It was Friday evening, Sept. 29, and if people strained their ears, they might have heard a banjo being plucked deep in the Yale-Myers Forest, in densely wooded Eastford.
Following the sound, they would have turned off the paved road at 150 Centre Pike and onto the long dirt road that wound its way up to a set of camp buildings, part of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
The banjo music was no aberration, but rather part of Yale’s American Folk/Bluegrass group, Tangled Up in Blue, which has been performing each year since Yale’s inaugural Harvest Festival in 2014.
The annual gathering, part of the school’s Quiet Corner Initiative, brings together Yale students and faculty, researchers, foresters, farmers, and loggers to enjoy an evening of camaraderie – along with a locally sourced dinner including roasted venison, and wine from Taylor Brook Winery, in Woodstock.
This year’s celebration was particularly special, because it gave visitors the opportunity to take in the newly constructed buildings that replaced those lost in a devastating fire last May.
The evening also included a honey making demonstration by a local beekeeper, an opportunity to try out an apple cider press, as well as a cross-cut saw competition.
The Yale-Myers Forest is owned by the university and encompasses more than 7,800 acres of forest camp in the Quiet Corner towns of Eastford, Ashford, Union, and Woodstock. It is managed by the Yale School of Forestry and Environment Science, and is believed to be the largest private landholding in the state. The school owns another 1,100 acres in New Hampshire and 462 acres in Vermont.
A research forest, all of Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Science students go through three weeks of orientation – one week in New Haven, another in northwestern Connecticut, and a third at the Yale-Myers Forest, said Forest Manager Nick Olson.
“The whole forest is…