Our homeschool group read Caddie Woodlawn this month so today, for our day together, we went on a pioneer-themed field trip to Cobblestone Farm in Ann Arbor. This month was super easy for the moms!
Our "class" was held in a log cabin built in 1837, the same year Michigan became a state. The kids had to do chores after the history/geography lesson was done. You can see the mortar/pestle made out of a tree trunk on the right. The box with the black mechanism mounted on it is used for removing the corn from the cob so it can be ground.
They had to churn cream into butter (which ended up not working-does ultra-pasturized cream not separate for some reason? Or was it because the room was so cold as the docent suggested?). Although there was a fire in the woodstove, it wasn't giving off much heat so Allison and one other girl were the only ones who took off their coats.
They were able to remove the corn from the cobs, grind the corn, then sift it for cornmeal.
They also got to tighten the ropes on a rope bed, comb wool and hand spin it if they wanted to do so. They went outside and fed goats, sheep, chickens, geese and the old pony. A couple of the boys even took the rug outside to beat it.
The docent talked about Michigan's early settlers, how they traveled here, why Michigan was settled later than some states further west, the Erie Canal, and types of boats used on the canal and the Great Lakes. She was very interesting to listen to and interacted really well with the kids.
We all learned some new things today and had fun doing it. Now the challenge is to get our fingers and toes warm again. Clarence built a fire in our woodstove so I think I'll go huddle near it.