Interactive Home Activities

Fun Activities for Home

During this time of social distancing, MHHM has temporarily postponed its educational programs. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with MHHM at home!

Just like the oak trees growing in the historic garden, Macculloch Hall is branching out in new directions to serve our visitors.

Check back frequently for more museum and garden activities. Take pictures of your work and tag MHHM on Facebook or Instagram at @maccullochhall.


To learn more, visit our sub tabs.

Arbor Day                                       Birds: Backyard Birds  

Birds: I Spy Birds-Interacting with a Painting

Celebrating Architecture             Census: Why the Census Matters

Citizen Science                               Earth Day

Highlighting Women                    International Museum Day

National Park Week                      Thomas Nast


World Watercolor Month

Watercolor work by artist Lisa Madson.

Dig out your old watercolor set, buy a new one, or make your own and spend some time “capturing” nature in color during World Watercolor Month. If you need some inspiration, the creators of World Watercolor Month have provided 31 prompts for watercolor painting, one for each day in July. 

Watercolor work by artist Lisa Madson.

MHHM summer 2020 teaching artist, Lisa Madson, incorporates watercolor into many of her prints from nature. As an artist and teacher, Lisa uses a technique called eco-dyeing that transfers impressions from leaves and flowers onto paper. She often brings additional color to a hand-printed work using watercolor in a later step. Her art has been on exhibit in many venues including recent exhibits at the Bernardsville Public Library and at Frontline Arts, formerly known as The Printmaking Council of New Jersey (PCNJ). MHHM looks forward to sharing the opportunity for free virtual art lessons led by Lisa in July and August for families and summer groups to create their own works of art. To find out more, email cwinslow@maccullochhall.org.

Resources:

Learn how to make your own watercolor from food coloring.   

Register for a free virtual watercolor class at the Princeton University Art Museum scheduled for Sunday, July 12. The class will have closed captioning available in both English and Spanish. 

Wild About Wildlife: Chipmunks 

Spending time in a park or while on a hike, chances are you’ve heard or seen a scampering, scurrying chipmunk. If you had a chance to look closely, you’d see five dark brown stripes separated by four white or beige strips that start on the chipmunk’s face and go down the back of its body. This is our Eastern chipmunk. Eastern chipmunks actually look different than Western chipmunks, which have longer tails and spend more times in trees.

What else do chipmunks do when they are not scampering and scurrying? They can also swim, leap, and climb. They build burrows underground, with many tunnels and rooms. Chipmunks sometimes live in the same burrow for many years. At MHHM, we have a chipmunk that lives in a burrow underneath the sassafras tree in our garden and who we are always happy to see. Chipmunks stay very close to their homes, usually only traveling 160 feet from their burrows. They usually live alone, only living in groups when they are first born.

Chipmunks have a very good sense of smell which helps them find food, usually seeds, nuts, and berries. Maybe you’ve seen a chipmunk with its cheek pouches all puffed out, filled with seeds. They will also eat insects. Chipmunks also use their sense of smell to identify their brothers and sisters. You may see one chipmunk sniff another chipmunk face to face. 

Resources: 

Join us today at noon on Facebook Live for Storytime: Guess and Go! to learn more about chipmunks during Wild about Wildlife Month!

Listen to a Native American tale of How Chipmunk Got His Stripes written by Joseph Bruchac and James Bruchac.

Munchie Monday: Bread Pudding

From east to west, north to south, bread pudding recipes exist around the world. Called by different names in Malaysia, Panama, Germany, and Puerto Rico, and made with different ingredients and liquids, bread pudding is a comfort food for those not wishing to waste stale bread. Made for centuries in English kitchens, it would not be a surprise if the bread pudding recipes in Louisa Macculloch’s 19th century cookbook date back to her English grandmother or great-grandmother.

The recipe shared below appears to be based on an even earlier recipe, also included in her cookbook, which calls for the bread pudding to be baked in water. In the converted recipe, it was taken into account that a dry pint is more than a liquid pint. Extra liquid may have been necessary in the early recipe because the texture of 19th century bread may have needed more moisture to not dry out too quickly when baked. We hope you make time to enjoy another recipe from Macculloch Hall Historical Museum!

