Farm Mu­seum holds ap­ple but­ter demon­stra­tions

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— A steady stream of vis­i­tors came to the race­track prop­erty Satur­day to watch demon­stra­tions on old-time farm skills, such as mak­ing ap­ple but­ter in big iron ket­tles over a wood-burn­ing fire, mak­ing brooms from sorghum plants and spin­ning wool by hand.

Lost arts such as these were the high­light of the an­nual Cecil County Farm Mu­seum fall fes­ti­val. Now in its fourth year at the Fair Hill race­track, the event is planned to co­in­cide with the Fair Hill In­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion nearby.

“We use this money to help us pay for ren­o­va­tions at the Farm Mu­seum’s new home on Ap­ple­ton Road,” said Jerry Eng­land, Farm Mu­seum pres­i­dent.

Now that ex­te­rior ren­o­va­tions are done, they’re con­cen­trat­ing on the in­side, he ex­plained.

“We’ve been busy all day,” Eng­land said, not­ing the weather was much bet­ter than last year’s chilly winds.

The event adds a few new ven­dors each year to give vis­i­tors more choices. New this year was a ven­dor of­fer­ing pol­ished gem­stones on sil­ver chains that cov­ered an ar­ray of col­ors.

Sam Moyer, The Jersey Jerry Broom­squire, brought an ar­ray of hand­made brooms of dif­fer­ent lengths and for dif­fer­ent pur­poses in­clud­ing small spaces, out­door, in­door and heavy duty.

“Al­ways hang your brooms up and they’ll last longer,” he said, as he ex­plained proper care to a cus­tomer.

Other ven­dors of­fered fresh pro­duce, flow­ers, hand­made cloth­ing, soaps and lots of homemade baked goods.

An­other ven­dor brought a col­lec­tion of old lanterns, ex­plain­ing each one’s pur-

FAIR HILL

Liza San­ford-Crane of Elk­ton demon­strates her spin­ning wheel tech­nique Satur­day at Fair Hill while Gerry Scarfe, of Elk­ton, an­other spin­ner, looks for more prod­uct.

pose and func­tion to those in­ter­ested. Ket­tle corn and hand­made fur­ni­ture added to the mix of items for sale.

Mean­while, the big­gest ef­fort of the day fo­cused on ap­ple but­ter pro­duc­tion, from cook­ing for hours to bot­tling for sale. A large group of vol­un­teers who sup­port the Farm Mu­seum spend the day there on their in­di­vid­ual as­signed tasks. It’s a true team ef­fort, end­ing in an assem­bly line of work­ers who bot­tle, la­bel and count the pint jars, which fetch $6 each.

Eng­land said they ac­tu­ally start mak­ing it the week­end prior to the fall event so that they have enough to sell the day of the event.

“Peo­ple or­der it by the case,” Eng­land said, not­ing that this year’s yield is par­tic­u­larly good. “We had three ket­tles go­ing all day and we’re prob­a­bly go­ing to end up with about 600 pints.”

They use blem­ished, or sec­onds from Mil­burns Or­chard.

“We got high pro­duc­tion this year,” Eng­land said.

While all of the demon­stra­tions and cook­ing is go­ing on, vis­i­tors could lis­ten to live blue­grass mu­sic be­ing per­formed by a lo­cal band called “It’s Never Too Late.”

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

Never Too Late, a lo­cal blue­grass band, en­ter­tained vis­i­tors to the Farm Mu­seum Ap­ple But­ter Fes­ti­val at the Fair Hill race­track Satur­day.

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

Vol­un­teers bot­tle freshly made ap­ple but­ter Satur­day dur­ing a demon­stra­tion at the Fair Hill race­track to ben­e­fit the Cecil County Farm Mu­seum.

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

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