Winter on a Living Historical Farm

Around here, Superbowl Sunday was a beautiful, sunny day in the 40’s.  Before it dipped back down below freezing, we absolutely had to take advantage of the weather.  We started our day out by heading to an indoor farmer’s market in Maplewood, NJ.  Slow Food Northern NJ hosted over 20 local farmers and food producers, ranging from grass-fed meats, artisan breads and cheeses, and honey products.  It was great to be at a farmer’s market this time of year, and be able to grab some items we don’t have at our local grocery store.

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After we sipped down some chocolate malt gelato, and experimented with different honey stick flavors, we headed to Morristown for Winter on the Farm.  Nestled in Morris County, Fosterfield Living Historical Farm is a working farm, using the techniques and tools of the turn of the century.  In the 1800’s, the property was bought by Paul Revere’s grandson, Joseph Warren Revere, who built a nice home on the land called, The Willows.  In 1881, the Fosters bought the farm, and this is where Caroline Foster lived 98 of her 102 years.  When she passed away, she left the farm to the county, asking for it to be preserved as a working farm.  To this day, they have done just that.

Once we arrived to the farm, I was surprised to see how rural the area was.  Morristown has a flourishing downtown area, so I was excited to see a farm in all its beauty, surrounded by nature.  We entered the visitor’s center first, and were able to learn about Caroline Foster, and some of the history of the farm.

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Then we walked out to the main farm area, where we got to see chickens, cows, sheep, ducks, and their two newest horse additions.

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By the pond, we learned the method of collecting ice from the pond, and how it was brought over to the ice shed (their big horses carry a sleigh).

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There were demonstrations on how to collect sap from trees, and turn it into maple syrup, how to saw wood, and how to drill holes, using tools from the 1800’s.

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Brooke and I sawed away on the log, and were able to get all the way through.

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We followed that with a nice tractor ride around the farm, which passed The Willows home, and ended with a look at some of the family’s carriages.

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We then headed back to the visitor’s center, where they had arts and crafts set up for the kids to do.  She made a couple projects, and we were on our way.  This event was the perfect, chill way to spend a Sunday with family, and see first hand how a living historical farm ran.

 

Fun Farm Facts
-The chicken is the closest living relative to the T-Rex.
-Pigs are considered the 4th most intelligent animal (after chimpanzees, dolphins, and elephants).-Chickens are able to communicate with their mother while still in the egg and she with them.
-Goats and sheep don’t have teeth on their upper jaw.  They have a hard palate that helps them grind their food.
Resources
»Slow Food Northern NJ – Hosts farmer’s markets, and raise money for school and community garden programs.
»Fosterfield Living Historical Farm – Explore a working farm, that uses turn-of-the-century tools & techniques.
Tip:  Wear boots if you are attending the Winter on the Farm event.  In order to explore the farm, and demonstrations, you will walk on a dirt road, that can be muddy.

 

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