Mrs. Macculloch’s Bread Pudding Recipe
One pint stale bread
1 quart cold milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons full sugar
2 eggs beaten with a spoon

Soak bread in milk, then mash smooth and add other ingredients. Bake in moderate oven 45 minutes. Serve hot.

Adapted Bread Pudding Recipe
6 slices stale bread
2 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Cut bread into large cubes and soak in two cups of milk. Beat two eggs and stir in salt and sugar. Pour egg mixture over soaked bread and incorporate thoroughly. Put into ungreased baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until top is light brown. Serve hot with sauce or fruit. Remainder of bread pudding should be refrigerated.

Resources:

Check out this 2008 article by Joanne McFadden which shares a variety of bread pudding recipes. 

The Buck Moon

Farmers have used almanacs for years to get tips for growing and planting crops. In addition to planting tips, almanacs contain long-range weather forecasts and lunar calendars to help farmers and gardeners decide when to plant seeds. Some believe that the moon can have an effect on how plants grow. The Farmers’ Almanac, which Mr. Macculloch had a copy of, claims that the water inside plants is affected by the gravitational pull of the moon just like the ocean tides. Each lunar calendar includes the phases of the moon. Full moon’s occur every month and each one has a name that is derived from Native American traditions. Native Americans did not use a calendar system like the one we have today. Instead, they used the moon to track time. The names that are used in almanacs come from Algonquian speaking tribes of New England and the Great Lakes.

This July 4, in addition to fireworks, you might see the Buck Moon as well. The Buck Moon gets its name from male deer, known as bucks, because antlers typically grow in July. July’s full moon is also called the Thunder Moon, because of the frequent thunderstorms in July, or the Hay Moon, because farmers typically prepare hay for winter around this time of year. This year, the Buck Moon is extra special because it is also a penumbral eclipse. Penumbral eclipses occur when the moon crosses into the faint out edges of the Earth’s shadow, making the moon slightly darker than usual. This July 4, keep an eye out for the Buck Moon and see if you can see the penumbral eclipse!

Resources: 

Check out this video to learn more about the different moon names and how those names came to be.

Native Americans tribes had different beliefs about stars, moon, and space. Check out this playlist of videos from the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian that features a variety of Native myths. When watching, think about the similarities and differences between them.

The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape are Native Americans who are indigenous to New Jersey. They are descended from the Alqonguin speaking Nanticoke and Lenape peoples. Check out this video of a Lenni Lenape Pow wow from the 2017 New Jersey Folk Festival of one of their traditional dances. What can you learn about their culture from the video?

Want to learn more about the science behind the moon? Check out this video from National Geographic!

Wild About Wildlife: Birds

You probably see or hear at least one or two birds during your day, but have you ever stopped to think about how unique birds really are? Some can swim and dive. Some walk. Some hover and fly. There are so many different species, different sizes, and different colors in our New Jersey backyards! During Wild About Wildlife Month, held each July, take time to appreciate the birds in your neighborhood. Learn about the goldfinch, robin, mourning dove, cardinal, and blue jay in our Backyard Birds sub tab and join us at noon today on Facebook Live for Storytime: Guess & Go! to hear more about birds.

Resources: 

Learn about birds and what makes them special at this interactive site.

Take a virtual visit to The Raptor Trust on their Facebook page. 

Enjoy a video of the Turtle Back Zoo Aviary, home to 350 birds. 

Hear Good-Night, Owl! by Pat Hutchins and find out why Owl can’t seem to fall asleep. 

Munchie Monday: Pudding 

Of all the types of desserts in Louisa Macculloch’s cookbook—charlottes, whigs, jumbles, and puddings, the pudding is probably the one we are most familiar with today. Born and raised in England, Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) brought her traditional recipes with her to Morristown, New Jersey in 1810 and these recipes were passed down through generations of her family.

Image of Louisa Macculloch's cook book. The front cover is open to the handwritten index.We’ve heard of figgy pudding, plum pudding, and Christmas pudding but how well do we know what a pudding was compared to today? Prior to the late 1700s, an English pudding could be savory, being sausage or meat-based, or sweet. By the 1800s, even though the methods of steaming or boiling a pudding in a cloth bag remained the same, a pudding was more like a cake.

Louisa Macculloch had seventeen pudding recipes in her cookbook. These included several recipes for bread pudding, plum pudding, and lemon pudding as well as an 1849 recipe for cocoa-nut pudding. Today we are sharing one of her apple pudding recipes, which is undated, but the recipe hints at an earlier time.

