Fall in the Poconos is an exciting time of year. Not only do the trees turn beautiful colors and the mountains along with it, but there is hardly a lack of festivals, concerts, and other autumn events to find here. One vintage mark on the local timeline is the Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm, “a non-profit, living history museum preserving [and presenting] 19th century Pennsylvania German agricultural heritage.” Now, Quiet Valley, though not striving to bring the crops in before the cold strikes as it once may have, hosts tours, lessons, and even festivals throughout certain times of the year with the vital support of a nearly all volunteer-run staff. Just in time for this autumn season is Quiet Valley’s 44th Annual Harvest Festival, a tradition meant to keep alive the tasks, crafts, and trades that were life-sustaining to folk living during the 1800s but have become lost in the progress of the modern age. A celebration lasting two full days, the farm offers a seemingly endless list of events, activities, shows, lectures, and food, bound to reign in anyone with an interest in American History.
Each year, Quiet Valley’s Harvest Festival establishes a particular theme, this year’s being “Living Off the Land.” According to the farm website, this year’s theme “will bring a variety of new offerings to the event.” One of those new offerings is a twist on Quiet Valley’s “Farm to Table” tradition. Usually during this event there would be a sampling of four traditional plates of the era open to those willing to try. This year is special, however, because the “Farm to Table” event will actually consist of an entire sit-down meal on the covered bridge with an attendance of forty people. Unfortunately, the event was sold out rather quickly, but it is definitely something to keep in mind for next year.
Another major part of the festival is to be able to commemorate some of the arts and trades of an era that may have been lost without the organization’s help. Deb Dipasquale of Quiet Valley’s Board notes that what makes these 19th century people and their crafts and trades so admirable is that while making goods, such as quilts and clothes for purposeful reasons, they somehow found “the time to make things decorative or pretty too.” For people looking to learn about crafts and trades, Quiet Valley will have instructors, in full 19th century dress, teaching crowds about these old necessities and their processes. Some of those lessons include spinning and weaving as well as broom, basket, and candle making.
An additional craft that Quiet Valley prides as one of its biggest events is their annual quilt raffle. Each quilt is made in the style and process of how it was done two centuries ago. With a theme of “Stars and Stepping Stones,” this year’s quilt will be raffled off near the end of the day on Oct 7. According to Deb, these raffles can occasionally be emotional since there is so much love and beauty in this old-fashioned blanket, so be sure to put your ticket in when you get there.
Teaching and learning are a large part of what Quiet Valley’s goal is as a non-profit organization. The one-room schoolhouse will host presentations on various topics concerning the history of the farm and the people who brought it to life. Perhaps some of these shows will touch on the “folk art-ness” that comes with making a quilt or clothing. Quiet Valley will also be hosting a special children’s area meant to introduce the kids to old-fashioned crafts and activities, in addition to popular events like pumpkin decorating.
Even with just this list of events, the festival has so much more in store as far as food, music, wagon, rides, and shows go. For a full schedule of events, visit Quiet Valley’s website at www.quietvalley.org.
The Quiet Valley Harvest Festival takes place on Oct 6 and 7 and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and will remain in full swing, rain or shine. Costs are ten dollars for adults and five dollars for children ages three to twelve; children under three may attend for free. •
By: Shelby Otto
QUIET VALLEY LIVING
347 Quiet Valley Road