April Newsletter| Schumacher Farm Park
April 2015



It was very rewarding talking with members and volunteers who attended our Volunteer Recognition and Annual Meeting recently. For those of you unable to attend we missed you but hope you will visit us at the farm to meet our new Park & Program Manager, Jennifer Harper. It was most enjoyable to listen to our speaker Jerry Apps as he shared fond memories of his life on the farm.


I was very happy to honor our lead volunteers: Bob Bennin for his work with the chicken program, Rosemary Houdlik and Barb Johanningmeier for computer archiving, Steve Keip for his work with our food venues and Mike Schucha for taking the lead on the prairie. We also thanked Rona Neri-Bergmann and Peter Bergmann for their help with our computers.  We expressed gratitude to Mary Collet for her past three years as our head heritage gardener.  We will miss her, but appreciate all the time and talents she shared with us at the farm. Each of the above volunteers was given our newly designed T-shirt as a small token of appreciation. Without our volunteers it would be impossible to maintain the farmstead, prairie and programs. 


The board recognized retiring board members John Gaska and Mike Sphan. Both have given much to the success of Schumacher Farm Living Museum. The board will miss them but are pleased that they will be available to volunteer. We welcome two new board members Rena Ripp and Jim Koltes and look forward to working with them.


Please enjoy our new electronic newsletter to learn of our recent events and plans for the future. Letter continued below...

Meet New Park & Program Manager, Jennifer Harper

I have just been hired as the 'Park & Program Manager' for Schumacher Farm Park, which is a new full-time version of the Site Coordinator position. I am very excited about the upcoming season of events and getting to know so many of you, Members and Volunteers.


I grew up on the west-side of Madison with a backyard engulfed by Owen Conservation Park.  I spent a lot of time in those woods while attending John Muir Elementary, Jefferson Middle and Memorial High. I went to college in Amherst, MA and eventually moved to Manhattan's lower eastside to work as a theatrical lighting designer, technical director, and production manager.


After many years in the big city working as an event planner and facilities manager, I realized that Wisconsin was where I really wanted to be. Near the woods, close to family (my mom now lives in Waunakee), setting down roots, working for an idea that I'm passionate about and teaching the next generation as much as I can.


I am very excited to be working in this beautiful park with a team of outstanding Volunteers who are dedicated to 1920's farm-life. I mean, who wouldn't want to be here in the only Waunakee in the world?  


Come meet Jennifer at our Meet & Greet event from 4-6 PM this Thursday, April 9, at the Farm!


Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? To Get to Schumacher Farm Park!


Last year we had a flock of 8 hens and one rooster taking up residence at the chicken coop on the farm from April-October. The eight hens and their rooster provided entertainment, eggs, and education. We had hoped that they would also provide us with baby chicks to add to the mix.  They decided otherwise, as none of the hens turned "broody". That is, none of the hens sat on the eggs 24/7, as would be required. Some breeds are more "broody" than others, and in some of the egg producing breeds, it is considered an undesirable quality.


Last year, we had some black and white barred chickens that were similar to the black and white barred Plymouth Rocks that Marcella Schumacher Pendall talked about in the story "The Independent Hen". This year, Paul Hellenbrand, of Lodi, has again graciously agreed to provide us with our chickens.  We will have some black and white barred hens, but will have more of a variety, and maybe some different breeds that may have been available in the 1930's on the farm. We are still interviewing for the rooster, and have several candidates in mind, so that we may have a brood of baby chicks. 

We will be looking for volunteer "Chicken Wranglers" to help take care of the chickens. Each volunteer individual, family, or group, will be responsible for one day of the week. Responsibilities include feeding and watering the chickens and gathering the eggs, which the volunteer for that day takes home for good eating. Volunteers are also encouraged to let the chickens out of the coop to free-range. This free-ranging fun time is best done an hour or two before sunset, so that they head back inside on their own. Please watch the "2015 Calendar of Events" for more chicken events. Anyone interested in being a "Chicken Wrangler" this season, please contact the farm at 849-4559 or email:  info@schumacherfarmpark.org


