Nina's beautiful pollinator garden at Stonehurst | Vermont Woods Studios
This our flower garden at Stonehurst. When Nina and our Vermont Woods Studios “Garden Club” planted it, we had pollinators (especially monarch butterflies) in mind. But LARGER wild visitors also decided it was beautiful and delicious. Cut flowers for the showroom usually take a backseat to delicacies for ground hogs, wild turkeys and deer. Click on any photo to enter our #GetDirty giveaway (a $425 gift certificate) and celebrate planting with us.

Plant a Garden For Wildlife

May is National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife month.  Since 1973, the program has been showing people how to turn their own small piece of the Earth into thriving habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife.  The goal is to restore habitat and wildlife populations to our cities, towns and neighborhoods. The program helps wildlife and gives people a daily connection to the natural world right outside their door.

Planting a 'Garden for Wildlife" | Vermont Woods Studios
May is ‘Garden for Wildlife’ month so we’re planting milkweed to support monarch butterflies at Stonehurst. From left to right, your #GetDirty teammates are: Peggy, Ken, Michelle, Martin, Dennis, Sean, Mike and Rebecca.

Time to #GetDirty

We’re always planting something at Vermont Woods Studios.  We plant trees for every furniture order we take…. 50,000 trees and counting.  We plant milkweed for monarch butterflies. We’ve got a Spring planting promotion going to encourage YOU to #GetDirty.  Plant a pollinator garden, plant a tree… plant whatever you like and we’ll plant an additional 425 trees and give away $425.  It’s our free raffle towards a Vermont Woods Studios shopping spree so click on the image above to enter and spread the dirt to all your friends!

Mike and Nina are on the deck at Stonehurst, planting milkweed for monarchs.
Mike and Nina are on the deck at Stonehurst, planting milkweed for monarchs.  Our monarch-loving customers make it possible for us to plant hundreds of seedlings every year and give them away to neighbors.

Plant an Apple Tree

Plant an Apple Tree | An Heirloom variety from the Scott Farm
Our friend Annette brought us an heirloom apple tree from the Scott Farm in Dummerston last weekend. Owner, Zeke Goodband is a keeper of old-time apples whose farm is a living museum of 70 heirloom varieties, some dating back to the 17th century.

Certify Your Garden

If you’re inspired to turn your yard, balcony container garden, schoolyard, green space at work, or roadside into a Certified Wildlife Habitat® you can get it certified and make an even bigger difference for neighborhood wildlife. Take a photo and share it with us on Facebook.

And don’t forget to #Get Dirty With Us

to win a $425 Vermont Woods Studios Gift Certificate

 

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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.

national parks
Photo via Unsplash

What This New Englander Has Learned about Our National Parks and Nature.

Growing up in a small, rural, New Hampshire town, I was born loving the outdoors. Being raised in a log cabin situated in the middle of a forest gives you a unique perspective on nature and wildlife. My sister and I would spend our days climbing huge glacial rock formations behind our house, using the roots of trees growing on the rocks as our rope. We’d pretend we were pioneers in the winter and hike through the snow covered woods. We got tips at a young age on what to do if we crossed paths with a black bear on our walks. And thunderstorms were always a little scary because we worried a tree would fall on our house.

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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.

Vermont Coverts Cohort:  Woodlands for Wildlife
These are the amazing people in my cohort at last week’s Vermont Coverts workshop: “Woodlands for Wildlife”.  The word “covert” (pronounced cuh-vert) is an old English term meaning a thicket, home or hiding place for animals.

After locating our fine furniture and home decor store on a 100 acre wood in the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest (see my last post), I found myself in the familiar position of trying to do something I knew little about.  How would we properly manage this woodland for wildlife and sustainability?  My friends Kathleen Wanner (Executive Director of the Vermont Wood Manufacturer’s Association VWMA) and Lynn Levine (a professional forester) suggested that Ken and I attend the Vermont Coverts:  Woodlands for Wildlife Cooperator Training.  What a great idea!

Mess is best when it comes to creating habitat for wildlife
One of the key points we learned about managing our woodlands is that “mess is best” when it comes to creating habitat for wildlife.  Forests need to be thinned with plenty of coarse woody debris remaining on the floor to provide cover for animals.

The program was last weekend at the Woods of Wikahowi in Northfield, VT.  Ken had to cancel at the last minute but I attended along with a dozen or so like-minded landowners from all across Vermont.  Because 80% of Vermont’s forestland is owned privately, the Coverts organization concluded that the key to sustaining our state’s forests & wildlife is education of private landowners.  They provide a free 3-day training course every Spring and every Fall, focusing on classroom and field studies in forest and wildlife management.

