Summer Newsletter| Schumacher Farm Park
July, 2017
Dear Schumacher Farm Friends,

As we plan for our 25th Heritage Fest on September 10th, I  reminisce about all the ramifications of that extraordinary gift of 40 acres that Marcella Schumacher Pendall gave to Dane County Parks in 1978. Marcella, along with many friends, acquaintances and park staff planned the ground work for the land, the museum, events and so much more before the gift could actually be used as she had intended.
As the summer progresses, I am proud of our staff as they make the site an enjoyable place to learn about our rural history. The grounds are maintained by staff and volunteers such as Operation Fresh Start, Blackhawk Church, our regular Monday crew and several friends who just enjoy being at the farm. One such volunteer is Connie Femrite, who created a Monarch butterfly garden which enabled the park to  become a Monarch Butterfly Waystation. Our workshop in July will provide information on how to protect and help the Monarch butterfly. 
We have been blessed with many friends from earlier days that still keep Schumacher Farm in their thoughts and actions. I especially want to thank Sandra Hartwig for being one of the sponsors for Bluegrass in memory of her husband, Richard. It was so heartwarming to hear about his love of music and talent for making ukuleles. We enjoyed a recent visit from restorer, Delbert Schutz, to check up on our turn of the century Sears wooden washing machine,  which he restored to working condition when it was originally donated to the farm many years ago. Florence Smith also stopped out to donate two wagon wheel rugs made by her husband, who demonstrated this technique during prior Heritage Fests. What a delight to talk and visit with the family of these past volunteers. Bob Bennin, a former Friend's Board Member, organizes the ever- popular chicken wrangler program and continues to volunteer at the farm as head of this program. It is so rewarding to experience the continued connection between Schumacher Farm, it's volunteers and guests as we all participate in reviving the rural history of days gone by.
We hope to see many of you throughout the season and encourage you all to mark your calendars and attend the 25th Heritage Fest. Please check the website for up to date information on other activities being offered at the park.
Thank you volunteers, staff and Friends of Schumacher Farm Board members,
Rosa Ropers      

Summer Fun on the Farm Camp
Camp letters written with berry ink and turkey feathers.    Photo courtesy: AJ Dusick

The farm just wrapped up hosting a summer kids' camp on the afternoons of June 26, 27 and 28th. The three day camp was well-attended with 14 children, ages 5 to 11, facilitated by Waunakee teacher, Trudi Leder and volunteer naturalist, Trel Gimber. Children learned about Marcella's heirloom garden and orchard, played time period games, made leaf prints, berry ink and explored the grounds on a farm-focused scavenger hunt. Undoubtedly though, everyone's favorite part of the day was treat time, when they helped to make butter, strawberry jam and ice cream from scratch, just like a turn of the century farm.  Given the success of this year's camp pilot session, we want to expand on  the farm's mission
of conservation and preservation by offering multiple sessionthroughout the summer months next year,

with different emphasis for each session. Potential topics may include basic homesteading skills, lessons from rural folklore and a  young na turalist s eco-camp.

Farm scavenger hunt (left) and sack races (below). 
Photo courtesy: Trudi Leder

Cat's cradle on a rainy day.
Photo courtesy: AJ Dusick

Thank you to Trudi and Trel for the thoughtful planning, organization and facilitation of this year's camp!

-Amy Jo Dusick

Machinery Museum

Planning for the new machinery museum project is now underway following the first meeting of a new committee whose members include Sally Leong (chair), Jim Koltes, Barb Johanningmeier, Bob Forbess, and Ron Schuler.  The goal of the museum is to capture the essence of farming methods used from 1920-1940 through the display of machinery to create a historical experience.  The committee has an eclectic mix of expertise with most having been brought up on farms and some still farming today.  Bob and Ron are engineers and were formerly associated with the School of Engineering and Department of Biological Engineering at UW-Madison, respectively.  Ron was a machinery specialist on the faculty and has been involved in designing harvesters for cherries to improve quality using cooling, as well as designing methods for conservation tillage and applications for remote sensing and GPS.  Bob is a mechanical engineer who most notably developed ignition devices for the space program.  Bob and Jim are collectors and restorers of antique farm machinery some of which may be someday displayed at the museum.  These include a complete set of small grain equipment, a working thresher, a Rumely OilPulltractor, a binder and seeders.  Barb, a librarian, is involved in inventorying this equipment and related artefacts.  Sally, a plant pathologist and faculty emeritus of UW-Madison, is leading efforts to develop new educational programming for the farm and sees the museum as an opportunity to excite children about opportunities in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  The committee plans to visit other relevant museums and shows of antique farm machinery during the summer and fall to obtain ideas on best practices to engage the public with the Schumacher Farm machinery display, which will also guide design of the building.

