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

“Father brought the fire to life, then went out and with his ax hacked off some of our frozen soup that we might start it heating while he attended to chores…Back with Father, with his ax, and soon returned to fill the pot which was quickly bubbling. As pleasant vapors filled the room I deemed myself amply rewarded for the slow preparation all those weeks ago! To the soup we joined bread, cider, also nuts and apples.”

from A Gathering of Days Monday, January 17, 1831

With the harvest over and winter in full force, providing food for the family required careful planning months before. How did Catherine and her family save and preserve the food from their harvest? Your task is to research the various methods of food preservation for the winter months during the early 1800’s in New England


1. You will preview the following websites to understand the various processes of food preservation in New England during the early 1800’s:

2. You will create a chart displaying the various types of food preservation that was used during the 1830’s in New England.

3. Your chart will contain at least 6 types of food preservation.

4. Each type of food preservation must be clearly labeled.

5. Within each food preservation type, you will list at least 5 foods the Hall family would have used that would be preserved by this method.

6. You must provide reasoning for your food preservation choice for at least 15 of your food examples.


1. One of the most important ways to stretch the bounty of the summer’s harvest was to protect the food from spoilage. Your task is to choose one of the food preservation methods from the chart you created.

2. You will choose a food product listed in your chart and preserve it as the Hall family did.

3. You will bring your preserved food to school to share with the class. Be prepared to explain your choice and the process that you used.

Go Back.


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.