Winter 2019-2020 Newsletter| Schumacher Farm Park
Dearest Friends of Schumacher Farm,

After an island vacation at the beginning of January, I'm (almost) ready to get back into the swing of planning and preparing for the new year. Here's a small preview.

The 2020 calendar is posted online and available for pick-up at the office. You'll find several new events, like the Valentine's Day gourmet dinner or rag rug weaving workshop, as well as the return of the popular main events and some of the heritage classes. If you would like the Friends to consider hosting a specific class or workshop, bring one back from years past, or want to share a homespun skill, please contact me so we can make plans for future years. I really enjoy brainstorming about fun and innovative ideas!

This year we will continue to provide opportunities to get outside, explore and support the land. A number of restoration parties  will be offered throughout the summer for people who want to learn more about prairie and woodland ecosystems. See the calendar for select days. And  given the community response to the hundreds of Monarch butterflies rooting here this past fall, we are inviting visitors up for a bioblitz in July to help us take a closer look at what and who else calls this space home. Experts will be available to lead the search. Also, again this summer, look for the Farm Explorer series for families through the Village Center of Waunakee Recreation catalog. Let me know if you'd like to help me facilitate any of them. A little curiosity and kid-friendly demeanor is all you'll need.

W ith a Dane County Foundation grant, the office space in the farmhouse has been restored to the original bedroom decor and is yet another historical piece back in place.The farmhouse is looking much more like a museum, with additional antique items on display and accompanying interpretive signage. 

In case you haven't heard yet, the Center for Rural History barn is available for rental. The space is ideal for meetings, small conferences, retreats, reunions, anniversary and graduation parties. Contact us for more info or a tour.

A well-deserved volunteer appreciation party is in the planning and you'll hear from me again soon about the details. Also  save the date for the Annual Meeting coming up on March 5th. I look forward to seeing you all in the months to come. 
Happy trails,

Amy Jo Dusick, Park Administrator
2019 Artifact & Educational Item Donors
Hats off and a special thank you to our artifact and educational 
object  donors for 2019:  

Bindl, Roger
Caldwell, Nancy
House and farm items, Yearbooks of Agriculture
Erickson, Chuck
Farm and garden tools
Forbess, Gary
Farm tools
Gieck, Carol
Soap bar, spice tin
Grubb, Leona
Hartwig, Sandra
Match holder, oil lamp, chimneys
Hoffman, JoAnn
Games, vanity set
Ingmundson, Karen
Farm tools, crock
Kaltenberg, Jane
House and farm items
Kollath, James
Baby buggy, infant dress
Kust, Lexie
Feed sack material
Lee, Barb
McConley, Tim
Farm machinery
Otradovec, Dale
Powles, John
Ropers, Rosa & Ray
Seeder, hand
Schroeder, Dwain
Picture, seed bags, Ball jar
Schuler, Ron
Schall, Sheldon
Hay pulley
Shucha, Mike
Milk can
Thoma, Marcel
Hay sling

The items on this list were thoughtfully processed by members of our Accessioning Committee; Barb Johanningmeier, Rosemarie Hodulik, Nancy O'Neal, Rosa Ropers and Bob Forbess.
Volunteer Summary of 2019
Compilation of volunteer hours in 2019. (Graphic made in Canva by A. Dusick.)
There were 14 total groups that participated in select work days or during our main events:
  • Blackhawk Church
  • Boy Scouts of America Troop 101
  • Edgewood High School 
  • Friends of Waunakee Library
  • Presbyterian Church of Waunakee
  • Rotary Club of Waunakee 
  • United Way of Dane County
  • Village Center of Waunakee Recreation Dept.
  • Waunakee Lions Club
  • Waunakee High School; Future Farmers of America, Gay Straight Alliance & Pay It Forward
  • Association of Women in Agriculture 
  • Americorps NCCC 'Cedar 3'  
Also, a special thank you to the persistence and ingenuity of our board members and core volunteers that return year after year to make this park the incredible place it is to visit.

-Amy Jo Dusick, Park Administrator
Remembering our 2019 Sponsors 
Sponsor contributions help us to continue and expand upon quality programming and serve as an asset to communities in Waunakee and the surrounding area. A tremendous thank you to everyone who was part of the action this past year. Always more to come in 2020 and  sponsor forms are available through the website or in the park office.

