Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall Fun with Autumn on the Farm...

Plowing and Planting
Well, I have taken a bit of a hiatus from this space. The main reason for this lapse in my writing was Old World Wisconsin's Autumn on the Farm. It is the largest special event of the year. It is a celebration of activities, sounds and scenes that were commonplace on farms in WI during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Processing Lumber Demonstration 
with a Mechanical Saw
These activities include plowing, planting winter crops, cutting firewood, processing timber, sausage-making, butchering, soap-making, rendering lard, making sauerkraut, smoking & curing meat, making pigs feet jelly, drying vegetables, canning produce, etc.  Historically, many of these activities often would be done communally with work being shared by several families at a time. Working in a group often allowed for more work to be done in a more timely manner. In keeping with that tradition and out of sheer necessity, the museum relies heavily on volunteers. The farming, gardening and interpretive staff would be absolutely unable to show the scope of these activities without the help of dedicated volunteers and their animals and/or machinery.

Steam Engine to Power Sawmill for processing
large quantities of the lumber
Sausage Making Demonstration

These activities and the sheer quantity of volunteers and staff provide a fine opportunity for a large home-cooked meal made in one of historic homes at Old World Wisconsin. The Koepsell House and accompanying farm yard provide the perfect setting.
This great back porch is only one of
many reasons the Koepsell House is
the perfect place for a large meal

Karl and I along with our own set of crazy volunteers cook for 30-40 people. The stove top is always full. The oven is never empty....and dinner is always promptly served at 12:30. Over the last few years, Autumn on the Farm has been held on 2 consecutive weekends in October. That means 4 dinners all with different menus. The menus are usually a combination of American and German-American Dishes. I will let the photos speak for themselves or this post will never end...

Preparing Chicken and Vegetable Soup

It is a dance to move all the pots and pans to give
them all adequate time on the top of the stove.

Chopping Vegetables & Peeling Apples
The finished food is usually appealing...

Desserts made by several ladies served
as dishes "brought to pass"

Cooked Custard

Stuffed Cabbage

Red Cabbage & Apples

I have been told that dinner is usually very good...

This dinner includes: Turkey,
Mashed Potatoes, Sauerkraut,
Apple Sauce, Squash, Bread,
and Many Desserts

 You cannot imagine the amount of dishes until you have seen them for yourself...


  1. After seeing these pictures, I'm hungry! And I still want to help next year. I'll even volunteer to wash all those dishes.

  2. They are delicious meals. We surely can use the help, but we promise you won't have to wash ALL the dishes. :)