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


To learn more about our upcoming events, call the Visitor Center at 802-394-7836.

Advance reservations--made on a first-come first-served basis--are required for most events due to space limitations or scheduling considerations. Payment in full is due upon registration. Membership discounts apply to many events.

For outdoor events, please dress for the weather: sturdy shoes/boots, layered clothing, snow/raingear, flashlight, snacks and water. All outdoor events are held weather permitting: if there's any question please call the Visitor Center to confirm that an event will be held.

Holiday Sleigh rides

By Appointment. Please call 802.394.7836.
Sweetheart Sleigh: This sleigh carries two to three passengers and costs $150.
Advance Reservations are required due to limited availability and scheduling considerations. Membership Discount applies.

Imagine yourself bundled into a warm blanket, whisking across the winter landscape in a horse-drawn sleigh: frosty air, warm companionship, and the prospect of hot cider in front of a crackling fire in the hearth at the end of the ride. The season for sleigh rides at Merck is nearly upon us. Your holiday celebrations will be all the more special with memories of a forty-five minute jaunt through fields and forest. Wool blankets are provided--but dress for the cold!

Children's Workshop: Making Bird Treats

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 from 1pm to 3pm
Cost: $5 per child. Parent or guardian must accompany children.

Join Education Director Chris Hubbard for a funderful children's workshop: we’ll start off with observing bird feeders to see who is visiting, then move inside to learn more about the birds we might spot at our bird feeder. Who are they? How can we tell who is who? What do they like to eat? Then, we’ll create some tasty bird treats for you to take home and put out for your own feathered friends to snack on!

Children's Activity: Fun in the Snow

Date/Time: Thursday, February 18, 2016 between 1pm and 3pm
Cost: $5 per child. Parent or guardian must accompany children.

More vacation-week fun with Education Director Chris Hubbard's children's activity: Come have fun in the snow.  If there's snow (and depending upon what type) we'll go sledding, build snow forts, snowmen, sculptures.  Bring a sled.  If there is no snow, we'll visit the farm, do some hiking and look for signs of animals. If conditions are icy or the weather bad, this activity will be cancelled.

Twilight Owl Ramble

Date/Time: Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 6:30pm
Cost: $5 per person.

Join Executive Director Tom Ward for an evening ramble through the forest to listen for the courting calls of Barred, Great-Horned, Saw-whets and Screech Owls. You'll want to dress for the cold weather and (potentially) snow, and to bring a flashlight.

Splint-weaving Chair Seat Workshop

Date/Time: Saturday, March 5, 2016.  Time 10am to 2:30pm
Cost: $75.  Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Chris Hubbard will put on her other hat for this workshop: with twenty-five years' experience in chair caning, Chris is an instructor at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Lucerne, NY, and is a presenting folk artist at Great Camp Sagamore in Racquette Lake, NY. She will teach you how to weave flat reed into a chair seat in a herringbone pattern; bring a chair frame to work on.

Pruning Workshop

Date/Time:  Saturday, March 5, 2016,  9am to 12pm
Cost:  $20.  Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Rico Balzano of Little Lake Orchard will conduct this workshop on apple tree pruning.

Green Mountain Club Snowshoe Hike

Date/Time: Tuesday, March 15, 2016.  Meet at Shaw's Supermarket (Manchester) at 9am or at the MFFC Visitor Center at 9:30am

Join Trustee Keld Alstrup on a snowshoe hike to Spruce Peak/Gallup Mountain.  All are welcome on this intermediate-level hike.

Maple Celebration Pancake Breakfast

Date/Time:  Saturday & Sunday, April 2-3, 2016.  9am to 2pm.
Cost:  $10 adult/$5 children aged 4-12 years/Free for children under 4.  Volunteers eat for free!

Save the date - save the date - save the date! The Pancake Breakfast is a Merck tradition of long standing: farm-raised bacon, sweet syrup from our sugar bush and the fellowship of other Friends of Merck. Join us for this annual celebration of nature's bounty. 

Sheep-Shearing Workshop

Date/Time: Sunday, April 10, 2016 from 8am to 4pm. Bring a lunch.
Cost: $150 per person.

Space is limited. Pre-registration at or 802-483-2463 is required.

This hands-on workshop is for beginning- and intermediate-level shearers. Jim McRae and a team of professional shearers will conduct the class; every participant will learn how to shear a sheep and will shear several animals during the course of the day.

This class is sponsored by the UVM Extension Service and the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association; individuals who are interested in exploring shearing as a profession may take this workshop in conjunction with a workshop offered at Shelburne Farm on April 9th (total fee for both sessions: $275). Contact Jim McRae at or 802-483-2463 to register. 

Back to Top

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
© Merck Forest and Farm Center, all rights reserved