Saturday, October 16; Sunday, October 17

Times: 9:30 AM – 4 PM

Cost: Included with standard daytime admission or Village membership. Standard daytime admission is $28 for adults, $14 for youth (4-17), and $26 for seniors (55+).

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Celebrate the harvest and the beautiful New England autumn. Help our farmers and gardeners finish harvesting a variety of heirloom produce and learn about how early 19th-century New Englanders preserved it for the winter. Chat with our gardeners about renewing soil fertility, the origins of jack-o-lanterns, and more.

Visit the ox-powered Cider Mill and learn about the importance of apples and cider in early New England. You can also meet and greet the farm animals, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, see our brand new Cabinetmaking Shop, chat with artisan craftspeople, and more!

As a site that welcomes visitors of all ages—including many children—and encourages conversation with our costumed interpreters, we ask all visitors to follow our current mask policy:

Get tickets and see current COVID-19 related policies here.

Celebrating the Harvest is sponsored by:


Home Gardeners’ Exhibit

We want to see what you’ve been growing in your garden this year! Whether you are near or far, help us celebrate the fall harvest by entering this year’s Home Gardeners’ Exhibit. This year, entrants will have the option of participating in the online virtual exhibition and/or the in-person exhibition being held at Old Sturbridge Village on October 16th and 17th.  A couple of our expert horticulturalists will also pick the best of each category, sharing feedback and comments about the winning entries. Entries are due October 6th.

View the virtual exhibit here.

Did you know? The science of Food Preservation

Early 19th-century New England farm families stored a lot of the fall harvest in root cellars. How an item was stored in the cellar depended on the item. Cabbages, for example, would be hanged upside down from the ceiling. Early 19th-century varieties of cabbages (such as Mammoth Red Rock) were often larger than what you might see at a modern grocery store. The larger head would last longer when stored in the root cellar, as it has more moisture and layers that can protect the core from decay. As the cabbages hang upside down in the root cellar, the outer leaves dry around the head, and the moisture concentrates towards the head. This leaves the crisp cabbage protected inside. Cabbages stored like this can last for about 2-3 months, depending on their size and quality.
Other items, such as carrots and turnips, were often stored in sand. If these items are exposed to the air, they will lose moisture and shrivel up. The sand seals them from the air and isolates each vegetable or fruit, preventing the spread of rot if one should spoil.

cabbages hanging from the ceiling of the root cellar