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Spring 2015 a publication of the Merck Forest and Farmland Center “Teaching, demonstrating & sustaining a working landscape”

In This Issue

Conservation Easements A Note From the Director


By Tom Ward, Executive Director

Conservation Easements Maple Celebration and Pancake Breakfast


Upcoming Community Events and Workshops

3 Meet the 2015 Apprentices


Why would anyone want to give up the right to do whatever they thought was appropriate with land and buildings they own? The simple answer is that some individuals and organizations choose to limit what they can do with their land in order to conserve/preserve it in its current state, mostly with the thought that the land will not be sub-divided into small parcels to be used for private homes. There is surely a public benefit to be had from conserving the undeveloped parts of the 3,160 acres owned by Merck Forest Foundation, Inc., thereby

keeping it in agriculture and silviculture use for future generations. As with most things, the devil is in the details and the deliberations of an Easement Committee formed to look into the issues have brought this into sharp relief. There is much agreed by most committee members but real concern is appropriately brought to the fore when the legal document states that the landowner must ask the easement holder’s permission to do things not approved in the underlying agreement... (continued on page 5)

Recognition of the 2014 Donors

Maple Celebration and Pancake Breakfast


March 28 and 29, 2015, 10 am - 2 pm Tickets sold at door: $10/adult, $5/ages 4 - 12, under age 4 FREE

2014 Donors Make Your Own Suet

6 Vermont Changes Syrup Grading System Recipe from the Lodge

8 Ladies of the Gold Lamé Visit MFFC

3270 Route 315, PO Box 86, Rupert, Vermont 05768 p. 802.394.7836

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Lambing Begins in March

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About Us & Membership

D. Sullivan


Sugaring time is a sweet season. The warm scent of boiling sap hangs in the air around any sugar house, and the delicious smell is a promise of even more delicious maple syrup.

Volunteers are always needed!

Here at Merck Forest, along with the Bennington County Sugar Makers’ Association, we like to honor Vermont’s Maple Open House Weekend by having a Maple Celebration and Pancake Breakfast.

If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact or call 802.394.7836.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the 28th and the 29th of March, we will offer our delicious breakfast spread of eggs, pancakes, and Merck Forest’s own pork sausage and organic maple syrup. Coffee, tea, juice and milk will also be provided.

Children’s activities will run at the farm, wagon rides will convey people to and from the sap house, and newborn lambs and little piglets will be romping around the farmyard. Our staff looks forward to hosting another great event this year.

Upcoming Community Events and Workshops There are an assortment of amazing workshops and programs coming up this spring. We hope that you will be able to take part in some of these events. Please note that many workshops ask you to register by calling the Visitor Center. We do not have a way for you to register online. Please, don’t hesitate to call us and make sure you have a spot in one of these courses or activities. And, as always, if you do come for a workshop or event, give us feedback. Your comments help us make our programs more enjoyable and educational for all.

Sheep Shearing Workshop Saturday, April 25 - Sunday, April 26, 2015 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, cost: TBD

The Vermont Sheep and Goat Breeders Association is once again holding a sheep shearing class at MFFC. Participants, beginners and intermediate, will learn hands-on how to shear sheep, all under the guidance of professional shearers. All aspects of shearing will be discussed.


Chick Days (not just for ladies!) Saturday, April 11, 2015, Time: 2 pm - 4 pm Join local author, blogger, and homesteader, Jenna Woginrich, for a fun and witty reading from her new book, Chick Days. Jenna has written five books related to country living, she actively updates her blog “Cold Antler Farm”, she is a contributing writer for Mother Earth News and The Huffington Post, and she was a keynote speaker at the Mother Earth News Fair. While she has lived all over the country, she now calls 6.5 acres in upstate New York (Washington Co.) home. There, she lives with a flock of Scottish Blackface sheep, a border collie, poultry, pigs, horses, dairy goats and more! Get ready for more than a few laughs at this reading and learn a bit about raising backyard chickens.

