Summer Newsletter| Schumacher Farm Park
August 2016

Summer is one of the best seasons of all to visit the park and prairie at Schumacher Farm. The prairie provides an ever-changing palette of color for our visitors and a walk along our trails will both calm and amaze you as you connect with butterflies, birds, and our bountiful prairie plant life. Walking around the farmstead and witnessing all the activity during visitors hours is also quite enjoyable. 

Schumacher Farm is a miniature working farm with volunteers weeding the gardens (both vegetable and flower), caring for our chickens, doing maintenance on our turn-of-the-century buildings, and harvesting wild berries and heirloom vegetables.  As a gardener, I love to spend early mornings at the farm when it is quiet and peaceful. If you are looking for a garden to work in, the Friends of Schumacher Farm have a spot for you.

Did you realize that Schumacher Farm is the only park in the Dane county park system recreating the 1920-30s era?  Our volunteers actually use early 1900's farm machinery to harvest wheat and pile it in bundles (called shocks) to dry for processing. If you wish to participate and learn about these old  farming techniques , please call the Friends' office and ask to be put on the farming activities list so we can notify you when cutting and shocking takes place. 

President's Letter continued below...

The 2016 Waunakee Teacher's Association
Friend of Education Award goes to...

Schumacher Farm Park! 

With great pride and humility, Board President Rosa Ropers and Vice-President Jim Ableidinger, accepted this honor from the Teacher's Association of one of the top school districts in the state. For years, our Board President has been working with local fourth grade teachers to shape our "1920's farmstead tour" into a hands-on experience that enriches both the student's experience and the teacher's curriculum. We couldn't have won this award without the invaluable input from Waunakee teachers and the hard work of our dedicated staff and volunteers.
Trudi Leder is a 4th grade teacher at  Prairie Elementary School. Read an excerpt from her  

Small Grain Binder
 by Robert 'Bob' Forbess

For thousands of years, humans have been using small grains, such as wheat, barley and oats, for food. These plants are characterized by a long stem with a seed head at the tip of the stem. When ripe, the seeds become hard and the stems turn yellow and they are ready for harvesting. This involves separating the seed from the stems and small leaflets surrounding each seed. This process we call "threshing". 

You can witness a steam-powered threshing machine in action this year at HERITAGE FEST on September 11, 2016.

A message from the Waunakee Community Foundation...

Waunakee Community Foundation Inc. is a volunteer driven, non-profit corporation which seeks to enrich the greater Waunakee area by enhancing the quality of life for its citizens through special funding for charitable, educational, scientific, recreational and literary purposes. Recently, we awarded the Friends of Schumacher Farm with a $1,000 grant.

We are proud to partner with the Friends of Schumacher Farm and endorse your organization wholeheartedly. As we support the Friends of Schumacher Farm, we applaud all of its Members for joining us in our commitment to encourage and support projects which make a clear difference in our community. Thank you for your generous
contributions to the Friends of Schumacher Farm.

Schumacher Farm in WaunaFest Parade

With live chickens and an antique walking plow the Friends of Schumacher Farm really brought home this year's WaunaFest parade theme of "turning 30" (the plow was turning the soil where a number thirty was planted).

Thanks to Jeff Murphy and Jim Becker who built a small chicken coop, Phil Willems who donated float materials and Country Bloomers Greenhouse on Portage Rd. who provided grasses and millet for our farmstead scene. Bob Bennin, Jim Elvekrog, and Aaron Harper all helped build and paint this year's float. Special thanks to Grace McConley, Rosa Ropers and her grand daughter Amaya, as well as Rebecca Temple and her two boys who rode the float and handed out Heritage Fest coupons and Tootsie Roll candies (est.1896). 

