Confused sheep with Knitted Brows

Published on Monday, March 11, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
(/images/postimages/cwoh2011_bm0232.jpg)Sheep are not geniuses. Their brains are small and most of their energy is used for wool production and expressing fear of every single thing that ever occurs. Years of slow-witted observation have taught the sheep at DHV that each spring, humans steal their beloved wool through the humiliating process of shearing, but they never knew why until last weekend. No sheep can ever forget the feeling of being grabbed by a human and having those electric or hand shears run over the whole body till the lovely wool is gone. Yes, nudity feels good as the Texas summer heats up, but they look so silly. The farmstead humans always wash the wool, a task made necessary by the sheep’s questionable hygiene habits. Visitors watch as the wool is smo ..

How Does Your Garden Grow? Flax!

Published on Thursday, March 07, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
This winter we planted one of our large raised bed planters at the Farmstead full of flax. We chose flax for this bed to test the bed and to test the flax. This particular raised bed hadn’t germinated much of anything for the past two seasons, and needed a lot of amendments to get back to productive condition. Flax is a fairly tolerant plant and will grow just about anywhere, and we knew if the flax didn’t germinate in that spot we would have to replace the soil more than we already had. The raised beds also needed something growing so that the soil didn’t wash away and pack down over our off season and flax has nice sturdy deep roots. Finally, we needed to test out golden flax and see how well it grows without much attention. We found that golden flax is just ab ..

What’s Cooking In The Village?

Published on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
Starting in March, the Village will be playing host to a series of monthly cooking classes highlighting traditional foods made from scratch. While we will be cooking in our various historic kitchens, the products and methods you take home will be usable in a modern kitchen as well. As the first part of our Meet the Village People series, I will introduce myself–don’t worry, you’ll meet everyone else in the coming months–so that you will know just who that person in front of the fire is when you arrive at class. When people see me cooking in the historic kitchens at the Village, their first question is usually “How did you learn to do that?” Well, I learned to cook in a historic kitchen while working at another historic village museum, Greenfie ..

What the Mama Fig Tree said to the Baby Fig Tree

Published on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
It feels like spring lately, but it is really the dead of winter and time to plant the future fruit trees of Texas. Back at the farmstead, we have just planted four dormant little sticks that promise to blossom later in the year. All are heritage varieties, meaning they existed during Dallas’ frontier period and might have been grown by a local farmer. We tried to choose some unusual fruits that will make visitors ask questions. We planted pomegranate, persimmon and plum. Just try to say that three times fast! We also planted a new fig tree, and that is a bit sad for us. We have had a fig tree for many years. They have a limited lifespan, and we must accept that our old friend is reaching the end. She once created so many figs that we had to practice traditional methods  ..

Heading to the library

Published on Wednesday, February 06, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
Last week, the American Library Association announced their Youth Media Awards, which includes the Newbery and Caldecott Awards. I always keep an eye on these announcements because a) I like to read! and b)there’s always a lot of love for historical fiction. They also release a list of Recommended Books in different categories, including Non-Fiction, the Amelia Bloomer List (“well-written and well-illustrated books with significant feminist content”), and Books for Reluctant Readers. As educators, we’re always on the lookout for great books about history to recommend to families. Though we haven’t had time to read all of the books listed below, here are some of the ones that caught our eye. Below are some books that both Elaina (Education Assistant) a ..

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