Summer Newsletter| Schumacher Farm Park
 Dear Friends of Schumacher Historical Farm,  

Summertime brings many activities to the farm. June was an especially busy month with the Bluegrass Festival, the Antique Appraisal and then Acres of Discovery and Adventure Camp . Each of these activities saw people young and old and in between enjoying activities that they related to. A big thank you goes to all those who made those events happen.
Our gardeners have cut rhubarb and asparagus, and currants are now ripening along with the black caps out in the prairie and in the fence rows. Those who enjoy the prairie will be happy to see the queen of the prairie wildflower in bloom. The prairie is showing a brand new view as the grasses mature, the color of the flowers change and the monarchs and other insects and animals show their beauty.
The landscape of Schumacher Farm remains the same, but is ever changing. The pathway to the house will be made more handicap accessible. This new path keeps the old in mind while making the path safer for all who visit. The gardens would make Eva Schumacher proud as they are looking quite lovely under the hard work of Chair Megan Turner and her volunteers. George Schumacher would be quite pleased with the 2 acres of oats that have been planted and will be harvested. Our vision to preserve a 1920-1930s farmstead and prairie where people can learn and discover Dane County's rural history will always be upper most in our activities here at Schumacher Farm.
The site will soon celebrate the completion of the Center For Rural History. Our staff, Board of Directors and volunteers have all been sharing their time and talents to create a wonderful space as we work with Dane County . Thanks to all who have been a part of this project.  Please consider renting the Center for your next event in 2019.
Feel free to get in touch with myself if you would like to become more involved with our organization. An email to will let us know of your interests and enable us to connect.
You are invited to visit us this summer. Come for a picnic, pick some berries, enjoy a sunrise/sunset, walk in the prairie, join us for a workshop, but most important, come and partake in the beauty of the land.

Rosa Ropers, Board President

Summer Camp Recap
Summer camp was held during the last full week of June this year. Amy Jo Dusick, Schumacher Park Administrator and Rachelle Stone, elementary school educator, coordinated and led scheduled camp activities. There were also a number of guest facilitators.

Tom Zinnen explaining the cream separator. Photo: A. Dusick
Ron Schuler, professor emeritu s o f biological systems engineering, provided multiple small engine kits and simple machine demonstration stations to explain how crops were harvested and processed without the large equipment of today. Brianna Stapleton-Welch, 4-H Youth Development Educator, engaged campers with a radio skit where they made background sound effects with items found around the farm. Campers also played with their food to test
 concepts during various food science experiments presented by Tom Zinnen,UW biotechnology extension specialist. And Sally Leong, Friends board member, provided the setting for a mini quilting-bee, where campers tried their hand at assembling quilt patches.

Volunteers and staff  also chipped in with their talents.  Park gr ounds and  m aintenance technician, Tim McConley,
Tim McConley with his exhibit of animal furs. Photo: A. Dusick
brought in animal 
furs  to discuss 
wildlife of  the prairie and  responsible 
practices.  Trel Gimber entertained us with musical stylings of her autoharp and guitar.

Although camp enrollment numbers w ere low this year, the curriculum was a superb  b readth of activities and games that highlighted life l essons of a historic rural farm. The
Rachelle Stone holding rug weaving hoop for camper. Photo: A. Dusick
Education Committee 
will evaluate 
camp schedule and 
time of year to take 
advantage of 
any gaps in  summer programs  for 2019.  

Thank you to camp volunteers  for contributing to this pilot program and perhaps more importantly, for your follow-up feed back, which will be valuable in developing future sessions.  And finally , much gratitude to our camper families for par ticipating in camp this year. We had a wonderful time with the kids and enjoyed their comments, creatio ns and enthusiasm. Their energy was contagious an d hope to see them up at the farm again.
In-kind donations for summer camp were provided by Willy St. Co-op North and Mill House Quilts.

-Amy Jo Dusick, Park Administrator
Bluegrass Festival 2018
Dancing on the green to the music at Bluegrass Festival. Image credit: Roger Bindl.

