Posted Friday, January 29th, 2016
The anticipation is at last over, and visitors will be able to meet the long-awaited newest horses at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm on Sunday, Feb. 7, during the “Winter’s Day On The Farm’’ event from 12 noon to 4 p.m. in Morris Township.
This will be the only opportunity to meet and greet the new draft horse team before Fosterfields has is season opening in April.
Visitors have become accustomed to seeing the Belgian Draft blonde and tan-colored Calvin and Hobbes, both now 25 years old, working at Fosterfields for more than 16 years. Now, the distinguished jet-black Major and the brow/black King, who boasts a white blaze on his nose, have arrived to allow Calvin and Hobbes to finally retire.
Both new arrivals are Percheron horses, another breed of work horse that originated in western France, and will now be a significant part of the 200-acre working farm, a facility of the Morris County Park Commission.
The four horses had their official meeting this week and are getting along well — with just a bit of minor grandstanding by both teams – and are eating together and in the field together.
Weighing in at 1,700 to 1,800 pounds each and fully grown, these 7 and 8-year-old beauties will help the public understand horse husbandry.
They will provide an opportunity for everyone to get up close and personal with the vital role these horses played in the region’s farming history; harvesting, ploughing, wagon rides, skidding logs, and doing anything a tractor could do.
“With the retirement of Calvin and Hobbes, we are delighted to introduce to the public the newest horses for the first time at the program, A Winter’s Day on The Farm,” said Mark Sutherland, Manager of Historic Sites for the Morris County Park Commission,
“It is through the generosity of Whole Food Market of Morristown that we were able to purchase these wonderful horses,” he added.
Several times a year, Whole Food Market stores hold community giving days, or 5 Percent Days. The Park Commission was the beneficiary last April at the opening of the Whole Food Market of Morristown.
“Whole Foods Market is pleased to partner with The Friends of Fosterfields and Cooper Gristmill and to support their valued mission,’’ said Milena Caraballo Marketing Team Leader of the Morristown location. With a focus on educational programming, supporting this partnership is a perfect endeavor.”
A Winter’s Day On The Farm, offers visitors an opportunity to experience traditional farm life as it was lived in the early 20th century.
At this educational and hands-on event, the public will discover why harvesting is so important on the farm, learn about ice cutting and examine the special tools, and pitch in with cold-weather jobs. Farmers also will tap maple trees to collect sap, saw wood to heat the home, repair equipment, and prepare for the upcoming growing season.
At the Farmhouse, seasonal foods will be prepared on the wood-burning cook stove. Climb aboard the open-air tractor pulled wagon for a memorable ride around the farm. In the barnyard, meet the Jersey cows, the sheep, and of course, Major and King.
Admission to A Winter’s Day on the Farm is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+), $6 for children ages 4 – 16, and $4 for children ages 2 and 3, FREE for children under age 2. Friends member are half price with a current membership card. Fosterfields Living Historical Farm is located at 73 Kahdena Road, Morris Township
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, is the first designated living history farm in New Jersey and is on the state and national registers of historic places. Over 30,000 visitors come to the farm to witness farming methods recreated as nearly done 100 years ago.
In 1881 Charles Foster purchased the land from General Joseph Warren Revere, the grandson of Paul Revere, and named it Fosterfields. Caroline, Foster’s daughter, bequeathed Fosterfields in 1979 to the Morris County Park Commission to be preserved as a living historical farm.