Agriculture and Art!

Agriculture and Art!
Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also a quick reminder that PHMC sites participate in the Blue Star Museums and Museums for All programs.

6 people in blue jeans, workshirts and caps harvest and bundle flax plants. A pile of plants is in the foreground
Staff and volunteers at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum harvesting flax (photo Heirloom Seed Project)

My thanks for this week's opening photo go to Joanne Ranck-Dirks of the Heirloom Seed Project at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum. Joanne sent along a series of photos, along with an explanation of the effort:
The flax harvest is underway at Landis Valley. This historic crop is planted in early April and harvested in mid-July. After drying in our hoop house, the flax is retted in a tub of water and dried again. We use the flax in our textile barn to show how it is processed into linen fiber. We also sell the flax straw to other historic sites and individual spinners and weavers.

Man in jeans, green shirt and cap stacks bundles of flax upright to dry
Landis Valley's Farm and Garden Manager, Joe Schott, stacks flax bundles to begin drying 

I've saved some additional photos and info on a separate Landis Valley Flax Harvest page. Thanks, Joanne, and all the folks at Landis Valley for this update on your work.

Last weekend, Old Economy Village received a visit from the family of artist Richard Hay Kenah (1907-1982), who painted a mural of George Rapp and other members of the Harmony Society that now hangs in the Visitor Center. The mural, painted in 1934 on a canvas backing, was originally adhered to a wall at Ambridge High School and then painted over. It was later rediscovered by the Ambridge School District and donated to Old Economy. Following an extensive conservation effort that involved removing plaster and constructing a frame, the mural was installed in Old Economy's new Visitor Center when it opened in 2002. The site posted a photo of the artist's son Chris with the mural.

Upcoming Events (in-person and virtual)

Today, July 30
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual), curator Katie McGowan will talk about a 1946 silk wedding dress made from a surplus WWII parachute, State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm (SMP web link for info and registration)
Sunday, August 1
  • Garden Party and Oxygen Day (in-person), spend some time in the gardens (11 am-12:30 pm) and learn about Dr. Priestley's discovery of oxygen (1-4 pm), Joseph Priestley House (JPH Facebook page for details)
  • Living History Sunday, guided tours will be offered, Conrad Weiser Homestead, noon-4 pm (CWH website)
Wednesday, August 4
  • Explore! (in-person), kids in grades 3-5 are invited to learn about Pennsylvania Turtles, State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in general admission - sign up at Ground Floor Information Desk (Explore! info)
Thursday, August 5
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person), help kids K-Grade 2 discover what natural resources are, State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in general admission - sign up at Ground Floor Information Desk (Curiosity Kids info)


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