STRAWBERY BANKE MUSEUM

 
Leslie Clough in the Puddle Dock neighborhood with his chickens in the 1950s and children with the 2015 chickens.

HERITAGE ANIMALS AT STRAWBERY BANKE

As a living history neighborhood, Strawbery Banke sustains domesticated and creatures that would have been found in the city environs in past generations.

Heritage Breeds of Chickens -- In May 2015, Strawbery Banke reintroduced chickens to the neighborhood where they were once a familiar sight. During the Second World War, residents of Puddle Dock like Leslie Clough grew vegetables in Victory Gardens and raised chickens to feed their families and conserve food for the war effort. Clough, who worked at Abbot Store as a young man during the war, raised his own chickens and sold their eggs at the corner store throughout the 1940s. This reconstructed coop is based on Leslie Clough’s chicken coop, as documented in photographs.  Leslie’s coop was located closer to Puddle Dock, near the current day cooper shop. The hens at the Museum are two different heritage breeds of chickens, very popular with American farmers. The red hens are Rhode Island Red and the black hens are Australorps.  Introduced to America in the late 19th century, both are excellent egg layers. Eggs from the hens are used in the museum's hearth-cooking programs. Strawbery Banke invited local children (above) to name the chickens.

Exhibit panel (PDF)

The Strawbery Banke Bee Hives are maintained by master beekeeper Dan Smith.  A beekeeper for 15 years, Smith has maintained two hives at Strawbery Banke since 2011. Each year he collects about 50 pounds of honey from the hives, demonstrating the harvesting technique and selling the honey in 8-ounce jars in the museum store. Keeping bees aligns with Strawbery Banke's mission of presenting historical landscapes and foodways. Honey was a familiar Colonial American sweetener and Native Americans tracked the migration of settlers in part through the appearance of honey bees.  Honeybees are key pollinators for the area's vibrant flowers and herbs, as well as for food production. Strawbery Banke’s bees thrive on the pollen they collect from the many heirloom and heritage plants at the museum, while pollinating and helping to preserve the plants.

Honeybees are key pollinators for the area's vibrant flowers and herbs, as well as for food production, and their numbers nationally have been in rapid decline.

For the last 15 years, Smith has been trying to raise honeybees on his own, often learning what works at the expense of the bees.

The two hives he cared for at Strawbery Banke in the Abbott Orchard survived the winter, but his two hives at home, moved to a windy hill for sunlight earlier in the fall, did not fare so well.

This is the second year Strawbery Banke has kept bees and harvested the honey flow. Smith collected about 50 pounds of the sweet stuff, which will be for sale in 8-ounce jars in the museum store until they sell out.

Keeping bees is in keeping with Strawbery Banke's mission of presenting Colonial history, Smith said. He still uses a manually operated machine, although his is modern stainless steel, and he raises the bees naturally, without any chemicals. Honey also was used as a primary sweetener alongside molasses in Colonial times.

The bees collect nectar from and help pollinate the many varied heirloom and heritage plants at the museum, and they will fly up to seven miles to get to flowers they like. - See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130831/NEWHAMPSHIRE02/130909983#sthash.ZyvKBvQv.dpuf
Honeybees are key pollinators for the area's vibrant flowers and herbs, as well as for food production, and their numbers nationally have been in rapid decline.

For the last 15 years, Smith has been trying to raise honeybees on his own, often learning what works at the expense of the bees.

The two hives he cared for at Strawbery Banke in the Abbott Orchard survived the winter, but his two hives at home, moved to a windy hill for sunlight earlier in the fall, did not fare so well.

This is the second year Strawbery Banke has kept bees and harvested the honey flow. Smith collected about 50 pounds of the sweet stuff, which will be for sale in 8-ounce jars in the museum store until they sell out.

Keeping bees is in keeping with Strawbery Banke's mission of presenting Colonial history, Smith said. He still uses a manually operated machine, although his is modern stainless steel, and he raises the bees naturally, without any chemicals. Honey also was used as a primary sweetener alongside molasses in Colonial times.

The bees collect nectar from and help pollinate the many varied heirloom and heritage plants at the museum, and they will fly up to seven miles to get to flowers they like. - See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130831/NEWHAMPSHIRE02/130909983#sthash.ZyvKBvQv.dpuf

Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds at the Banke, an event launched in 2016, welcomes more than a dozen heirloom breeds of Barnyard Baby Animals (and their moms) that would have been familiar to earlier generations. The ten-day event, which takes place under a tent on museum grounds, is a family-friendly opportunity to learn more about domestic livestock typical on coastal northern New England farms from the 17th century to present day.