Ag Day at the Riley Boyhood Home

GREENFIELD — “When the Frost is on the Punkin,” “Wortermelon Time,” “Thoughts fer the Discuraged Farmer,” and “Old October” — are all poems written by James Whitcomb Riley and are in his book Farm Rhymes. Originally, published in 1887 and last published in 1905, Riley’s Farm Rhymes book is a special collection of poems that pertain to farming and country life. However, the book has been out of print for over 100 years. Luckily IU Press has reissued a reproduction version that is an exact copy of the original — right down to the original artwork by another Greenfield native, Will Vawter.
To celebrate the reissuing of this wonderful book, the James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home and Museum, located at 250 West Main Street, Greenfield, is celebrating with “Ag Day” at the Riley Boyhood Home on Aug. 31 from 1-4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public and will feature a lot of kid related activities, including a petting zoo with farm animals, a watermelon seed spitting contest, a soil project, a planting activity, an herb activity, information about ag safety and more. The event will be held in the gardens behind the Riley Boyhood Home and Museum.  Visitors can talk with several farming, gardening, and agricultural related groups and organizations such as the Eastern Hancock FFA, the Hancock County Herb Society, the Master Gardners, Harvest Land Co-op, and others. There will also be an antique tractor on display, old fashioned farming techniques demonstrated, and the first 100 kids to the event will get a free farmer’s hat.
Also, the James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home will be open for tours that day at the standard admission price. There will be food for sale by the Riley Old Home Society, and the highlight in the Riley Home Gift Shop will be the special Riley Farm Rhymes book, which sells for $20.
The Riley Boyhood Home is open from 11 am. – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday from April through October. Admission is $4.00 for adults, $3.50 for seniors and $1.50 for youths (6-17), and children under age 6 are free. Group tours and reservations are also available. For more information on the Riley Boyhood Home, call 317-462-8539 or visit