By Billy Joe Fudge
the Covid handwriting on the wall and decided to “hurry up and wait” till this demon passed us by. Well, it went by much more slowly than we ever imagined and before you know it, the Fall Heritage Festival met the same fate as Plow Day. However and although it seems as if we spent much of last year standing out in “a cold, wind-driven rain”, in reality, we took stock of where we had been, where we were, and where we were hoping to go and then, we charged forward.
(1) We began our Third Thursday Jam Sessions that have attracted some really talented local musicians and singers. Everyone has a great time at these events and we have plans to bring more of the community out to the Bank Barn and sit and visit for a spell while listening to some seriously great music.
(2) In late October, we had our first Country Corn Picking event. Local Vo Ag students from Green County and others came out to pick our Boone County White Corn by hand, throw it in a mule-drawn wagon, and stored it in the crib. We even ground some of it into meal and made some really good hoecakes cooked in a black, cast-iron skillet over an open fire.
This was a small beginning to what we suspect will become an annual reenactment of harvest and preservation of food. Our subsistence farming forefathers celebrated this time of bounty during mid to late fall and we are going to celebrate each year also.
(3) In November our most talented, hard-working, capable and effervescent Program Director, Lyn Stanton, came on board the Homeplace wagon. We are so thankful for her dedication to excellence in her efforts to breathe new life into our volunteer organization and expanding the role of Homeplace in education, information, culture, conservation, entertainment and historic preservation.
4) The first two weekends of December, Campbellsville University Children’s Theatre took advantage of our open-air, Bank Barn Theater to present “A Christmas Carol…More or Less”. We expect to see them return with even more programming this year.
(5) We planted 13 pure American Chestnuts to officially begin the Homeplace on Green River, Germplasm Conservation Orchard. Much work needs to be done in preparation for the day when we will be able to reintroduce blight-resistant American chestnut into Kentucky’s 12,000,000 acre hardwood forest and we are going to do our part.
6) We prepared a proposal to the Kentucky Legislature seeking funding to establish a two-year outdoor classroom pilot project at Homeplace to research the protocols and the most financially viable options available for the Legislature to establish the framework needed to make an outdoor classroom available to every Kentucky student. When funded, Kentucky will be well on its way to leading the nation in hands-on, outdoor education.
Prior to Covid, Homeplace was topping 7,000 visitors annually to our festivals, trails and school field days. Now, we can see that in the near future we will be drawing dozens of thousands annually to Kentucky’s Outdoor Classroom at Homeplace, our festivals, our research programs and our world class educational and recreational trail system. Look out Twenty-Twenty one, here we come!