Friday, September 26, 2008

Sustainable Farming at Merck Forest

This past weekend, Bryan and I headed up to Vermont. While we were there visiting family, we made our way over to Merck Forest. I've been going up to Merck Forest ever since I was little for small hikes with my family but this time, Bryan and I were excited to see the farm on the property. Merck Forest is comprised of 3,000 acres of land; a consolidation of three declining farms back in the 1940's. Two hundred acres of that land is reserved for farming. Merck Forest farm's mission is "to teach and demonstrate the benefits of innovative, sustainable management of forest and farmland". The forest not only offers numerous educational programs but also provides a working example of sustainable farming. The farm has sheep, cows, chickens, pigs and other animals that are fed with crops from the same land. The farm is powered mostly by a single wind turbine and a few solar-power cells. The farm produces its own maple syrup and you can buy wool from the sheep as well as purchase meats and vegetables from the farm. It's a great example of how farming can have a low impact on the land and still benefit people. Oh, and the views are incredible!

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