For workshop cost, agenda, and registration details, please look on under News and Events.

Wagon Rides

$150/wagon ride

May 15 - October 18, 2015 Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays, 9 am - 1 pm Warm weather days just beg you to go exploring. This spring, summer, and fall, we have a new way for you to see Merck Forest and Farmland Center: take a wagon ride. Our wagonette can seat up to six people, and it will travel a 45-minute loop through the forest and around the farm. Reservations are required for the wagon. Please call at least 24 hours in advance if you would like to book.

Spring Ephemeral Walk Thursday May 14th at 1:30 pm $5 donation, please call to sign up Do you want to know more about spring ephemerals—those early blooming flowers that come up when the leaves are not yet out? Come walk with us in mid-May as we go looking for clintonia, trillium, adder’s tongue, and spring beauties. Merck’s forest is home to many of springtime’s early risers. This hike is suitable for families. Please wear layers, good walking shoes, and bring a bottle of water.

SOLO Wilderness First Aid Course

Saturday, May 23 - Sunday, May 24, 2015

Would you know what to do if an accident happened in the backcountry? Many backcountry emergencies are preventable, if you know what to do. At the end of May, MFFC will be hosting a wilderness first aid course taught by SOLO. The two day course covers a detailed variety of topics on how to assess, care, treat, and rescue a fellow outdoorsman. Participants can be certified for two years. More information is on the MFFC website.

2015 Apprenticeship: Meet Meghan, Kate, and Stephanie


These three lovely ladies arrived at Merck Forest on January 7—on possibly the coldest day we had this winter (there’s nothing like arriving when the wind chill is - 30ºF to - 40ºF). On the day of their arrival, our staff hiked up to the Lodge for a potluck welcome dinner, and the next day the women began their orientation week. Now, nearly two months into their apprenticeship they have harvested chickens, castrated pigs, worked daily with the horses, and nailed down the dynamics of chores. Up next, they will be busy with lambing, sugaring, and starting seeds for the garden.

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Meghan Feldmeier Meghan is a growing farmer from the heartland, and a rooting reader of everything in her heart land. In Milton’s Paradise Lost, at the Vassar College Farm, and fermenting in the kitchen, she found that growing healthy food is the oldest and most radical medicine. She reads collective memories and listens to spoken secrets: she is in love with the magic that crafts geography, botany, and farming knowledge into poetry. Since graduating, she hiked alone on Italy’s mountains, farmed for a season with Greek Orthodox nuns on Mount Olympus, made jam and cheese, fermented everything, arranged vegetables at an overpriced co-op, saved seeds, and grown vegetables on an island. She’s found that greenhouses womb her, fields stretch her, and harvests carve her. She’s so looking forward to how forests and pigs and horses and sheep and hay and maple sugar will move her. Pickling cabbage and sharing it with you is her greatest joy. She is committed to creating connections, consciousness, and community with carrots, cabbage, and lamb cutlets. She dreams of the song inside seeds waiting and waiting to come home to sprout, and uses her life to write its poem. Working with/in an underserved community to grow and share healthy organic food is the doing-dream: is radical food justice and queered health and healing. To Meghan, farming is an occupation, a lifestyle, and her love.

Kate Parsons

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Kate was born and raised in western Massachusetts but moved away upon graduating high school to the famed dairy state of Wisconsin. Her time there was filled with cheese, studying alternative education at Beloit College, founding a student-run dining cooperative, and working with Driftless Folk School as a program assistant which taught her about the challenges of non-profit organization. As a believer in hands-on, grassroots education she hopes to re-establish a lost network of folk schools with her work with the Folk Education Association of America. In the last four years Kate was impassioned by dirty hands and worked on several large CSA farms in the northeast and the midwest. She’s started seeds, transplanted chard, picked onions, laid re-may, thinned beets, packed boxes, pounded fenceposts, mulched with hay, and dang, she sure knows how to pull a weed to two. When Kate is not in the field, you may find her picking up her fiddle or wearing out her boots out at a contra dance in town. She is feeling more ready than ever to be at Merck Forest and can’t wait to get her hands in the dirt again. She is interested in simpler agricultural techniques, animal husbandry and care, BERRIES, low impact forest management, sugaring, and connection with young humans on the farm. Whoop whoop!

