Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture


All I Ever Wanted Was To Be Marlin Perkins

January 21st, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins

Marlin Perkins from Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was my childhood idol.  As a “larger than life” wildlife conservationist, he was succeeded by Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter.  But who is the voice of wildlife conservation today?

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.




National Wildlife Week Branches Out to Celebrate Trees

March 18th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

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?


Living Planet Report 2012

May 22nd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh



World Wildlife Fund's landmark Living Planet Report underscores our mission of Forest Conservation at Vermont Woods Studios


Our friends at the World Wildlife Fund have just published their bi-annual Living Planet Report.  It's a landmark study of our planet in terms of the health of our forests, rivers and oceans.


The results aren't pretty.  Here are some of the facts they highlighted about our environment:


  • We’ve lost 30 to 70 percent of our wildlife since 1970. That's an average.  The tropics have lost 50 percent of their animals over the last 40 years, and tropical freshwater ecosystems have lost about 70 percent. The wild tiger population has suffered a 70 per cent decline in populations


  • We are living as if we have the resources of an extra planet at our disposal. We’re using 50 percent more resources than the Earth can provide sustainably


  • The U.S. has the fifth largest ecological footprint in terms of the amount of resources each person annually consumes. We rank only behind Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Denmark in the global rankings of the Ecological Footprint


These are just a few of the statistics noted in the 80 page report.  But the good news is that it's not too late to save wildlife species and reverse unsustainable trends. 


Green commerce plays a fundamental role in this as do you and I.  The choices we make about our purchases will determine our planet's future. 



Excerpts from World Wildlife Fund's landmark Living Planet Report




Learn more about what Vermont Woods Studios is doing to promote forest conservation and preservation of endangered species like the Sumatran tiger. Join us in our green mission!



Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh



Steve Holman's Broken Hearted Chairs


We posted a few suggestions for Valentine's gifts last week, but here it is Valentine's Day already and you may be caught unprepared.  What are you going to do now?


Well, you could place an order with Steve Holman for a couple of these stunning heart-shaped, custom artisan chairs.  They would certainly make a unique once-in-a-lifetime gift.


But if you're looking for something faster and less expensive, how about sending a free Valentine's Day Ecard courtesy of The World Wildlife Fund?  There are many cards to choose from– one is sure to catch your sweetheart's fancy.





Valentine's e Cards from WWF.  Free and easy!



Help Tigers and Other Exotic Animals Avoid Another Ohio-Style Tragedy

October 20th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh

Tiger-conservationTigers are my favorite animals.  We've done a few promotions trying to raise awareness about the fact that they are critically endangered due to habitat loss.  Tiger conservation is linked to the wood furniture industry: much of the wood that is being used in imported furniture is clear cut from the rapidly disappearing habitats of Siberian, Bengal and other species of tiger.

Anyway I was really upset to see the massacre of tigers, lions, bears, monkeys and other exotic animals in Zanesville OH yesterday.   ABC News featured a story about the importance of states passing laws prohibiting the purchase and sale of exotic animals, citing Born Free USA as a good place to learn more about the issue and take action.

Here's another way you can help protect exotic wildlife, right now and it only takes one minute and doesn't cost a penny.  Go to Big Cat Rescue and click over to the US Government comment form regarding pending legislation from the US Fish and Wildlife Service about illegal trade in tiger parts.  Enter your contact information on the form, then copy this phrase into the comment form:  End the Trade in Generic Tigers!  Please Rescind the Generic Tiger Exemption.  So often we see these tragic stories in the news but we feel helpless to do anything about it.  Here's a way you can make a difference.



What are You Thankful For?

November 22nd, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh

I am thankful for YOU!
At Vermont Woods Studios, we're thankful for our community of customers and supporters who have made this year our best one yet.  With each purchase of high quality, handcrafted natural wood furniture you are supporting several different sustainable forestry and wildlife preservation efforts led by the World Wildlife Fund, Heifer International and many more.  

Here's a free online Thanksgiving card I thought might be useful… perhaps for those very few of us who can't believe it's Thanksgiving already and haven't sent a card to our mothers yet.  This card is provided by one of my favorite charities, the World Wildlife Fund.  Check it out!


Sustainable Furniture Helps Sustain Frog Populations

April 8th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh


Cherry-Moon-Bed Did you know that we are now in the midst of the greatest mass extinction of amphibians since the dinosaurs?  Watch PBS’s Nature Series Frogs:  The Thin Green Line.  You won’t believe how frogs– after being on this planet for more than 250 million years — are now struggling for survival in nearly every one of their habitats around the world.  

As we saw in Jim Andrews’ show on Rattlers, Peepers and Snappers, there is an environmental crisis unfolding in Vermont, but also around the globe.  Where there used to be the calls of frogs, scientists now hear only silence, and this silence is spreading throughout North, South and Central America, Australia and beyone.

What can we do to help one of the most wonderous, diverse and beloved, animals on Earth stop slipping away at such a frightful speed?  Live green, support amphibian conservation projects and visit the Nature website to learn about citizen science monitoring programs like Frog Watch.

We’re working hard to do our part at Vermont Woods Studios too.  Purchase sustainable furniture from our online store and we’ll donate 5% of your purchase to your favorite environmental non-profit.