Diesel Forward
Thrivent Financial
Tom Wilson
Town of Westport
US Bank
Village of Waunakee
Waunakee Community Bank
Wisconsin Kenworth
Dennis Petzke 
Sheryl Schroeder
Don Tierney
Edward Jones
Thrivent Financial
Town of Westport
Village of Waunakee


Edward Jone s
Thrivent Financial
Village of Waunakee
Town of Westport
Waunakee  Community Bank
Waunakee Lioness Club  
Waunakee Rotary Foundation

Additional sponsors:

Educational Programs: Global Property Services, Rich & Carolyn Harris, Jim & Jean Elvekrog, Bonnie & Frank Dusick

General Operations: Peace Lutheran Church, James Holmstrom, Della Rancourt, Nancy Laubmeier, Baird Foundation, Wm Lansing American Legion Post 380

Capital Projects: Gordon & Jean Acker, Town of Westport, Marcella Schumacher Trust, Village of Waunakee
Christmas Teas 
Member donors and community groups worked together to light up this year's Christmas Teas. Special thanks to the Schumacher Chat-n-Chore Club who organized the occasion. The committee included Lori Ziemann, Rosa Ropers, Carol Gieck, Betty Otradovec, Sue Jorstad, Carol Bleifield and Sheryl Schroeder, along with Schumacher staff.

Sponsors for this event were:
  • Chambers CPA, LLC
  • Ciao Bella Boutique and More
  • Sue Jostad
  • Jenerate Wellness 
  • Carol Gieck
  • Fortifi Bank
  • Capaul's Christmas Tree Farm
Music provided by: Julie Ropers Rosendahl and Kathy Bartling

Most of all, a warm thank you to all of our guests who joined in this festive tradition at the farm park. Together, we made it a special start to the Christmas season. Hope to see you again in the coming year.

-Rosa Ropers, Board Secretary
Snow Day at the Farm 
The last Sunday in January proved to be perfect weather for spending a few afternoon hours in the snow during our Afternoon at the Farm series. Over 40 people from families out of Waunakee, Middleton and Madison stopped out at Schumacher Farm Park to take a spin on snowshoes (supplied by Village Center of Waunakee Recreation Dept.), play in the snow fort, and participate in other winter-related activities. 

Thanks to staff, Tim McConley, for bringing out some animal pelts to demonstrate the different types of fur that help animals get through the winter, to Grace McConley for helping with educational materials and to Bruce Hoesly for providing assistance to families who wanted to snowshoe (which was just about everyone). 

Above: Guests at 'Snow Day at the Farm' practice identifying animal tracks on a large demo sheet, while Tim McConley shows off the warmth of fur in the background.
Below: Children doing snow fort laps.  (Images: AJ Dusick)

Schumacher Farm hosts three separate 'Afternoons at the Farm' throughout the year, which are free, family-focused and open to the public. This year we'll also have an evening outing to get a chance to observe moths and use our senses during a nighttime walk. Take a look at our calendar for the exact dates and join us!

Kids made drawings of their own tracking stories.
(Image: AJ Dusick)
In This Issue
Quick Links
Annual Meeting in March
Members save the date for the Friends of Schumacher Farm Annual Meeting

March 5, 2020
6 pm: Social meet-n-greet
6:30 pm: Meeting starts

Dane County Executive, Joe Parisi, will be there to open the meeting and welcome everyone. Recap of 2019 and voting of board members.

Renewals for 2020 Friends' membership were due January 1st. We're glad to have 6 new members in the new year so far and we truly value our returning members. If you haven't done so already, go to the website membership page and renew online or retrieve a paper copy. We appreciate your patience as we continue to fine-tune the renewal process.

If you  have questions or concerns, please contact Amy Jo Dusick, Park Administrator at 608-849-4559.
Artifact Corner: Old photos
The photo at the top of the newsletter is from the Schumacher Farm archives. This photo of Marcella was taken in January 1918 after a blizzard.

Marcella Schumacher Pendall has an old print of the Peck Cabin, the first residence, business and post office in Madison and built by Ebenezer and Roseline Peck in 1837. Today, there is an official Wisconsin marker near the original site of the Peck Cabin at S. Webster and King St.  The cabin was demolished in 1857. 

-Barb Johanningmeier
Accessioning Committee
Land Restoration Opportunities
Winter in the parks may appear quiet and serene, but there's still a lot of action if you know where to look. On March 13, there will be a restoration work party at Schumacher Farm Park, helping Dane County Parks staff to cut, stack and burn invasive brush from the north woodland. If you feel the need to get moving and socialize around a warm fire, come on out and help for a bit of time or stay the whole morning. Snacks are always plentiful!  
Sign-up through Dane County Parks:

Keep your eye on this guy! Lead volunteer, Mike Shucha, tending a burn pile of invasive brush removed from the woodland understory.

