skip to content
Vermont Family Forests
Donate to VFF
Conserving The Health Of Our Local Forest Community

VFF Workshops and Events &

Hogback Community College Courses

We usually hold VFF workshops & events rain or shine, but sometimes weather conditions will cause us to cancel a workshop. We ask that you call the VFF offices (453-7728) the morning of the workshop in case of rain, snow, or high winds. We will leave a message on the answering machine if the workshop is cancelled.

Visit our Events Gallery to see the programs we've offered in the past!

Click on the titles below for in-depth course descriptions and registration information for current and up-coming courses:

Workshops and Events

 

Hogback Community College Courses

 

Hogback Community College (HCC) is a loose but energetic confederation of teachers and learners in the Five-Town Forest of northeastern Addison County, Vermont. Our goal in forming HCC is to create a true community college—one that celebrates and sustains this community by offering a diverse, changing array of useful and attractive courses. These 1- and 2-credit (16-32 hours of instruction) courses offer in-depth explorations on the subjects they cover.

 

 

 

GAME OF LOGGING TRAINING PROGRAM, Spring 2015

GOL instructor Dave Birdsall and students

The Game of Logging training program combines Scandinavian logging techniques with the latest systems for working safely around trees. We cannot overstate the value of these courses. We have participants who’ve used chainsaws for 30 years prior to taking GOL Level I say that the course changed the way they work in the woods.

 

Spring 2015

Cost per training session level: $170

  1. Level I: April 2, 2015 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate April 9 - SORRY! This section is full.
  1. Level II: April 9, 2015 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate April 16
  2. Level III: April 16, 2015 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate April 23

Location and directions: All 2015 GOL workshops will be held at The Waterworks Property, which is located on Plank Road in Bristol. From the traffic light in downtown Bristol, head north 0.6 miles on North Street. Turn left (west) and drive 3.5 miles. You will see the Waterworks parking lot on your right (north). We look forward to seeing you at the workshop! Please contact VFF if you have any questions.

How to Register: Download the registration form here. On it you’ll find detailed information about the registration process, including fees, cancellation policies, directions to course meeting sites, etc.  Please complete the registration form and mail with payment to VERMONT FAMILY FORESTS to the address indicated on the form. We will hold your payment until we reach the minimum number of students required for offering the course. If we have already reached the course’s maximum student capacity by the time you submit your registration, we will place you on a waiting list.

 

GAME OF LOGGING TRAINING PROGRAM, Fall 2015

The Game of Logging training program combines Scandinavian logging techniques with the latest systems for working safely around trees. We cannot overstate the value of these courses. We have participants who’ve used chainsaws for 30 years prior to taking GOL Level I say that the course changed the way they work in the woods.

 

Fall 2015

Cost per training session level: $170

  1. Level I: October 1, 2015 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate October 8
  1. Level II: October 8, 2015 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate October 15
  2. Level III: October 15, 2015 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate October 22

Location and directions: All 2015 GOL workshops will be held at The Waterworks Property, which is located on Plank Road in Bristol. From the traffic light in downtown Bristol, head north 0.6 miles on North Street. Turn left (west) onto Plank Road and drive 3.5 miles (You will remain on Plank Road through two intersections). The parking area for the Waterworks property is on the right just before a sharp turn to the left over Norton Brook.

How to Register: Download the registration form here. On it you’ll find detailed information about the registration process, including fees, cancellation policies, directions to course meeting sites, etc.  Please complete the registration form and mail with payment to VERMONT FAMILY FORESTS to the address indicated on the form. We will hold your payment until we reach the minimum number of students required for offering the course. If we have already reached the course’s maximum student capacity by the time you submit your registration, we will place you on a waiting list.

 

Hogback Community College                                               FOREST SOILS IN THE HOGBACK ECOREGION

"I’m thoroughly impressed with Dr. Harper’s extensive knowledge of soil science, and her ability to share seemingly endless technical information, which also included plant species, geology and topography that all related back to soils characterization."

former student of Forest Soils in the Hogback Ecoregion

 

We're delighted to offer this course for a fourth year! Soil scientist Wendy Sue Harper will teach this 1-credit (16 hour) introductory course on forest soils. Students will attend 2 classroom presentations and 4 field trips targeting different soils on the Waterworks in Bristol. During classroom lectures, students will learn about soil properties as indicators of soil formation and land use potential (including the five soil forming factors, soil profiles and horizons, soil texture, structure, color, pH, and organic matter), and how to use NRCS soil information and maps.

During field studies, students will undertake simple experiments and learn basic field soil examination techniques while studying several different soil types (including glacial outwash deposits, clayplain soils, soils formed in acid or neutral tills, and wetlands and streambank soils).

This course is especially appropriate for landowners, natural resource professionals, educators, and planners who want to improve their understanding of soils and how they influence our landscape.

Participants who complete this course receive continuing education credit from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources: 8 ANR soil credits and 4 ANR non-soil credits.

   

About the Instructor 

Wendy Sue Harper, Ph.D. has over 20 years of experience in college-level education and agricultural technical assistance. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees were in soil science. She has taught soil science, ecological agriculture, and composting using skill-building approaches at Green Mountain College, the University of Vermont, and Dartmouth College. Wendy Sue teaches soils and/or composting to the Master Gardeners and Master Composters and has worked for UVM-Extension, Northeast-SARE, and NOFA-VT. Currently, Wendy Sue provides educational and technical services to the farming and gardening community through her business, WSH Consulting, in Monkton, VT.

