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:

General VFF 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.

 

 

 

GEOLOGY AT THE WATERWORKS

Date: August 9, 2014

Time: 9:45a.m. - 2p.m.

Free

The Vermont Geological Survey and Norwich University have recently completed bedrock and surficial geologic maps of the Bristol area. Join Jon Kim (Vermont Geological Survey), George Springston (Norwich University), and
Everett Marshall (Vermont Dept. of Fish and Wildlife) for a hiking tour of the Bristol Waterworks where Jon and George will present key elements of the geology of the area and Everett will give the holistic view of how the geology and plant ecology fit together.

Wear sturdy shoes and bring a lunch. Be prepared for a round-trip hike of ~2 miles. Meet at the main parking lot for the Waterworks on Plank Road at 9:45 am, which is on the north side of the road (see map). The trip will leave promptly at 10 am and will return approximately at 2 pm.

Please RSVP to Jon Kim at jon.kim@state.vt.us (802/522-5401) if you plan to attend.

Location and directions: The Waterworks Property 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).


 

GAME OF LOGGING TRAINING PROGRAM, Fall 2014

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 2014

Cost per training session level: $170

  1. Level I: October 2, 2014 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate October 9
  2. Level II: October 9, 2014 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate October 16
  3. Level III: October 16, 2014 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate October 23

Location and directions: All 2014 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, Spring 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.

Spring 2015

Cost per training session level: $170

  1. Level I: April 2, 2015 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate April 9
  2. Level II: April 9, 2015 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate April 16
  3. 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.

 

 

Hogback Community College                                            

STORIES IN THE LAND

In this writing workshop, taught by two of Vermont's outstanding writers and teachers, you'll work on developing personal essays relating your present-day attitudes and feelings toward the natural world to the personal experiences—perhaps dating back as far as early childhood—that may have laid the groundwork for those perspectives. The goal of this workshop will be to tell these personal stories in effective and accessible ways, in part by evoking the specific landscapes in which they took place.

Students will be expected to read and discuss examples of model writing in this field. You should feel comfortable about sharing your own writing with the workshop group and paying thoughtful attention to the responses of others. Class meetings will take place at Treleven Farm in New Haven, Vermont and will at times involve outdoor activities there. Students will share writing projects on a class weblog or blog, and this will ultimately become an anthology of work that will be made available to others.John Elder

 


About the Instructors 

John Elder taught English and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and Bread Loaf School of English for 37 years. This will be his third course for Hogback Community College. John’s last three books combined discussions of literature and descriptions of the Vermont Landscape with memoir. He is now publishing a memoir about retirement and learning to play Irish traditional music on the wooden flute. It takes the form of a multimedia website rather than a conventional printed book.

 

 

Don Mitchell
Don Mitchell is a novelist, essayist, and sheep farmer. From 1986 to 2009 he taught avariety ofworkshops in Creative Writing at Middlebury College aswell as several courses in environmental literature. His most recent book—aptly described as an eco-memoir—is Flying Blind: One Man’s Adventures Battling Buckthorn, Making Peace with Authority, and Creating a Home for Endangered Bats.

 

Course Details

Location: Treleven Farm, 164 Mitchell Drive, Vergennes, VT

Dates:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 7:00-9:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 12, 2014 1:30-4:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 26, 2014 1:30-4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 7:00-9:30 p.m
Sunday, November 2, 2014 1:30-4:00 p.m.


Student Enrollment: Minimum: 10, Maximum: 20
Fee: $150

Credit hours*: 0.8 (12.5 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.

 

Hogback Community College Seminar - Postponed due to scheduling conflicts                       

PRODUCING & USING FIREWOOD SUSTAINABLY IN THE HOGBACK ECOREGION

Are you interested in producing and utilizing wood heat in a way that is restorative, sustainable, efficient, local, and fair (R-SELF)? In each session of this 16-hour (1 credit) seminar, we’ll explore a different aspect of producing and using wood heat, from standing trees in a healthy forest through logging, processing, delivery, storage, and combustion in an energy-efficient building.

