In Photos: Girl Scouts Learn Historical Farming Skills


Dudley Farm held its third annual “Partake of the Past” event this weekend, where Girl Scouts from local troops demonstrated historical farming and domestic skills for visitors.

Dudley Farm, located at 18730 W Newberry Road, features restored original buildings owned by three generations of Dudley families since the 1880s. The farm is still run today by staff and volunteers.

“We work in the old way, we dress in period costume, we do everything by hand, we use everything as it was and everything is maintained as it should be, as it was,” said Anthony Ryan, agricultural specialist at Dudley Farm.

Girl Scouts from multiple troops came to Dudley Farm to get training and learn about women’s roles on a farm during the pioneer times. The girls dressed in period clothing, some of which they made themselves.

“Through [this event] they gain public speaking, leadership and have a lot of fun,” said Katherine Strickland, a scout troop leader.

Girl Scouts from fourth grade through ninth grade participated in the event. The scouts, with the help of Dudley Farm volunteers, explained to visitors what their role on the farm is while they demonstrate domestic and farming tasks. This included grinding corn, churning butter, doing laundry, gardening, crocheting, cooking and more.

The Girl Scouts have been preparing for this event since January, when they were first given the historical farming information to study. After a run-through practice the weekend before the event, the scouts were prepared to spend the weekend at Dudley Farms during the 1800s, where they camped overnight and made their meals from scratch from farm resources.

“I like that it kind of relives history because we’ve lost so much of it,” said Olivia Foli, a Girl Scout from Troop 801, “I love this farm because it is from an era of time that was really simple.”

Stephanie, a domestic skills volunteer, makes biscuits for the volunteers and girl scouts to eat for lunch. (Savanna Kearney/WUFT News)


Darby English, a Girl Scout, learns to crochet from Holly Helton, a Dudley Farms domestic skills volunteer. (Savanna Kearney/WUFT News)


Charlae, 13, picks oranges from a tree. The Girl Scouts and volunteers harvested and cooked their lunch from scratch both days. (Savanna Kearney/WUFT News)


Olivia Foli, 13, demonstrates how early farmers washed clothing. Using rollers to wring out fabric is “like straightening your hair,” she said. (Savanna Kearney/WUFT News)


Darby English, 13, helps children to make heliotropes, an old-fashioned type of toy. The event is considered a learning “kid’s day,” but is open to visitors of all ages. (Savanna Kearney/WUFT News)


Pet is the “great-great-grandmother” of all the cows on Dudley Farm, according to Anthony Ryan, agricultural specialist of the farms. Some of Dudley Farm’s cows are descendants of cows brought by the Spanish in the 1500’s. (Savanna Kearney/WUFT News)


About Savanna Kearney

Savanna Kearney is a reporter for WUFT News. She can be reached on Twitter @savannakearney.

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