For anyone who might think that Martha’s Vineyard is strictly for the jet setting media and political celebrity set, there is the annual Agricultural Fair. One of the oldest in the country, held every year for the past 152 years. Sitting a bit closer to the Gulf Stream, the island has a somewhat nicer climate than mainland Massachusetts, so it has a long farming history, that is still going strong today. The farms on the island do take full advantage of the free spending tourists by charging a premium for their local produce, such as $8.50 a pound for locally grown tomatoes.
Here’s Mr. C near the lamb pens. Not sure if he was allowed to pet the lambs, but there wasn’t much that would stop him. And yes, that’s a plaid hat with a stripped shirt. Dad dressed him that morning.
I remember going to fairs like this when I was a kid. Most will have a large area for judging a variety of farm animals, an area for judging baked goods, crafts, artwork and photography, and a ‘Midway’ with a few rides and games, as well as a variety of bad for you food. What’s nice about the MV fair is that a lot of the food vendors are local, not just a group of carts brought in with the rides to sell fired dough and hot dogs. The local food vendors are usually easy to spot as they have hand lettered signs, usually including info on how long they have been exhibiting at the fair. They will often give a portion of their profits to a local charity too. So you can get some yummy local food and support a good cause as well. It’s still mostly “bad for you fair food”, but at least it tastes much better than usual. And “Bad for you food” is pretty much what the fair is for anyway. When I was a kid, I was usually more interested in the animals and food than in the rides, and since Mr. C seems to be a clone of me, that’s what he seems to be interested in as well.
Here’s one of the chickens, ready for review by the panel of judges. If you ever wondered which chicken was the “Lord of the Chickens”, here she is. Her name is “Russel”.
Last year, Mr. C loved this farm pulley demonstration area. It’s an area set up in back of a barn to show kids how various pulley systems work. I took the same exact photo last year. Maybe this will be a family tradition. We’ll have a photo of him lifting this weight every year, with a variety of somewhat embarrassing outfits in each one, until he gets to be a surly teen and refuses to do it. Of course, I can’t seem to find last year’s photo at the moment.
“Feel my muscles!!” he said.
The tractor pull. I think this was the ‘antique tractor’ pull as each tractor seemed to be older than me. I think the winning tractor pulled a sled with 1,500 pounds in weights on it. Nice to know that the old things still can work. When we arrived home, Mr. C re-enacted the tractor pull using little tractors that he made out of Legos.
A wood chopping competition. Mr. C re-enacted the wood chopping competition at home using sticks.
A sheep shearing demonstration. Hmm… Mr. C always seems to be able to make his way to the front of any crowd.
He did manage to get to a few rides, but mostly, he was excited to see some animals…and eat a lot of bad food.
I’m already thinking about what kind of outfit he’ll wear next year.