The third annual Spring Bluegrass Festival was a good time for everyone that stopped by! We had five wonderful bands, lots of great food and drink as well as some pretty spiffy dancing! While it was a very hot day, Schumacher Farm had the best breeze in town with plenty of comfortable seating in the shade. This year's event was moved to June and was the first time we were able to have our guests enjoy the music without parkas and gloves! We hope to have this event again next year and with a few minor adjustments, it should be a great event for the community and for Schumacher Farm. 

Thank you to everyone that joined us and a special thank you to our sponsors, ATC, Town of West Port and the Village of Waunakee. As well as State Bank of Cross Plains, Ace Hardware, Van Go Taxi, Thrivent Financial, and Vienna Tourism Grant. Without the support of our generous sponsors, these events at the farm would not be possible.
A big hand to those many fabulous volunteers that make these events go off without a hitch, like Barb Lee, who organized and supervised the concessions stand. Good grub served with a smile! Photo: Roger Bindl

Coming up next is our annual Heritage Fest on Sunday, September 9th from 12 noon until 5:00. There will be music and dance, pie eating contests, cake walks and games all originating from the 1920s era. Several demonstrators will be on hand to show you how things were done in the olden days. Old fashioned steam engines and farm equipment will be set up around the farm for you to get a close up look and to learn about old fashioned technology. There will be lots of food and even some furry farm animals for everyone to enjoy. We hope you and your family can make it and we look forward to seeing you soon. Please visit our event page on our website for more details.
Last year's festival had some amazing goodies for the cake-walk. If you or anyone you know likes to bake and would like to donate a cake for this event, that would be great! You can visit our website and sign up as a cake baker in our volunteer opportunities or contact our event coordinator, Angela Webster, at  or 608-358-3998. 

To see a list of this and other volunteer positions where we could use your help, please visit our website at and click on
2018 VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES to choose the event where you want to help out.
Keep having a great summer and see you all at the farm!
-Angela Webster, Event Coordinator
Farm Volunteers & Visitors as Citizen Scientists
Amateur entomologists from Village Center of Waunakee summer program series. Image: Travis Steuber

This summer,
 y ou may see far m visitors of all ages care-fully looking at lea v es, peering through hand lenses  and scribbling notes. Chances are, they're contributing to a citizen science project called  Caterpillars Count!  that collects data on insects from different project sites in the country. Schumache r Farm Park is a re gistered site and volunteers serve as amateur entomologists (a scientist who study insects) to collect information on the groups and abundance of insects like beetles, spiders, true bugs and yes, caterpillars, that reside here at the farm park.  The information will be entered into a database, where entomologists and biologists use it to relate to changes in bird populations in the same area. If you want to develop your entomology skills, contact Amy Jo at the park office by email or phone. No experience necessary!

Volunteer, Kevin Dupuis inspects leaves for insects (left) and boy tries out hand lens (right). Image: Travis Steuber

Nature...she invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.
 (Henry David Thoreau)
In This Issue
Quick Links
Board and Trustees
Artifact's Corner
Discovered a mong the Schumacher/Busby family treasures is a celluloid photograph a lbum from the late 1800's with a music box on the bottom and quite popular at the time. The photographs inside are called cabinet cards, about 4x6, and mounted on heavy cardstock. The album contains photos of Anne McGlynn Busby, grand-mother of Mar cella Schumacher Pendall and her two daughters, Eveline, who was Marcella's mother, and he r aunt, Cather ine, and many more relatives from the late 1800's and early 1900's. 
The album has a celluloid cover with embossed leaves, flowers and two phoenixes, mythical birds from Greek mythology. The edge of each page is gilded with gold paint. The music box on the bottom appears intact, but we have not tried to play it.

Celluloid was a substitute for ivory, tortoiseshell, and horn and made into combs, piano keys, and eyeglass frames. In the 1920's and 30's, celluloid began to be replaced by vinyl polymers. Early celluloid objects have become museum pieces.

