Dear Friends of Schumacher Farm,

I would like to introduce myself, as I was recently elected President of the Friends of Schumacher Farm Board. My name is Carol Bleifield and many of you may already know me. I was employed by the Waunakee Community Schools for 41 years, from 1974 to 2015 as an art teacher, school counselor and a new teacher mentor. During those years I taught more than 3,000 students (including three generations) and I knew Marcella!  From 1969 to 1989 I lived in Vienna Township and in 1989 moved to Westport where I am today.

My early childhood experiences prepared me for my work with Schumacher Farm. In the 1940's, I was raised on a farm in central Illinois with no running water or electricity and I had my own milk cow named "Sweetheart". In the 1950's my father owned a farm implement business and I became very well acquainted with farm machinery. Due to this background I grew to have a love for the land and how important it is to all of us.

I have been a member of the Friends of Schumacher Farm Board for three years and I have been so impressed with the level of commitment by all the board members. Every member brings energy, expertise and dedication to their p osition. I am very fortunate to be asked to lead this fabulous group of volunteers.   

I would also like to express my appreciation to the former president, Rosa Ropers, for her exceptional service to  Schumacher Farm for many years.  I look forward to an ex citing future for our farm and county park. I hope you all will join in the fun we are having !

Carol Bleifield, President
History in the Month of May
May is Historic Preservation Month and a great reason to visit and support historic places. The National Trust for Historic Preservation  established Historic Preservation Month in 1973. Each year in May, state historical societies, museums and preservation groups across the country celebrate with events to promote historic places and the economic, social and educational benefits provided by heritage tourism. 

With history as a framework, this is a good place to revisit the mission of the Friends of Schumacher Farm; to provide a living history museum of Dane County's rural heritage through preservation, restoration and education. With the help and vision of members and donors over the years, several facets of the mission are well underway: preservation and restoration of historic farm buildings, machinery and equipment, restoration of the native tallgrass prairie and oak savanna ecosystems, and the offering of homesteading workshops that strengthen community connections and promote inter-generational learning. This is also a great opportunity to express gratitude to our members for supporting Schumacher Farm Park. Your membership tells us that this place matters to you and is a part of your community. 

For those who would like to celebrate this month by visiting some historic places of Wisconsin, here are a few suggestions:
  • The Wisconsin Trust announced their winners for the 2019 Preservation Award to recognize outstanding efforts in preserving historic places in Wisconsin. One of the awards this year went to the Cambridge Historic School Museum in Cambridge, which is close to home. The April 22nd article from OnMilkwaukee lists the other winners.
  • Remember that Friends of Schumacher Farm members receive a 20% discount on admissions to select Wisconsin State Historic Sites, like Old World Wisconsin and Stonefield.
WI State Historic Sites icon map. (WI Historical Society)
New Video of Spring Sowing
Two acres of oats were recently sowed in the demonstration field just north of the Center for Rural History by Bob Forbess, Tim McConely and Jim Ableidinger. The oat crop will mature in time for volunteers to bind, shock and dry and to have it ready for Heritage Fest in September. 

We were fortunate to have Roger Bindl, local videographer, available on site to take this video.

Spring Planting at the Schumacher Farm Park
Spring Planting at Schumacher Farm Park

Jim Ableidinger, Grounds Chair
Cheese-Making a Big Hit
This April the Friends hosted a cheese-making workshop at the farmhouse. Laura Purdy facilitated the workshop and shared her knowledge of the tools and tips in making farmer's cheese at the home scale, as well as some tasty cheese samples and a list of very useful resources. 
Laura Purdy (stirring the pot) instructs on the cheese-making process. 
Based on the demand we received for this class, Laura generously agreed to add a morn ing session that day to accommodate more people. 

Participants came with varied levels of culinary skills, but all shared a curiosity and love for cheese.  At the end of the workshop, Laura arranged to have a surprise guest join the group - one of the baby goats from her farm! What a fantastic way to close out this engaging class. We will definitely be inviting Laura (and the goats) back again next year, possibly pairing the workshop with an additional dairy-derived demonstration.

Above: Farmer's cheese made at the workshop, ready for a taste test.
Below: Baby goat took turns getting cuddles from workshop participants.

Images and content by Amy Jo Dusick, Park Administrator
Springtime with kites
On Saturday, April 27th we saw snow flurries and cold temperatures. The very next day, we were flying kites at the farm! The unpredictable weather certainly calls out that it's spring in Wisconsin and we were lucky to have sunny skies and light breezes the day after the snowfall. About 50 visitors came out to celebrate Springtime on the Farm. K ids got to decorate and fly their own kites, play croquet, make a seed necklace, meet the chickens and go on a wildflower hike. A  handful of members from the Wisconsin Kiters Club were on hand to demonstrate an impressive variety of larger kites. One kite even had a camera and snapped a great aerial view of Schumacher Farm that day (see below photo). My  thanks to volunteers who helped that day.

Check our website video gallery for more.

You will find truth more quickly through delight than gravity. Let out a little more string on your kite. 
~Alan Cohen
Aerial view of Schumacher Farm Park - from a kite.
(Image: Craig Wilson, Kite Aerial Photography)

Save the Date for Grand Opening
It's on our calendar...now put it on yours! The long- anticipated opening of the Center for Rural History is scheduled for 
July 14, 2019
(specific time to be determined)

We will be sending out invitations to our members soon so keep on the look-out. We hope you will join in and help us celebrate.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Music Festival 2019
This year's Music Festival will be held on Saturday,. June 15 
from 3-8 PM 
with two bands,
Back 40 and  Wheelhouse .
Cost $10/person

Back 40 
As their tagline promises, Back 40 is a country band that 'plays all kinds of music for all kinds of people'. Attend any one of their shows and find their loyal fans on the dance floor.

