Queens County Farm Museum welcomes spring
by Jennifer Khedaroo
May 06, 2015 | 6941 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Cotswold sheep waits for a haircut.
A Cotswold sheep waits for a haircut.
The annual May sheep shearing event was the main attraction.
The annual May sheep shearing event was the main attraction.
Queens County Farm Museum welcomed its spring season on Sunday, May 3, with a number of seasonal festivities that entertained families all day long. 

Parents and children rushed to the fields to see livestock like the resident sheep, goats, alpacas and laying hens. The highlight of afternoon was the annual spring sheep shearing, where visitors got to watch live as the Cotswold sheep got a much needed haircut after a long and cold winter.

The bags of wool collected from the shearing was then taken to a fiber mill to be washed and spun. Once it turns into yarn, it is returned to the farm where half of is dyed using natural products while the other half is left untouched for a more natural fiber. The yarn is then sold at the farm’s gift shop.

Members of Spin City, a spinners club, were on hand to teach children how to turn wool into yarn using a drop spindle. In the spirit of agricultural creativity, children were also encouraged to create seed bombs. The seed bombs are used as a little package that could be thrown into any small space, such as a flower box, be fed water and grow hassle-free.

Amy Boncardo, the executive director, is delighted by the increase in audience and interest in local agriculture and fiber production. For her and her staff, it is imperative to teach the community about farming on a large scale in an urban area.

“It gives them a chance to see the source of their food directly, meet with farmers and learn about the nutritional value of foods that are grown in the sustainable, organic method,” she said.

Being the city’s largest region of undisturbed land at 47 acres, the farm has many planting fields that contain crops. Currently, hearty early season vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, broccoli and beets have been planted as it could withstand cooler temperatures at this time of the year. Within the farm’s greenhouse are more typical garden variety greens that will be planted in the fields after Memorial Day. These include tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. The farm also produces their own wildflower honey and herbs.

Besides visiting the animals and viewing the crops, there were plenty of historical aspects on the farm. The museum itself, Adriance Farmhouse, was built as a three-room Dutch farmhouse in 1772.  It was restored in 1986 with a fully working kitchen which is still in use today. On Sunday, employees donned 18th century outfits and gave a live demonstration of baking in the 1700s. Using a fire and limited utensils, they managed to bake a loaf of bread as well as shrewbury cake, a biscuit made up of sugar, flour and egg.

Boncardo said that this particular event is consistently the best of the year because it gives visitors a calm and quiet day to browse and interact with the farm.

“We see that it is growing and I think this is the event that connects people most to the farm and what we do.”
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