Stephanie Pittman

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Over the past decade, ​Stephanie​traversed the country, learned to cook​, toured by bicycle, wore out a few pairs of dancing shoes, studied microbiology and human physiology, a​ nd found ​herself growing a lot of vegetables. ​She​volunteered as ​a community garden R&D assistant, a literacy tutor, a mapmaker, and an HIV/AIDS advocate. After a ​transformative season spent interning on a​s​ mall, diversified farm in t​ he Puget Sound, ​Stephanie​discovered ​her v​ ocation—striving to create a healthy, viable community through well-loved land. From there ​she​winter homesteaded on an island in the Tennessee River and spent two ​feisty summers farming, baking, and adventuring in and around Yosemite. ​ tephanie​come​s​to Merck seeking to further ​her education in closed-loop farming, a​ nimal husbandry, and S homesteading​. Apprenticing here will solidify ​her current knowledge and allow h ​ er to garner new skills critical for sustainable land management​--especially the introduction to forestry and draft horses.​ ​She is​ both honored and totally pumped for the opportunity to craft a more capable self and a more useful land steward.​ Hiphips!

4 Kathleen Achor David & Pippa Ader Keld & Mary Alstrup Chip Ams Amazon Smile Foundation Anonymous Dottie Ashton The Aspen at Manchester Dawn Aubel Jerry & Lynn Babicka Lundy Bancroft Florence Barad Dr. Stuart Bartow Fred Baum Philip Bedard Vivian L. Bebee Darla J. Belevich Alan & Leslie Beller Robert Bergman Albert Berry Isaac Bernstein-Hanley Joan Bertin Molly Beverage & Paul Elsholz Phyllis Binkley Alan Binnick Axel & Donna Blomberg Ms. Sharon Page Bode Judy P. Boehlert John & Leslie Bose Bruce & Shirley Boselli Greg Bown Mrs. Gordon Boyd David Boyea Jim Brady Janet Britt & John Dojka Mr. & Mrs. Donald Brodie Sally & Tim Brown Bucknell University Dinah Buechner-Vischer Ms. Judith M. Buechner Andrew Burden Nancy & Jerry Burke Ann P. Cabot Anne Campbell Donald A. Campbell Mr. & Mrs. J. Reeve Cantus Phillip & Gloria Caramico Nathan Caress Jeff Carey Bruce & Marion Carll Terri Cascella John & Judy Caudell Patrick & Phyllis Cavanagh Deborah & John Cave Jean & Gene Ceglowski Chip & Kit Chamberlain Phil & Linda Chapman Phil & Linda Chapman • Harry & Mary Anne Charleston Charles E. Childs Jr. Sheila & Bill Childs

In Recognition of the 2014 Donors Austin & Gillian Chinn Austin & Gillian Chinn • Ann Clay James Coe Bart Collins Kathleen & Douglas Colson Faith & James Cooney Lynn Costa Angela Cotrill Ed & Judy Cotter Marcia Cross John & Philippa Cully Mr. Mark Cummings Dodie & Bill Daly Cliff Damiano Virginia Daring Clare de Zengotita Franklin Dean-Farrar Jerry & Janet DeLazzero Carlo & Susan DeRege Joe Devine & Ron Edsforth Paul S. Devine Robert & Paula Di Crosta Julian A. Dixon Rick & Lisa Dreher Patricia Dupree David Durfee & Melanie Dexter William Eberle Raymond & Marti Ellermann Laura Emilo Frank & Ellen Estes Nancy & Bob Faesy Mrs. Olivia Farr Maurice J. Ferris, Jr. William Figlozzi & Margaret Waterson Barbara & Charles Finnegan John Fraade Mr. & Mrs. A. Corwin Frost Pat Winstead Fry Claudia & David Fulton John Furman & Family Aaron Gabriel Roger & Suzanne Garrity Bob & Cheryl Gasperetti G.E. United Way Campaign Liz & Alan Gee Thelma Georgeson Edward Germon Matt Germon Alec & Mary Gerster George & Beth Gibson Mr. & Mrs. A. W. Gilbert Mr. Clinton Gilbert, Jr. Elizabeth Gilbert Ruth Goldstone Leslie Gorski Emil G. Gress Susan Griffing Robert F. & Florence H. Grimm