Original recipe: Apple Tapioca Pudding
¾ cup pearl tapioca put to soak in one quart of water in which ¾ teaspoon of salt has been dissolved. Soak about three hours (near the fire). Peel and core four apples, cut in quarters and arrange in baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar.

Add ½ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of butter to tapioca. Stir over fire till it reaches boiling point. Pour over the apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and bake one hour. Serve hot with hard sauce or cream.

Modern conversion: Apple Tapioca Pudding
¾ cup large pearl tapioca
¾ teaspoon salt
3-4 apples
2 tablespoons butter 
½ cup sugar

Soak ¾ cup large pearl tapioca in one quart of water, with ¾ teaspoon of salt, for at least three hours. Pour off extra water and use strainer. Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Peel and core three to four apples, cut in quarters and arrange in baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar.

In a saucepan over low to medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter, add strained tapioca, ½ cup of sugar and stir. After it boils and thickens, pour over the apples in the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until apples are soft and pudding is bubbling. Serve hot with hard sauce or cream.

Resources:

Tapioca was popular in 18th century England and was considered beneficial for the young and old. Today we know that tapioca is a resistant starch and functions like fiber in the digestive system. To find out more about tapioca and the Cassava root, visit www.livestrong.com.  

The Night Shift

Even though some moths are active during the day, moths have an important job to do as night time pollinators. Moths often pollinate plants that other pollinators ignore. They are known pollinators of evening primrose, night blooming jasmine, and honeysuckle.

Globally, there are more species of moths (160,000) than there are of butterflies (17,500 species) according to the Smithsonian Institution. Even in New Jersey, moths rule with 1,500 species compared to 150 species of butterflies! Some species of moths are so colorful that they are often mistaken for butterflies.

Did you know that inchworms are the caterpillars of the Geometer moth? The moths lay their eggs on foxglove, primrose, and thyme plants. In late June and July, the inchworms dangle on silken-threads from tree branches traveling to the soil and leaf litter where they will spin their cocoons. 

Resources:

Listen to Leo Lionni’s Inch by Inch told by Jeffrey Woodrow.

Download a moth coloring book and get creative! For some ideas on how to color your moths, visit www.mothscount.org.  

Once you’ve colored your moths, take the project one step further and make a moth habitat

Hear a story about pollinators, Flowers Are Calling, by Rita Gray. 

National Pollinator Week

Pollinators come in all shapes and sizes. Most often we think of insects like bees, butterflies, moths, flies and beetles as pollinators when we see them on flowering plants. Birds and mammals can also help as plant pollinators. While inside the flower, the pollinator gathers pollen from the stamen, the male portion, and transfers it to the pistil, the female part. It is believed one third of the world’s food supply is produced through pollination. Thanks to our pollinators we have gardens full of flowers, and fruit trees and bushes full of favorite fruits, and vegetable gardens teeming with the veggies we love to eat!

Metal bowl full of dark green dinosaur kale, bright lights swiss chard with red stems, and a bunch of plump fresh picked cucumbers from MHHM's garden.Some fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, beans, eggplant, and corn do not need pollinators. They can self-pollinate or are aided by the wind. Even carrots, potatoes, lettuce and broccoli can grow without pollinators. BUT if you love your fruit like watermelon, pears, plums, pumpkins, blueberries, raspberries, and apples, you will need to thank a pollinator! And what is a fresh salad of lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots without CUCUMBERS.  Cucumbers and squash are also among the vegetables that need the help of pollinators.  During your next meal take a moment to think about and thank a pollinator!

Stop by our gardens and take a look at the tomatoes and potatoes in MHHM’s teaching beds, and see how many pollinators you can spot. 

Resources:

Visit kidsgrowingstrong.org to learn about pollinators and pollinatorlive.pwnet.org for free, family activities.  

Four images of birds, butterflies, flies and beetles with information on their importance as pollinators underneath each image.

Watch Storytime: Guess & Go! at noon today on Macculloch Hall Historical Museum’s Facebook Live to hear two stories and guess the connection. Today we will “bee” sharing the Refrigerator Pickle recipe that has created a “buzz” in the Museum’s historic garden for four years. 