Kim Royar, VT Department of Fish and Wildlife shows us bear claws on a beech tree.
Kim Royar, VT Department of Fish and Wildlife shows us bear claws on a beech tree.

The course was taught by Vermont’s foremost experts in forestry & wildlife including:

  • Lisa Sausville, Executive Director, Vermont Coverts
  • Mary Sisock, UVM Extension Forester
  • Kim Royar, VT Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Dan Singleton, Washington County Forester
  • Steve Hagenbuch, Audubon VT
  • Kathy Decker, VT Forest, Parks and Recreation
  • Rich Chalmers, VP VT Coverts
Maple is Vermont's Most Important Hardwood Tree
The Maple is Vermont’s most important tree.  Here Rich Chalmers is showing us his newly built sugar house– made from timbers logged in the surrounding forest.

VT Coverts is so committed to their mission that they offer the course for free, including food and lodging!  Dedicated Coverts members work hard to meet expenses through grants and fundraising programs.  If you own woodlands in Vermont or know someone who does, please refer them to the Coverts program.  It’s an unforgettable weekend with fascinating people and thought-provoking discussion. The graduates of the program hold the future of Vermont’s forests in their hands.

Vermont Coverts | Reference Books | Sustainable Forestry
Some of the handouts from Vermont Coverts.  Click here to apply for the next Vermont Coverts Training workshop.  Did I mention the training is FREE?

 

 

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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.

Marlin Perkins, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
Marlin Perkins, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

If you’re under 50 you probably don’t know who Marlin Perkins was.  When I was a kid, my whole family would sit in front of the TV on Sunday nights and watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom*.  Marlin Perkins was the host— kind of a 1960s version of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter.

Marlin was always venturing into exotic places like the African savannah or the Amazon rainforest, filming wild animals in their natural habitats.  Orangutans, gorillas, kangaroos, pythons, lions, tigers, bears… the whole shebang. He would be holding a chimp and talking about conservation and… oh how I wanted to be him!  Cuddling up with a tiger cub, rescuing a couple orphaned bear cubs — what could be better?

Although I didn’t end up majoring in zoology or doing research for Jane Goodall, my passion for wildlife conservation has stayed with me.  Like most people I went for a “more practical career” and decided to pursue my passion as a hobby.  I visited zoos and natural history museums whenever I could.  I studied wildlife news in National Geographic, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club and other green publications. I poured my support into wildlife conservation non-profits.

But the real fun didn’t start along until Kendall and Riley came along.  How convenient?  It seems little boys love wildlife!  We camped out in local beaver ponds and vernal pools getting to know the resident turtles, frogs, salamanders, snakes and such.  We made trips to the rainforest, adopted snakes and started a non-profit called Kids Saving the Planet.  Our adventures in Vermont’s forests and in the Central American rainforests eventually led to the creation of Vermont Woods Studios Sustainable Furniture.   More about that in my next post.

 

* and the Wonderful World of Disney and Ed Sullivan Show, of course

The Vermont Furniture 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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

 

 

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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.

National Wildlife Week
National Wildlife Week starts today.  With this year’s theme, “Branching Out for Wildlife”, the National Wildlife Federation is planting tens of thousands of trees in over 200 communities across the country—bringing children and adults together to provide crucial habitat for wildlife. 

Each year during the 3rd week of March our friends at the National Wildlife Federation celebrate wildlife, nature and our need to protect them. This year’s National Wildlife Week, March 18-23, explores the roles of trees for wildlife, people and communities.

As woodworkers, we at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture have a thing about trees and forest conservation.   NWF captures our sentiments: “from the canopy to the roots, trees are critical for thousands of wildlife species—from woodpeckers that drill on the trunks of mature trees, to beavers felling trees to build their homes, and huge moose eating tree leaves and sprouts in the forest.  Not only do trees benefit wildlife at all stages of their lives—by providing shelter, nesting places, food, and hiding places for predators and prey—trees are also the lungs of the Earth, because they renew our air supply by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen for us to breathe.”

NWF is planting tens of thousands of trees this week, in over 200 communities across the country—bringing children and adults together to provide crucial habitat for wildlife.  You can join their celebration by  planting a tree, making a donation or sharing a photo of wildlife in trees (upload your photos to their Facebook timeline).

It’s a little early to be planting trees in Vermont this season, so at Vermont Woods Studios we’ll be participating by donating $1/sale to our Plant a Billion Trees initiative.  Trees are the longest living organisms on our planet and one of the earth’s greatest natural resources.  What are you doing to conserve them?

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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.