Marjorie H. Grout Jim & Marilyn Hand Ronald Harmsen Ronald Harmsen • Janice A. Harrington James Hart Jeannie Hart • Ruth Harwood Mrs. Francis W. (Serena) Hatch Julie & Bayard Henry Joy & Richard Hill Hill & Thompson, P.C. Claude & Janet Hoard Kathryn & Sewall Hodges Mr. & Mrs. Steve Holman Gregory & Elizabeth Hopper Beverly Houghton Dr. Russell F. Housman Bob & Cora May Howe Mary Hubbard Karen Huerta Jay & Judith Inglis Barbara & Eric Jaffe Hugh A. Johnson Bob & Pat Johnston Rachel Jolly & Adam Walker Mr. William C. Jolly Louise Jones Robert K. & A. Joyce Jones Aleks Kajstura Mark Kearney & Diane Simpson Andrew Kelly & Teri Ptacek Scott Keyes Phil & Barbara Kingsley Larry Kirkmas & Gayle Gibbons Phil & Mindy Kirstein Gary Klee, Terry Peters & Family Debbie & Al Klein Chris Klesse Wendy Knight Pamela Koch Ellie Kouwenhoven • Kirsten Kouwenhoven Bruce & Jane Krahe Bill & Margie Kuchinsky & Anne Marie Couser Tim Lang & Lisa Lieberman John LaVecchia & Jane Davies Mrs. Eleanor S. Lea Michael & Lena Leake William Leber James Lee, Jr. Ellen & Roger Leeds Craigh Leonard Nicholas & Rebecca Leonard Joshua Levy & Pam Magnuson John & Cynthia Lhost Joann G. Limbacher •

Christopher Lincoln & Tammara Van Ryn Alan & Terry Lindsey John B. Linvill David Lloyd Robert A. Lloyd George & Linda Long George & Linda Long • Anne J. Lourie Anthony V. Lynch • Jenny Lyttle Paul Mahan & Jeffrey A. Nelson Lucky Dog Farm Bonnie Markel Alec Marshall Shona Marston Jon & Kimberly Matthewson Megan Mayhew-Bergman Robert & Marilyn Mazur Bob & Nancy McCafferty Mr. Levering & Mrs. Judi McCormick Kevin McKeon John McInerney Timothy McLees Mr. Andrew J. Melton, Jr. Robert & Joan Menson Josephine Merck Margaret Mertz Margaret Mertz • Metzger Family Laura & Ed Midgley Helene A. Minugh Guy Montelione & Judy Colva Betsy Moseley Dan & Kit Mosheim Daniel Moss Jan & Joe Mount Melinda Lee Mount Ms. Marion C. Mueller Kim & Steve Murphy Mr. Peter Netusil Axel M. Neubohn David A. & Susan F. Nichols Annette Nielsen Mrs. Nancy M. Norris • Northshire Bookstore Pat Nuckols • Cheryl & Jim O’Connor Edward C. Oelsner Maria & Ward Ogden • LeRoy Oldham Orvis Company Frank Edward Page Dr. & Mrs. Theodore F. Paprocki John Parker & Maria Paumgarten Margaret H. Parker Lynn Patterson Paul Smith’s College John & Marian Pelton


