|Young observer or future farmer.|
The crop of people are just as interesting to me. Families galore, plenty of children pulled out of school for the day to experience the event. There are long lines for the carousel, the expert craftsman of balloon animals, and an opportunity to feed the butterflies. The lines move swiftly, mostly. I also say nothing showcases the diversity of the growing conservative Anabaptist landscape quite like the farm show. Each year there are new styles of coverings and previously unimaginable combinations of modest wear. On my way to peruse the ribbon-winning canned goods I pass a busy mom in a traditional headcovering and ski pants. Maybe they drove in on the snowmobile? I'm sure she had her reasons.
The canned goods were picture perfect.
Crystal clear jellies and pickled eggs in
perfect form. The
"Did they think someone would steal it?" joked The Mister.
"Don't give me any ideas!"
You can't do everything, and there's so much to see. An announcement that Punxsutawney Phil, the beloved official groundhog who makes the call on extended winters and early springs, will be leaving in fifteen minutes sends us on a goose chase to quickly find him. We missed the judging for the first ever whoopie pie competition. Don't forget the butter sculpture. I've wondered for years where all that butter goes, a buffet maybe? I hoped not. A new sign announced that it will be recycled into biofuel. At the very end, we peruse the vast market of venison bologna, artisan cheeses, and all manner of top quality bounty.
We bought two unique products that I found interesting. One is called Ghee, a shelf-stable butter that has the dairy solids removed. Ghee is great for frying because it has a remarkably high smoke point. It's marketed as a healthier butter, and I added it to my collection of cooking oils. I read about it years ago but this is the first time I have seen it for sale anywhere. Our other souvenir is Hickory syrup. The ingredients are hickory sap and cane sugar. It tastes sweet but also smoky. My first thought was that it would be great for grilling. Low and behold, it came with some recipes for grilled chicken and fish. I look forward to cooking with these two gifts carved from creation.
We white-knuckled it home in the snow that night along the dark turnpike. How inspiring it was that day to walk side by side with the growers, the milkers, and the mere farmers at heart all under a single roof. Representatives of a rich calling built on passions, diverse practices, and stewardship. I suspect a love of the land reaps a reward beyond mere money. It must because even during the dry years, the truth remains that
He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty. (Proverbs 28:19) It's a truth for all of us.
Now, back to tilling.
|Meanwhile, a hundred years ago...|