Fall Harvest Days start tomorrow at museum


To many people, autumn is the landscape changing from green to gold and red.

To the farmer, autumn is bringing in the final harvest from spring's planting.

And to the Carroll County Farm Museum, it is a celebration of both -- as the trees turn to a rainbow of color, so the last apples and ears of corn are picked and put away for the winter.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday, the Farm Museum in Westminster will open its gates for the annual Fall Harvest Days and activities for the whole family.

"Fall Harvest Days is preserving the rural agriculture of Carroll County," said Dottie Freeman, Farm Museum administrator. "It's part of our mission statement and a chance for people to come in and learn about a way of life that is disappearing."

The 140-acre, 19th-century farm will be alive with the smells and sounds of fall -- apple butter bubbling in a huge kettle, a pig being roasted over an open pit, corn being husked, lambs bleating for their mothers, horses munching softly in the pasture.

Thirty-eight food stands will offer quick or full meals, and 59 vendors will sell every kind of handmade country craft from wood carvings to jewelry, from pottery to tin punch works.

The museum's crafts people will be demonstrate many fading arts, such as broom making, hand weaving, blacksmithing and musical instrument making.

"The Mason-Dixon Historical Society will demonstrate roof shingle sawing the way they did in the old days," Mrs. Freeman said. "They also will sponsor a pedal pull for children 4 to 8 years old."

What's a celebration without entertainment? The stage will offer foot-stomping, hand-clapping folk, bluegrass and country and western sounds. Watch for the strolling vaudeville acts around the grounds.

Or hop a horse-drawn wagon for $1 or a tractor-pulled hay wagon for 50 cents. For $8, create your own scarecrow to take home -- the Farm Museum supplies the straw, clothes, eyes, nose and mouth.

Pumpkin growers have until 4 p.m. today to register their biggest pumpkin for the heaviest pumpkin contest. The grower of heaviest one weighing in at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow will get a one-year family pass to the Farm Museum.

New this year will be a veterinarian in the veterinary office.

"The veterinary office will be staffed for people to come in and talk to the vet, who was an integral part of the farm -- it was very important to keep the animals healthy," Mrs. Freeman said.

The farmhouse will be open for tours and the general story will be open for shopping both days.

Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for children 12 to 18 and senior citizens 60 and older, children under 12 are admitted free. The Farm Museum is at 500 S. Center St., Westminster. Information: 848-7775.

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