About ten years ago, I started working the Pennsylvania Farm Show for Penn State Extension. What a joy that has been.
For those of you that have never been to the show, you would find it, as I did, both a trip back into history, and a reminder of how fine most people still are these days. The show itself looks like something right out of the Saturday Evening Post of the 1950’s, with cattle, horses, pigs, chickens, rabbits, and prize-winning fruits,vegetables and nuts in abundance.
|This fine lady didn’t like the smell of the smoked brisket sandwich I was holding.|
|Mr. Ed’s grandson holds a press conference.|
|Dairy and proud of it!|
|Majesty in harness.|
Off in the distance, a crowd swarmed around a well-lit display. Wondering, I elbowed through the crowd to get a better look…
…well, of course, it was the world-famous Pennsylvania Butter Sculpture winning entry.
|That’s a lot of butter.|
Not far from the butter display, was the object of my interest…the wood display by the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association and the Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council.
|Inside the Woodmobile, an exhibit that travels the state for educational purposes at fairs, schools, and other public venues.|
Now, the wood exhibit is a fine thing, and it attracts a lot of folks out to satisfy their love of wood. Including this fellow, who obliged to sing and tell me a story or two.
Well, I had to get back to work, so I made my way over to the Penn State bioenergy exhibit. Here’s my friend and bioenergy expert Dan Ciolkosz, who organizes the exhibit each year. He’s pretending to be working a little, by pointing to the bundles of switchgrass, willow, and miscanthus that he and others in Pennsylvania have been working with in recent years to develop the bioenergy industry.
As for me, I mostly just played with all the kids who stopped to dig in the little blue pool of wood pellets, and talked to their parents about firewood and pellet stoves.
If you’re within driving distance of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the 100th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show runs through this weekend, and it’s free to the public. Spending a day walking around, taking it all in, watching the rodeo, and eating fried pickles, is one of those things that makes for fond memories.