Many thanks to you all! Richard & Suzanne Penney Andrew Perkins Mr. John R. Person Mr. George Peterson III Karl & Joanne Pfluger Jennifer & William VN Philip John & Lena Pless John & Lena Pless • John & Cathy Plonski Errol & Anita Pomerance Errol & Anita Pomerance • Reverend Penelope Poor Craig & Donna Powers Mike & Barbara Powers Herbert W. Pratt Remus Preda & Lisa Randles Bruce & Elizabeth Putnam r. k. Miles, Inc. Ann & Anis Racy Rick Raff Ty & Allison Ralli Susanne Rapport • Frederic W. Raymond Signa Lynch Read Readsboro Lions Club Robert & Elise Redmond Pendennis & Barbara Reed Nicholas Reeder Jonathon & Kim Reeves Stan & Loretta Reisman Charles & Marcia Reiss Toby Reopel

Robert Restuccia & Emily Feinberg Mrs. Chandler S. Richardson • Susan Ritchie Marne Rizika Madeline & Charles Rockwell Christina & Kevin Roe Lee & Susan Romano Craig & Susan Roods Marge Rosenberg Mrs. Thomas S. Royster Joana & Ari Rudiakov Sally Rue • Dr. Joseph Ruggiero & Dr. Howard Marcus Steven Russo

Jack & Betsy Sinnott Paul M. Sipple Bob & Joann Somers Ms. Jennifer P. Speers Squire House B & B Mark & Deborah Stannard Mr. Charles Stelling Glen Stevens Kim & Buddy Stevens Catherine Stewart Mr. & Mrs. David B. Stratton Timothy W. Sullivan James Sullivan & Leslie Addison Mark & Bonnie Summer Bill Sussdorf

Shelley Sacket Janet & Peter Saint Germain Dr. & Mrs. Steven Saltzmann Linda Salzer Duncan Savace & Stefan Swicker Philip Schenck Carlin W. Scherer, PhD Janie & George Schildge Bob & Martha Schoenemann Gene & Lorraine Schoor Jeremy Schrauf Ken & Kathy Schurzky Douglas & Joan Shaw Mr. Peter L. Sheldon Doug & Holly Sherman Cecile Shore • Scott Silver

Mr. & Mrs. Robert D. Taggart Brian Taylor Frederic F. Taylor Katherine & Neal Thomas Priscilla P. Thomas Ann Throop William & Mary Beth Toms Ken & Valerie Townsend Robert & Sarah Treat Allen & Minga Turner Cornelia Tuttle James & Eleanor Tyler

(continued from page one)... When one reads the phrase “at the sole discretion of the easement holder”, even the most enthusiastic committee member is given pause. The crux of the matter is that this sort of legal agreement assumes a positive, collaborative working relationship, where trust is an essential component. The issue of conservation easements here currently being deliberated by the Easement Committee will require a level of commitment similar to that assumed by couples contemplating marriage. There must be a significant reservoir of trust by both entities whereby the contemplated union holds promise of a greater whole. It is my fervent hope that we embrace this challenge, and thoughtfully pursue this prospect to fruition.

John Vaillancourt Carol Vallett Zaid Von Giffen

W. H. Shaw Insurance Agency, Inc. Carolyn A. Wade Ed Walczykowski John & Ruth Ward Phil & Janet Warren Hannah & Russell Weeden Vince Weeks Fred C. Weinmann Mark & Pam Weinstein Elizabeth Wheaton-Smith Samuel B. Wheeler Martin White & Christine Michael Mr. & Mrs. Fred Whitridge Bob Whitney William Wightman Pat Wilcox Corinna Wildman Timothy & Kathleen Wiley Mr. Steve Williams Catherine Williamson Penelope P. Wilson Angela Wingate & Telly Halkias William L. Witten & Laura Fitch Richard & Dorothy Wittnebell Rob & Meg Woolmington William Workman & Family Mark Youndt • Donation made in memory of Gerrit Kouwenhoven • Donation made in memory of Nelson Jesup • Donation made in memory of Victoria McInerney • Donation made in memory of Jerry Shore

