Farm Day offers opportunity to go back in time

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Scotland - posted Tue., May. 24, 2011
Jim Vibert (left) demonstrates 18th century woodworking at Farm Day at the Edward Waldo Homestead in Scotland. Watching him are (l-r): Crystal, Elias, Mason and Ron.  Photos by Melanie Savage.
Jim Vibert (left) demonstrates 18th century woodworking at Farm Day at the Edward Waldo Homestead in Scotland. Watching him are (l-r): Crystal, Elias, Mason and Ron. Photos by Melanie Savage.

After what seemed like weeks of constant rain, the weather cleared just in time for the annual Farm Day celebration at the Edward Waldo Homestead on May 21. Farm Day has been a staple in Scotland for more than two decades. “What we want to do is show people what life was like in earlier times,” said event organizer Leslie Newman. “We bring back as much as we can.” Newman was stationed inside the Waldo home in front of a hearty fire, offering demonstrations in open hearth cooking. With the assistance of her two granddaughters, Newman planned to cook up old-fashioned favorites such as chowder, mint bread and apple pie.

“We try to offer a variety of things that people would have done in an earlier time, that you don’t get to see anywhere else,” said Newman. On tap for this year’s event were activities which included a Model T display, soap and antique furniture-making demonstrations, weavers, blacksmiths and farm animals. “We even have an outhouse display,” said Newman. “Where else would you get to see something like that?”

Across from Newman's fire, Scotland Historical Society member Georgia Stauffer was using an early 20th-century tabletop churn to make butter. After about an hour of work, the butter was beginning to assume a solid form in the bottom of the jar. After a bit more churning, the buttermilk would be poured off the top. “The more buttermilk you squeeze out, the longer the butter lasts,” said Stauffer. Once the butter was ready, Stauffer planned to offer it to visiting children on saltine crackers. “It’s so sweet, so good,” said Stauffer. “It’s nice for them to be able to see what it tastes like without all that stuff added to it.”

Farm Day offers a chance to “have a sense of some of our history,” said Newman. “In a sense, it’s like a mini-Sturbridge Village. It’s just a good feeling, that appreciation of things that you just don’t get to see anymore.”


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