Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Zwanzigstein Fest

"Grandma, this does NOT look like a festival."  My non-rural grandchildren have urban festival notions.  We are walking from the car, through a field, toward some farm buildings.  My GS and GD are carrying baskets full of spinning supplies, and I am carrying a wheel.  I am coming to the Mennonite Heritage Farm, near Croghan, NY, to help out by demonstrating handspinning.
"Well, let's see how things work out," I tell my GS.
Zwanzigstein is an annual gathering of the descendants of the 20 families who first settled here in the mid 1800's. They have acquired National Historic Site status, and are faithfully restoring the buildings and the house.  In the house basement, you unexpectedly re-enter the 21rst century, as they are finishing state-or-the-art, climate controlled space for their archives.
The kids had a wonderful time.  There were plenty of kid-friendly activities.  My GD claims to have climbed the rock wall eleven times.  She also rode the wagon, drawn by a couple of picture-perfect Belgians, but she lost count.  The GS acquired a bill cap, and flirted with bidding on a John Deere collector's edition toy tractor.
My wheel is on the left, as a young demonstrator prepares to make butter.
  It went great with the homemade bread.
I had a great time with the kids, and  a great time spinning.  In the shade of the narrow front porch, I talked to lots of people, and met friends old and new.
The food (homemade icecream, homemade rootbeer and sassparilla, brats as thick as your wrist, corn chowder, and turker dinner!!) was great.
It's always great to get an upclose look at the old ways, and talk to people who know about those ways.
On our way home, the kids told me it was a pretty good festival.

No comments: