Thursday, July 23, 2009

Frugal Fridays - The best family destination in Ohio

Well, I've been MIA this week due to our vacation to visit family in Ohio. We have had lots of fun each day, but our favorite adventures have been the free ones (of course!). Yesterday, we visited a living history museum of sorts, a working 1880's farm near Columbus, Ohio. Eric said, "this is a gem, a real treasure! If we lived here, I'd make a point to go out there every few weeks with the girls. I've never seen Eva's eyes like that. It was too awesome to be free."

Slate Run Living Historical Farm was a step into the past where we watched men and women go about their day running a single family farm dwelling. The farm is fully self-sustaining, growing vegetables, hay, wheat, and raising hogs, sheep, and chickens. All the animals and crops were naturally raised and heirloom varieties, making me drool for the highly nutritious veggies, meat, and eggs. The employees of the farm actually eat their meals at the farm all year, after the women have prepared them using techniques of the 1880's. Even their bacon is smoked in a smoke house down the hill from the summer kitchen! Eva has a small obsession with pioneer life, founded on her love of Laura Ingalls and Kirsten, the American Girl. She enjoys learning about lots of different times in history, but she was clearly thrilled to be transported back to this time period. She said very little, but took in everything with huge eyes. Since most tools and items around the farm were available for the public to use, she really enjoyed trying everything out and pretending to live as a pioneer girl. At one point we were standing in the main house kitchen watching two women work on sorting through some canned goods. They were getting rid of the older canned goods by dumping them in a bucket to feed to the pigs. Eva stepped out on the side porch and beckoned me out to join her. Once outside, she whispered to me with urgency, "Mom, can you ask them if I can play with them?" I obliged, and Eva was given the job of scooping old applesauce into the slop bucket. Later in the day, after walking through the grounds, Eva asked if she could go back to the house alone. She hurried down the lane, and we were happy to find her 20 minutes later helping to stack jars of pickles and beets in the root cellar. Here she is with her "playmate"-In the Little House on the Prairie TV series, there is an episode in which Laura competes with Nellie Olsen in a hoop rolling contest. Wouldn't you know, the farm had several hoops to practice rolling in the yard! Eva practiced for a bit, then challenged Aunt Stephanie to a duel.We all enjoyed the barn and work areas, but of course Eric and Ryan spent the most time there. Since it was a bit of a rainy day, the men didn't have much work to be doing in the fields and were more than eager to talk with visitors. Two different gentlemen led us through the barn, machinery shop, wood working shop, and animal pens. They flooded us with interesting information, descriptions of how to use the tools and people-powered machines, the farming processes, and conversation about how the farm continues today. Here is Eric discussing the construction techniques used to build the barn. Simply said, we were amazed by everything we saw and heard.
A few other tempting photos-
Eva enjoyed pretending to churn butter... I enjoyed imagining the highly nutritious raw farm butter of the 1880's.
Hope had a lot of fun climbing around the hay loft in the barn and petting the huge work horses and milk cows. This is one happy girl. As Eric said, "this farm is a treasure!" Thanks for taking us there, Ryan and Stephanie!

For more frugal ideas, visit Life As Mom for Frugal Fridays!


Jessica said...

This is so cool Becca! I can't believe it was free!

rob said...

I agree with Jess...that looks awesome. Maybe you and Eric can open one here?:)


Anonymous said...

Love that last picture of Eva! So cute! What a fun trip :)


Suz said...

Looks like a similar place here in Indiana... that you guessed it... isn't free.

Next time we're in the are, we'll have to try and check it out :)

We were in Columbus for a few weeks ago and discovered jenni's ice cream.. I'm ready to go back just for that! :) Yum!

Beki said...


Thanks for this fun post Becca!

Erin said...

so, so, so jealous! I love, absolutely love living history places! I almost cried reading about Eva enjoying it so much, I don't know, but it struck a "sweetness" chord in my heart. :)

AKat said...

This looks like a place my sisters and I would have adored when we were little! I am living through Eva's eyes here. She's just soaking it all in and you can see her imagination is rolling! So much fun! Your little one will be here soon!!! Love you, Becs!