Shedding Light on Vermont Forests
Book cover Illustration by Vermont artist Kathleen Kolb. View additional artwork by Kathleen at http://www.kathleenkolb.com

Sustainable Forestry Exhibit Lights Up BMAC

The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center BMAC is currently hosting an innovative new exhibit, showcasing the beauty and value of Vermont’s sustainable working forest.  Local painter, Kathleen Kolb shares her  view of the Green Mountain state’s forest industry through various works of art she’s been creating over the past couple decades.  Kathleen’s artwork is enhanced by poetry and prose contributed by Guilford artist, Verandah Porche.  Verandah interviewed loggers, and their family members.  The resulting stories are rich with emotion expressing the bond these Vermonters have with the forest.

BMAC Schedule of Events

The forestry exhibit started October 2, 2015 and it will run until January 3, 2016.  This Thursday the museum (October 22, Thursday, 7 p.m) is hosting a panel discussion: Turning Local Wood Into Local Good.  I will be joining other representatives of forestry-related businesses in Vermont to discuss the importance of sustainable forests products to Vermont’s economy.   Please stop by and join us for a lively discussion!

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

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A Labor Day Furniture Sale in Honor of all that You Do

As the summer months come to a graceful fold, it is high time we all have a little celebration. We work hard, some of us all through the summer months. Labor Day signifies the closing of our sunnier months here in New England but it also carries a dual meaning: to acknowledge our social and economic achievements as dedicated worker-bees.

At Vermont Woods Studios, we are no strangers to hard work. Our Vermont-American made furniture is born through the diligent and tireless hands of our crafts people. The Stonehurst staff are happy to announce that in honor of the upcoming holiday, all of our furniture is 15% off.

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As the last of the summer sun shines luminously on our Stonehurst studio, we will be here and ready to support you in finding the best piece of furniture to fit your needs. Come and take a reflective drive through Vermont to our peaceful space and find the perfect reward for your year of achievement.

Vermont Woods Studios is a company of real people with a real desire to furnish a greener world. As living, breathing humans we know that Labor Day is a prime-time for last hurrahs and picturesque cookouts with families and friends. Which is why our sale will start on September 4th and go through September 10th.

Enjoy this holiday, you earned it. When it’s all said and done and none of us can deny the vibrant fall that awaits us, the sale will still be here, waiting to connect you to what you deserve.

*Copeland, Barnwood, Artisan, Clearance, Home Decor, In-stock and POLYWOOD  are not included in this sale.

$1000 minimum order for discount

*Free shipping on orders over $2500

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

monarch butterfly chrysalises
Two chrysalises housing monarch pupa

Vermont Woods Studios Prepares Monarchs for Take-off

On a beautiful day straddling the line between August and September, we huddled on the deck of Vermont Woods Studios at our Stonehurst property. Five adults and two children all gazing in mirrored excitement at the progress of our monarch caterpillars as they forge their ways into butterfly-hood.

“I’m going to name him Jeff!” One of the young boys informed the group as Peggy Farabaugh, the CEO of Vermont Woods Studios and head caterpillar-rearer, gently scooped up two prized caterpillars and secured them safely in a jar for the boys to bring to their grandmother’s.

It has been two weeks since the arrival of the caterpillar babies (or larva) and already they are well on their way to adulthood. However, their transformation is far more magical than that of any other aging process. They came to us as tiny creatures no bigger than a grain of rice and have rapidly transformed into vibrant, two inched beauties that scuttle about their mesh hamper confinement eating milkweed and maturing with natural grace.

It is marvelous to watch the caterpillars inch their way to the top of the hamper and methodically suspend themselves upside down in a J shape. This is a signal to the world that the caterpillars are ready to enter the pupa or chrysalis stage of life. The caterpillars work tirelessly in this J-shape to molt their skin and transform their outer appearance into the grass green, gold speckled chrysalis.

“I wonder what they’re doing in there all the time.” Peggy mused, affectionately grooming the caterpillar habitat. The allure of mystery gripped us all as we watched the beautiful chrysalises hang, cautiously enveloping the transforming caterpillar.

In about two weeks the chrysalises will have turned black and the monarch butterfly will be ready to emerge with damp, fledgling wings. In the short span of two hours, the monarch’s wings will dry and it will be lusting for flight. Thus our babies will leave us and safety of the Stonehurst deck.

However, it won’t be a sad day, for on this day we will have reached our goal. With the help of Orley R.  “Chip” Taylor, founder of the Monarch Watch program at the University of Kansas, we will have completed cycle one of the Monarch Restoration project. The Vermont Woods Studios company developed an objective: to help restore the monarch population. Success is heavily contingent on three pillars: milkweed restoration, healthy, migration-ready monarchs and continued research.

Last October and November, Peggy and the Vermont Woods Studios staff went out in search of milkweed. Pods gathered along route 142 were brought back to the studio where seeds were harvested and packaged for distribution.

Seeds were distributed to local gardeners and nature enthusiasts, clients and planted on the Stonehurst property. 1 in 100 milkweed seeds strewn across the earth will produce a plant. Because of these small odds, we chose to carefully plant 80 seeds on the Stonehurst property yielding 80 viable milkweed plants.