This seminar will involve much active participation—through readings, discussions, presentations, and hands-on applications of learning. In this process, we’ll both learn about and add to the discussion of R-SELF wood energy production. Our discussions and discoveries throughout the seminar will help inform the development of a community-based wood heat cooperative in the Hogback EcoRegion.

This special 16-hour seminar will be offered for a fee significantly lower than our usual $160/16-hour course fee. Check course details below for more information.

               

About the Instructors:

David Brynn is founding executive director and conservation forester for Vermont Family Forests. Home energy efficiency expert Matt Sharpe is engineering staff manager for Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. Bill Torrey has brought his logging expertise to Vermont Family Forests projects since the late 1990s. Roger Wallace is a biomass combustion expert and owner of Addison Biomass Energy.

Course Details:

Dates: September 5 - October 24, 2013 (see table below for schedule details)

Location: Bristol area (Brynn family forest and other sites TBD)

Minimum/maximum student enrollment:  Minimum: 12    Maximum: 18

Fee: $100 for full 16-hour seminar.

Once we have reached our minimum of 12 participants, we will open registration for individual seminar sessions at $25/evening.

 

September 5, 2013 ~Thursday evening

Topic:

Orientation & Assessing What Firewood the Forest is Willing to Yield

Time:

3.0 hours (5:30 pm - 8:30 pm)

Location:

Brynn Family Forest

Instructor:

David Brynn

Description:

During this session, we’ll head to the woods to learn how to assess a forest’s capacity to yield firewood. We’ll discuss and assess (through various hands-on practices) the many factors that go into marking a sustainable, restorative firewood harvest, including species mix, tree quality, the quality and characteristics of the residual stand (assessing what will be left behind), accessibility, and more. 

 

September 15, 2013 ~ Sunday afternoon

Topic:

Tree Marking,  GOL Felling Demonstration, & Forwarding

Time:

3 hours (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

Location:

Brynn Family Forest

Instructor:

Bill Torrey with David Brynn

Description:

This session will focus on marking firewood (i.e. “creating a portfolio”) and best practices for removing trees from the forest starting with standing trees and ending with stacked log-length firewood on a landing. We’ll assess and engage in hands-on practices related to access paths & log landings, identifying, marking, and tallying trees to remove; felling trees; limbing and bucking logs; and forwarding log-length firewood to the landing.

 
September 19, 2013 ~ Thursday evening

Topic:

Home Heating Efficiency

Time:

2.5 hours (6:00 pm - 8:30 pm)

Location:

TBA

Instructor:

Matt Sharpe with David Brynn

Description:

Utilizing wood heat well depends on the energy efficiency of the building in which the wood’s being burned. In this session, we’ll take a close look at efficiency with home energy efficiency guru Matt Sharpe, using the Brynn residence as our test case.

 

October 6,  2013 ~ Sunday afternoon

Topic:

Firewood Processing Showcase – Show us your best tools and techniques!

Time:

3 hours (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

Location:

TBA

Instructor:

David Brynn and other Coop members

Description:

In this session, we’ll look at the process involved in converting logs into split firewood that’s ready for delivery—exploring various processing technologies and techniques.

 

October 17, 2013 ~ Thursday evening

Topic:

Firewood Storage & Efficient Combustion

Time:

2.5  hours  (6:00 pm  - 8:30 pm)

Location:

Brynn Family Forest

Instructor:

Roger Wallace with David Brynn

Description:

To burn efficiently, wood must be sufficiently dry and be burned in an efficient woodstove or furnace. In this session, we’ll explore efficient and effective wood storage, and we’ll look at the factors that contribute to efficient combustion.

 

October 24, 2013 ~ Thursday evening

Topic:

Wood-fired Flatbread & Creating the Hogback NeighborWood Heating Co-op

Time:

2.5  hours (6:00 – 8:30 pm)

Location:

Brynn Family Forest

Instructor:

Hogback NeighborWood Heating Coop Members

Description:

We’ll light the oven and circle back on the course to highlight  findings. Over wood-fired flatbread and Hogback ale, we’ll wrap up with a discussion of how our findings during this seminar fit into the notion of a community-based wood heat cooperative. We’ll also identify next steps!

 

Credit hours*: 1 credit-hour (16 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.