What's On

Barnyard Break

February 27 to March 6 and March 12 to 20

The Museum launches a new spring season with its annual Barnyard Break Foodology. Did you know 2016 is the International Year of Pulses? Demonstrations this year include: Cooking with Pulses, Butter Making 101, The Science of Maple Taffy and various animal demonstrations. Additionally, young visitors can listen to a classic children’s story and get creative with a pulse-themed craft. On March 12, don’t miss a special demonstration from the McGill University Woodsmen Team.


Dairy Barn

All about Milk (10:30 a.m.)
Visitors are invited to discover how a modern milking machine works as well as how this technology has evolved. Using the demonstration milk house along with Millie, our fiberglass cow, a knowledgeable guide will explain where the milk that Canadians drink comes from. Does a milking machine require a great deal of suction? Visitors can see for themselves if they’re curious enough to put their fingers in a functioning teat cup.

Cow Care (2:00 p.m.)
Most people have a pretty good idea of how to care for a dog or a cat but do many know what it takes to care for a cow? Or for that matter, an entire herd of them? Join a guide to learn about how the cows are cared for at the Museum from the time they are calves until well into their milking lives. Discover new and interesting objects and see if you can figure out how they are used in caring for the dairy cows.

Afternoon Milking (4:00 p.m.)
The milking of the Museum’s dairy cows takes place twice daily. Over the course of this demonstration, visitors will be impressed by the technologies used in modern dairying as they see the herdspeople milk the entire herd. A Museum guide will be on site to explain the process and to answer questions.

Small Animal Barn

Rabbit Care (9:30 a.m.)
Even though rabbits are usually considered to be pets, they are often raised on farms for their meat and pelts. Visitors will be able to learn interesting details about the life cycle of rabbits and how they are cared for. Additionally, there will be the opportunity to meet and pet one of the Museum’s resident rabbits.

Meet the Sheep and Goats (11:30 a.m.)
Ewes, does, rams, bucks, lambs and kids. Which are the sheep and which are the goats? Visitors are invited to learn more about these farm “cousins” and all the products they provide for us from milk to meat to fibres.

Meet the Horses (3:00 p.m.)
Caring for horses includes grooming, feeding, training and socialization. Join a Museum guide to learn about what it takes to keep our horses healthy and strong while discovering interesting facts about them.

Demonstration Kitchen

Pulse Power! – International Year of Pulses! (10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.)
Come to the demonstration kitchen and meet some of the food superheroes you might not have known were hiding in your pantry – pulses! Lentils, chickpeas, and dried beans and peas pack a lot protein and fibre and they’re versatile enough to include in recipes from soups and dips to desserts and sweets. Visitors may also be surprised to learn that Canada is a significant producer of pulses and that these seemingly exotic foods are grown in many places throughout the country.

Recipes to download (pdf)

Cooking with Maple Syrup (11:00 and 2:30)
Did you know Canada produces 85% of the world’s maple syrup! Join us in the demonstration kitchen to help prepare delicious treats made with this golden syrup. Also, learn some interesting facts about maple syrup.

Butter Making 101 (12:00 p.m.)
High school chemistry gets a tasty twist with this interactive demonstration. Do you think you could turn a homogenous mixture into a heterogeneous one? How about inverting an emulsion? By making butter, you are actually doing both! Who knew! All this learning will likely make you hungry, so we’ll be serving samples too…

Small Animal Barn Classroom

The Science of Maple Taffy (10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., and 3:15 p.m.)
There are very few things that mark this time of year quite as sweetly as maple taffy. Visitors will be able to discover the science behind transforming maple sap into syrup and syrup into taffy, taste a sample, and take in a variety of maple sugaring equipment and historical photos that will be on display in the classroom.

Children’s Story and Craft (11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.)
Children are invited to listen to the classic tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and take part in making a pulse-themed craft.

Saturday March 12 ONLY
Special demonstrations - McGill University Woodsmen Team Demonstration (11:00 and 1:30)

Want to see wood chips fly? Come join us to watch lumberjacks and jills demonstrate traditional woodsmen activities such as wood chopping and sawing. This demonstration showcases Canada’s rich history in forestry as celebrated by a whole new generation of lumberjacks. This is a great outdoor event for the whole family not to be missed!

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