Winter Newsletter| Schumacher Farm Park
February 2016

When you drive by during the winter months, chances are that it looks quiet here. But staff and board committees are hard at work developing programs, workshops, and events for 2016, planning the interior construction of our new Center for Rural History, and planning our annual members meeting and volunteer appreciation gatherings, among the many other administrative activities.
Our annual members meeting is scheduled for March 8th at the Waunakee Village Center and all members are invited to attend. We encourage you, as a promoter of Schumacher Farm Park, to join us as we report on the 2015 progress and milestones, the Capital Campaign, year end reports, election of three board members, and preview of our events and plans for 2016. This will be a change from previous years, as we will hold a special gathering to honor volunteers on April 17th at the farm.
As we look ahead to 2016, exciting opportunities await. If you are interested in making a difference at Schumacher Farm, I would like to personally visit with you to discuss the leadership opportunities available with the Friends, including committee work and advancement to board positions. Non-profit board experience is welcome, but not required; a degree of business understanding is preferred.
Please contact me at (608) 260-5335 to set up an informational meeting. I look forward to exploring your interests and the endless possibilites for leadership at Schumacher Farm Park.

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?   
To Provide us with Fun, Education and Eggs at Schumacher Farm Park!
Last year, we had a flock of eight hens and one rooster taking up residence in the chicken coop at Schumacher Farm Park from April through October. Since the beginning of this program (three years ago), the hens came from Paul & Karen Hellenbrand of Lodi. The rooster, which came from Beth Anderson at "No Name Farm", was a rescued rooster from the Humane Society that  we named Rescue Ricky

 The added bonus was that one of our hens turned "broody". That means that she decided just laying eggs wasn't enough and she stayed on the nest 24/7 determined to hatch her "brood". She started with six eggs and eventually hatched four chicks! She proved to be a good mother hen, and all the chicks (two pullets and two cockerels) grew and thrived.

This year, the Hellenbrands have again graciously agreed to provide us with our chickens, including those we hatched last year! They are all grown up now and ready to start their own families.  We are again looking for volunteer "Chicken Wranglers" to help take care of these chickens.  Each volunteer individual, family, or group, will be responsible for one day of the week for the summer, so there are only seven possible spots available. 

Responsibilities include cleaning, feeding, and watering the chickens, as well as gathering their 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 for an hour or so. This free-ranging fun time is best done before sunset, so the chickens head back inside on their own. Training and guidance is provided by the creator of our chicken program, Bob Bennin.

Please see the 2016 Calendar of Events to find out about Bob Bennin's Free Chicken Workshops! Anyone interested in being a "Chicken Wrangler" this season, please contact the farm at 849-4559 or email

Thanks from our Park & Program Manager

As I've mentioned before the scope of this community's volunteer support has been awe-inspiring. Hundreds of people have put in thousands of hours to help the Friends of Schumacher Farm move forward with their mission of education and preservation. 

How do you thank neighbors who helped cover your responsibilities when you were sick? How do you thank the local fire department for bringing their truck to our Halloween event so the little kids could see their heroes up close? How do you thank  people you don't even know who are out there now promoting our little farm on the hill?

The Board and I agree that having friends over for some good food and good fun is the best idea. So on Sunday, April 17th we will host our annual Volunteer Appreciation event, separate from our annual Membership Meeting, so the many volunteers, who are not currently members, can join us in a celebration of a job well done.

2015 was busy and difficult and exciting and fun! I hope you all enjoyed volunteering for the Friends of Schumacher Farm and I hope you'll allow us to say thank you before we kick-off our next season of events. Watch for your email invitation!

~Jen Harper, Park & Program Manager

Capital Campaign Close to First Milestone 

The Friends of Schumacher Farm launched a capital campaign on September 24, 2015 to create a Center for Rural History in the red barn and to build a Farm Machinery Museum next to it. The campaign goal is $725,000. The expected cost to finish just the Center for Rural History is $425,000.
As of December 31, 2015, the Friends had received almost $185,000 in donations and pledges. In total, 120 individuals and businesses have made contributions. In addition, Dane County gave a $200,000 grant to the project, so we only need $40,000 more to cover the expected cost of the Center for Rural History!
Since the Friends hope to start the construction bidding process this spring, your financial support is urgently needed. Dane County insists that we have the full cost of this project raised before any construction begins. Please contact one of the Friends' Board members if you have any questions. If we all do our part, we'll "get 'er done" in no time!

Learn more about this exciting new venture by clicking here.

Endres Manufacturing Proves to be a Good Friend of Schumacher Farm

Most residents of Waunakee know that 2015 was the Chinese Zodiac "Year of the Goat", thanks to the Endres Manufacturing Company Foundation. They sponsored summer classes where kids could learn about "kids", they donated goat books to the Library Story Hour, they allowed their goats to visit Schumacher Farm Park for Heritage Fest, and they created the "Goats on Main Street" design competition, which raised almost $5000 for the Waunakee Community Foundation!

