Letters from the Lodge- June 2016

by Merck Forest and Farmland Center on July 5, 2016


6th grade Mettowee students in our NGSS pilot program

6th grade Mettowee students in our NGSS pilot program

Haying with beautiful views!

Haying with beautiful views!

Dear Outside World,

It’s been a while since we’ve written, and that probably reflects life on the farm in the summer time. Since the last update, 44 fluffy lambs have been added to our flock! They are almost two months old and are growing fast, but are definitely still worth coming to visit. Peggy Sue’s piglets are also getting big (*sniffle* they grow up so fast), and we’ve moved them and Peggy Sue to wooded areas beyond the chestnut plantation in order for them to get a taste of the wild boar lifestyle. It makes them extra tasty, we promise.

We also have finished our first cutting of hay! The barn loft is stacked with nice quality hay that will keep Fern and Arch happy all winter. The dry weather definitely made getting all of our hay in a breeze this year. However, it does put more pressure on us to irrigate the gardens and blueberries, so we’re in the process of getting that system in place right now. Other things that we’ve done: planted close to 300 more chestnuts in the plantation; led 2-day field science classes for Dorset, Mettowee, and Sunderland 6th graders about forest nutrient cycles and decomposition, in compliance with New Generation Science Standards; Alessia successfully moved Eliot the ram to a new paddock; and Sarah has exhibited just how strong a few months of farming can make you (you too could go from struggling to lift a bale to happily throwing them onto the hay wagon in just 12 weeks!).

The lodge has gotten cozier as Tim, our assistant forester, has joined Sarah and Alessia until he returns to SUNY ESF in August. Not only did Tim surprise us (A & M & our coworker Katie Connor) at our half-marathon in Lake Placid to cheer, but he also supplies us with plenty of ice cream and laughs, and lets us sit on the futon (our only comfy seating). What more could you need from a roommate? Aside from some struggles with the solar panels, which don’t seem to support our new-fangled washing machine, and the continued nocturnal porcupine visits, life on the hill couldn’t be sweeter!

Things to come: Garlic and blueberries will be ready in a few weeks! We’ll have fun activities and a pizza social with NOFA-VT (August18th) going on during Open Farm Week, August 15th-21st. And of course come visit anytime to see the animals, hike the trails, or taste our delicious syrup.

Until the next one,

McIlvennie and McCobb

Leave a Reply