Lots of sowing was done in the last two years to bring about the harvest of a strong renovated Roundhouse at our wonderful Franklin County Fair. I was glad to be present for the re-dedication – during which many people were thanked, too many to list here, but I was glad that one of my colleagues at The Recoder, Irmarie Jones was thanked for all her help promoting the renovation and fundraising. While the Fair is 162 years old, the Roundhouse was built in 1899. You can imagine it did need some refurbishment. Now, on to the Fair!
The Roundhouse holds my favorite exhibits, like this prize winning array of fruit from Clarkdale Fruit Farms. I got to sample one of Clarkdale’s famous white peaches before I left. Clarkdale is a generous member of the community, participating in a number of important events like the Free Harvest Meal, and the Sunflower Contest. Thank you, Tom.
David Shearer is another generous community member who also provided prize apples to the Sunflower Contest – in addition to winning many blue ribbons and putting up a beautiful display. Thank you, David!
The Roundhouse exhibits give just a hint of the abundant harvests in people backyard gardens. This is the most local eating, and no one could find fault with it. We New Englanders are smart, energetic and frugal – and a garden is proof of all these characteristics.
If you have a fruitful garden, you are going to have to preserve some of it. These prize winners show that canning is not a lost art.
Once again, the Greenfield Garden Club had a prize winning exhibit. They built all that furniture just for the Fair. You might almost think they actually spent some time sitting on beautiful benches. Not likely!
I was not the only person admiring all the exhibits. The crowds were just starting on this first day of the Fair. There ismore to see.
Happily we can see that Franklin County’s young people are following in their skilled parents’ footsteps. Lots of excellent work in the Youth building.
There are all kinds of rides on the midway, including this roller coaster. Lots of food, too. Can you ever eat too much fried dough spread with maple cream?
Modern farming can require a lot of modern equipment. On display at the Fair.
But farms really need livestock. Not all the dairy farms are gone.
Goats have become important to farmers – who have learned to make goat cheese.
Some farms harvest fiber! We have spinners and knitters and weavers here in Franklin County.
There is a poultry house at the Fair. This prize winning rooster is smaller than my rooster. But both are beautiful. And loud.
After looking at all the beautiful produce in the Roundhouse, some gardeners might be wondering why their flowers and veggies don’t look quite like the prize winners. They can talk to the Master Gardeners who will be on duty and full of information.
One new thing that struck me about this year’s Fair is the number of recycle and compost bins all over the fairgrounds, including in the kitchens of the food purveyors that will be collected daily. Plastic foam was banned and vendors were using only compostable paper plates and utensils. At the end of the fair, spent exhibits will also be collected for composting. Hooray for a trash free fair!
There was not much sun at the Fair today, but when I got home, the sun was gilding the air and the trees, for just a few moments, to let everyone know that Saturday would be a good Fair Day.