President's Letter continued...
The "Little Red Barn Banks" that you may see at several Waunakee merchants are a reminder of our ongoing Capital Campaign. If you happen to notice one, please thank the merchant for supporting our park. We hope these red barn banks encourage financial support by not only collecting coins, but also distributing our non-profit information and contribution envelopes. I must also thank Girl Scout Troop #2648, who so willingly gave of their time and talents to build and distribute these banks.
Our 24th annual HERITAGE FEST is on September 11 this year. It has always been a favorite of mine with re-enactments of early rural life on a farm, food, music, and games for the children. Put the date on your calendar and plan on joining us for education, fun, and food. We have a website and Facebook page for further information. Please consider attending our various other events throughout the year.

This park belongs to all of us in Dane County, and I hope you take advantage of all it has to offer,

Rosa Ropers
Board President,  Friends of Schumacher Farm

In This Issue
Quick Links
Annual Calendar 2016
Board and Trustees

Sunday, September 11
(12 - 4pm)

~ Heritage Crafts & Exhibits ~ 
~ Farm Animal Petting Zoo ~
~ Kids Games &  Wagon Rides ~
~ Live Music & Concessions ~
~ Antique Farm Machinery ~
~ Steam-powered Threshing Demo ~

$10 Adults & $3 Kids
  proceeds go to education programs
Free to Families of First Responders
including Police, Firefighters & Paramedics
Advance sale discounts on-line

Wagon Rides to & from grounds
This is a rain or shine event

Joe Parisi talks with Board
Joe Parisi was at Village Park for the Waunakee Rotary sponsored Senior Citizen's luncheon. An opportunity for Jim Ableidinger (Vice President of the Friends of Schumacher Farm Board) and Phil Willems (Chair of the Marcella Schumacher-Pendall Trust & a Waunakee Village Board Trustee) to discuss Schumacher Farm Park with the County Executive. 

Joe said that he is very appreciative of the time and effort being put in by the volunteers and Board at Schumacher Farm. He is excited about the projects being undertaken by this Friends group and considers it an asset to the  county park system.

Bob Forbess (former board member for the Friends of Schumacher Farm) also had an opportunity to talk to Mr. Parisi at a Madison West Rotary meeting. They spoke about some of the antique farming implements Bob has donated to Schumacher Farm Park. Bob would like to donate even more, but the Farm Machinery Museum must be built first, so there is a place to house these large artifacts.

Capital Campaign Update

The Friends' capital campaign has received private sector pledges in excess of $200,000 in the first nine months of the campaign, to match the County's budgeted $200,000 approved last year. The total campaign goal is $725,000, leaving approximately $325,000 still to be raised.

Construction of the Center for Rural History is now expected to begin in 2017. This will allow needed site work to be completed more efficiently for both the Center and the future Farm Machinery Museum. Representatives of both the County and Schumacher Friends support the slight delay in construction to gain beneficial construction efficiencies and allow time to raise the additional funding.

Special Thanks to our Garden Volunteers !

For over half a decade, the heirloom gardening program at Schumacher Farm was run by Master Gardener, Mary Collet. After she stepped-down in March 2015 without a replacement, volunteer Ken Kokesh stepped-up to research, plan, plant, and care for this unique patch of earth. 

Now, with two seasons under his belt, Ken has a thing or two to teach, and he is always looking for help on weekday mornings, weeding this 1/4 acre plot. Ken Kokesh was recently recognized in the Waunakee Tribune for his tireless volunteer work.  

This season, we have already harvested rhubarb, asparagus, red & white currants, strawberries, peas, green & yellow beans, onions, and cabbage from this beautiful garden. We are still looking forward to green peppers, tomatoes, raspberries, potatoes, carrots, pumpkins & for the first-time ever, heirloom popcorn!  

Extra Special Thanks to the Waunakee High School Agriculture students for growing seedlings of our peppers, tomatoes, and select heirloom garden flowers.

Save the Date
Halloween at the Farm 
appropriate for 12 years and younger
Saturday, Oct. 19 (5-9pm)


Haunted Prairie Rides 
appropriate for 15 years and older 
Oct. 28 & 29 (6-9pm)

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