What’s new around the Philip Foster Farm?
The flower gardens are looking gorgeous, thanks to the weeding efforts of volunteer Stephanie Cibula, the planting efforts of (blacksmith) Sam Morse, and the tireless work of the Northwest Rose Historians, including JZH board member Gerri Morse. Please visit their website to see what they are planning for the Farm!
Suzi Trexler is coming on this summer as an intern. She’ll be working with visitors and campers, planning exhibits, building website content, and organizing our archives.
We’re excited to have the Farmhouse Nursery as our new neighbor to the north. It has taken over the feed store, and now offers a range of services for people, animals, and gardens.
Estacada Web Academy is now accepting applications for our Trails Across Time Living History Immersion Program. TAT students will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays next fall, helping with Farm tours and gardens, sharing pioneer and modern skills and learning, and building a fun community of 6th to 12th graders. Maximum of 16 students will be accepted, so early applications are encouraged!
Sixty to eighty kids a day will be exploring the farm this spring, from April 3rd to June 14th. Come join us to learn (or teach) about pioneer life on the Oregon Trail!
A seasonal calendar is a beautiful thing! Not only are there exciting seasons of activity, but there are these equally exciting times of working behind the scenes to plan and prepare. Writing grants, collaborating with local, regional, and national organizations, planning advertising campaigns, and sharing our ideas for 2013 with board members, staff, volunteers, community members and guests – these activities challenge us to think deeply about our mission, the vision we have for our organization and our community, and the many people who can help us bring it to pass.
If you’d like to help us move forward on the BIG goals we have for 2013, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell us about it. Over the next year, we will need hundreds of volunteers, for everything from writing to videography, to crafting, to giving tours, to a few things we don’t even know we need yet.
It’s going to be a great year! Please join us,
Elaine Butler (Site Manager)
Trails Across Time is a unique charter school for grades 6-12, that meets two days each week to learn and lead, with work online at home the rest of the week. Students help to maintain and give tours of the Farm, learn about US and Oregon History, and develop leadership skills. Unit studies coordinate social studies learning with language arts and science, and students have individually assigned online math courses, with access to skilled instructors. Free to Oregon students. More information at http://mrsbutler.atspace.org/TAT.html.
Next semester begins January 21, 2013.
October 5th, 2012 is Homeschool Day at the Philip Foster Farm. Bring your picnic lunch and enjoy Oregon History for the thoughtful (and energetic) child. Hands-on activities with real pioneer equipment bring your Oregon History to life. Climb on the wagon, taste the cider, grind the corn, and saw the firewood!
First Friday of October, 10:00-2:00. Admission is $5.00 per person or $20.00 per family. Infants and toddlers free.
Pioneer life wasn’t all sunshine and snickerdoodles. Our exploration of death and dying in early Oregon is built for the thoughtful child, and based on true stories of pioneer life on the Oregon Trail and Eagle Creek’s pioneer days. Bring the whole family for an event to remember. Meet the Peach Girls, Charity Lamb, and other guests and inhabitants of Eagle Creek.
Admission $5.00 per person, $20.00 per family
October 27, 2012 6:00-9:00 p.m.
My favorite thing about life on any farm is the change of the seasons, magnified here by the human activity that follows it.
Nature puts on the big show every spring. Lilacs, iris, apples, chesnuts, maple trees, and roses burst into bloom, as the buses unload their energetic occupants to explore the chores and privileges of pioneer life. Summer is less exuberant, more focused, with events and tours for adults and families, camps that allow children to explore more of pioneer life, and long quiet days of availability to local guests and tourists from around the globe.
Fall is beautiful here, and in some ways the best time to see the Farm. The gardens and orchards are full of fruit, and the Farm throbs with history. This is when the pioneers arrived in great numbers, and their stories are full of autumn foods and autumn weather. In winter, the mud and cold take over the place. Humanity overcomes it with a burst of Christmas cheer, and then settles in to persevere the wet drizzle that prequels the abundant verdance of spring on the Farm.
Amber Milmore is the newest face of Philip Foster Farm. She and her three children have been volunteering since spring of 2011, and the board recently asked her to take over management of the store and the remainder of our events for the year.
Amber loves people, history, and crafts, is a Girl Scout and AWANA leader, and most recently worked on the committee to organize Gresham’s Relay for Life event, with the help of her husband Benno and children Mariah, Alex, and Anna.
We recommend you buy a Barn Dance ticket and come down to meet the whole family!
A few of our loyal Cider Squeeze fans have asked about our new admissions policy, so here’s a brief look at the efforts we’ve made to keep the Philip Foster Farm accessible for as many people as possible.
We have always charged for scheduled tours, and have traditionally been free for events and drop-in guests through the summer. The financial reality is that schoolchildren have been our major source of funding for the last 15 years, while our major expenses center on staying open in the summer and managing events (not usually as lucrative as you might think). As part of our longterm plan to improve the site, provide better customer service, and put more opportunities for history education in your hands, we needed to have a consistent source of income in the summer.
Charging admission to our drop-in guests for summer hours and events has raised our summer income significantly, without lowering our visitor numbers. We are still not covering all the expenses related to staying open, but every little bit helps.
We have enjoyed being a free resource, and strive to be as accessible as possible. Memberships in the JZH Historical Society are very inexpensive, and volunteers can earn them with only 10 hours of work.
The volunteer board that maintains the farm literally donates thousands of hours and hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars in cash and in-kind contributions to keep the Farm moving forward. Please join their efforts to preserve and maintain our little piece of Oregon’s heritage by visiting the Farm, becoming a member of the Historical Society, or volunteering your time and skills.