-Sally Leong
Monarch Butterfly Releases at the Farm
Fresh from the chrysalis!

Monarchs in chrysalis.    
Photo courtesy: Connie Femrite

Monarch butterfly populations have been steadily decreasing over the last two decades. To help these charismatic insects make a come-back, Schumache r Farm Friend and volunteer, Connie Femrite, has been diligently raising monarch caterpillars from tiny, translucent  eggs since late May. She waits for the eggs to hatch, watches them eat and grow b igger, molt, then eat, grow bigger and molt some more, all the while keeping them well supplied with milkweed leaves. The caterpillars are voracious eaters during this part of the life cycle and will only consume leaves from milkweed, although they will make exceptions for their old skin molts. It takes a little less than a month to go through the 5 molting stages, and then they spin a chrysalis to spend their pupa stage, during which time they transform from a caterpillar into a butterfly.

Junior entomologist assists with monarch release.
 Photo courtesy: C. Femrite

On June 28th, Connie arrived  with 4 healthy, beautiful monarch butterflies to release at the farm, a perfect place for them to start another generation of monarchs. Luckily, she had assistants with small hands to help usher the delicate creatures into the world. (photo above) And Connie just informed me this week that she now has another round of eggs hatching. So many small but important and wonderful things happening at the farm. Want to learn more? 
Sign up for our upcoming workshop  on July 18th.

- Amy Jo Dusick
Membership Dues

Some of our members have not yet renewed their membership in 2017.  If you've received an email reminder notice, but have not yet responded please do so within the next few weeks.  Our Membership Committee members will be calling you if we have not heard back from you.  We value each of our members and need everyone's support.
Event Sponsorships

For each of the Friends' three major events - Bluegrass Music Festival, Heritage Fest, and Halloween at the Farm, we solicit sponsors to help us cover the expenses. Most of our sponsors are local businesses, but individuals can also be sponsors. All sponsors are recognized during the event and the higher sponsorship categories are also recognized on our posters and other advertising. Profits from the events help us maintain our facilities and support our educational programming. If you or someone you know is interested in being a sponsor, please contact our Park Administrator. Donations are also welcomed at any time.

Center for Rural History Update

A major step was taken this Spring when the Dane County Public Works Dept. issued a Request for Proposals to contractors interested in doing the site work and interior finishing for the Center for Rural History.  Three businesses submitted bids.  Unfortunately, they were significantly higher than the projected amounts, so the Friends Board and Dane County are working together to determine the next steps.  Stay tuned.  The project is alive and well.....and WILL be completed!

- Jim Elvekrog
In This Issue
Quick Links
Save the dates
Pie prince from 1939 New York World's Fair.
  (Photo:NY Public Library Digital Collection)
We are busy little bees at the farm organizing our 25th Annual Heritage Fest happening on September 10th (noon-5:00) and Halloween at the Farm on October 28th (4:00 - 9:00). Anyone interested in attending should mark your calendars now!
Highlighting two old-time fair traditions coming to Heritage Fest this year...pie eating contest and cake walk! Contribute to the fun by planning to join the pie eating contest or consider donating a cake for the walk.We are looking for volunteers for both events. 

We will send an email with specific volunteer opportunities soon. In the meantime, if you know you want to volunteer, please feel free to contact Amy Jo, Park Administrator, at the farm's office  (608) 849-4559  or Angela Webster, Event Coordinator, at (608) 358-3998 to let them know you're interested. There is plenty to do, before, during and after each event. We really hope you, and/or someone you know, can help us make these events a success. 
We look forward to seeing everyone soon. Have a great summer! 

