Thursday, October 20, 2016

21st Annual Farm Heritage Days, Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum Part Two

Continuing our tour of the 21st Annual Farm Heritage Days at the Howard county Living Farm Heritage museum. See yesterpost here.

Next door to the construction site was the milking barn.

Fake cow

Where the people worked milking cows

More of the barn

Milk delivery

My favorite dairy delivery devices

Another shed had a pair of blacksmiths making products and showing off skills.

The Blacksmiths

Hard at work

Heating up the iron

Talking with the blacksmith was enlightening. I noticed that the anvils were chained down to their posts. The smith explained the chains serve two purposes. First, they keep the anvil from shifting around. When struck with a hammer they have a tendency to move, so the anvils need to be stabilized to make work easier. Second, the anvils are noisy when they are struck and the chains absorb some of the vibrations, making it quieter (but not actually quiet). They fashioned a variety of objects for sale and for fun.

Hooks and things for sale

Various tools

They even had a small anvil with lumps of putty and a rubber mallet for kids to practice their smithy skills. My daughter loved working on it (which is why I had a chance to talk to the blacksmith).

Getting a piece to work with

Hammer time!

Another shed hosted an auction but we were not in the market for anything but lunch.


We took the tractor back to the farm museum entrance where we saw a hay baling set up that was going to be used later in the day.

Silly face on the ride

Even sillier

Hay baling equipment

Checking out the hay

Another machine made logs into shingles. That also wasn't used till later, which probably saved us from buying any shingles.

Shingle shaver

In a nearby field, the Maryland High School Rodeo Association had demonstrations. We missed the horse-riding performances but did see some fancy lasso work.

 Rodeo sign!

Roping a practice bull

More roping action

We bought another snack and heard a bit of the Southwest Bluegrass Band playing at an outdoor stage.

Southwest Bluegrass

The visit to the museum was informative and fun. We'll drag the rest of the family out next year!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

21st Annual Farm Heritage Days, Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum Part One

The Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum had a heritage days festival in September. My daughter and I went and saw a lot of cool stuff. The museum has a lot of old farm equipment on display, though more than usual was out for the festival.

Hasn't moved in a while

An older tractor

A thresher

Blue and red waggon

Farmall tractor

Allis Chalmers tractor

A buggy

Classic cars were also on display. My daughter wasn't very interested, so we didn't get very close or see much detail.

Classic car show

Old Ford?

By the main building, model railroaders displayed their trains. We looked more closely at these and had some very interesting conversations. Their engines are steam powered, using tiny pieces of coal or kerosene for heat. The engines are built just like their full-size counterparts, even being inspected by real inspectors. The track was one big oval. They had a hard time setting up the track so that it was flat all the way around on the grass.

Authentic steam from the engines

Passenger car

A tractor took us further back into the museum where we saw the one room school and no electricity house, which have appeared on the blog before.

Hay ride with potato chips

A barn had a bunch of farm equipment on display. My daughter loved the doll house!

Variety of farm equipment


Old time equipment




Mail truck!

A great big doll house

Open in the back

Details of the staircase

Full-sized construction equipment showed off their ability to lift, move, and otherwise deal with dirt.

Construction equipment not actually constructing anything

More in the next post!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

St. Matthews Multicultural Festival 2016

We made it to the very end of the St. Matthews Multi-Cultural Festival in October, 2016. St. Matthews is an Orthodox Christian church in Columbia, Maryland. We had meant to go to the Octberfest night on Friday, which featured German beer and dancing. A conflict came up so we couldn't go. We finally went on Sunday afternoon for an early dinner.

Various vendors had tents up outside, selling items like religious icons, crafts, and food.

Festival tents

The food tents

The food tents were especially nice since they had food from many regions in the Orthodox church. They served Greek, Lebanese, Romanian, Slavic, and Ethiopian foods. We had pierogis (Slavic), lamb kabob (Lebanese), tiropita (Greek), and a hot dog (American) for my daughter.

Kabob with pita and tiropita

I also visited the beer tent for my beverage. Unfortunately by Sunday afternoon all that was left was Leinenkugel's. They had taped over the premium German beers, so I don't know what Oktoberfest goodness I missed.

Beer Garden

We ate in the main tent which had a stage for performances. Throughout the weekend talents of all sorts were on display: Flamenco dancing, Irish dancing, martial arts, ballet, Mexican music, and more. While we were there they had belly dancing, which included audience participation. We were too shy to try it out, but others in the audience were braver.

Dance lesson

The kids were ready to go home, so we did not get the chance to tour the church. Maybe next year! On the way out, we stopped at the dessert booth and bought a multi-dessert pack. Our favorite was the baklava.

Dessert sampler at home

Dessert close up