In autumn, after the corn had been harvested, it was time for a husking bee. According to The Baltimore Sun “Corn cutting, shocking and husking was a backbreaking task for farmers, taking six or more weeks each fall. One way farmers lightened the workload was to invite their neighbors to a husking bee. The men gathered in the barn, while the women prepared a fall feast. The men would have contests to see who could husk a basket of corn first. The younger men, if they were lucky enough to find a red ear of corn, could kiss a girl before dinner. Among friends, gossip and cider, everyone had an enjoyable evening.” At this workshop,Museum Educator Lola Chen will discuss harvesting, husking, and the pleasures of shared efforts, and guide the kids in fashioning a corn-husk wreath for the door. The kids will help make their own snack, sweet corn cake.
Suggested for ages 6 – 12. Wilton Historical Society Members $10 per child, maximum $25 per family; Non-members $15 per child, maximum $35 per family. Please register: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-762-7257.
Did You Know?
A “bee” can mean “a gathering of people for a specific purpose.” Quilting bees, husking bees, spinning bees, sewing bees, apple bees and other bees were common in colonial New England. Many hands made the work light, as neighbors helped each other with the prodigious and tedious tasks of the time. Bees were as much a social event as a productive gathering.