It’s harvest time at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

Farmer on Tractor

If you’ve never experienced harvest time in rural Alberta, the Harvest of the Past & Harvest Food Festival at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village on Sunday, September 11 is a fun-filled, interactive event that will help you explore Alberta’s agricultural roots. Step back in time one last time this summer and see the Ukrainian Village as this event marks the end of the 2016 summer season.

Learn about farm life at the end of the 1920s with a number of interactive demonstrations, presentations and exhibits, including:

  • Our marquee fall harvest demonstration is an old-fashioned threshing bee, where Farmer Demonstration 1visitors can see how a threshing machine works to separate grain from the straw. Stand up close (but not too close) and listen as our Farm Program Coordinator explains the process to separate and clean grain.  Threshing, binding and binder explanations, and stooking (act of placing a number of sheaves upright in a field to dry with their heads together, prior to feeding into a threshing machine) demonstrations will take place in the historical village near the Luzan Grocery Store from 11 a.m. to noon, and then hourly from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • (New!) Learn about vintage farm machinery with an innovative machinery petting zoo, Farmer Demonstration 2which invites children (of all ages) to touch and sit on different farm machinery used prior to 1930. It’s a lot different than the giant combines you see today! Make sure to bring your camera for some unique photo selfies. This will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. near the Hilliard Hotel in the historical village.
  • Starting at 12:00 p.m., Kiew Hall will feature guest speakers sharing stories about Ukrainian fall harvest traditions, Ukrainian pioneer experiences in Kalyna Country to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, an interesting presentation about bats in the prairies, and much more.
  • You’ve driven by them, but have you ever been inside an old-fashioned grain elevator that still moves grain? Starting at 11 a.m., horse drawn wagons will deliver grain to the Bellis Home Grain Elevator and allow you to see how these tall buildings were a key cog in the fall harvest.
  • As 2016 marks the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, costumed role-players will demonstrate an earlier Interpreter 1pioneer harvest at the Newly Arrived Immigrant farmstead with sickle and scythe-cutting, bundle-tying, and grinding wheat with a zhorna (flour mill) demonstrations.
  • Costumed role-players will also demonstrate traditional ways to separate grain from straw with flailing and winnowing, and fanning mill demonstrations at the Bukovynian Farmstead.
  • The fall harvest wasn’t just work in the field! Fall time was also a time to collect vegetables from the garden. Costumed role-players throughout the historical village will braid onions and garlic, talk about different flowers and herbs that were dried, demonstrate how to make kapusta (sour cabbage), perform canning demonstrations, and much, much more!

(New!) Inside the Silska Domiwka (Red Barn), visitors are invited to learn all about cheese making. Demonstrations will occur throughout the afternoon (12 p.m. – 4 p.m.) by instructors and students from the renowned Culinary Arts Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).

When you stop by the Silska Domiwka (Red Barn), have a look at the beautiful artwork by the Art Society of Strathcona County, who have painted at the Ukrainian Village throughout Artwork 1the summer. Their work will be on display inside the Silska Domiwka (Red Barn) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nearby, have a glimpse into the community showcase tent featuring regional exhibitors, who may give you some ideas for your next local adventure.

An animal petting farm (noon – 3 p.m.) invites children to get up close to cute and cuddly animals near the Silska Domiwka (Red Barn). A variety of children’s activities, including a jumpy castle, will take place nearby starting at 11:30 a.m.

Everyone loves food:

Who doesn’t like the smell of freshly baked bread? See costumed role-players bake bread in red fife breada pich (traditional clay bake oven) and then purchase some Red Fife flour to make your own bread at home with this recipe. A limited amount of vegetables harvested from our gardens will be available for sale in the Village Market.

Arrive early to avoid line-ups at the gate and you’ll have time to enjoy some delicious strawberries & cream pancakes. Proceeds from this pancake breakfast support the Friends of the Ukrainian Village Society and their projects that assist the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.  The pancake breakfast will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Starting at 11 a.m., the Harvest Food Festival will feature some delicious Ukrainian food.  Imagine a splash of sour cream in your homemade borshch (beet soup) or a beet & feta cheese on arugula or spinach salad. If you’re hungry, a traditional Ukrainian plate with kovbasa (garlic sausage), holubtsi (cabbage rolls) with cucumber salad may fit the bill.  If you have a sweet tooth, there’s poppy seed cake, pampushky (Ukrainian donuts), or ice cream.

If you like music:

Throughout the day, a number of musicians and singers will help make this a true fall festival. Musicians performing at the Courtyard Stage at the Visitor Centre include: Nighthawks (10-11 a.m.), Alicia & Stephen Slusarchuk (11 a.m. – noon), Ukelele Circle (noon – 1 p.m.), Silver & Gold (2 – 3:30 p.m.) and Larry Begoray (3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.).  Also performing at the Courtyard Stage are the Edmonton and District Square Dancing Association from 1 – 2 p.m.  Enjoy the performances on the Courtyard Stage as you browse through a full Village Market featuring gift items by local artists, and delicious local culinary treats.

Starting at noon, we will also have musical entertainment near the Silska Domiwka (Red Barn) with performances by D’Boys (noon – 1:30 p.m.), future singing stars from Cooper Studios (1:30 – 3 p.m.) and Country Sunshine (3 – 4:30 p.m.).

Regular admission rates apply. For free admission, show your current Experience Alberta’s History pass or Friends of the Ukrainian Village Society membership. Pets are not permitted on the grounds.

You can stay in touch with the Village by visiting their Facebook page and Twitter account.

The Details

What: Harvest of the Past & Harvest Food Festival at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

When: September 11, 2016

Time: 10 a.m.  to 5 p.m.

Where: Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, located 25 minutes east of Edmonton along Highway 16.

Website: Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village


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