A Gathering of Days: Summer
A  WebQuest for Middle School or Junior High, WebQuest Agricultural Series by Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University

“I watched the whole of this from my stool, where I sat with churn between my knees, willing the butter to come.”

--from A Gathering of Days Friday, July 8, 1831

Each summer was filled with hot and heavy work from sun up to sun down. Catherine and her family had crops to plant and harvest and haying and mowing to be finished in the fields. Some of the chores that had to be done did not happen out in the field. Much of the food the Hall family ate was made from the milk of the family cow, which gave them a constant supply of milk, cheese, and butter. Your task is to research and re-create the process that Catherine went through in order to provide her family with fresh, homemade butter.

1. You will preview the following websites to understand the process of making butter by churning it in New England during the early 1800’s.

Web sites to visit:

2. You will create a series of events chain displaying the steps involved in collecting and processing fresh milk into butter.

3. Your series of events chain will have at least 8 steps in chronological order.

4. Each step must be clearly labeled.

5. Each step must be illustrated with either a hand-drawn picture or a computer graphic.


1. One of the food staples found on the table in Catherine’s home was butter. It was used daily in recipes and on its own. You will review the following slide show about how to make butter:

2. You will create a recipe card for homemade butter after viewing the steps in the slide show.

3. You will follow the steps outlined in the slide show to create your own batch of homemade butter to share with the class.

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This page was developed by Samantha McMaster Warren, reviewed by Lyndon and the late Barbara Irwin and is maintained by Missouri Farm Bureau.

Please address questions to Diane Olson at Missouri Farm Bureau.