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Corn Harvest

Oct. 18 – November 22

Even the tallest basketball player in the world could get lost in the Howell Farm cornfield, and in this immersive program, children learn why our crop grows so high and what makes “open pollinated” kernels develop on the cob. Young harvesters will walk between the rows picking corn as they go – collecting the ears in a basket, pulling off the husks, and finally tossing them into a historic wagon. Next the group will walk up to the barnyard to find last year’s corn in the crib, before shelling and grinding it into buckets for animal feed. Finally, everyone visits the farmhouse kitchen to taste cornbread and learn why field corn is so important to people and animals alike!

Program Objectives: 

Students will participate in an 1890-1910 corn harvest and process 

corn for animal feed in order to understand:

  • That much of our food comes from plants grown on farms
  • That children had many important jobs on the farm
  • That plants, animals, and humans on the farm are interdependent
  • That while the 1900 farm family produced much of their own food, many things were available in stores; people made decisions about what they would buy based on their needs, means and the availability and value of new product


Essential Questions:

  • What kind of corn do animals eat?
  • How can a community work together to tackle the enormous task of  harvesting corn?
  • How does the choice of seed affect next year’s crop?
  • How many varieties of corn are grown on Howell Farm?
  • How is dent corn used?


STEM Standards

Next Generation Science Standards: LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems LS2.B Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems LS3 Heredity, Inheritance and Variation of Traits NJ Science Standards: 5.1A Understand Scientific Explanations 5.1B Generate Scientific Evidence through Active Investigation 5.2E Forces and Motion 5.3C Interdependence 5.3D Heredity NJ Social Studies Standards: 6.1B Geography, People and the Environment 6.1C Economics, Innovation and Technology 6.1D History, Culture and Perspectives


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Howell Farm is owned by the County of Mercer and operated by the Mercer County Park Commission

Brian M. Hughes, County Executive | Aaron T. Watson, Executive Director

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