-Angela Webster

Madison Community Foundation Donation
The Friends recently received a $25,000 check from the Madison Community Foundation for our Center for Rural History (CRH) project. Educational programs for all ages will be added when the CRH is complete. The Foundation is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year and deserves everyone's support. Their donation is a big boost to our capital campaign.

Board Member Highlight : 
Sally Leong
Photo courtesy: Sally Leong

Sally hailed from California before becoming a Research Chemist at the USDA-ARS Plant Disease Resistance Research Unit and Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she studied the molecular genetics of pathogenicity of plant pathogenic fungi. In 2008 Sally retired and currently lives on a 21-acre farm in Avoca, WI not far from where her ancestors farmed when they emigrated from Cornwall, England to Wisconsin in 1842.  There she is practicing sustainable agriculture and is working to save the rare Spanish Mustang breed of horses. Sally currently serves on the Schumacher Executive board, Education Committee and subcommittee for the machinery museum.
Artifact Corner

Mystery item.
Photo courtesy: B. Johanningmeier

For those of y ou  who like to reminisce, pictured below is an object that has caused much discussion as to its name and use. If anyone would like a closer look, please stop at Schumacher Farm during office hours. If you know anything about  it, please call Amy Jo at  608-849-4559  or leave a message. Donator said it came from Schuster's in Dane, WI. 

-Barb Johanningmeier

Hen's Nest News

Newborn chicks.
Photo courtesy: Elise Mallin

The mon th  of July in the chicken coop at Schu macher Farm Park is normally a quie t time, but not this year. One of the hens is "broody", which means that she is sitting on her eggs 24/7. W e can't know if the chickens are excited about this development, but the chicken wranglers, who care for the chickens, certainly are.  The broody hen is one of 7 hens and one rooster at the park this summer. The rooster is a big bruiser, but very friendly, and the hens are an assortment of breeds and colors.  

Two su mmers ago, we had a broody he n that hatched out 4 chicks, which grew to maturity. We had hoped for the same to happen this year. We put wooden and ceramic eggs in the nest boxes to encourage broody behavior, but to no avail. Only when we put five golf balls in one of the nest boxes did we get results. We carefully took out the golf balls and replaced them with her fertile eggs. The hen now has a total of 11 eggs, with a "due date" of about  July 13th . Update: As of the posting of this newsletter, four chicks have recently hatched.

-Bob Bennin
Little Free Library

Did you know that we have a registered Little Free Library at Schumacher Farm Park for your reading enjoyment? It is stocked with titles for younger children, teens, and adults. Check it out!  Then take a book and leave another one next time you're at the Farm. 

-Jean Elverkrog 
Great selection at Schumacher Farm's Little Free Library.
Photo courtesy: J. Elvekrog
Our volunteers are the bees' knees & the cat's meow.

Our biggest thank you to all who volunteered their valuable time, talent and positive attitude to Bluegrass Festival this year. The weather may have been less than ideal, but the musicians and attendees all enjoyed their visit, in no small part due to our incredible volunteer support. One band even wa ived their fee as a gesture of encouragement to continue hosting the event in subsequent years. And for us  staff who were new to th e ev ent and just getting our feet wet (sorry , but i t's an appropriate pun here), Angie and I truly appreciated the experienced input.

-Amy Jo Dusick
  Vol u nteers do not necessarily have  the time; they just hav e the he art.  ~Elizabeth Andrew

Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer. ~Allen Klein
All photos, except where credited to others, provided by Rona Neri-Bergmann of  Rona's Photography 
In Memoriam
An anonymous donation was made to the farm in honor and memory of Dave Bleifield, who passed away earlier this year.
Don't forget to check the website for our summer workshop series and other upcoming events.

Monarch Butterfly Workshop
JULY 18th by Gae Bergmann

Antique Appraisal Day
JULY 20th with Mark Moran ( Registration by cash or check only)

Depression Era Pottery  
AUGUST 1st  by Dwain Schroeder 
Nature Photography
 AUGUST 15th by Rona Neri-Bergmann

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