As we share Farm news with you in 2013, we'll be spotlighting the many ways in which we're working to cultivate change for a sustainable future.
Logging for Forest Stewardship
29-second video of tree felling from Shelburne Farms.
This January, we've been selectively logging a 10-acre woodlot behind the Farm Barn. It's an experiment in — and commitment to — forest stewardship. "The complexion of the woodlands is changing," explains Dana Bishop, our assistant woodlands manager. "It's under a lot of pressure from deer and buckthorn (an invasive shrub), and big maples dominate," she says. "The little guys are not getting enough sunlight to really take off." Our selective logging will open up sunny areas for maple seedlings to grow in. "We want to see how the system responds and learn from this small harvest," Dana says. Students participating in a new "Forest Stewardship" school field trip will help collect data and monitor plots in the logged area.
Our forest stewardship
reflects a growing state-wide movement that we're a part of: the
Vermont Working Lands Partnership. It's a broad-based effort of individuals and organizations working to keep the state's farms and forests
vital in the changing economy by investing in and supporting local agriculture and forestry, and growing and attracting farm/forest entrepreneurs.
Want to learn more about our forest stewardship?
• Join us for Forester for A Day Family Program on February 9.
• Join us for our Adult Program, Logs to Lumber, April 6.
• Check out Eva Sollberger's Stuck in Vermont video featuring the recent logging
here by the Lavigne family, and watch Eva discuss her experience on WCAX!
Speaking of Forests..
Alumni of A Forest for Every Classroom, a professional development program for educators, gathered at our Orchard Cove House last weekend for a reflective writing retreat. We run FFEC annually in partnership with the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service and other local partners, and it has been transforming educators for two decades.
Here's an excerpt from the reflections of one alumni:
"During FFEC I experienced a model of education that has lead to a subtle but extremely powerful shift in my understanding of learning. Building a conceptual understanding is very different than acquiring information; FFEC modeled a way to do both."
You can still sign up for 2013 Forest for Every Classroom session! Details.
Farm to School Retreat
A group of 20 leaders working on Vermont Farm to School efforts rolled up their planning sleeves last week at our Orchard Cove House. They began collaboratively mapping the way to a shared goal: a thriving Farm to School program in every Vermont community by 2020.
Orchard Cove House is an inspirational setting for groups like this (and the Forest for Every Classroom alumni that followed on their heels). As a model for a larger residential learning center, it is helping us strengthen the educational networks that will in turn build a sustainable future for all of us.
Junior Iron Chef is February 2nd!
9:00 am - 3:30 pm |
$3/individual or $5/family
Champlain Valley Exposition | Essex Junction, VT
Join the fun! It's the 6th annual competition of high school and middle school student teams showing off their culinary skills using fresh, local ingredients. Family activities and more.
Jr. Iron Chef is a collaboration of VT FEED (a partnership of Shelburne Farms, Food Works, and NOFA-VT) & Burlington School Food Project.
Cheese & Cheese-making
Nat and his team will start making cheese again the first week of February.
Over the "winter break," the cheese-making facility received some needed upgrades:
- New energy-efficient doors installed
- Window sills replaced
- New heat-exchanger installed in make-room. The unit will allow us to tap into our wood-chip heating system year-round, continuing our shift from non-renewable to renewable energy sources.
Maintaining this historic structure, moving to more sustainable energy systems, and making great cheese: Your support makes it all happen.
PHOTO: Tom Gardner, Shipping Coordinator, shows off the new heat exchanger and points to where it will be installed in the ceiling.
Charitable IRA Rollover: Tax-Wise Giving
Good news: Congress extended charitable IRA rollovers in 2013. If you are 70½+ you may give tax-free up to $100,000 from your individual retirement account to charity.
"My husband and I love Shelburne Farms. Now that we’re required to take minimum annual distributions from our IRAs, it makes just plain good tax sense to use these funds as our annual gift to the Farm."
Questions? Contact: Sue Dixon, or call her at: 802-985-0322