Northeast Tarrant

Farmhouse on the Grape Vine Prairie

In January, Grapevine’s Nash Farm introduced a series of educational experiences entitled “Farmhouse on the Grape Vine Prairie.”

The series came to a close on Nov. 22 with “Farmhouse on the Grape Vine Prairie: Holidays and Birthdays.”

Activities at the city-owned farm, which celebrated the holiday and birthday traditions of life on the prairie, include making yarn dolls and quilt blocks.

The Nash Farm series following selections from two books in the “Little House on the Prairie” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The hands-on educational experiences were designed for students in the third through seventh grades.

The two books used for the Farmhouse on the Prairie series were “Little House on the Prairie” and “Farmer Boy.”

Guests were encouraged to read the corresponding passages prior to attending the event.

The series kicked off Jan.11 with Family and Home. The first event featured clothing, furnishings and homes of the early settlers. Activities included hand sewing and making a quilt block.

The corresponding book passages were “Farmer Boy: School Days;” “Farmer Boy: Winter Evening” and “Farmer Boy: Winter Night.”

At the first event, Nash Farm interpretive host Sharon Heard said the series is close to the hearts of Nash Farm staff because the Nashes came to the area from Kentucky — the farm was purchased by Thomas Jefferson Nash in 1859 — and probably encountered similar stories as the Ingalls who also were pioneers.

Ten-year-old Owen Garner might have felt like a pioneer of sorts in that he was the only young man who participated in the first event. An avid reader, he had read both books at least once.

“I like coming out and seeing what it was like back then,” said Owen, a history aficionado who plans to be an engineer. “I like the simple life back then but I also like the advancing technology of today.”

His father, Mike Garner of Flower Mound, said his son’s penchant for books is due partly to the rule that the fourth-grader is allowed “30 minutes of screen time a day on weekdays and a little more on weekends.”

Christi Sabogal brought her children from Denton: Stephanie, 9, Elizabeth, 6, Lili, 3, and Noah, 1.

The Nash Farm series was perfect for the home-schooled family because it offered “hands-on learning,” she said. Her eldest child is a big fan of the books and history in general.

As she sewed a patch for a quilt block, Stephanie said, “I like this because I want to be an author.”

Although the event was designed for younger history buffs, John Maxwell called and asked if he could bring his 70-year-old mother Linda Maxwell out for her 70th birthday.

“My father had a cabin — it wasn’t our main home — and we had a wood stove and chamber pots and a pump,” the birthday girl said. “There’s a lot of memories here.”

Nash Farm is open year-round and offers historic life on the farm experience that includes a home, barn and cemetery that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“We show people how to use heritage skills to enrich their lives,” said Jim Lauderdale, Nash Farm manager. “We want them to see the rural atmosphere right here in the middle of the Metroplex.”

Lauderdale said those who visit Nash Farm, which is located on 5.2 acres several blocks from Historic Downtown Grapevine, get a glimpse of what life was like on the farm more than a century ago.