Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Howell Living History Farm.

Although the days have been super warm they sure have been beautiful with the bluest of skies. Yesterday we ventured out to what seemed like a different world. Driving into Trenton with the GPS routing us to the outskirts of the city where there were copse of trees, and a lot of shrubbery certainly made me feel as if we weren't in Jersey anymore. When I read about this farm, and the long varied history of it I knew that we had to venture out to it. 

Except this was familiar territory for me. 

Growing up in Texas, and living across the highway 77 bypass with my mom towards the end of my high school career got me accustomed to what life would be like on a farm. Every morning I'd wake up to the sounds of mooing cows & I never needed an alarm. Although we lived there for only a year it was a pretty good experience, and life with so much quietness outside( except for the loud locusts) living inside a small pristine home was alright by me. It definitely was a wistful moment in my life. 

I think that's why I've always had that inner farm/rural country gal in me with y'all in my vocabulary. I've lived in rural areas, and cities where they have freeways strewn out like spaghetti. I'm grateful for the times I've gone out of my comfort zone to explore living in said cities, and to remember my roots. 

The Howell farm reminded me of Sturbridge Village except that this is an actual working farm. I was so impressed with its history, and all that it offers to the community. Not only is it free, but it offers so much variety of activities in which one can learn about the late 19th and early 20th century.

The kids were extremely happy to be here, and it was sooooo nice to see all of them filled with merriment. There truly is something about this period of time that suffuses us with appreciation wondering how life would be like in the 1800's. 

Lexie's face alighted when she saw the barn with the horses inside. They were filled with Belgian's and Morgan's. Margaret who was working the farm dressed like a pioneer allowed her to enter the barn to meet Jessie. Besides playing the violin Lexie's dream was to ride horses. She had the opportunity to go the stables a couple of years ago, but hasn't gone back since. She really wants to go back and ride again, and that's something we will have to seriously discuss because riding lessons are not cheap! 

There were so many sheep, and one in particular got a little too close for comfort with Lexie which sort of freaked her out a bit, but in the end we all patted her, and her crew with love. 
Being a toddler at this age has got to be the funnest hands down! Noah had the time of his life running around, and then walking around carefully making sure everything about the farm & the animals didn't go amiss. He and Chelsea got along so well, and while sharing a bottled water would occasionally stop, and look around at the beautiful scenery of the this vast, rural area. 

This place definitely is a replica of how farm life should be with water pumps, and all the gadgets that a farm would have back in the 1800's. 
   Including pigs!
I really enjoyed the fact this is a working farm and that the kids all had fun lending a hand in one way or another. There is so much to do here on various days. Saturdays tend to be the busiest days where they have a plowing match, corn shocking, and a day where you can do some canning. This farm has so much to offer, and I look forward to coming to the canning activity. We especially loved their quaint little gift shop where everything is handmade, and  local honey is sold
The kids each picked a gift to take with them. Everything is affordable in this small space of a gift shop. I bought Chelsea a fan & she loves it! 
 No...Noah did not purchase this hat, but he did find a wooden block gadget in which you can make into different designs. He also got a cow tail candy, & Lexie just got a tootsie roll pop. My kids are so easy when it comes to picking a gift.
Everything about this farm was amazing. From the Ice House to the corn crib, and Ox Barn. From the orchard to the chicken house, and kitchen garden. Simply amazing. Really made me appreciate yet again how people lived back then. Wearing three layers of clothing cleaning horse manure, stacking hay, keeping up with the garden, collecting eggs every morning, tending the sheep barn, and managing beehives! Holy cow I'm tired just writing all that down! Really glad my kids got a glimpse of how life was like having major chores back then, and learning a thing or two about this part of history. 
There was so much more to photograph, but with the sun beating down so hard all I wanted to do was walk around with my bottled water, and carefully tour this 200 year old farm. 
It was yet another beautiful day with my family, and once again this small adventure was another free treat! 

Happy Wednesday y'all! 

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