Monday, August 10, 2009

Fair Time

The Clearwater County Fairgrounds are located just two miles from our home. Last Tuesday night before the fair started I went through the book that lists all the categories, looked around my house, and ended up entering 24 items in Crafts, Food, and Horticulture.

As I was setting out the items for the picture, I felt more like I was setting up a Thanksgiving display than anything - what bounty of fresh food! And how thankful I am that I learned so many crafts and homemaking skills as a child and now have the opportunity to rediscover and build on them.

Just for the record, (and for certain people who want to know exactly what was entered!) here's my list: Result: 6 blue, 6 red, and 5 white ribbons for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. CRAFTS: Knitted: white child's sweater and cap (R), white bucle child's sweater (W), purple child's sock (R), Crochetted: blue bucle child's sweater (R), white bonnet (R), yellow and white booties (B), Sewing: red wrap-around skirt (B); FOOD: wild raspberry jam (B), wild raspberry jelly (R), wild high bush cranberry syrup (B), wild raspberries canned in juice (B), hickory smoke beef jerky (B), canned green beans (W), dehydrated raspberry fruit leather (R), dehydrated apples (W), rhubarb bars (w); HORTICULTURE: queen of the praire flower (W), tomatillo (B). I also entered a knitted baby blanket, crochetted baby blanket, knitted dish cloth, sewed apron, mini cross stitch wall hanging, red flower arrangement, peanut butter cookies, and dehydrated rose hips.

The most meaningful prize was the purple Grand Champion ribbon for the best wild berry jam. This year has been cool and we have had rain the past couple of weeks, providing excellent conditions for the berry crops. With such bounty, Jim mentioned that he liked raspberry jam, otherwise I may not have even tried it. Then in my thank you note to the garden club that sponsored the $10 prize money, I gave credit where credit was due - God's work of growing the berries, along with my grandma Dalshaug's recipe (equal parts sugar to berries, boil 10-20 minutes).

These wild berries are growing a couple hundred of feet from the cabin in a clearing in the woods. They are as big as my thumb nail. I pulled over seven hundred burdock weeds from this area the first year we aquired the property, which allowed the native raspberries to take over. This is the first year that the mature plants produced a significant crop.

Elderberry bush with main garden in the background.


Broccoli, tomatillos (for making green salsa), peppers.

I'll spare you all the pics of the peas, carrots, beans, tomatoes, khol rabbi, asparagas, mellons, spaghetti squash, cukes, potatoes, corn and onions. Believe it or not we think we want to expand next year - beets, and who knows what else!

Time to go pick beans and make supper, so bye for now!