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Retreat Farm & HatchSpace: Building Community Through Woodworking

Join Retreat Farm & HatchSpace in a community build project, crafting tables for a new space. Sign up for a unique team-building experience.
Vermont Hempicurean, Vermont Grow Barn, and Vermont Bud Barn
Vermont Hempicurean, Vermont Grow Barn, and Vermont Bud Barn
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Leopard Frog Shop
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Jones E Designs

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Retreat Farm and HatchSpace are bringing everyone to the table to participate in an exciting community build project that supports the area’s newest community space.

If you have driven along Route 30 lately, it’s hard to miss the big changes happening at Retreat Farm. The renovation effort to transform the historic North Barn into a community gathering space is underway.

“Everything that is going into this renovation is being done with local materials, businesses, and communities in mind,” said Retreat Farm executive director, Kristin Sullivan. “From sourcing new slate for the roof, to hand-crafted tables for events, we want to make sure we’re supporting businesses in our community.” With historic preservation easements, Retreat Farm is working with the State Historic Preservation Office and Preservation Trust of Vermont to lovingly restore the North Barn — preserving its hand-hewn beams and distinct architectural features.

Over the past few months, Tom Bodett from HatchSpace embarked on designing a unique farm table for the North Barn. The long farm tables will feature locally sourced and milled pine, and an innovative sawhorse design that makes the tables beautiful, functional, and easy to store.

“We are thrilled with the design Tom and his team came up with, and how it reflects a sense of place with local Vermont pine, in a functional farm table. But I think I’m even more excited that these tables will be built by and for our community,” said Sullivan.

“We are actively recruiting groups who want to take part in the community build,” said HatchSpace executive director Lars Hasslebad Torres, “It’s going to be an incredible learning, team building, and community service effort with tangible community impact.”

Groups, whether companies or community-based organizations, are invited to sign up to adopt a build of five tables. Each group will learn how to make the farm tables from start to finish. When the table is complete, the name of the group will be added to honor their work.

“It’s a really exciting way to build something that will be enjoyed by the community for years to come – while honing your woodworking skills and making new friends,” Torres concluded.

The Forest to Farm Table community build project will take place over the next eight months between HatchSpace’s downtown studio and the Retreat Farm, with each group making a set of tables over the course of a month. Anyone 16 and older is welcome to participate, and no prior experience is necessary.

Sullivan adds, “This is a great way for folks to learn new skills while supporting the work of two incredible nonprofits, and to leave a legacy in a new community-focused event space.”

The community build kicks-off in December, and those interested can reach out to Kristin Sullivan at ksullivan@retreatfarm.org or visit retreatfarm.org/hatchspace for more information. There is no cost to participate in the community build, but those interested in making a financial contribution can sponsor a table to cover the cost of materials and support HatchSpace educators leading the project.

About Retreat Farm

Retreat Farm is a model, land-based, community-anchor institution located on 500 acres of Abenaki homelands at the edge of downtown Brattleboro, Vermont. From our start in 2015, we have sought to restore the barns, forests, fields, and waters of this historic property and to establish an essential community place and platform for a range of community-advancing initiatives. In doing so, we believe Retreat Farm is helping create a just, healthy, and sustainable community.

About HatchSpace

Our mission is to celebrate and advance the learning, practice and cultural varieties of woodworking. We provide anyone with access to the tools and training necessary to build the things they love. It’s our talent, our culture of inclusion and support, and the breadth of capacity that makes us unique. Our community of members, instructors, volunteers and donors are building an irresistible place to learn and share the joy of woodworking.

Image Credits:

  • Forest to Farm Table, photo by Peter Doran courtesy Retreat Farm
  • HatchSpace-Putney School Art Table build, photo courtesy HatchSpace

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