Jamestown Fair was held last week; my favorite end of summer holiday. Or as I told my son, "The Farm Party". The fair is dearly important to me and like I said last year, sadly, it seems to get smaller with each passing season. I try to enter everything possible for displays because, frankly, if no one enters the fair there IS no fair. It is also my understanding that the fair is funded in part by the State budget so competing for the premiums is a good way to justify that line item when funds are dived up in future years.
The fair may be small, but it's important. And it sure as hell ain't going down on my watch.
So. Here's how it went. This is what I rounded up to enter this year:
Eggs, veg, canned goods, flowers, herbs. The day I gathered up things I was so disheartened. Digging up potatoes to enter, it seems that I actually ended up with LESS than I planted ( due to mice?) and was also really unhappy with the quality of my flower and herb entries. Was actually so pissed as to scrap the whole things but had told a friend I would take up his peppers to enter so....
Oh, my goodness. Remember how I strapped this little guy to my chest in a carrier last year? This year he insisted on pulling the wagon of entries. Note to self: after parking waaaay down the block and pulling this to the school and nice security man on a golf cart saw us, gestured to the pavement right in front of the damn door and said "You know you can park here to unload, right?" Sigh.
For the first time, I tried my hand at one of the baking contests and made a lemon pound cake from the King Arthur website (the suggested recipe). It made two loaves but they were a bit too lemony for our tastes.
Here's how I did:
Ribbons won this year. Wait, what's that big yellow one?
Third place in the King Arthur pound cake contest won this lovely tote bag. My first time entering a baked good contest, learned a bunch and will shoot for better next year. Don't let it fool you, only 4 people entered. It's a small fair.
Quail eggs. Sometimes there are so few entries in a category there is no competition. I almost wish for withheld judging in that case. My father summed it up best when he saw my ribbon and said: "Hey, your quail eggs won first place! Against... (Pause to gaze around, slight furrowing of the brow) yourself?"
But maybe someone else at the fair sees those eggs and goes home and starts to look onto keeping quail. Who knows.
First place brussel sprouts.
Plum Lemon tomato, entered under "Named Heirloom". A mild, paste type that is a very easy grower. And look how pretty!
Anise Hyssop, entered under Herbs. A perennial that smells like black licorice. I've read that it's good in baked goods like scones and coffee cakes, but it's kept here because the pollinators love it.
Part of the veg display.
My dad and our friend, discussing prize winning peppers.
The goats. My little man LOVES goats. These might be in our future come 4-H age. Meat goats, not dairy. As usual, it rained the nights we went up. The first night the husband and the little guy and I stayed just long enough to leave ahead of the rain.
A tri-color Mini Rex rabbit doe. This is the first tri-color I've seen since my beloved house rabbit Basil, who was obese and loved pancakes and Law and Order and would run to greet me at the door when I came home. He was my best friend. I should have checked the owner's name; there's a chance this doe could have been related to him. Wow, do I miss him. And his buddies Henry and Pipkin.
(For anyone who knows me in real life that just read that last sentence twice - oh yes I did. Yep.)
The second night my dad came, it poured and we waited out a storm in the horse barn. We got some fries and I wrapped a sweatshirt around the little guy's head as a makeshift hat. My dad ran for the car carrying the little guy. I carried the fries. Not sure what that says about me as a mother. Put the little one in dry clothes and we sat in the heated car eating greasy fair food. These are things memories are made of.
We had a great time, won some ribbons, met some nice people, ate some fries and got rained on. A good time all around. See you next year, fair!