BRATTLEBORO — 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 in a news release. "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 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."
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.
This Town and Village item was submitted to The Commons.