 

 

Course Details

Date, Time, and Location of instruction:

Day

Date

Time

Location

Thursday

4/2/15

7-9pm

First Baptist Church, Bristol

Saturday

4/4/15

9am-12noon

Waterworks in Bristol

Saturday

4/11/15

9am-12noon

Waterworks in Bristol

Thursday

4/16/15

7-9pm

Holley Hall, Bristol

Saturday

4/18/15

9am-12noon

Waterworks in Bristol

Saturday

4/25/15

9am-12noon

Waterworks in Bristol

Saturday - Snow day if needed

5/2/15
9am-12noon
Waterworks in Bristol

 

Minimum/maximum student enrollment:

Minimum: 8    Maximum: 20

Fee: $160

Credit hours: 1 credit hour (16 hours of instruction)

Accreditation: The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has awarded this course 8 ANR soil credits and 4 ANR non-soil credits.

 

How to Apply: Download a registration form here. On it you’ll find detailed information about the registration process, including fees, cancellation policies, directions to course meeting sites, etc. Please complete the registration form and mail with payment to VERMONT FAMILY FORESTS to the address indicated on the form. We will hold your payment until we reach the minimum number of students required for offering the course. If we have already reached the course’s maximum student capacity by the time you submit your registration, we will place you on a waiting list.

 

Hogback Community College                                                 

FROM FOREST TO FRAME: INTRODUCTION TO TIMBER FRAMING

 

This course will offer a hands-on introduction to the traditional craft of timber framing, and its place within the broader context of local eco-friendly forestry. Timber framing (sometimes called post and beam) is a traditional style of structural carpentry, utilizing heavy timber and mortise-and-tenon joineryŚno nails or screws! The craft of timber framing has been around for thousands of years and was the dominant construction form in New England until around 1900. Timber framing, like other traditional crafts, uses local resources and human-scale industry to create durable, effective, and beautiful buildings.

Over the course of three Saturdays, we'll learn about timber framing from forest to frame. We'll start in the Brynn Family Forest and The Watershed Center’s Waterworks Property, where David Brynn will lead an exploration of forest health conservation practices and timber selection. We’ll then move through the processes of tree felling and log forwarding with Paul Cate, logger and forester. Miles Jenness of Vermont Heavy Timber will demonstrate the use of a Woodmizer portable sawmill.

During our second meeting (at the Goosewing Timberworks shop in Lincoln), Will Wallace-Gusakov will demonstrate hand-hewing logs into square timbers, giving interested folks a chance to try their hand. Then we’ll move on to explore the history of timber framing and timber frame design, and we’ll get familiar with the design of our own frame. We will then learn how to lay out and cut joinery on the timbers we milled at the Waterworks Property. (While Will has a limited number of hand tools to share with participants, students interested in cutting joinery may wish to bring their own chisel and mallet to this second meeting—details about tools will be provided to registered participants.)

Finally, we'll meet at the Waterworks Property to raise our finished timber frame—a small pavilion to support The Watershed Center’s outdoor conservation education programs—as part of the summer solstice celebration.

Participants will be introduced to the techniques and theory of timber frame design and joinery, and will gain a basic understanding of the practical considerations of the craft by participating in all the stages of timber frame creation━we'll get our hands dirty! The course can accommodate all levels of experience. Some comfort with hand tools and woodworking may be useful, but is not required.

About the Instructors

Will Wallace-Gusakov runs Goosewing Timberworks, a small custom timber-frame shop in Lincoln that specializes in designing and fabricating custom timber frames, and in restoring historic timber frames. His passion for timber framing and traditional carpentry has led him to work, learn and teach all around the world, including in France, Estonia, Poland, and Ghana. He's a proud member of the Timber Framers Guild of North America and has led Guild projects in Vermont and around the Northeast. He's excited to share his love for this human-scale, local, and durable craft with the folks in his community.

David Brynn is founding executive director and conservation forester for Vermont Family Forests located in Bristol, Vermont.

Paul Cate is an exceptional logging forester based in East Montpelier, Vermont. He is skilled in the advanced logging techniques and operates a small, nimble and effective Vimek forwarder.

Miles Jenness of Vermont Heavy Timber in Huntington, Vermont will demonstrate the art, science and craft of milling with his WoodMizer bandmill by sawing the logs into high quality timbers.

Course Details

 

Day

Date

Time

Location

Focus

Saturday

May 16, 2015

9:00am-4:00pm

Brynn Family Forest & then Waterworks Property

Bristol, VT

Conservation forestry; felling, bucking, and forwarding

Saturday

June 6, 2015

9:00am-4:00pm

Goosewing Timberworks shop

Lincoln, VT

Hand hewing; timber framing history, timber frame design, lay out and cut joinery for pavilion

Sunday

June 21, 2015

9:00am-2:30pm

Waterworks Property

Bristol, VT

Solstice timber frame-raising

 

Minimum and maximum number of students:

Minimum: 8        Maximum: 12

Fee: $180 ($10/course hour)
Credit Hours*: 1.125 (18 hours of instruction)

*While our courses offer the structure and content of college courses, we are not seeking accreditation for Hogback Community College, nor do we currently offer credits for transfer to other educational institutions. Many teachers have taken Hogback Community College courses as part of their Professional Development requirements.

How to Apply: Download a registration form here. On it you’ll find detailed information about the registration process, including fees, cancellation policies, directions to course meeting sites, etc. Please complete the registration form and mail with payment to VERMONT FAMILY FORESTS to the address indicated on the form. We will hold your payment until we reach the minimum number of students required for offering the course. If we have already reached the course’s maximum student capacity by the time you submit your registration, we will place you on a waiting list.