Heirloom vegetable harvesting, grain threshing, cider-making, and more
(Sturbridge, Mass.) --The fall harvest was one of the most important times of the year in early New England and Old Sturbridge Village celebrates it accordingly during its old-fashioned Harvest Days weekend October 15-16
. Visitors can see the ox-powered cider mill in action (Saturday only), take part in hands-on crafts, tour the root cellar, and help with old-time harvest activities like threshing and winnowing grain, shelling corn and beans, churning butter, and putting an herb garden “to bed” for the winter. For details, call 1-800-SEE-1830 or visit www.osv.org
Not only can visitors enjoy the Village’s brilliant fall foliage at its peak, they can take part in the harvest by helping to pull up root vegetables and by picking apples using19th-century methods. They can also taste some of the nearly 100 antique apple varieties being preserved in the Old Sturbridge Village orchards. Most of these heirloom apples are not available in contemporary supermarkets. OSV farmers will be grinding apples at the Cider Mill on Saturday and pressing the pulp for its juice on Sunday.
Although most people today associate autumn harvest time with fall foliage and “leaf peeping,” for early New England farm families, it was a “make or break” season. They worked long days to harvest and put away enough food to last until the first harvest the following summer. With no refrigeration, preserving the newly-harvested food was an important element of the season to ensure that families had enough to eat throughout the winter and spring. During Harvest days, OSV visitors can learn about food preservation methods used in the 1800s and how these can be applied today.
Offering some of the best foliage views in New England, Old Sturbridge Village is a favorite autumn destination – especially with photographers. Among the most photographed scenes are of the Village’s authentic Concord stagecoach rolling past brilliant sugar maples on the Common, and its 19th-century Vermont Covered Bridge framed in brilliant foliage and reflected in the Mill Pond.
Old Sturbridge Village celebrates life in early New England from 1790 – 1840. Located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike and Routes I-84 and 20 in Sturbridge, Mass., OSV is open year-round, but hours vary seasonally. Currently, the Village is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission is: $20 for adults; $18 for seniors; $7 for children ages 3-17; children under 3 are admitted free. Each admission includes free parking and a free second-day visit within 10 days. Woo Card
subscribers get 25% of adult daytime admission; college Woo cardholders receive 50% off adult daytime admission. For details, visit www.osv.org
or call 800-SEE-1830.
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