of the ale’s ingredients were sourced from Delaware, and consist of Wildflower Honey, barley and blueberries from Fifer Orchards.
“They actually used our mill during the making of the beer,” Babbitt says. “Beer and Benevolence has long been a supporter of us— financially supportive, supportive with event planning skills… they’ve helped with a lot of other projects.”
According to Babbitt, Friday night’s celebration will highlight the bountiful fall season while honoring the historic and cultural importance of mills in food production. The purpose of this inaugural event is to bring together conservation-minded people in spirit of raising funding for the education, advocacy, and conservation activities of Abbott’s Mill Nature Center. Meal at the Mill is sold out with 97 tickets.
“The event speaks well to people who are invested in Abbott’s and the Delaware Nature Society.”
On Saturday, the Autumn at Abbott’s Festival will take place featuring a variety of artisan craft demonstrators, live music, children’s activities, hay rides, live animal shows, and tours of our historic Abbott’s Mill.
According to Babbitt, the festival had previously run for 24 years and ceased to exist in 2008 when the event began to exceed Abbott’s Mill’s internal capacity.
“We brought it back for the 35th to see how the community will respond and to see if it’s something the community would welcome,” Babbitt says. “We would like to hear what the public wants [from us] as a nature center.”
Historically, this festival has featured a variety of artisan craft demonstrators, live music, children’s activities, hay rides, live animal shows, and tours of our historic Abbott’s Mill. For the 35th, Babbitt says the group is raising the stakes by bringing in local farm vendors, food truck fun, a Dogfish Head beer garden with lawn games, yoga sessions with the Free Spirited Foundation, an aquatic touch tank with Phillips Wharf Environmental Center’s Fishmobile, and guided SUP & kayak trips on Abbott’s Pond by Quest Fitness.
In previous years, the event draws an average of 500 people. Babbitt says the organization would be very pleased with 200-300 people in attendance. To learn more about Abbott’s Mill’s 35th anniversary Autumn Celebration Weekend, visit www.delawarenaturesociety.org.