Baking bread is difficult enough now—imagine what it would be like to have to bake loaves daily, and in a hearth oven. If you’d like to find out for yourself, or learn what was it like to farm and feed a family in 19th-century America, you can. Wednesday workshops on bread-baking are just one of the attractions at the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., a working collection of 30 buildings, 23,000 tools and objects and dozens of historic-breed barnyard animals. You can also help drive the oxen team in the hops yard; milk a cow; learn open-heath cooking techniques the Lippett Farmhouse. And have a taste of roast Narragansett turkey, heirloom-squash soup or fresh-baked bread with hand-churned Devon butter. See how sheep were sheared; then watch spinners spin and weavers weave. Wander seven gardens, including the one with medicinal plants near Dr. Thaw’s Pharmacy, and through the quacks and clucks of Cuyuga ducks and Java chickens. Broom-makers and blacksmiths and paper-makers work at their home crafts. And for fun? Get lost in the 1816-design privet-and-honeysuckle maze or take a whirl on the farm-animal merry-go-round.
The museum is open through the end of October, Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s also open Thanksgiving weekend and then reopens for the spring season in April. The Farmers’ Museum is located at 5775 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, N.Y. 13326; 888-547-1450.