March 26, 2012

Historic Farm Day to revisit roots of Homewood Museum

Homewood’s carriage house, now the Merrick Barn, in 1890. Photo: JHU Museums

Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Museum comes alive from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 1, with Historic Farm Day. The half-day of interactive activities and demonstrations is presented in conjunction with the museum’s current focus exhibition, Federal Foodies: From Farm to Table in Early Baltimore, on view through April 29.

Historic Farm Day celebrates the early agricultural history of Baltimore and the original Homewood farm, which was built in 1801 as a summer estate and working farm for Charles Carroll Jr., whose father was a Maryland signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The rolling 130-acre property—today the main campus of Johns Hopkins University—once included grain fields, fruit orchards, vegetable gardens and numerous outbuildings, including a farmhouse, ice house, dairy, smoke house and dairy-cattle barn. Today, only the latter survives; known as the Merrick Barn, it is home to the Undergraduate Program in Theatre Arts and Studies.

Visitors to Farm Day are invited to enjoy a variety of hands-on educational activities, both inside and outside the historic house, related to urban farming and gardening.

All About Sheep and Chickens, featuring heritage breeds and wool-spinning demos by Blackberry Fields Farm; All About Honeybees, with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Sommer Scholars Apiary Club; and living history discussions by actress and culinary historian Dory Gean Cunningham will run from noon to 4 p.m.

Pony rides and a petting farm with ducks, chickens, sheep and rabbits will be offered from noon to 1:30 p.m.

At 1 and 3 p.m., attendees can plant seeds for heirloom lettuce, peas and calendula flowers at a seed-starting workshop.

Urban chicken farmer Amy Langreher will discuss her experience raising chickens in Baltimore at 1 p.m., and at 2 p.m. attendees can take a guided tour of the former farm grounds.

Visitors also are encouraged to explore the museum’s 10 period-decorated rooms, browse the museum shop and visit the Federal Foodies exhibition.

Indoor activities, pony rides and light refreshments are included with paid museum admission. Outdoor activities, excluding pony rides, are free. For more information, go to, call 410-516-5589 or email