Merck Forest and Farm Center Farm Management Rupert Vermont
Teaching and demonstrating the benefits of innovative, sustainable management of forest and farmland

News & Events

Holiday Sale: Merck Forest Organic Maple Syrup 10% Off Regular Price
Just in time for holiday shopping, Merck Forest is discounting all regular priced bottles of their organic maple syrup by 10%. Discount applies to all bottle sizes, all maple syrup grades, and items purchased in store or online. Orders can be shipped nationally (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Sale goes until December 15, 2014. Stock up now!

See the online store to order your maple syrup.

Sweetheart Sleigh Rides
More information on sleigh rides for 2014-2015 will be posted soon.
We hope to have another great, snowy season this year.

Wreath-Making Workshop 2014

The annual wreathmaking workshop is a popular event that Merck Forest holds in the Visitor Center in early December. The workshop is family-friendly, and children are welcome to attend with an adult. Merck Forest supplies guests with a wreath-making frame, tools, the boughs to place in the frame, and limited ribbons to adorn the wreaths. Each guest is able to make one wreath. If they would like to bring their own ornaments to add on, we invite them to do so! Coffee and tea are available in the Visitor Center.

Date: Saturday, December 6, 2014
Time: 1 pm-4 pm (some visitors take the whole time, others are done within an hour)
Cost: $20.00/person/wreath. Limit one wreath per person

Merck Forest Supplies:
Wreath Frames, Boughs, ribbons, limited pliers and pruners, and wire.

Guests Are Invited to Bring:
Ornaments, their own pruners or pliers (please ask they put their name on each, as Merck is not responsible for lost tools), gloves, and holiday cheer!

At the end of the program, guests go home with a wreath.

Signing up:
Participants are asked to sign up for the wreath-making workshop by calling the Visitor Center or signing up in the store. Participants are required to pay when they sign up. Registration is limited to ten participants. Merck Forest will refund participants if they cancel at least twenty four hours prior to December 6.

Introduction to Lightweight Winter Camping
Saturday, December 13, 2014, 9 am - Sunday, December 14, 2014, noon

Have you ever dreamed of winter camping with your family or friends, exploring the beautiful winter wilds on skis or snowshoes, then watching the sunset from your tent...but thought it would be too cold and uncomfortable, the snow too deep, the gear too heavy? Well, December is the perfect time to dispel those myths!

Join the staff of at Merck Forest and Farmland Center for an Introduction to Lightweight Winter Camping. The experienced staff will show you the lightweight gear, clothing, and accessories (even packable woodstoves that run on dead twigs and branches!) for safe, easy, comfortable winter camping.

The day will begin at the MFFC Visitors Center where your instructors will take you through the basics of safe winter camping. You'll get to assess the gear you already have for winter suitability. Then we'll pack up and hit the trail (on snowshoes, if necessary) to the Glen, one of Merck Forest's group campsites. Together, we'll set up complete winter campsites, with heated tipis and conventional (unheated) tents.

Throughout the day, we'll show you how to safely and comfortably ease into winter camping as you grow in confidence and skill. We'll teach you step-by-step how to stay warm, dry, and comfortable, even in unexpected weather.

Then, we'll cook and share dinner. Participants will have the option of spending the night in one of the camps we set up, or being guided back to your car by headlamp.

In the morning, we'll share breakfast, pack up camp, and head back to the "real" world having learned the skills you need to safely begin winter camping on your own. We guarantee you'll never look at winter the same way again!

The class will be limited to no more than 10 participants (ages 18 and over only). Participants will be sent a gear list and course syllabus in advance. Some gear will be available for use, but participants should plan on providing (renting is an option) a mummy-style sleeping bag rated to 0° or lower, and a closed-cell foam pad for insulation.

Instructors: Tim Jones and David Shedd,

Tim Jones is Founder and Executive Editor of, an on-line magazine devoted to encouraging people to get outdoors here in the northeast. Tim's motto is "Life isn't a spectator sport. Get out and enjoy!" and he practices what he preaches. He wandered from the back yard of his rural New Hampshire home as a toddler and has been exploring outdoors ever since. He started skiing at age 4, was still in grade school when he started camping, hiking, and paddling canoes, and taught both Alpine and cross-country skiing while in high school and college. A full-time journalist for nearly 40 years, he has published over 1,500 feature stores and thousands of newspaper columns on outdoor pursuits. Winter is his favorite season and he enjoys camping; snowshoeing; Alpine, AT backcountry, Telemark and Cross-country skiing; Nordic skating and winter mountaineering. When there's no snow, he hikes, paddles sea kayaks, rides bikes, camps and climbs mountains. He is also an avid fly fisher and hunter. Tim's experience in the outdoors has taught him that the best way to safely learn any new skill is in incremental small steps and with expert instruction from someone who knows, not only how to do, but also how to teach.

David Shedd, is Publisher & Senior Editor of, an on-line magazine devoted to encouraging people to get outdoors here in the northeast. His specialties are carrying insane weights in big backpacks over rough terrain to test packs, boots, snowshoes, and himself, and sleeping comfortably warm when the temperature sinks well below his sleeping bag's rating. David grew up in the Vermont woods far from neighbors (which explains some of his eccentricities) and started learning outdoor skills early. Much to his parent's consternation, he always found his way home, even before GPS. David loves pedaling road, mountain and cyclocross bikes all year and has raced on all three. He's survived the Mount Washington Hillclimb three times. He also enjoys backpacking, paddling kayaks, and has recently taken up "adventure obstacle course racing" which, he admits, is a form of institutionalized self-abuse. In winter, he camps, snowshoes, and enjoys every type of skiing that doesn't involve terrain parks. Enthusiastic about all these pursuits and the necessary gear, he places a strong emphasis on teaching people how to do things safely; he knows the right way to do things precisely because he's probably already suffered the consequences of doing it wrong the first time!

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We are not affiliated with, nor do we receive annual support from Merck & Co. Inc.
We are not part of any government agency. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent
allowed by law and are greatly appreciated!

Banner photo courtesy of Dan Sullivan
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