Munchie Monday: Jumbles

This month to celebrate National Country Cooking Month, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum has shared several desserts from the recipes of Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863). From charlottes to whigs, we now move on to a jumble recipe. Jumbles, also spelled jumbal or jumballs, were a type of sugar cookie or biscuit popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. Louisa Macculloch had several recipes for jumbles in her cookbook. Some recipes called rose water and almonds while another for coconut. Martha Washington had several jumble recipes in a cookbook she used. Jumbles could be baked or boiled.

Early jumbles were shaped in a loop or braided into a knot pattern and could be stored for a long period of time.  Some believe that jumbles led to the development of pretzels, bagels or even donuts. Louisa Macculloch ends one of her jumble recipes with the words, “this makes a quantity, enough for company”. We hope you and your company enjoy this treat!

Jumbles
½ pound butter
½ pound sugar
¾ pound flour
4 eggs
½ nutmeg
Brandy to taste
Roll out in sugar

 

Adapted recipe (halved) for Jumbles
½ cup of butter
½ cup sugar
2 cups of flour
2 eggs
½ teaspoon of fresh nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix ingredients until combined. Form into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 14-15 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

Resources: 

Bake jumbles with caraway seed, aniseed and lemon zest from an recipe shared on an episode of The Great British Baking Show. 

Honoring Juneteenth

We honor and celebrate Juneteenth, the date when on June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3, the enforcement of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, to enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas. This moment publicly announced the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery with Union troops there to enforce it.

Today we recognize the dedication and work of our colleagues at the ground-breaking Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May, NJ. They are working to preserve and educate the public about Harriet Tubman’s life in Cape May in the early 1850s, and to highlight the role members of the Cape May community played in the fight against slavery.

Though the museum’s scheduled opening for today, Juneteenth 2020, has been postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we celebrate and remember Harriet Tubman’s abolition work in Cape May. 

Resources: 

Hear stories about the life of Harriet Tubman by Lesa Cline-Ransome, author of Before She Was Harriet. 

Watch the TED-Ed video on The Breathtaking Courage of Harriet Tubman by Janell Hobson.

Watch the annual Juneteenth program from Galveston, Texas on Friday, June 19 at 10 a.m. on www.galvestonhistory.org or Facebook Live

Delicious Tomatoes

Did you know tomatoes are the most popular vegetable in the world? According to a 2018 article published by worldatlas.com, tomatoes take first place, and not by a small margin! Although a tomato is technically a fruit because it forms from a flower and its seeds are on the inside, this did not disqualify it. Nearly 400,000 pounds of tomatoes are grown each year. Onions, the second place winner, were not even close to tomatoes in the running, with just over 200,000 pounds produced annually.

George Macculloch (1775-1858) recorded growing tomatoes in New Jersey in his garden journal as early as 1829. Even though many things have changed, it still holds true that if you start growing New Jersey tomatoes no later than mid-May, you can harvest and enjoy them from midsummer to early October. George Macculloch’s garden notes state that 10 to 12 plants were sufficient for his family, including his grandchildren. His notes don’t refer to specific varieties of tomatoes, but today there are many options. 

If you are interested in spending a little more time with George Macculloch’s garden journal, MHHM is still inviting citizen scholar volunteers to transcribe one year of his journal. Please email Cynthia Winslow at cwinslow@maccullochhall.org for more information.

Resources: 

Join Macculloch Hall Historical Museum on Facebook Live today at noon for a story about tomatoes live from the museum’s historic kitchen. 

Visit Rutgers’ New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station for tomato planting tips and for a selection of varieties that do well in New Jersey. 

See a complete list of the 10 most popular vegetables in the world from worldatlas.com

Whigs, a Nice Tea Cake

Take time this week to make and share a traditional family recipe with younger family members! June is National Country Cooking Month, a good time to take out family recipes that have been passed down and enjoyed in your family.

Mrs. Macculloch had two whig, or wigg, recipes in her cookbook, one dating as far back as 1849. Wiggs were tea biscuits or tea cakes eaten in England. They were usually served only on special occasions, like funerals or weddings, because they were expensive to make. It is believed the name “wigg” came from the Dutch word “wedge”. After they are baked, wiggs are eaten warm with butter.

