Peinhardt Farms in 2017

People gather at Peinhardt Farms in 2017. The Annual Farm Day event has been canceled over COVID-19 concerns.

Staging Peinhardt Farm Day amid new pubic health precautions is posing logistical hurdles that, at least this year, are amounting to a greater set of challenges than its organizers can ask both volunteers and guests overcome — especially when the goal is to bring people together.

That means Farm Day — an annual local hallmark that signifies the start of fall for many autumn outdoor lovers — won’t be held this year at the Peinhardt Living History Farm, a sprawling, lovingly-preserved property that operates as a nonprofit agricultural educational center at the western edge of Cullman.

In addition to the one-day event that typically draws people out for a family Saturday at the farm, schools from around the area stream students through the farm on field trips over a three-week period that bookends Farm Day each year. But with COVID-19 precautions leading schools to call off their fall field trips, organizers say it’s a tall order to prepare the venue only for the single Farm Day day outing.

More importantly, says Peinhardt Living History Farm Board president Jennifer Tucker, is minding the safety of everyone involved. 

“A lot of our activities are hands-on and very interactive — things like hay rides, quilting, and blacksmithing — and with all the safety restrictions and guidelines that are in place, we would be really limited in offering those things in a way that gives our guests the full experience,” she explained.

“On top of that, many of our volunteers are very knowledgable retirees; people in the over-60 age group, who as a group are considered to be most at risk if they were to contract an illness,” she added. “We felt that it would be best not to put them in that position, considering everything that’s going on.”

Farm Day originally had been scheduled for Oct. 24, a later-than-usual start that Tucker said already had been pushed back as local officials monitored the wider public health situation. As the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser, the Foundation won’t be seeing those dollars come in this year to support its ongoing educational mission.

The Peinhardt Living History Farm Foundation welcomes donations at any time of year. To make a contribution, send a check in any amount to: Peinhardt Living History Farm Foundation, P.O. Box 1938, Cullman, AL, 35056.

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