Monday, May 18, 2009
back in time.
In between long hours of planting in our gardens, we took a break over the weekend to visit a special event at an area living museum. The event was 'Rituals of Spring'. All of the farms and village buildings were bustling with activities that people in rural Wisconsin in the 19th and early 20th century would have been doing to prepare for the season.
The boys loved seeing all of the animals - friendly sheep dogs herding sheep, oxen pulling carts, and horses taking reenactors from farm to farm for visits and plowing fields.
There were several farms that participated in the shearing and preparation of wool to fibers. We watched cleaning, carding, and spinning of wool - with several hands on activities for the kids We watched yarn being dyed over a fire, and learned about all of the local plants that were used to make all of the colors!
It was a beautiful day to walk - chilly and breezy, but comfortable in the sun. We took the tram to the distant farms (the museum is 600 acres!), and walked a lot in between. It was perfect for me - my back has been bad again, and the long steady walking helped (my new back brace helps too! yay!).
We visited a farm where we learned about flax. The boys were able to whack (and whack and whack) the flax to remove the outer hull of the stem, and run it through a rippler (nails on a board to 'comb' the flax). We then went inside and watched how they made thread from the flax, and then wove the linen!
There were many other fun activities throughout their 65 buildings - rhubarb pie in a summer kitchen, sheep shearing, rope making, soap making, gardening, hand powered laundry, schoolyard games and more!
When we waited for the tram at certain spots the boys tracked our location in relation to the car with the GPS. Lots of fun. We brought home some cotton roving and a drop spindle, wooden yo-yo's and some heirloom herbs. Nice day!