Suet Cakes For the Birds Patty Wesner, Education Director

Suet attracts many insect-eating birds, such as woodpeckers. Nuthatches, juncos, chickadees and jays will also stop at backyard feeders for a high-fat treat. True suet, and especially the kind made with animal fat, provides a good source of energy for many feeder birds, which is especially important in fall, winter, and early spring. Try these suet recipe and see which birds come to your backyard. M ore s uet rec i p es are available on o ur

Blog .

Hungry Birds Suet Cakes Ingredients 1 cup Merck Forest lard 1 cup peanut butter 1/3 cup sugar

2 cups quick oats 2 cups cornmeal

1 cup flour 1 cup birdseed

Directions Melt lard and peanut butter together in a sauce pan over low heat. Add sugar to the melted mix. Stir in and combine remaining ingredients. Form blocks on a cookie tray lined with wax paper and freeze, then hang outside! M. Carll

Birdfeeders, with an assortment of seeds, are also a good way to help birds, like this titmouse, through the rest of winter into spring. Just don’t forget to take down your feeders before the bears awaken!


Please excuse any errors or omissions on this list, and please call or email when a correction needs to be made.

Please note: for those with peanut allergies, feel free to substitute with other nut butters or sun(flower seed) butter.


Vermont Changes Syrup Grading System Grade A


Light syrup with a golden color. It has a mild, delicate taste. Excellent as a table syrup or over ice cream or yogurt.


Light amber color and full-bodied flavor, this class of syrup is the product of choice for consumers who desire the “classic” maple syrup flavor.


Dark amber color with a more pronounced maple flavor, this class will satisfy those customers who desire the strong flavors of what has been known as Grade B.


Nearly black, this syrup has a strong flavor that translates well to cooking, where the maple syrup will carry through to the finished dish.

Recipe from the Lodge It’s a Vermont tradition to make this sticky candy during the sugaring season. But, there is no reason to limit this delightful treat to one season; try it anytime you have snow on the ground, or if you are able to make shaved ice.

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The tradition would not be complete without serving a dill pickle and a doughnut with the candy. The sweet and sour tastes makes a savory combination!

By Melissa Carll, Communications Coordinator Earlier this year, Vermont adopted a new grading system for its maple syrup. There are several reasons for this change. Unlike the old labeling method, the new system provides descriptions of each grade (or class) of syrup, which may help consumers understand what type of syrup they are purchasing. The new system is also part of a national and international effort to create a universal grading system throughout the United States and Canada. Currently, each state and the Canadian provinces have their own demarkation for syrup, which can make it more difficult for consumers to consistently choose their favorite flavor. The old method of grading maple syrup gave a range of five marketable classes. These classes went from Vermont Grade A Fancy, Grade A Light Amber, Grade A Medium Amber, Grade A Dark Amber, to Grade B (and a sixth, Grade C, which could only be sold commercially). One of the challenges with the old grading system was that it implied one end of the maple syrup spectrum was perhaps better (you always want to strive for an “A” right?). Therefore, many consumers would seek out Grade A Fancy, thinking that this syrup was top of the line. However, all the grades tasted just depended on your taste preference as to whether you wanted a lighter maple syrup (Grade A Fancy) or a richer flavor (Grade B). The new system cuts back to four grading categories, and the titles for these four classes are a bit more descriptive, thus helping the buyer choose the syrup that’s right for his or her taste palette. Next time you stop in the Visitor Center, feel free to sample Merck Forest’s syrup. We can help you find the syrup best suited for you!

