Friday, October 17, 2014

Harvest Festival at The Joseph Sneider Haus

 Fall Festival at the Museum

A few home schooling families joined together for a trip to Kitchener's Joseph Schneider Haus, built by the Pennsylvania-German Mennonite (Mr. Schneider) in 1816
Felt Art

Local artist Sue Firkster has her fabrics showcased in the exhibit room. Each year a new local artist is nominated for the honours of displaying their craft.
On hand were tapestry, framed pieces and bowls all designed by wool felting.

Hanging Herbs

We noticed running around the walls of the entire residence were hooks for hanging. In each room these hooks served as places to keep clothes, herbs, bags and other objects off of the cold floor.
Water Faucet!

None of the children passed this water tap in the hallway without stopping to try it out. Not coincidentally, they placed several tin pans under the bench for filling.

Three in Bed

Our hostess gave us a good examination of the Schneider bedding; the underside roped across to hold the straw 'mattress', the linen-flax mix top sheet and the gigantic goose down duvet. She emphasized that by using straw and goose down/feathers, nothing went to waste; purpose was given to all 'cast-off's'. The beds were built high to avoid the floor draft while root veggies could be stored under the beds to be kept cold. She brought out a chamber pot and threatened that the last person up, would have the chore of emptying it!!
The children even had a turn to try out the sleeping space.

Spinning Yarn

Besides the kitchen, the only room hosting a wood stove was the spinning room, as so much time was spent there by the girls and women.
There was a small  loom, large enough to weave belts, in the bedroom, where our host gave each of the children a try.
Sheep's Wool
Loom Practice
Garden Tour
(here O is asking if they have any pigs!)


A lot of these older ways of life are making a comeback in the form of 'homesteading' or 'sustainable living. Cold-framing is a simple practice to extend your gardening year into the cold months by making a small 'greenhouse' with old frames. 
When we had our windows replaced in the summertime, we saved a few of the old so we can create cold framing gardens this winter.
Cider Press

Last but absolutely not least, we did some cider pressing on the front porch. A whole lot of work for a little bit of juice!

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