This weekend: Miller’s Harvest Festival & Folkways Fair

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Top: Families tour the Hanford Mills Museum during the Miller's Harvest Festival. Photo courtsey of Hanford Mills. 

Above: A video of the first public operation of the Museum’s restored 19th century water turbine, which was brought back online in 2012. This weekend, that turbine will power various vintage machines at the festival. 

Harvest season has been a joyous time for millennia. In the days before supermarkets and Big Ag, whole communities lived and breathed by the success of their farmers. This Sunday, the Hanford Mills Museum takes you back to those olden days at the Miller's Harvest Festival and Folkways Fair.

Immerse yourself in the 19th century with guided tours of the museum’s authentic gristmill, sawmill and woodworking shop, featuring vintage machines powered by the Museum's newly-restored 19th-century water-propelled turbine, which was put back online last summer. (See video above.)

Then try your hand at shelling and grinding corn by hand -- the museum has borrowed a flock of chickens who’ll feast happily on your results.

Artisans will be demonstrating old-school creation of pine furniture, dulcimers, woolens and other bygone-day must-haves. Craftsmen will be creating vintage kids’ toys -- how long has it been since your children made a corn husk doll? All ages will enjoy the demonstrations of clogging, lumberjacking and wood-fired cook stove skills, along with the horse-drawn carriage rides and traditional mountain music.

Plan to shop the pop-up farmers’ market and take home some of the harvest flavors for later feasting. Along with fresh crops you’ll find an array of cheeses, jams, jellies, breads and maple products -- perfect reminders of the land’s bounty on a frozen winter day.

Miller’s Harvest Festival and Folkways Fair, Sunday Oct. 13, 10 am-5 pm. Hanford Mills Museum, 51 County Highway 12, East Meredith. $8.50 for people 13-64, $6.50 for seniors and AAA members $6.50, $4.25 for active duty and retired military personnel, free for children under 12. 607.278.5744. hanfordmills.org. 

Read the full press release about the festival below: 

Miller’s Harvest Festival & Folkways Fair Celebrate The Bounty Of The Season

On Sunday October 13, from 10 am – 5pm, Hanford Mills Museum will hold the Miller’s Harvest Festival & Folkways Fair, a day of hands-on history and fall fun. At the Festival, you can enjoy activities such as a farmers’ market, artisans demonstrating and selling traditional crafts, music and entertainment, and horse-drawn wagon rides. The Festival includes kids’ activities, like traditional children’s games and making corn-husk dolls. Visitors also can try shelling and grinding corn using our historic hand-operated equipment, and then feed the ground corn to chickens, on loan for the day from La Basse Cour Farm.

The Museum will be operating machinery in its 1869 Gristmill, which area farmers relied on for generations. The Munson Brothers Millstone, which the Museum connected to its horizontal water turbine in August, will be featured. Guided tours of the gristmill, sawmill and woodworking shop will be offered throughout the day. (Watch a 30-second video of the Millstone running)

Artisans will be demonstrating how they make their handmade items, and also offer them for sale.

Allan Smith from Rustic Creations making pine furniture and wooden crafts, Catharina Kessler from Promisedland Farm knitting hats and mittens, Lou Gilson from Gilson’s Native American Crafts making jewelry and other crafts, and Bernd Krause making dulcimers.

The farmers’ market features Byebrook Farm selling its Gouda cheese, the Country Housewife offering jams, jellies and breads, and Shaver-Hill Farm selling maple products. There will also be wood-fired cook stove demonstrations in the John Hanford Farmstead and plein aire painters capturing scenes of the Mill.

The Blue Ribbon Cloggers will perform at 12 pm and 2 pm, and traditional music by Katie Boardman and Dave Raphaelson will be featured as well. At 1 pm, the SUNY Cobleskill Woodsmen’s Team will demonstrate lumberjack skills.

Kids 12 and under, and Museum members receive free admission.

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