Louisa Macculloch’s recipe reads:

Whigs, a Nice Tea Cake

¾ lb. of four (approximately 2 ½ cups)
1 pint of warm milk
2-3 tablespoons of yeast
When light add 4 oz. of sugar (Mix and add ½ cup and 1 tbsp. of sugar)
4 oz. of butter (1 stick of butter softened)
Bake it in little tins, and eat hot with butter. (Roll into small 1 inch ball and place on lightly greased cookie sheet)

The original recipe does not include oven temperature or length of time to cook.

Modern-day conversions and instructions:

4 cups of flour
2 cups of warm milk (Begin with 1 ½ cups of milk and add remaining ½ cup at end, if needed. The dough should be dense, sticky, and hold its shape.)
3 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast and 3 teaspoons of instant or rapid-rise yeast
½ cup and 1 tbsp. of sugar
1 stick of butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix ingredients. Be careful not to over mix. Let dough rise for 15 minutes. Fill muffin pan, each cup a little more than half way. Bake for approximately 25 -27 minutes.

Resources:

Watch how wigg seed cakes were made in the 18th century.

Learn about the Smithsonian’s exhibit Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000.

Discover food museums from around the world!

Learn how food shapes cultures.

National Red Rose Day

Although Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) and Empress Josephine of France (1763-1814) lived in completely different worlds during a shared time in history, they are connected through their love of roses.

When Louisa Macculloch moved into her new home in Morristown in 1810, one of the first changes she made to the garden was to add rose bushes. Today, visitors to Macculloch Hall Historical Museum’s historic garden can enjoy the beauty and pleasing scent of many varieties of roses.

         

While enjoying her garden, Mrs. Macculloch may not have known that Empress Josephine was enjoying the beauty of her rose garden at Chateau Malmaison thousands of miles away. Empress Josephine loved roses. She was actually called Rose by her family, her full name being Marie Josephe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie. She married Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796 and moved to Chateau Malmaison in 1799.

Drawn image of a single rose pink rose. Four buds border the rose. The petals are delicate, almost paper like, with darker pink to red highlights.

Rosa Gallica Versicolor; Rosier de France a fleurs panachees by PJ Redoute – from ‘Les Roses’ (1817) – The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library.

It was in this garden where Empress Josephine enjoyed the over 250 varieties of roses she collected. Her private gardeners helped create and grow a garden containing all known varieties of roses in the western world. Even ships in battle were known to cease fire to allow ships carrying rose plants and seeds to Empress Josephine to pass through unharmed.

Empress Josephine hired Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759-1840), a botanical artist, to paint portraits of the flowers in her garden. Redoute’s paintings of roses were published in three volumes, Les Roses, allowing us a glimpse into the beauty of Empress Josephine’s rose garden today.

Resources:

To learn more about botanical artist Pierre- Joseph Redoute (1759-1840), visit botanticalartandartists.com.

If you need a little help to start your work as a botanical artist, visit this website for drawing tips. 

Peas Please!

There is nothing like eating freshly picked peas right from the pea pod when their sweetness is at its peak.

From 1829 to 1856, George Macculloch (1775-1858) recorded in his garden journal the dates he planted, the dates he gathered and how far apart he planted his crops each year. In 1840, Macculloch wrote, “late pease never answer”. This meant his second crop of peas didn’t do as well as the first crop. Despite this, according to his garden journal, Macculloch did try planting a second crop of peas again in 1846. He learned that if he planted the second crop 12 to 15 days after the first crop (March 20) the results were more successful.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was also fond of growing peas and he had 15 varieties of English peas grown in his garden. Jefferson and other farmers held an annual contest to see which farm could bring to the table the first peas of spring.

Resources:

Listen to the story First Peas to the Table by Susan Grigsby, geared for 2nd grade, and use this Teacher’s Guide for the story.

If you have picky eaters not interested in eating their peas or other veggies, try showing them these videos.

Plant a late crop of peas for a fall harvest according to your zone planting schedule.

Need more reasons to plant peas? Read 5 great reasons to grow peas from Garden Gate magazine.

Munchie Monday: Chocolate Charlotte

Portrait of Louisa Edwina MaccullochImage of Louisa Macculloch's cookbook. The front cover is open to the handwritten index.

Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) was born in London, England and lived in Morristown for over fifty years. She had a positive influence on generations through her dedication to her family, including her children and ten grandchildren, and to several charities in 19th-century Morristown. At MHHM we are fortunate to have several things that once belonged to Louisa Macculloch, including a hand-written cookbook.