 -Photo & text submitted by Barb Johanningmeier & Rosemarie Hodulik
Sneak peek at CRH

A quick update on the progress of the Center for Rural History. The floor and beams are installed as well as the ceiling boards. The new beams are lighter than the other beams and boards. Most of the rooms and hallways, closet, and kitchenette are studded up. Now onto the installation of the electrical, duct work, and other interior details. Things are moving steadily and getting done. Looking forward to fall and the grand opening!

-Per report from Jim Ableidinger, Friends Board 
Hoopla from the Coop

The eight hens and one rooster at the farm have had a busy summer.   With the rooster providing hens with fertile eggs, we always hope for a "broody" hen to decide to sit on her eggs 24/7. In late May we had not just one hen, but two hens that started to incubate their eggs day and night. When Marcella Schumacher was a young girl at the farm, the mother hens would find a quiet, secluded spot in the barn to incubate their eggs. We did not have a quiet place for our mother hens. As a result, the nests were more like a revolving maternity ward, with hens coming and going. To complicate things even more, a third hen wanted to get in on the incubating, with the pushing and shoving resulting in several broken eggs. We built a nursery for the baby chicks, but despite our efforts, we had only two surviving chicks. They are feathering out nicely and are back in the coop with the rest of the flock.

The lessons we have learned will help us be more proactive next year in providing a quiet, safe environment for the broody hens. As always, our volunteers were willing to give of their time and effort to make the chicken program a success.  

Anyone interested in being a "Chicken Wrangler" next season, please contact the farm at 849-4559 or email at

Pollinator Habitat Planning for Farmers & Landowners

Any farmer and gardener knows the importance of pollinators for crop yields & fruit production. Here's a unique opportunity to learn from experts at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) planners on how attract pollinators to fields, farms and orchards. This is a comprehensive one-day training tailored to farmers,
landowners, crop consultants, Extension agents, and others interested in pollinator conservation.
Multiple sessions offered. One hosted by our sister Dane County park, Silverwood Park in Edgerton, WI.
Monarchs on the Farm

Gae Bergmann provided yet another wonderful monarch conservation workshop recently, with an informative slideshow and many finds of eggs a nd different stages of caterpillars d urin g the farmyard walkabout. Participants will raise the monarch larvae at home, feeding them fresh milkweed leaves daily, to increase their chances of survival to butterfly stage.
Workshop participants collecting milkweed leaves that have monarch eggs or caterpillars. 

And kudos to Connie Femrite, who has been stopping out over the last several weeks to release adult monarch butterflies here at the farm that she raised from eggs. It's always an inspirational sight.

We are grateful and fortunate to support these conservation efforts at Schumacher Farm Park. 

August 21, 22 & 23

New workshop for teens being offered at Schumacher Farm Park 
using the natural environment and open space of the farm as background and inspiration.

Do you worry a lot or feel under pressure, stressed, anxious or irritable? Mindfulness strategies can help us adapt and change our habitual patterns of reacting to stress. Taught by Rebecca Eller, registered yoga teacher and personal trainer. 
Register with instructor.
Garden Party & Work Day

Have you seen the heirloom garden this year? What a wonderful job our gardener, Megan Turner, has done keeping up with it all and could use a little extra help. Stop out and take a tour around the garden beds to view the abundance of flowers in bloom right now. Then give Megan a hand with a few garden tasks and relax with a tall glass of cool lemonade and good company.

Saturday, July 28th
9:00 - 11:00 am
No RSVP required - just drop in
All photos, except where credited to others, provided by 
Rona Neri-Bergmann of 
Mark your calendars:
Nature Photography Workshop  (Sun., Aug. 26th)

Full Moon Hike  (Sun., Aug. 26th)

Annual Heritage Festival   (Sat., Sept. 9th)

Family Halloween   (Sat., Oct. 27th)

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