Along with learning the importance of carefully planting the milkweed seeds, the Vermont Woods Studios staff have also developed important information for rearing monarch caterpillars:

  • Whenever it is possible, raise the caterpillars in a terrarium
  • Do not allow direct sunlight to hit the terrarium
  • Monarch caterpillars grow quickly and this process can be messy, so cleaning the terrarium frequently is a must
monarch caterpillar on milkweed
One of our monarch caterpillars getting ready to transition into a chrysalis

Once our monarchs are ready for flight, we have one last piece of the puzzle to put in place before we can call the project a success. Chip founded Monarch Watch in 1992 and has been studying monarch migration since 2005. The eastern monarchs born at the end of the summer months have the innate task of migrating to Mexico. This migration will take four generations of monarchs.

Our Stonehurst monarchs will fly just a portion of the way and then stop to lay eggs and die as the new babies begin the growing process and mature to fly their portion of the trip. This process will repeat until the final generation sails over sunny Mexico and makes themselves comfortable for eight to nine months when the United States is again habitable for the return of the monarchs.

How did people come to have such intimate detail about the migration pattern of these tireless creatures? The answer to this is evolving through research, which brings us to the final stage of the project: tagging the monarchs.

Before our monarchs take flight, we will place a small, adhesive tag, provided by Chip and his team on the wings of our monarchs. These tags will signal researchers to know where the monarchs came from and provide other valuable research that will continue to help rehabilitate the monarch population.

As we stand on the deck, without a chill in the air and watch the chrysalises form, we know the journey our caterpillars have before them. We discuss tagging the butterflies with nervous laughter, none of us having ever done it before; but were willing to try because we know that it is one key step in encouraging the comeback of these magical creatures.

(This is part two of a four part blog series on our Monarch Butterfly Restoration Project)

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

SpringWhile it might be hard to believe, winter is finally winding down here at Stonehurst. The snow is slowly melting, and some of our forest friends are starting to show their furry faces. Just yesterday, we saw this beautiful red fox frolic through the field in our backyard.

SpringA pair of eastern bluebirds perched outside outside of my office window, enjoying the first real day of sunshine of the season.

SpringAnd a chubby squirrel (a frequent visitor to the marketing office window) gorged himself on tasty bird seed.

We’ve seen plenty more forest critters getting ready for spring, and we’re getting ready too!

Spring

As you can see here, a wild Sales team member (Sean) anxiously awaits the warm weather! What about you? How are you preparing for spring? If you are planning on adding some natural Vermont charm to your home, a visit to Stonehurst might be a great first step. You’ll have plenty of inspiration from the birds and cute critters, and a friendly sales team to make your visit easy and enjoyable. Our beautiful, Vermont crafted wood furniture is made from premium solid hardwoods, sourced from sustainably harvested forests, much like the one right in our backyard!

Shopping at Stonehurst brings you closer to where your furniture really comes from. Visit us, and experience the beauty of Vermont wood, inside and out.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Columbus Day Furniture Sale

Explore The World of Real Wood Furniture This Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a favorite time to shop for home decor as everyone’s beginning to realize that the holidays are right around the corner.  If you’ll be entertaining family and friends for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or another holiday you may be shopping for furniture today.  No doubt, like Columbus, you’re looking for America’s best.  So set your sails for Vermont.

In the Green Mountain State you’ll find the best real wood furniture anywhere in the USA. Vermont is home to some 2000 small custom furniture makers located throughout our state as well as several mid-size, high end furniture manufacturers.

Vermont style furniture is known for organic solid wood, clear natural finishes and fine craftsmanship.  The favorite hardwood among craftspeople and customers alike seems to be American Black Cherry as shown in the handmade Shaker dining table above, although you’ll also find a variety of other North American woods including walnut, oak and maple.

With so many American furniture brands now making their furniture overseas, Vermont has quietly become the Real Wood Furniture Capital of the USA.  I know of only one Vermont furniture company that moved its operations overseas back when the Asian exodus was taking place and that was Ethan Allen.  The other Vermont furniture businesses have continued to operate successfully in the USA, remaining true to their communities, their employees and their quality.

Enjoy 15% off with our Columbus Day Furniture Sale

The upcoming Columbus Day Weekend is commonly associated with big sales, leaf peeping, and getting a pumpkin for Halloween. Here in Vermont there are hundreds of events going on, making it the busiest weekend of the fall. If shopping is in your plans, we want to let you know about another sale. Starting today, we are kicking off our annual Columbus Day Storewide Furniture Sale. For 6 days you can save 15% off our American Made fine wood furniture, and receive free shipping!

This sale includes over 1,000 pieces of bedroom, dining room, living room, and home office furniture, all made with natural hardwood. Conveniently shop from your home this weekend on our online gallery. Feel free to use our Live Chat option from our online gallery, or give us a call at 888-390-5571 if you have any questions about our Vermont Made fine wood furniture.

Have a nice weekend!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.