Welcome back! I apologize for being quiet this winter, it has been very busy here at the 1900 Farm. We have new staff and new animals and are ready to dive into planting season. A new team of horses arrived last fall, a new boar in January, and baby chicks got here about 3 weeks ago. We are looking forward to a new calf in May or June and litters of piglets in the fall for a change.
In the past two weeks we have been hard at work getting things ready for a new season. Potatoes went into the ground last Friday, and the storm windows came off the week prior to that. Changing the windows on the 1893 Farm House is always a sign to me that the season is turning. Storm windows on in the Fall, screens on in the Spring. With any luck, before too long we will be opening windows and enjoying warm Spring breezes.
The 1900 Farm welcomes Kelly, our new farm manager. She will be writing some blog posts about the animals and machinery this summer. We hope to get a post out to you about every other week.
Some other exciting things are happening this spring. The basement of the 1900 house is going through a remodel to help with preservation and water issues. We have cleaned out the space – we weren’t sure how long some of the items had been there. Just like your basement, we have stashes where things start to collect, and it has been a journey of discovery in some ways as we make this space more useable for the museum. Here is a rare behind the scenes look at part of the 1900 basement. The house was lived in until the 1970s so it had been modernized. When it was brought to Living History Farms the museum retrofitted the ground floor to represent a turn of the century farm house, but in some places in the house, modern elements still exist. These features allow us to operate as a museum! At the end of the remodel the dryer will be moved and the pipe will not be so long, along with other small changes. I may be able to give you another glimpse when it is all done.
In addition, the farm, like the rest of central Iowa, is finally starting to turn green. The rain the past few days has helped us out and I am sure that before we know it the grass will have to be mowed. We are looking forward to getting lettuce and other early veggies into the garden and planting the fields. We open for touring on May 1st, so make plans with the family to come and visit, see what’s new, and learn about the Science of Everyday Life.
I look forward to hearing from you all this year.