Interpretation at Sauer-Beckmann Farm

Sauer-Beckmann Farm; interviewer: Kati

Sauer-Beckmann Farm (Real Media)

Interpretation at Parks and Historic Sites requires skills in communication such as story-telling and writing, teaching skills, and knowledge in cultural resources, natural resources and people management.

Wide angle view of LBJ

Through careful planning, interpretation and design, this living history farm helps visitors experience the life and times of an early 20th century farm.

Staff wear period costumes and take on the character of those who would have worked a farm during this time.

Storytelling is an important skill for interpreters.

Staff must care for the animals just as the original farmers did …

… developing skills like herding these hungry poultry!

Care is taken to recreate a period kitchen.

Exhibits must also teach. This room helps demonstrate that canning was important to the lives of these settlers.

Interpreters try to bring insight to things we might think as ordinary. Signs along the nature trail not only identify species, but help establish the significance and early uses of plants to the people who lived here.

Read the sign about the Mesquite (pronounced "Mes-keet"):


The fruits of this tree are eaten by many domestic and wild animals. Cabeza de Vaca noted that the Coahuiltecan Indians of South Texas relied heavily on mesquite beans for food. "Mesquitamal," as the Spaniards called it, was a concoction of ground mesquite beans and other seeds and berries.

The rancher's association with mesquite has not been wholly beneficial. Mesquite has increased during the past 120 years on prairies disturbed by overgrazing and control of natural fire. Once established, mesquite is difficult to control. Mesquite's excessive use of valuable soil moisture further deteriorates the grass supply and invites other undesirable plants like prickly pear.

Though mesquite is adaptable to many soils, it grows particularly well in deep, fertile, alluvial soils such as the one on which you are standing.

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