Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cobblestone Farms, Michigan

The Email invitation to perform my show at Hallow Harvest at Cobblestone Farms, a living history farm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, had adventure written all over it, especially since it contained a message from board treasurer Audrey Barkel inviting Nancy and me to stay at her home in nearby Saline, where she lives with her husband Barry, a professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She encouraged us to stay a couple extra days to visit some of the nearby attractions. We accepted and the results yielded material for several  stories: Hallow Harvest Day at Cobblestone Farm, staying with the Barkels, and a visit to the Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in nearby Dearborn, Michigan.
Cobblestone Farms consists of a grand cobblestone house and farmstead set among tall maples displaying rich colors. Since it is in a very populated area, visitors did not have to come far.
The plaque hanging in the front of the yard explains the origin.

The activities at the farm during Hallow Harvest on Saturday, October, 23, 2010, kept volunteer staff members and visitors busy during the morning and afternoon.
In the above photo children try eating a doughnut suspended from a string, an entertaining and popular activity.
Since the kids are all in costume, they get a chance to display their outfits on stage as the president of the board, George, announces their names and their costumes. Before and after the costume display, musicians entertained audiences on the stage.
Kids and adults enjoyed milking Cathie the cow. 
Some kids are just curious.
You might argue that a real cow would be better, but for safety, maintenance, and cleanup, you can't beat Cathie. The pail with four teats on the bottom actually did give a reasonably realistic experience.

Painting pumpkins was a popular activity, too.

I did two shows. At 10:30 AM I performed A Farm Country Halloween, which is the story of the Carlson kids going trick or treating in the farm neighborhood in 1950.
At 12:30 PM I performed A Farm Country Thanksgiving, which is about the same family in 1950 having lots of relatives over for Thanksgiving dinner.
I signed a book for Charlie after the show.

As soon as my second show was over, the slight drizzle stopped and parents and kids could enjoy 
visiting other places on the farm.
Goats and chickens.

Hogs, horse, chickens.
Barn and other buildings.

Joan is canning chow chow, a mixture of garden vegetables used as relish. 
Interior of house.
One of the rooms in he house is used to sell sweets and gifts.
East porch.
West porch as I set up my equipment.

More pictures:
My favorite picture-Audrey tying a string on each doughnut the night before Hallow Harvest. I would've offered to help, but she had a system and worked steadily as we visited.

Nancy, Audrey, me, Barry by the counter in their new kitchen, which has been dubbed
 "the communication center" by one of their friends because everyone who visits seems to gather there.
Barry prepared to sell books on the west porch.

Both Barry and Audrey are recovering from recent surgeries, but Audrey said she didn't want to tell us before we arrived because we may not have wanted to impose. See how thoughtful she is?  
Within the first few minutes of our arrival, Audrey encouraged us to treat our stay at their home as if we lived their regularly. She meant it. 
The two of them were great hosts, interesting people, and fun to visit. We enjoyed every minute of our stay. 

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

1 comment:

  1. I'm jealous. Sounds like you had a great time with some wonderful folks at an interesting event.