This week was our county’s annual fair. I am no stranger to county fairs growing up in Iowa, but I’ve always been a pretty passive spectator . . . admiring the livestock, checking out the 4-H projects, and of course enjoying the fair food. This year I actually made the leap to volunteer and participant!
On Thursday, I used some of my volunteer time off (a great perk my company offers) to assist Farmer J with the 4-H/FFA swine show. The husband is the superintendent of the show (aka the boss), and I helped track who won what class and what color ribbons they received (a very appropriate task for an organized auditor).
I had never actually been to a swine show, and it was really fun to watch. The hogs are basically left to roam in the show ring while the kids try to politely direct them one way or another by tapping them with a stick. It’s basically a free for all.
I had fun helping, and I became more familiar with some of the 4-H youth in the county. By the end of the contest I no longer had to reference their bib numbers for names, because I had them all memorized . . . now I just have to avoid creeping them out with that knowledge.
Also on Thursday we submitted some produce to the open show. The open show is a contest for everyone (as the name implies) and county residents submit pies, quilts, flowers, genealogy projects, garden veggies, and many other items for judgement.
We really aren’t too serious about the contest . . . we picked our veggies 45 minutes before the submission deadline. Additionally, neither of us really knows what is considered a good cabbage, or an excellent green bean. For us it is all about participation. Friendly competition with our neighbors is just a perk. We are the future of this area . . . and as the population dwindles, if we want to see our favorite traditions continue, we will have to step up to the challenge and be the volunteers and the participants. I am already brainstorming what else I will take next year, and how I can encourage others to step up and make the leap to participant too!
So I am sure you are wondering about our results?!?
Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Here are the official results:
- Cabbage – red ribbon
- Green Beans – red ribbon
- Pickling Cucumbers – blue ribbon
- Brussel Sprouts – blue ribbon
- Pickled Snap Peas (not pictured because I forgot) – blue ribbon
- Dill – purple ribbon and best overall herb
Not too shabby . . . especially the dill, which was a redemption of sorts for James, since his mom beat him in this category last year.
Bottom line is that I really enjoyed being a participant and I will continue being a participant for a very long time into the future!
Rounding out the fair this weekend is the rodeo tonight. I am excited to spend time with our friends on a beautiful day!
Have a wonderful week all!!!