Howell Living History Farm’s corn harvesting program introduces students to the many facets of harvesting and utilizing maize, a vital crop to North America. Howell Farm’s living history approach draws students back to a time period when the principles of cultivating food were familiar to most people in America. During the corn harvesting season, Howell Farm welcomes school groups to help hand pick and prepare its corn crop and to discover what farming was like in 1900 America.
Corn Picking: Everyone will work in the field helping farmers hand pick this year’s corn crop. Using historic hand-picking methods, corn will be husked right on the stalk so that only the dry yellow ear is removed, and then put into baskets. Help a farmer load the corn onto a wagon and meet his team of horses that will pull the wagon to the corn crib for unloading.
Corn Storage & Shelling: Visit Howell Farm’s corncrib and learn how corn is dried for use as either animal feed or corn meal. Then take ears of corn and experience shelling corn by removing the kernels from the cob. Each person will hand shell an ear of corn before a farmer demonstrates use of mechanical shellers powered by hand. Also find out how farmers recycle corn cobs.
Feed & Cornmeal Making: Use the corn your class shells to fill the hopper of a hand-powered grinder. Learn how to crack corn for animal feed and how to use the grinder to make coarse, medium or fine ground corn. Next, try using a mortar and pestle to grind corn, and find out why Howell Farm’s 100 year old corn grinder would be considered a very modern tool by many of the world’s farmers.
Cornbread Baking & Tasting: Visit the farmhouse kitchen and help a Howell Farm interpreter make cornbread. While the bread is baking, learn about different types of corn such as field corn, sweet corn, broom corn, Indian corn and popcorn. Watch a farmer make popcorn using antique tools and techniques. Samples of corn bread and popcorn will be available for tasting!