Food and family go together no matter the time period in history. Today we can learn about the Macculloch family from the recipes they left behind. From recipes, or receipts as they were sometimes called, we learn what ingredients were available, what technology existed, and what flavors were popular. Mrs. Macculloch’s cookbook contains recipes for breads, preserves, and desserts.

Every Monday this month look for a new dessert recipe, sometimes an adaptation, from Mrs. Macculloch’s cookbook. We are selecting from her jumbles, wigs, charlottes, and puddings—yes, these were the desserts of the 19th-century!

Image of a no-bake chocolate charlotte from bakeorbreak.com.

Chocolate Charlotte from bakeorbreak.com.

A charlotte was served either hot or cold. In the past, cooks would use soaked stale bread as a dessert crust but today, lady fingers or biscuits are used. The filling would be a stewed fruit or cream which was poured into the mold. Try this no-bake Chocolate Charlotte recipe which we’ve used in MHHM’s education programs. 

Resources: 

Discovering the history behind the foods we eat is a fun way to find out about the past. Chef Walter Staib, from City Tavern in Philadelphia, has spent years exploring recipes from the past. Chef Staib published A Sweet Taste of History: More Than 100 Elegant Dessert Recipes From America’s Earliest Days in 2013.

Learn how Downton Abbey benefited from the expertise of food stylist Lisa Heathcote. 

Learn About Composting

Happy National Learn About Composting Day! Composting is a natural way of recycling organic material such as leaves and vegetable scraps. The organic material creates a nutrient-rich fertilizer that is beneficial for plants and gardens. Many things that are normally tossed in the trash, and later end up in a land-fill, can be composted. Vegetable or fruit scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves, and egg shells can be composted but not meat, milk products, or animal waste.

Two young girls observing red wiggler earthworms with magnifying glasses in MHHM's education center. At MHHM, composting is even MORE FUN with red wiggler earthworms! Hundreds of school children and summer campers have learned about vermicomposting, composting using earthworms, during visits to our historic garden or when our earthworms visit students in their classrooms. 

Even though New Jersey gardens are filled with night crawler earthworms, red wigglers are recommended for composting since they stay on the top layers of the soil. Red wigglers will eat the organic materials and produce worm castings. These worm castings can then be used directly or as a liquid fertilizer for your plants. 

As a first step, keep track of what organic materials you or your family throw in the trash in a week to see how much you could be composting. Younger children can create a colorful poster of fruits and vegetables and other items that can be kept out of the trash. 

Composting means less methane gas produced from landfills, more plants growing stronger with chemical-free fertilizers, and happy red wiggler earthworms doing what they do best—eating and recycling!

Resources: 

Colorful pipe cleaner worms with googly eyes lying on a bed of brown rice

“Digging for worms” craft activity from laughingkidslearn.com.

Do you and your family want to become vermicomposters? Learn how here

Looking for an outdoor activity and books about earthworms? Visit lemonlimeadventures.com

Prefer to stay out of the dirt? Make your own earthworms with pipe cleaners and beads. 

Growing in the Garden:

Cynthia Winslow, Curator of Education and Community Engagement, reading a story to Growing in the Garden participants. Cynthia WInslow, Curator of Education and Community Engagement, holding a red wiggler earthworm in her palm so young learners and their parents can take a closer look.

Is your 3 to 5 year old excited about the garden? Join us for our first virtual Growing in the Garden session Tuesday, June 2 at 2 p.m. Growing in the Garden will take place every first and third Tuesday every month at 2 p.m. To register, and for more information about this program, email Cynthia Winslow, Curator of Education and Community Engagement, at cwinslow@maccullochhall.org

National Strawberry Month

May is National Strawberry Month so it is time to pick a favorite family recipe and make plans for a special occasion. Strawberries are listed in George Macculloch’s (1775-1858) garden journal every year so it is likely strawberries were enjoyed by his family every spring.

Did you know that strawberries are grown in every single U.S. state and Canadian province? Or that the next full moon on June 5 is called the Strawberry Moon

Resources: 

DIY Paper Strawberry Garland by Kelly Lanza.

While you enjoy your strawberries, make a strawberry garland and read/listen to a story about strawberries listed here. 