These activities are a great way to get some exercise and be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment in restoring the natural woodland landscape. The removal of invasive underbrush increases the amount of resources available to other plants, thereby promoting the germination and survival of native wildflowers, shrubs and trees. You are welcome to participate in giving the land a hand. Check our calendar for summer work days and consider these other upcoming opportunities:

Native seed spreading 

(Next week - weather permitting; call or email to confirm)

Tuesday, February 11th at Schumacher Prairie) 3 - 4 pm. All ages welcome. Meet at the Center for Rural History. 


Prescribed Burn Training & Orientation (March 21st);

RSVP required, offered through Dane County Parks.

Board member highlight
Dennis lives in the Waunakee area and is retired from the CSM Company after 38 years of employment. He has been the Treasurer on the Friends board since 2017 and when not keeping track of finances, enjoys being outdoors fishing, hunting and hiking. And if there's music playing, he'll be cutting up a rug with the best of them.

With an interest in and knowledge of farm machinery restoration, he recently assisted with the repair of a hit and miss engine and a fanning mill. He has successfully organized the Music Festival for the last 2 years and is also pursuing the installation of a number of outdoor machinery exhibits on the grounds. 

Dennis has a lot of great ideas and we're thrilled to have him on board, taking on special projects with enthusiasm and a spring in his step.
Barn Quilt Installation Day
Jim Ableidinger coordinated people and equipment for the barn quilt install in mid-December of 2019. Ideal Crane Rental donated the use of a SkyTrak lift and assistance came from staff Tim McConley and multiple volunteers; Ray Ropers, Dale Otradovec, Jim Elvekrog and Gary Herzberg. All hands were needed to get the correct alignment and spacing for the 8x8 foot wooden quilt. It's a delightful welcome as guests enter the park, and barn quilts have been a part of rural history since the Colonial era, to honor someone special, to denote a family heritage and possibly even used as coded messages for travelers. With the quilt pattern name of 'Prairie Queen', this one certainly goes out to Marcella, who had an affinity for prairies and the natural world. 
View from above as crew goes over the steps for barn quilt installation. 
(Image: Ray Ropers)

Tim McConley operating the crane with a slow and steady hand as volunteers adjust the details.   (Image: AJ Dusick)
Spring Garage Sale Expands
In conjunction with the Waunakee Garage Sale Weekend, we invite you to contribute to our annual sale, at Schumacher Farm Park on May 8-9.  Please consider donating items for this sale as you clean out/downsize or relocate this year. Items can be dropped off at the farm, but do call to make arrangements for staff or volunteers to be available when you arrive. Acceptable items are household goods, collectibles, antiques, small furniture and children's toys (no clothes please).
This year we will also be accepting perennials and houseplants.
We will have some space for vendors who want to sell their own items and don't feel they have enough to host a sale by themselves. Please call for information and rental fee. You will be responsible to set up and oversee your own area.
All proceeds will be used in preserving, researching, displaying and categorizing our historical collection.  For more information, call or email the park office.   
History to Remember
Here are some notable ways to celebrate history in the next month:
  • 100th Anniversary of passage of the 19th amendment, protecting women's right to vote 
What's History Day in the Capitol? Meetings with your legislators, a tour of the Wisconsin Historical Museum and reception at the end of the day. This year's session will also include a special history presentation "The Woman's Hour has Struck!", discussing events leading up to the 19th amendment and the follow-up impacts.
2020 Job & Apprentice Postings 

Office Administrator:
Paid, part-time position for a qualified candidate to assist with general operations of the farm park office, outreach, marketing duties and other tasks as needed. See the website for more info or contact the farm office.

Heritage Food-ways Apprentice
Opportunity to work alongside Steve Keip in facilitating cooking workshops and possibly create new ways to show off the wood stove. The right individual would be a reasonably good cook with excellent organizational and planning skills. Contact Amy Jo at the farm office for more info.   
All photos, except where credited to others, provided by 
Rona Neri-Bergmann of 
Upcoming events:
Valentine's Day Soiree (Fri., Feb. 14th, 5:30 - 8:30 pm)
Gourmet dinner, chocolate pairing with wine or beer and harp music accompaniment.   Treat your Valentine to a unique evening at the farm park! 
Sitters provided for children ages 2-12.
Get your tickets now!  

Ancestral Lands Project Lecture (Thurs., Feb. 20th, 6:30- 8 pm)

Maple Sap Workshop (Sat., March 16th)

Beginner Cheesemaking (Sun., April 17th)

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