Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coggeshall Farm Field Trip

We had a wonderful day at Coggeshall Farm in beautiful Bristol, RI. Coggeshall is a 1790's working farm and the kids learned so much today. The weather was sunny but it was a little breezy and that made a nice crisp springtime feel to the farm. I instantly fell in love with the place and could so live there...with electricity...and a flushing toilet...and a refrigerator. Okay-maybe I couldn't but the land and everything was just gorgeous.
George, our tour guide, who was dressed in period clothes told us that the Coggeshall Family had 12 children living in this house. I wonder how many to a bed they slept?

This is the outside of the house. Only the front is painted and the sides are shingled.

Across the street from the farm were these buildings that George said were used to smoke fish. Notice the gorgeous Bay in the background.

Our tour moved inside and George showed us how the Coggeshall family would have cooked on the fire and hearth.

This bucket next to the fire was filled with tallow. George said they would have used this to seal their bowls.

It was past maple sugaring time but George had some Maple sugar for the kids to try. We were all surprised how hard it was and he had to chip off little chunks for everyone to try. George told us that it took about 400 gallons of Maple sap to make this one slab of sugar. I guess there was no running to the corner store for shopping.
It looked like a big slab of brownies...but harder.
I loved the pantry.
These jugs would look great in my kitchen.
George showed the kids how to comb the wool.
Morgan with a nice piece of freshly combed wool.
The huge loom in the house. Notice the large twines of braided wool from their sheep. All spun on the spinning wheel that they have there.
The back of the house. The stone walls were everywhere.
This was the blacksmithing shop on the property and the kids watched as George got the fire going and forged his own nails for repairs on the property. Since there is no electricity going to the farm, everything must be done by hand.
They also have to make their own shingles for repairs for the wood roof. We watched George slice and smooth the boards. One shingle took him about 20 minutes to make. It must take all season to repair a roof there!
The kids were able to feed the sheep with hay from the barn.
This is the yoke that the oxen wore and the sythe for cutting hay. I love old farm tools.

The new baby lambs were so darn cute. These two are whispering secrets to their mama.

The oxen were so huge but very friendly. The two of them strapped together could plow a huge field and ready it for planting. That's Tae's head in the picture-look at the size difference.

As soon as the kids brought the hay over, the animals came running. There were two oxen, a horse named Blaze and a donkey, who George tells us, protects all the other farm animals from coyotes and fox.

More sheep lounging in the sun. Can you tell I loved the babies?

Little man taking a break on a stump.

This was all hay loaded in the wagon in the barn. Mama hen is incubating some eggs in this big hay pile. The Roo and his girls in the barn.

The gorgeous view of the property. To the left is the garden with the fencing all made by hand.

The hay barn. I loved the bright green moss on the roof.

The other side of the pasture with the outhouse.

Looking back toward the house and barns.

The homemade fencing they made to protect the trees from the deer. Very cool. I may try to make some of this for our new fruit trees.
After the tour we went to Colt State park for a picnic lunch with some of the other homeschoolers. Gorgeous, fabulous, incredible homeschooling day!


Kate in NJ said...

What a lovely day!

homeschool mamma said...

Yes it was!

Valerie said...

Thanks for sharing. I have a post on my blog about a Maple Syrup field trip we took recently in Maine.