A Madison favorite, Wheelhouse is a full-time band that tours throughout the United States playing over 200 shows a year. They bring a unique energy to the stage by b lending three and four part harmonies with the fiddle, guitar and upright bass.
  • We welcome volunteers for this event. Sign up now for your preferred slot.
A special mention and thank you to the creative corps of board members planning this event:  Dennis Petzke, Sheryl Schroeder and Rena Ripp. What a great way to spend an afternoon in the scenic farm setting;  great music, local food, beer and wine vendors and super silent auction items! 
Artifact Corner
The featured item this month is called a Toby Jug or Character Jug and is in the form of a head of a recognizable person. This one is called "Old Charlie," and was manufactured by Royal Doulton, England, in 1939. It was designed by C.J. Noke and is a portrayal of a 19th century night-watchman in London, England. The night-watchman called out the hours and weather and was popularly known as a "Charley." The origin of the name Toby Jug was thought to be the jolly character of Sir Toby Belch, in Shakespeare's play, Tw elfth Night. Another theory is that the name Toby Jug was based on a famous character, Henry Elwes, in the 18th century drinking song, The Brown Jug.

The jug was given to Marcella Schumacher Pendall in 1970 by Winnifred Bowles, an old family friend.

Barb Johanningmeier,
Accessioning Committee

Toby Jug   
Photo by B. Johanningmeier
Summer Camp in August
Schumacher Farm Park will be holding a 3-day summer camp this year. For the child that's interested in farm-themed discoveries, taking hikes, feeding chickens, and exploring nature, visit our website or give the farm office a call. Camp applications are due by July 1. 

If you are interested in being a sponsor for a child to attend camp, please fill out a sponsorship form at your earliest convenience, so we can notify parents on the waiting list. 
Sponsorship Opportunities 
As we venture into spring, and the snow melts away, the opportunities for your sponsorship begin to blossom at Schumacher Farm Park.
In 2019, the Sponsorship Committee, representing the Friends of Schumacher Farm Park, a 501c3 non-for-profit organization, has worked very hard to re-define the potential opportunities to support our efforts in such a way that no matter the level of contribution, be it large or small, the numerous programs and improved facilities we offer will be supported.

For as little as one to two hundred dollars you can ensure educational programs are accessible for future Chicken Wranglers, summer campers, citizen scientist monitors & naturalists, prairie restoration volunteers, family-friendly Afternoons at the Farm and more.

Our Gold ($2,500), Silver ($1000), and Bronze ($250) sponsorships are also available. Contributions at these levels help us facilitate the larger events and continue to make improvements to our facilities. ALL contributions are tax deductible so if you have a Required Minimum Distribution (RDM) or highly appreciated stock to donate, keep us in mind.  Thank you all for your ongoing support, participation, and presence at The Farm.

Sheryl Schroeder, Sponsorship Committee
Pollinators getting a new garden
Schumacher Farm Park is partnering with Dane County Environmental Council to develop and install a pollinator educational garden this year. We provide the space, bed prep and planting volunteers, and a UW-Extension educator will deliver a multi-lingual interpretive sign and 200 native plant plugs that provide the most benefit to pollinators that reside at the farm park. This labeled garden will emphasize the importance of diverse natural habitats in supporting populations of bees, butterflies, moths and beetles, insects that play a vital role in pollinating plants that we need for food, fiber and fresh air. 
Planting of the plugs will take place in late May or early June. Contact the farm office if you'd like to be part of the big day and stay tuned for monarch caterpillar volunteer monitor opportunities!

Shooting star flowers bloom in May and are an important source of pollen for queen bumblees, long-horned beetles and small green metallic bees. 

Thanks to Mindy Habecker at UW-Extension as our project liasion and development educator.

Amy Jo Dusick, Park Administrator
Easter Sunrise Service Thanks
Thank you to Reverend Locken of Peace Lutheran Church for the following note on Easter sunrise service at the park:

For the past several years, Peace Lutheran Church has been gathering at sunrise to celebrate Easter at Schumacher Farm Park. As the sun rises over the ridge, as geese fly high above us, we celebrate the story that is the basis for Christian tradition. This year about 200 people came to enjoy the beauty of the place, the joy of the story and the transition to new life that is so obvious in the natural surroundings.

Rev. Karen Locken
Peace Lutheran Church gathered  during sunrise service. (Image: Rev. Locken)

Garage Sale:  May 9-11

Marcella's Relay & Kids Fun Run:  May 11
Registration info

Barn Quilt Painting Workshop:  May 18
Register here (only 3 spots left)

Antique Appraisal:  June 6th
Call the park office to register

Music Festival:  June 15th

Art & Mindfulness for Teens:  June 17-20

Also look for our ' Farm Explorer Series ' of workshops in the Village Center of Waunakee summer catalog, offered in partnership with the Center's Recreation Department. Catered for kids, but the whole family is welcome.
All photos, except where credited to others, provided by 
Rona Neri-Bergmann of 

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