How a Working Forest Contributes to a Healthier Ecosystem

By managing our own forest here in Vermont since 2013, we have witnessed the beautiful harmony of a healthy ecosystem. When Vermont Woods Studios outgrew the spare bedroom in Peggy’s home, our team searched for a permanent home. Above all, our goal was to find a space that would reflect the values of the company and offer a home to showcase the works of Vermont’s finest furniture craftsmen. After a long search, we found Stonehurst. As you can imagine, we love every minute we get to spend out in our forest!

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Stonehurst sits on 109 acres of wooded forest, and has a rich history dating back to the 1800’s. Stonehurst has always been a special place: from a farm to a boarding house, then to a local ski area, and now as our showroom and certified wildlife habitat.

Like any responsible steward of life, we care about the health of our forest. A healthy forest balances the needs of all the organisms living in the ecosystem, from the plants to the animals to the insects to the microorganisms. For example, Stonehurst is home to deer, foxes, bears, porcupines, flying squirrels, numerous birds, and many other types of wildlife. Much of our gardening and landscaping is focused on bringing monarch butterflies back to Stonehurst and Vermont.

Here are just some of the things we’ve done to make Stonehurst as healthy a forest as possible:

  • We’ve worked with the National Wildlife Federation to become a certified wildlife habitat.
  • We plant pollinator gardens to attract bees, birds, and butterflies, and to ensure they have adequate food.
  • We plant milkweed to offer monarch caterpillars fuel for their transformation and amazing annual migration.
  • A state-certified professional forester, Lynn Levine, selects which trees to cut and which to keep. This practice is referred to as single tree selection logging.
  • We heat our showroom with an outdoor wood boiler that is powered by wood that we’ve cut, split, and stacked on the property.
  • Next, we’re building an orchard, a collection of fruit trees to provide snacks for our staff and visitors.
Stonehurst Pollinator Garden | Vermont Woods Studios
Stonehurst Pollinator Garden | Vermont Woods Studios

A bonus: healthy forests fight climate change to keep the rest of the planet healthy too. According to the state of Vermont:

“Vermont’s forests remove as much carbon dioxide from the air as Vermonters produce in all of their homes, vehicles and businesses combined. A healthy, natural landscape lessens the effects of climate change by soaking up and storing greenhouse gasses and other pollutants over long periods of time.”

It’s important for our team at Vermont Woods Studios to take great care of Stonehurst and the ecosystem of life it provides. Visiting Stonehurst is a breath of fresh air, literally. We believe that shopping at Stonehurst brings you closer to where your furniture really comes from. We hope you come and see for yourself when we re-open!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Alexandra Thompson

Alexandra Thompson is a Zero Waste & Recycling Expert and the Sustainability Programming Manager for Waste Free Earth. Waste Free Earth is on a mission to reinvent how society produces and consumes waste through education, engagement, and empowerment. They are changing the current business culture to one that prioritizes zero waste systems over single-use landfill items.