Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Volkening Heritage Farm

We also visited the Volkening Heritage Farm on Saturday. Been there before, of course, but not lately. The residents were up and about to greet us.

"On a visit to Volkening Heritage Farm, you can help with seasonal farm chores, participate in family activities and games of the 1880s or simply visit the livestock and soak in the quiet," the park district's web site says, without adding that you can soak in the smells, too. We opted for the quiet and the smells.

Supposedly the place is closed to casual visitors until March 1, but the days have been so warm(ish) recently that someone at the park district must have decided to leave the gate near the parking lot open. Besides cows and horses, the farm's collection of chickens were out -- we watched numerous hens harassing one that had a bit of food it was trying to eat -- and so were the farm's surviving pigs. Sometime earlier in the winter, the pigs were thinned out to become 1880s-style meat.

From the look of things, new spring piglets will be coming soon (and calves, too). This is the pig shack, though in good weather they're usually taking in the mud next to this structure.

I've always liked this windmill.

Halladay Standard, it says. The U.S. Wind Engine and Pump Co. of Batavia, Ill., used to make these, and the Batavia Historical Society says that "by 1881, the company was called the largest institution of its kind in the world." Why the wind engine -- what a fine alternative term for windmill -- also says, "U.S. Supply Co. Omaha Neb.," I don't know and don't have the energy to track it down.

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