Maple Sugar on Snow Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups of Merck Forest Organic Maple Syrup 1/4 cup unsalted butter (optional) Large bowl filled with clean snow Directions: 1. Heat the maple syrup (and butter) in a sauce pan until the temperature reaches 235ºF - 255ºF (optimal would be 245ºF). Measure the temperature with a candy thermometer. Try to not let the syrup boil. 2. Ladle a little of the syrup on some of the compacted snow. If the syrup is ready, it will sit on top of the snow. If the syrup sinks, try heating the pan a little longer. When the syrup is ready, drizzle it on the snow. You may eat it right away or save bits in the freezer to eat later on ice cream or to put in your coffee.

Membership at Merck: Join or Renew Today! Please, help us continue to serve our mission of teaching and demonstrating the benefits of innovative, sustainable management of forest and farmland. As a member, you support our educational programs and maintenance of over 3,100 acres of land and 30 miles of trails. Thank you for your help!



Please fill out and mail: Merck Forest & Farmland Center PO Box 86, Rupert, VT 05768

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About Us Merck Forest and Farmland Center is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to teach and demonstrate the benefits of innovative, sustainable management of forest and farmland. We also offer recreational opportunities for individuals and families, encouraging people to become good stewards of the land. Donations are appreciated and members are encouraged.

Member benefits include: 20% discount on cabin rentals and camping 10% discount on Merck’s Certified Organic Maple Syrup 10% discount on select Visitor Center merchandise 10% discount on workshops Copies of our seasonal newsletter, the RidgeLine

Board of Trustees Bob Allen, Treasurer Keld Alstrup Axel Blomberg Jean Ceglowski Phil Chapman Austin Chinn, President


Jeromy Gardner George Hatch Ann Jackson Margaret Mertz, Vice President Bruce Putnam Madeline Rockwell, Secretary Phil Warren

Melissa Carll, Communications Coordinator Katie Connor, Visitor Center Engagement Tim Hughes-Muse, Farm Manager Kathryn Lawrence, Assistant to the Director Bryan Markhart, Assistant Farm Manager Tom Ward, Executive Director Patty Wesner, Education Director Michelle Wolf, Visitor Center Engagement

Meghan Feldmeier Kate Parsons Stephanie Pittman

Read our


M. Carll

2015 Apprentices

Lambing season is here! Look for newborns on or around March 15, 2015 RidgeLine layout, illustrations, and graphic design by Melissa Carll

PO Box 86, Rupert, Vermont 05768

Printed on 100% recycled paper

A Note from the Ladies of the Gold Lamé By Melissa Carll, Communications Coordinator The Ladies of the Gold Lamé, a group of wonderful women that comes annually to Ned’s Cabin, were here just a few weeks ago. We know that they have arrived when we see their golden pants and velvet moose ears! (Their outfits are a story for another time). This year, after visiting, one of the members sent in this lovely note, which we would like to share with you. Hi! We are still riding the wonderful high that we get from spending our annual January weekend at Ned’s Place, laughing, sharing, snowshoeing, eating, drinking, enjoying each others’ company, and sporting our gold lamé pants and moose ears. Thank you so much for this amazing place and experience that means nothing short of magic to 9 women who have been going there for 15 years now. We want to share with you one of the many pictures that we took while there, as it makes all of us smile to see it, as well as others who have never been to Merck at all. We hope you like it as much as we do! Several of us are also delighted to have experienced the first sleigh ride offered and are singing the praises of this form of travel! We are so grateful for all that you do to provide and sustain this incredible environment. We call it paradise. Hugs, CJ Mauger South Berwick, Maine

We can’ t wait to hear your stories after next year’s visit!

The ladies at Ned’s Cabin this past winter, reveling in sunshine, snow, and friendship.

New Pork Now For Sale at the Visitor Center Syrup is available for sale in the Visitor Center and online at

Merck Forest’s pork is pasture-raised here at our mountaintop farm. We sell a variety of cuts and sausage flavors.

Vermont-Certified Organic Maple Syrup

2015 Spring Ridgeline  

Merck Forest & Farmland Quarterly Newsletter

2015 Spring Ridgeline  

Merck Forest & Farmland Quarterly Newsletter