V olunteer Open House at the Farm
You're invited to join us on Saturday, April 25 from 10AM-12PM for our first annual Volunteer Open House!  Come for cookies and lemonade, and stay to meet with volunteer representatives who keep Schumacher Farm Park a beautiful and vital part of our community. Learn about all the great ways to use your unique abilities at the Farm.  Some examples include:
  • Chicken Wrangler
  • Heirloom Gardener (Adopt-a-Row)
  • Historical Research & Archiving
  • Building Maintenance
  • Day Camp Counselors
  • Prairie Maintenance
  • Docent (training provided)
  • Board or Committee Member
  • Event volunteer
Most roles are seasonal, primarily June through August, and require a commitment of only a few hours each week. Those interested should stop by during the open house to learn more. If unable to attend, email us for more information about open positions. 

Our volunteers bring life to the farm and enjoy all of the benefits of its history and charm while feeling the satisfaction of doing something that matters. 

Come on April 25 and find out what you would love to do!

Nature Photography Workshop

Are you interested in nature photography but feel dissatisfied with your photos? Are you unsure about how to use the features on your DSLR camera? Then join photography enthusiast and Schumacher volunteer, Rona Neri-Bergmann, on Thursday, April 16 from 4:30-6:30 PM, as she shares what she's learned about good photo composition, using natural light, changing your perspective and strategies to move away from "auto" mode on your camera to get better and more creative results.  Rona will cover the basics of composition and lighting, share some of her photographs of Schumacher farm and the prairie and then, weather permitting, participants will join her for a prairie walk to try out some of the techniques they've learned. Participants should bring their cameras and comfortable shoes and clothing for the weather.  

Cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.  

Registration is limited so sign up now!

Marcella in front of the farm house May 1917.

President's Letter continued...


Spring and summer are our busiest times at Schumacher Farm with garden preparation and planting, welcoming our chickens, and continuing an expanded Sunday at the farm "open house".  Please stop in the third Sunday of May, June and July and join in the programs.


We plan to keep programs you enjoyed and to create new opportunities for our visitors and volunteers.  

Looking forward to seeing you at the farm this year!  
Rosa Ropers
Friends of Schumacher Farm

In This Issue
Quick Links
Annual Calendar 2015 
Board and Trustees

Fun at the Farm
Garage Sale May 7-


Clean your house & shop for new treasures at the SFP Garage Sale!  Want to contribute gently used items for sale?  Please drop them off at 1212 Lawton Lane from May 1-6.  Then shop at the same location on May 7 & 8!  If you are unable to drop your items off please call the park office for assistance. Any items not sold will be given to a local charity.  No clothes please. 


Please call 260-5335 with questions.


Volunteer Appreciation 

Over 70 Guests joined us for our annual Volunteer Recognition at the Waunakee Village Center.  Many thanks to all of our excellent volunteers and to our esteemed speaker, Jerry Apps, who shared excerpts from his writing with us.  We hope you'll all join us again next year!

Sunset on the Prairie
Afternoons @ the Farm this Summer

Summer at Schumacher brings not only clucking chickens, prairie flowers and spectacular sunsets but also fun activities for the whole family.  On the 3rd Sundays of May, June & July join us for house tours, lawn games and all sorts of fun family activities:

May 17
Music at the Farm

June 21
Father's Day Ice Cream Social

July 19
Preparing for the Harvest

Hope to see you there!

Save the Date for Heritage Fest

We have a new date but the same fun family activities for Heritage Fest in 2015.  Mark your calendars for August 9.  You won't want to miss the music, games, pies, working antique farm equipment, horse & carriage rides and more!  We look forward to seeing you in August.

Did  You  Know?


In 1917 the Schumachers had an agreement with American Telephone and Telegraph Co. to enable them to construct and operate, and maintain lines for $350.00.  This agreement allowed the company to cut all of the white ash trees on the property along Schumacher Road and continue to trim the 100 year old trees along Hwy 113.  


Our new SFP t-shirt now available for purchase - $17.

Schumacher Farm Park | (608) 849-4559 | schumacherfarm@gmail.com |