Time flies by so fast, we’re already nearing the end of summer. Can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since we went to the Ag-Fair on Martha’s Vineyard. So I better write something about it soon before Winter arrives and the story is out of date.
For those unfamiliar, an Agricultural Fair is usually held in a farming community, once a year, usually late Summer or early Fall, It’s a chance to show off livestock, pies, old tractors, a variety of crafts such as quilting and needle work, painting and photography, and also to take part in eating bad food at the carnival, ride on a creeky temporary ferris wheel, and loose some money playing weird variations of ring toss.
Of course all of this excitement made Mr. C’s head just about explode. He ran around with no idea what to do first, or next. Since this was the first time he had been to one of these events, he was open to suggestion, so we roamed the animal barns first.
This is a very old fair, established sometime in the 1800′s. I heard 1809 thrown around a few times. Though I’m not sure if that was in reference to the age of the fair or the cost of a box of popcorn. So since it is so old, there are quite a few unique barns and other farm buildings. Very scenic. I had no idea of the extent of the farming done on the island.
The farm animals are judged and awarded prizes in a multitude of categories. It must be great to be a 6 year old and have the goat or chicken you raised win a blue ribbon! How the animals are judged at a fair is a mystery to me. Most chickens and goats usually look alike to me. But I have to admit that there were some proud looking winning animals at this fair. Here’s a winning goat below. Earlier this summer when I took Mr. C to a local farm, I leaned over in front of the goat pen to pick up some wayward lettuce leaves to feed to them. One of the goats saw his chance at a grabbing a bite of something that must have looked good to eat to him and took a big bite out of my hair. Thanks for the free haircut, Mr. Goat! How did you know I’m trying to save money? So I didn’t get much closer than this.
The animals are usually identified with name tags on their pens. How did that chicken earn the name “Googie” ? You usually have no idea. But there was one owner who did want you to know at least a little something about each chicken.
Anna – A fighter, a serviver, and a true queen in her own right. Sounds like a noble chicken, I’d have a hard time eating this one.
April – A chicken of bravery and trust, with a heart as golden as her feathers.
What kind of daring deeds has this chicken gotten herself into ? Worthy of a movie maybe ? Or at least an animated series ?
Helan – A living dedication to a terific nabor.
I’d like to meet this Helan. Does she know about her namesake chicken?
Considering the spelling, looks like these chickens maybe belong to a seven or eight year old. But considering the sentiment involved in the naming, I’m guessing there has been some influence by a grandparent in telling each chicken’s story. There were several more, but I only got these three photos. What a nice display of sentiment! I’m not sure if they won anything, but the owners should get a blue ribbon for such obvious dedication.
It’s hard to tell from the photo but this was the largest horse I have ever seen in my life. It’s a Percheron. A horse originally from northern France. Bred for use as a draft or war horse. About the size of a small bus. If I was a lowly archer during the Middle Ages and one of these came thundering at me with a knight on top, I’d definitely go off in the other direction.
I don’t know how Mr. C does it, but he got to do all sorts of stuff at the fair. While just standing around with a group of other kids near a lamb pen, the farmer singled him out to go into the pen and pick up and hold a baby lamb. All the other kids are saying ‘Can I try? Can I do it?’, and he’s not even asking, just using his charm and batting his big blue eyes and in he goes.
Then he tries out one of the ring toss type games at the carnival. He’s playing the game with a group of other kids of similar ages, from maybe 3 through 6. It’s a timed event and whoever gets the most rubber frogs into a water bucket wins a prize. He does not win. But the operator of the game gives him a prize anyway. ‘Because you’ve got such beautiful eyes!’ she says. Pays to be the cute kid, I guess. This happens all the time. So often I wonder where he’s getting this from, it’s not from me, must be from Ms J, she’s the better looking of the two of us.
The prize he picked out was a big plastic trumpet. Here he is playing along with a ragtime band next to the barn. I’m sure the band appreciated the added dulcet tones of his purple plastic trumpet. Blllaaatttt! This is now known as an “outside toy”.
Here’s a photo of one of the events at the woodman’s competition. Events included a a timed chopping through a log, and tossing a four foot log for distance. When they called for audience members to try tossing the log, my mother in law tried to persuade me to join in. Ummm… Sorry, ummm… bad back!
And here’s my artistic shot of the ferris wheel from inside the barn with the display of blue ribbon winning baked goods.
One of the nice things about the fair is the number of local participants in the events and local eateries offering their goods. I had a cheese burger made by the local Tisbury town Fire Department, all proceeds to benefit local charities, and a yummy burger too. I was too quick to eat it to get a photo.
Mr. C fell asleep almost as soon as we got him into his car seat. Though he did manage to get one last big blast on his trumpet out as we were pulling out of the parking lot. Blaaatttt!!!!
So it’s the end of the Summer! Plenty to do in the Fall though. Such as the Fair near my parent’s house in The Middle of Nowhere, Vermont. They tell me there is a “Cow Bingo” event there. Hmmm… I wonder what that involves ?