In 2016 Endres Mfg. Company is planning a similar "Barns on Main Street" event, but this time the designers will be decorating barns and the proceeds will go to the Friends of Schumacher Farm for their Capital Campaign! We are so honored by this support from the Endres Manufacturing and the Village of Waunakee. We are working now to put a design/build team together to represent Schumacher Farm in this local competition. If you are interested in joining our design team, please contact Jen Harper at 849-4559 or
The Endres Manufacturing Company Foundation gave out almost $140,000 in grants last year and among them was $25,000 recently given to the Friends of Schumacher Farm Capital Campaign.
PresLetterPresident's Letter continued...

Among the new happenings planned at the Farm in 2016 there are two that stand out for me personally. In May, we plan a "Celebration of Music" and in July a Children's Summer Camp, where we plan to involve grandparents along with the children for a portion of the camp. We invite you to join us as we expand our programming at Schumacher Farm Park. Be sure to watch for details of all our events by visiting our website often.
Schumacher Farm Park has witnessed so much generosity and support this past year as we work to finish the interior of what will be known as the Center for Rural History. It is so rewarding to see that over 100 people and organizations have already expressed their love for Schumacher Farm through contributions to our capital campaign. Together with our Friends, supporting businesses and foundations, historians, educators and others, we have made substantial progress toward our goal of $725.000. We've recently passed the halfway mark in total pledges!  Yes, we have a long way to go, but we are thankful for what has been accomplished in only the first four months of this campaign.
Join our Board members in focusing on future generations when we say "let's get 'er done". I look forward to visiting and volunteering with you this year at the farm.

Rosa Ropers
Friends of Schumacher Farm

In This Issue
Quick Links
Fun at the Farm
Mark Your Calendars!
You don't want to miss these Heritage Events

Friends of Schumacher Farm, in cooperation with Dane County Parks  and with support from our local community sponsors, will present the following 2016 rural heritage events.

Bluegrass Music Festival 
Saturday, May14

Ice Cream Social
Sunday, June 19

Heritage Fest
Sunday, September 11

Halloween at the Farm
Saturday, October 22

Haunted Prairie Rides
Fri-Sat, October 28-29

Christmas Teas
Sat-Sun, December 10-11

Watch our website and Facebook page for updates and admission discounts.
Steve Keip's Sour Dough Bread Recipe

3 cups luke warm water
1.5 packets yeast
1.5 tablespoon kosher salt
6.5 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Add the salt and the flour all at once and stir into a cohesive dough. Be sure there are no dry spots, but do not knead. Put the dough into a container, c over with plastic wrap, let rise at room temperature for about two hours. Dough can be used immediately, but will be easier to handle if refrigerated at least 3 hours.

When ready to bake, pull off a piece of the cold dough the size of a grapefruit and shape quickly into a loaf without kneading. Try to use as little flour as possible. Place on parchment covered pan and set aside to rise at room temperature for about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put an empty metal pie plate on the extra rack in the oven.

Dust with flour and slash the top of the loaf. Place the loaf, still on the parchment, into the hot oven. Add a cup of hot tap water to the pie plate and close the oven. After about 30 minutes the crust should be nice and brown. Bake until internal temperature reaches about 210 degrees. Remove from oven and cool on rack. Remaining dough can be  refrigerated up to 14 days.

Steve Keip teaches our Wood Stove Cooking Workshops. Reserve your spot now for  Breads & Soups on Saturday, Feb. 20th. Steve will guide you step by step through this recipe and others. Get hands-on experience, eat, and bring home the left-overs!
Merry Christmas from Schumacher Farm Park. This photo shows a young Marcella Schumacher posing with her cat and the Christmas tree circa 1920. Marcella is all dressed up so it's likely that this photo was taken on Christmas morning before church. They mus
Make a pile for us...
As you begin the New Year by cleaning out quiet old corners, please remember Schumacher Farm and make a pile for the Friends to sell at this year's Garage Sale Days in May. 

Last year, because of your donations, we were able to raise almost $700 at Garage Sale Days. Our Board president, Rosa Ropers, applied and won a matching grant from the WI Historical Society, in order to purchase proper storage containers for our paper and textile artifacts from the 1920's-30's.

We hope to follow this model again in 2016. Won't you do your part to help preserve Dane county's rural heritage and donate your gently-used items appropriate for re-sale? No clothing or old electronics.

Watch for donation drop-off details in next newsletter.
Marcella's Grand Piano

By  Barb Johanningmeier 
(accessioning volunteer)

This Sohmer Upright Grand Piano  was brought to the farm by horse and wagon by Henry Schumacher for his 10-year old daughter, Marcella. The piano was purchased from Mrs. John Doescher for $250, a music teacher in Madison. In her book, "Mama, Papa, and Me", Marcella recalls the date as 1917, but the recovered sales receipt is dated 1920.  

This piano was designed for concert halls by the Sohmer Piano Company of New York in 1894, and only the most well-off families could afford such a piano, even at used prices. Marcella's first piano teacher was Ruby Blake Murphy, daughter of Dr. Austin M. Blake, a village doctor. 

During her student days Marcella performed classical recitals at Edgewood and UW-Madison, and party favorites at friends' houses. Throughout her life she taught piano in Madison, Waunakee, Washington, DC and Chicago.  

 The picture also shows Marcella's metronome and one of the hundreds of pieces of sheet music from her extensive collection.

Schumacher Farm Park | (608) 849-4559 | |