The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story retold by Joseph Bruchac
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
Strawberries Are Red by Petr Horacek
The Very Berry Counting Book by Jerry Pallotta
The Strawberry Garden by Lia Yaffe Talmar
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood (Read in English by Mister Kipley’s Classroom Learning Adventures and in Spanish by Storyteller/Lector Marvin J. Morazan) 

Visit a local farm, like Alstede Farms and Stony Hill Farms, for strawberry picking. 

In A Soldier’s Words: Lindley Miller

“The Departure of the 7th Regiment to the War, April 19, 1861” from the collection of New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY.

In April 1861, Lindley Miller (1834-1864) answered President Lincoln’s call for volunteers by enlisting with the 7th Regiment New York State Militia, also known as the Silk Stocking Regiment. The day his regiment left New York City is documented in Thomas Nast’s painting, The Departure of the 7th Regiment to the War, April 19, 1861. His brother, Henry Miller, was in the crowd of thousands there to shake his brother’s hand as he passed.

The Silk Stocking Regiment reached Washington, D.C. by April 25th. Their arrival ended the siege on the nation’s capital, preventing its loss to the Confederates just weeks after the fall of Fort Sumter. 

By 1863, Lindley was back in New York City to witness the draft riots first-hand. The NYC draft riots started a chain of personal losses for Lindley that changed his life. His young bride, Anne Huntington Tracy, pregnant with their first child, died after giving birth and his two-month old daughter died soon after. Turning his loss into service, Lindley requested and received a commission as a captain in the “First Regiment Arkansas Volunteers of African Descent” in late 1863. He wrote a marching song for his men and many poems that MHHM has in its collection. To learn more about the marching song, visit our blog post Song of the First of Arkansas

From his 1861 poem, T. W. His Last Words—“Come On”:

“Come On!” We will till God’s ideal shall trample breathless wrong;
“Come On!” We will, till freedom ring through every human song;
“Come On!” We will till not a Soul in gloom and dread involved,
This darkness shall give way to light–This problem shall be solved.

In 1864, Lindley Miller returned to Morristown to recover from an illness he caught in camp. In July 1864, Lindley Miller succumbed to his illness and died. 

This summer, one of MHHM’s college interns will work with 15 letters written by Lindley Miller to his family during his service in the Union army. This project will make his life and military service more accessible to students, scholars, and those interested in the Civil War.

Resources: 

Read Lindley Miller’s poems and learn about the Civil War through a Soldier’s Words. (PDF Document)

To learn more about the departure of the 7th Regiment from New York City, visit readme.readmedia.com

Found Art Friday

Running out of ideas for a fun family project? Make it a Fun Found Art Friday. During your walk, collect sticks and when you get home create art using your sticks. Some ideas include making a shape like a heart or spelling out your initials using your stick supply. Your art can be temporary or made permanent by using wood glue and a picture frame. Connect with someone else and share your art with them online.

Resources:

Need some more found stick art ideas? Visit figmentcreativelabs.com for inspiration. 

“Junk critter” found object art project from tinkerlab.com.

If you can’t get outside, check out tinkerlabs.com for ways to use recycled materials for a found object art project. 

Learn why creating a culture of collecting materials for art is important for children’s development. 

Learn tips to create a creative environment for found object sculptures. 

Celebrating National Salad Month

During MHHM’s summer program Dig it! Plant it! Eat it!, visitors and staff pick fresh vegetables and herbs from the historic kitchen garden. We learn healthy recipes together.

To celebrate National Salad Month, we happily share a recipe that was a big hit in our “house” last summer, Roasted Beet and Apple Salad!

MHHM will soon share the plans for a virtual Dig it! Plant it! Eat it! this summer.

Recipe: Roasted Beet and Apple Salad

Ingredients:

Roasted Beet and Apple Salad from www.todaysparent.com

1 lb. of beets (baked at 425 degrees for 1 hour with olive oil)
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar, divided
1 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
½ tsp. honey
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. coarse black pepper
6 cups torn crisp greens (romaine, kale, Swiss chard)
2 apples (quartered, cored and sliced)
½ cup flat-leaf parsley

Instructions:

Cut baked beets and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. vinegar and set aside. Combine remaining 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, shallot, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk in remaining 5 tbsp. of olive oil. Combine lettuce, apples, and parsley in a serving bowl, add beets and drizzle with dressing. Enjoy!