Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Goschenhoppen 2017 Part 1

Grace Ventures Back in Time

Hi! This past weekend was the Goschenhoppen Historians' main event for the year. A folk festival with demonstrations of Pennsylvania German home skills, farming, and trades. As well as PA Dutch foods and stage shows. Yes, Pennsylvania German and Pennsylvania Dutch are interchangeable terms for the German settlers of Pennsylvania. "Deutsche" became "Dutch" like "bot boi" became "pot pie" hence the eternal argument of noodles vs. crust. (giggles) But that's a topic for another time.

Anyway, my turn to go since the weather was too bad last year! Kirsten helped me get dressed (we chose my outfit last year after I was told I couldn't go) and we were off. Looking over all the photos we took...there are 47 or 50, so I'm thinking three posts . I know just how to break it up too.

This year Xyra helped with the farm animals so we were both dressed to represent the 19th century or 1800s. The animals were amazing! So this post focuses solely on them.

Arriving Early

The volunteers arrive well before guests. When Xyra and I got there the first thing we noticed were eggs! One of the ducks had laid an egg.
And there were more in the chicken coop. 
We gathered all the eggs and put them aside for display.

The Farm Animals

There were two pens with ducks. These two are the daughter and son of one in the other pen, where we found the egg. 
The big sister is two months old; her little brother is three weeks old. Can you imagine growing that much in just five weeks. That's the difference in their ages.

These grey geese are of the Toulouse breed. 
We had white embden geese as well.Farms kept geese for their down, feathers, eggs, and meat. The down could easily be removed from the breast without needing to destroy the bird as they grow back. The down was used in the home or sold.

We had a family of peafowl. The dad is the really colorful one; Mom is standing next to him warng earth tones; and the daughter is crouching down lower. Her head barely visible at her mom's wing even though they are almost the same size.
Here's a better picture of the three. 
The peafowl were usually found on larger farms. The feathers were collected and sold. Since they would wander the property, they would act like watch dogs because their cries could be heard over long distances.

Millie reminded me a lot of our Garnet at home.
She's so pretty. 
Cows, their job really hasn't changed over time. Milk is gathered for a lot of different dairy products. Most were butchered for meat and horns and hides. Millie is 10-years old and a breeder. 

This is Sniffler. Pigs dig for roots. This pig was really good at digging with his snout.
See. He made it big enough to lie down with a comfy spot to rest his head. Pigs were also raised for their meat.

Sheep! These sheep stayed together all the time and stayed pretty far from the crowds.
Two times each day the guys did a shearing demonstration using hand clippers. This is when you realize the sheep have it much easier today with electric clippers.
The big crop from sheep, of course, is the wool. Collected, cleaned, carded, and spun into thread or yarn. 

I got to pet the duckling. He was so soft! Or some might say, "So FLUFFY I could die!" 
The little guy put on a good show, but there were a couple of brief quite times when he and his sister could take a quick nap. 
The ducks are Pekin breed which sounds like Peking. (giggles)

Oh, I almost forgot about the guinea fowl keets! And they were so adorable. 
These four keets are baby Guinea fowl. Guinea fowl are roamers. They bustle around in packs and eat lots of pests. Like the peafowl, they are also good watchdogs.

That's it for the animals. Any questions?

Come back tomorrow for a look at foods.

À bien...machts gut! 



  1. Very cool post, looking forward to more. And yes, I would say "so fluffy..." ~Cassandra

  2. I learned a lot... and I never realize that Pennsylvania Dutch was really Deutsch! Makes sense. I also didn't know that a yellow duckling was a real thing. He is such a pretty color! I can't wait to hear about foods.... I know there's got to be some terrific food traditions!

    1. He'll soon be white like his sister. :) And they peep when they are little. they don't quack until they are older.

  3. AW! I love seeing all the animals. I grew up on a small farm. We had dairy goats, pigs, a horse, chickens and one duck! I really enjoy going to our county fair and seeing all the livestock.

    1. That's really neat! We like working with the animals this way; we know we'd be terrible if we had a real farm.