The folks at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago have a little Tom Sawyer in them.
With the fall harvesting season under way, they're inviting visitors to the DuPage County Forest Preserve District's 1890s-style living-history farm to help pick some of the corn that will feed its cows and sheep this winter.
Volunteers on Saturday got a chance to work in the fields and will be given the same opportunity again from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday. If you want to help, you can pick corn, help shuck it (peel the husks from the ears) and shock it (bundle the full stalks to dry). And, oh yeah, when the horse-drawn wagon in the field is full, you can help store the harvest in the corn crib.
"This is a great educational program for the whole family were you can learn about corn and the seasons," said Robert Torres of Carol Stream, whose son, Xavier, was picking corn Saturday.
If field work is a little too hard, you also can visit the farmhouse to make corn-husk dolls or action figures and tour the 19th-century home.
On Saturday, Jennifer McCray of Hanover Park was building a doll from corn husks.
"This is my family's first time at the farm, and I'm excited that my family will learn more about corn and things that it is used for," said her father, Clarence Evans.
There also are opportunities to visit the barn, chicken coop, sheep fold and other buildings on the 200-acre farmstead at 1N600 County Farm Road.
If the idea of helping out in the fields appeals to you, be sure to wear sturdy shoes for walking in the fields and bring work gloves, if available, for handling the corn and stalks.
For details, call (630) 876-5900.