A balmy winter day on the farm in Morris Township

Abigail gives it her all on the wood saw with her dad at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Abigail gives it her all on the wood saw with her dad at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
0

 

By Jeff Sovelove

The crowd that turned out for Sunday’s annual Winter’s Day on the Farm was greeted by a picture-perfect February afternoon.

In contrast to last week’s arctic vortex, temperatures soared into the 50s at the Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morris Township.

Dominic, 5 1/2, of Florham Park, and Maddie, 8, from Parsippany cut ice at the pond at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Dominic, 5 1/2, of Florham Park, and Maddie, 8, from Parsippany cut ice at the pond at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove

Visitors were treated to a slice of life on a working farm circa 1900 — including harvesting ice blocks from a pond and putting them into the ice house.

Before refrigeration, blocks of ice were stored there and insulated with straw and sawdust in the hope that they would last through the summer.

Thomas Jefferson was known to pack his ice house with snow.  Smaller blocks were stored in the house in the icebox for daily use.

Slideshow photos by Jeff Sovelove. Click/ hover on images for captions:

Emily cutting wood with her dad at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Dominic, 5 1/2, of Florham Park, and Maddie, 8, from Parsippany cut ice at the pond at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The farm's resident 2- -year-old bull at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Abigail gives it her all on the wood saw with her dad at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
King, an American Percheron, says hello at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The hayride at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
A very funky scarecrow at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Cooking in the kitchen at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Major greeting visitors at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Brian, 9, from Kinnelon, uses a hand drill at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Loading ice into the ice house at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Loading ice into the ice house at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The farm's vintage tractor at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
A rooster at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Cooking in the kitchen at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Hauling ice at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
A sheep at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
An old fashioned ice cream churn at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The stone arch at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Tapping a maple tree at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The old fashioned horse drawn cart at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Foster family’s 1854 Gothic revival-style mansion at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Foster family’s 1854 Gothic revival-style mansion at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Foster family’s 1854 Gothic revival-style mansion at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Foster family’s 1854 Gothic revival-style mansion at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Foster family’s 1854 Gothic revival-style mansion at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Foster family’s 1854 Gothic revival-style mansion at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Foster family’s 1854 Gothic revival-style mansion at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Calvin, the retired Belgian draft horse, greets kids at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
previous arrow
next arrow
PlayPause
Shadow
Slider

Volunteers Justin and Mike demonstrated maple sugaring, tapping a cooperative maple tree and gathering the sweet sap with a spile and bucket.

The spile is the spout that is gently hammered into a shallow hole, drilled just far enough into the tree to reach the sap.

It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. The temperatures need to be below freezing at night and above freezing during the day for the sap to flow.

The hayride at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The hayride at Fosterfields, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sovelove

Once the tree begins to bud, it’s using the sap for energy and the maple sugaring season is effectively over.

Activities for kids included period games, drilling holes with a manual drill, and using a ripsaw to cut wood.  Volunteers in the kitchen made cornbread with chili and chicken soup, producing mouth-watering aromas on the wood-burning stove.

The farm’s American Percheron horses, Major and King, greeted everyone, as did the chickens, sheep, turkeys, and the resident bull.

The volunteer staff gave tours of the Willows, where Caroline and Charles Foster (Paul Revere’s grandson) lived.  Caroline spent 98 of her 102 years there.

If you’ve read this far… you clearly value your local news. Now we need your help to keep producing the local coverage you depend on! More people are reading Morristown Green than ever. But costs keep rising. Reporting the news takes time, money and hard work. We do it because we, like you, believe an informed citizenry is vital to a healthy community.

So please, CONTRIBUTE to MG or become a monthly SUBSCRIBER. ADVERTISE on Morristown Green. LIKE us on Facebook, FOLLOW us on Twitter, and SIGN UP for our newsletter.

[interactive_copyright_notice float='left']
[icopyright_horizontal_toolbar float='right']

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.