Sunday, March 22, 2009

13th Annual Maple Syrup and Irish Celebration

Saturday, April 4, from 10AM-2PM, has been declared the date of the 13th Annual Curran Homestead Maple Festival & Irish Celebration Day by John Mugnai, President of the Living History Farm and Museum Board of Directors. The Curran Living History Farm and Museum on Fields Pond Road in Orrington will come to life with shared yarns spun about the good ole days around the wood burning stove. Meet Bodica and Mulls, the shaggy-haired Scottish Highland cows. Experience an ongoing demonstration of how to make maple syrup. Taste maple syrup and maple sugar sweets. Savor Cathy Martinage’s Irish stew (its main ingredient courtesy of Dan Hughes’ A Wee Bit Farm), and her Irish soda bread too. Sing along with the Irish folk music of Jerry Hughes and band, and hunt for Easter eggs with the kids. Also meet Hugh Curran, an expert of Celtic culture, mythology, and spirituality. It will be a step back in history to a simpler time of fun on the family farm. Admission for members and donors is $5 per adult and $3 per child (under 12). For non-members, admission is $7 per adult and $5 per child (under 12), and this includes refreshments and participation in all events.

Our featured farm animals include two rarely seen Scottish Highland cows sporting their long shaggy hair and horns. There will be someone to share the heritage of these Scottish Highland beef cattle that are known for their low fat, low cholesterol meat. Taste a sample of hormone and antibiotic free Highland beef courtesy of A Wee Bit Farm. It ranks among the best beef in terms of flavor. Board member Bob Croce and Jill Martel will make maple syrup and maple syrup beans for visitors in our onsite sugar shack. Other food offered will include a beef stew with biscuits, Irish soda bread, hot chocolate, and coffee. Ginger ice cream will be also served with a drizzle of maple syrup on top.

Hugh Curran will on hand at the Farm; he is an instructor of Ecology and Early Celtic Spirituality as well as courses for the Peace & Reconciliation Studies Program at UMO. A distant Irish relative of the Farm and Museum’s benefactor, the late Catherine Curran, and her brother Alfred, he spent much time at the farm sitting beside the wood-burning kitchen stove conversing with the late Currans. Curran’s experience includes five years as a Zen Monastic which convinced him of the many connections between the ideals of Zen and Celtic spiritual traditions. His experience also includes the directorship of an area homeless shelter. Curran’s many interests have led to his documentation of oral histories focusing on traditional Celtic story and myth. He is a published poet and has contributed articles to various journals. A DVD of one of his conversations with the late Currans will be shown at 1:30 at the Farm for those interested.

John Mugnai predicts that this 13th Annual Spring Event will be the best to date! Why a maple festival? It’s the late winter season when it’s time to harvest what may be the State’s oldest crop: maple sap. More importantly, Mainers simply need a party at the end of this long and especially snowy winter. For as long as anyone can remember, Mainers have been tapping trees, boiling sap, and sweetening their pancakes, biscuits, doughnuts, baked ham and baked beans with maple syrup; we help to preserve that tradition with this all volunteer staffed event . We are a non-profit educational center that preserves and shares the culture, values, and lifestyle of the family farm in rural eastern Maine from 1875-1950. We rely upon membership, donations, and the community for support.

No comments: