Springton Manor slates Sheep and Wool Day
● By J. Chambless
The highlight of the day is the annual shearing of the herd, which takes place throughout the day. Gather in the tent to watch the shearer remove the woolen fleece from over 20 sheep and learn how it is used.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., acoustic group Folkie Dolkies takes the stage with a mix of country, blues, folk and bluegrass music. Instrumentation includes guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and the old doghouse (an upright bass).
At 1:30 p.m., Juggler Randy Lyons will take the stage to juggle a wide variety of items, including spinning plates, Chinese yo-yo’s, cigar boxes, poi swings, and crystal balls. When not on stage, Randy will roam throughout the event for you to try your luck at juggling.
Ridley Creek State Park’s Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation will demonstrate butter churning using paddles, and educate about the butter making industry. They will also demonstrate dyeing natural fibers.
Guilds, including the Lancaster Spinners & Weavers Guild and Brandywine Rug Hooking Guild, will demonstrate wool spinning, carding, rug hooking, weaving, and other artisan crafts. Purls of Wisdom, from Phoenixville, will introduce children to finger knitting, arm knitting and spool knitting. Crochet One, Knit Too of Henrietta Hankin Branch Library will demonstrate crocheting basics.
Walk through the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s interactive, 40-foot Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab to learn about products Pennsylvania farms provide for our use. Chester County Master Gardeners will hold a plant sale offering a mix of vegetables, herbs and native plants, and Chester County Food Bank will showcase its partnership with Springton Manor through its outdoor classroom and raised bed gardens, and demonstrate a home work composting bin. Visit with the young animals in Springton’s Great Barn and have your Farm Passport stamped, or tour the Family Farm Museum to learn about seasonal tools used on Chester County farms from the 1700s to the 1900s. Meet and greet two alpacas from Grist Mill Farm and see samplings of yarn, rugs and other items made. Penn State Extension and 4-H Clubs will also provide animal exhibits including ponies, milking goats, cows and swine, and information on Lyme Disease. Chester County Animal Response Team will demonstrate how to prepare for emergencies and disasters effecting animals.
Chester County Library will conduct three-legged races and egg and spoon toss games. Play in the corn cribs, have your face decorated, and see tractors, old and new. Talk with the beekeeper and try some honey samples. See letter pressing, an ancient form of printing, and visit the craft vendors displaying assorted products from jewelry to soaps, photography and bird houses. Grab lunch or a snack from a selection of food vendors.
Take a wagon ride through Springton’s scenic 300 acres and help support the Friends of Springton Manor. This non-profit group dedicated to recreation, education, conservation and preservation of the farm, will have information on becoming involved with activities at the park.
The event will be held rain or shine. Parking is $5 per car, and admission and activities are free. Vendors will have products for sale, and an ATM is available on site.
Springton Manor Farm, a working demonstration farm operated by Chester County Facilities & Parks, is located five miles west of Downingtown, off Route 322 in Glenmoore. For more information, call the park at 610-942-2450 or visit www.chesco.org/ccparks.