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Highlights Archives

Autumn on the Farms at Old World Wisconsin

Farmers at Old World Wisconsin use a hit-and-miss engine to power a saw

Shorter days, cooler weather and bright hues of orange and red signal that autumn is here, meaning the farms, fields, kitchens and gardens of Old World Wisconsin will be busy places as farmers and farm wives prepare for the coming winter. This year the outdoor museum's annual Autumn on the Farms event, built around bringing in the harvest in 19th-century Wisconsin, will span two weekends — Saturday and Sunday, October 6–7 and October 13–14.

A Wide Assortment of Fall Farm Activities

Wood stoves and fires will crackle as farm wives make sausage, bake pies, simmer headcheese and render lard. They will put up vegetables, make baskets, horseradish and popcorn, and boil down soap from ash and lye. Visitors will learn firsthand about early methods of meat preservation — using almost every part of the animal.

In the farmyards draft horses will help plow the fields and skid logs. Guests can watch the steam-powered sawmill rip through logs as it turns them into boards, or hear the putt-putt-putt of the hit-and-miss engines as they bale hay, shell corn and lighten the load with other farm tasks. There are many opportunities for visitors to lend a hand, including making rope or sauerkraut, or even trying an apprenticeship in the wagon shop.

Author Appearances and an Old-Fashioned Barn Dance

On Saturday, October 6, only, Wisconsin Historical Society Press author Lee Somerville will sign copies of her popular book, 'Vintage Wisconsin Gardens: A History of Home Gardening,' from 1–4 pm in the museum store. Later that same day you can stick around and kick up your heels at an old-fashioned barn dance from 6–9 pm. On Sunday, October 14, only, Martin Hintz, author of 'Wisconsin Farm Lore: Kicking Cows, Giant Pumpkins & Other Tales from the Back Forty,' will be on hand to sign copies of the book from 1–4 pm in the museum store.

If You Go

For complete details on admission, hours, a map, distances from various cities, and other information, see Old World Wisconsin's visitor information pages.

:: Posted October 1, 2012

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