Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Forestry › Horse-Logging Demonstration Held at Merck Forest and Farmland Center
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- March 6, 2013 at 1:46 am #44563Carl RussellModerator
For Immediate Release
March 1, 2013
Merck Forest and Farmland Center
3270 Route 315, Rupert, Vermont 05768
Merck Forest and Farmland Center Announces:
Horse-Logging Demonstration Held at Merck Forest and Farmland Center
Rupert, Vermont— Merck Forest and Farmland Center was excited to host the course “Draft Animal Powered Forestry” this past weekend. The demonstration, based around using draft power to log, was organized for Green Mountain College students. Carl Russell owner and steward of Earthwise Farm and Forest in Bethel, Vermont led the class. Russell brought his team of Belgian draft horses to MFFC for the two-day class; he also uses this team for his forestry consulting service, whose tag line is “managing use, not the forest”.
On February 23 and 24, students, MFFC staff and apprentices, had the opportunity to learn about draft power, and how it is relevant in today’s economy, environment, and culture. Russell spoke of how draft power is an important component of land stewardship. His examples included how draft power requires limited fossil fuel input, causes less degradation of soil structure at the timber site, requires less overhead cost but more return of profit to landowner, and is a traditional way of logging. Students not only gained philosophical and technical insights, but they also got hands-on experience harnessing the horses, and taking turns “driving” their fellow peers, mimicking how they would actually handle a team of horses.
MFFC’s Assistant Farm Manager, Dan Sullivan said he learned about good forest management during the two day class; that “the trees grow the forest” and (when logging) it is important to harvest the right tree, but also know which trees are important to leave to continue and enhance the health of the stand.
Carl Russell added, “The class, the students, the setting, and Merck staff were all excellent, making this a very effective experience sharing the culture with interested, interesting, and important people.”
Earthwise Farm and Forest, operated by Lisa McCrory and Russell, is a “Certified Organic draft-animal powered farm and forest that applies dowsing, organic, biodynamic and ecological principles for the purpose of creating healthy, vibrant food and forest products.” The farm offers educational workshops, and sells some of its products (http://www.earthwisefarmandforest.com/).
Merck Forest and Farmland Center is a non-profit organization that strives to teach, demonstrate and sustain a working landscape, and partners with a variety of groups and organizations to exhibit land stewardship to the public. The 3,100-acre property, in the Taconic Mountains of southwestern Vermont, is open to the public daily. Merck Forest and Farmland Center is located at 3270 Route 315, Rupert, VT 05768.March 6, 2013 at 2:32 am #77707AnonymousInactive
I used to manage that farm, Dan told me they were hosting a horse logger but he didnt know who. Good to see it at merck. Where were you skidding?
We hosted the green mtn draft horse club while I was there and larry newcombe is a big part of keeping the drafts busy at the farm. not sure if the club is still meeting there.
JaredMarch 6, 2013 at 2:44 am #77706Carl RussellModerator
Jared, we were in that little stand of ash just across the meadow from the barns, and below the closed-in leantos. I knew Larry had spent time there, but I was asked by Green Mountain College, so I don’t know what GMDHA is doing there now.
CarlFebruary 28, 2015 at 11:38 pm #85072AnonymousInactive
Thinking to establish a farmville for maybe a 2 or three young horses to a farm that I have inherited from my grandfather. I have given already the farm a catchy brand name with the help of my sister that is working at http://eatmywords.com/services/names/, which they are known for business naming. I appreciate every articles and post pertaining to farming and ranching. I have few goats, and a pair of cattle that are roaming on 5 hectare farmland with several species of tress growing on it and some portions of vegetable gardens. Now, I have this problem where to get young horses and how much if I get a pair of maybe at least 3-4 yrs old. Any idea?
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