Old Fashioned Fun Down on the Farm

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CULLMAN – The annual Peinhardt Farm Day was held this Saturday at the Peinhardt Living History Farm. Between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., the public was able to visit the farm and browse all the different activities scattered out over the 40 acres of farmland.

According to their website, “The Peinhardt Living History Farm is the result of the Peinhardt family's immigration from Germany to Cullman in the late 1870s. Karl Peinhardt settled in the community of Bethsada and his son Otto Peinhardt began the farm on the present site in about 1900. Carl Peinhardt, Otto's son, attended Auburn University (Alabama Polytechnical Institute) from 1930 to 1932. He then began his own diversified farming operation with row crops, hogs and dairy cattle. He was a skilled carpenter and built his own buildings, as well as doing some building work for the public. He developed a registered Guernsey dairy and was a leader in soil conservation as well as the dairy industry in Alabama. At the time of his death in 1992, Carl's four surviving children began the preservation and development of the farm as an educational living history farm.”

“My husband is on the mule team with the covered wagon,” said Alice McBrayer. “He’s been doing it for about seven years now. He really enjoys it, and he also works with kids through the whole month of October. He does the mule class and talks to the kids about how it was in the olden days and teaches them all there is to know about the horses and stuff. He really loves it. You’d really be surprised at the kids that really don’t know anything about horses right now,” she said as she shook her head a little. “They don’t know what a bridle is or a saddle or anything like that. He also explains how people used to grow their own food with a mule and plow.”

Volunteers from all over Cullman County came out to help the Peinhardt family run the farm and demonstrate various things such as old time woodworking – hewing, splitting, cross cut sawing and old tools. There were mules, horses and wagon rides, along with an antique tractor show. The farm had multiple museums with all sorts of old farm equipment and tools inside. Field crops were explained and lots of animals available for petting. Folks were on hand teaching the old fashioned way of making sorghum syrup. There was a working gristmill, sawmill and black smith shop, complete with horse shoeing.

Various vendors and clubs were on hand helping with the farm and telling people about the things they do. One such group was the Nifty Knitters.

“We came here today to show people what we do at the Cullman County Library,” said Glenda Cummings. “We are the Nifty Knitters from the library. This is some of the work we do – all of these little hats we give to the hospital who then give them to the newborns.”

“We teach people how to knit and crochet – whatever they want to do,” said Patty Norton. “As they learn, they stick around and teach other people what they know. We meet at the library every Tuesday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. We teach them and it’s free. We even provide the first needle and thread. Oh, and we’re all patient,” she smiled sweetly.

There were people of all ages at the farm Saturday. Whole families gathered together and watched the blacksmith hammer the red molten metal. Kids lined up and waited patiently for the wood burner to brand their wooden birdhouses with the Peinhardt Farm logo.

“We are loving it,” smiled Katie Braddock of Hartselle. “This is our second year to come and we’ve been looking forward to it all year. My husband really likes the tractors. My girls really love the animals. But we really just love all of it.”

If you weren’t able to go out to the Peinhardt Farm Saturday, you missed a treat! The multiple generations of Peinhardts gathered together and provided a wonderful historical experience for the community. Cullman is lucky to be home to such a great place and knowledgeable people. If you would like to know more about the Peinhardt Living History Farm, you can visit their webpage at www.peinhardtfarm.com.