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Old Sturbridge Village, Apple & Agriculture Days
October 6 - October 14
Saturday, October 6; Sunday, October 7; Monday, October 8; Saturday, October 13; Sunday, October 14 Celebrate the harvest and the beautiful New England autumn at the peak of fall color. Learn how food makes its way from the farm to the dining room table. Meet our oxen and see multiple guest teams (October 6 – 8 only) demonstrate plowing and field preparation. Learn more about heritage breed animals and talk with breeders.
Join our costumed interpreters as they harvest apples, potatoes, carrots, and beets, conduct garden, and root cellar tours and discuss food preparation, thresh and winnow grain, and shell corn and beans.
One of the most popular items of the fall harvest is apples. In New England, cider making is to autumn what maple sugaring is to spring. However, 19th-century farmers would not recognize the sweet cider we enjoy from farm stands today. Cider in the 1800s was not merely the apple juice, but was fermented “squeezings” from apples, which meant the cider would keep through the spring planting, summer heat and into the harvesting of the next apple season. Throughout the day, our interpreters will be cooking and preserving this special fall fruit and operating the ox-powered Cider Mill.
Cost: Included with daytime admission, a season pass, or Village membership.
Did you know?
- The most common fruit in 19th century New England was the apple. Most farms had orchards of 100-300 trees or more!
- Early apples produced a cider that fermented in six weeks to two months.
- Early New England cider had an alcohol content of 4 – 8 percent, which preserved the cider throughout the year.
- Most 19th-century farm families went through 10 barrels of apple cider a year, each containing 32 gallons.
- Even children drank “hard” cider, although it may have been watered down for younger children.
- Most popular apple varieties of the early 19th-century were different from today. Some of the most popular were Winter apples, Porter apples, Pearmain apples, and Sopsavine apples.
Fall was a busy season for early 19th-century New Englanders as farmers worked tirelessly to harvest corn, potatoes, apples, squash, and more from their fields. Families also worked hard to preserve the harvest by drying, pickling, sugaring, and other preservation techniques, never knowing quite how long the winter would last.
As the leaves change color and the temperatures become cooler, we hope you will visit Old Sturbridge Village, where you can experience the best of fall in New England – past and present!
Dinner in a Country Village
Select Saturdays starting in October
Imagine the tantalizing aroma of mulled cider, gourd soup, roasted chicken, pie, biscuits, and more cooked over the open hearth. In our popular Dinner in a Country Village program, you get to prepare a delicious meal over the hearth like early New Englanders did, and then enjoy the tasty results by candlelight.