Friday, August 22, 2014

Fair Update

    I spent four hours at the Evergreen State Fair yesterday as a volunteer at the Open Honey and Beeswax Exhibit. It was a little slow at times, but was a pretty fun time over all. I answered lots of questions about the observation hive with live bees in it and generally informed the public about the importance of honeybees in their lives. The biggest deal is that fact that about half of our food supply is pollinated by honeybees. We would have a pretty bland diet if we only could eat foods that were pollinated by the wind. Grapes are one of the few wind pollinated fruits. Other than that it would be lots of potatoes, wheat, oats, rice, and corn. It would be a fairly plain uninteresting diet.

    I really need to take a video some time of different individuals' reactions when they look at the observation hive and first realize there are live honeybees in there.  They are either instantly repulsed or instantly grabbed. Many who fall into the repulsed category still can't tear themselves away from staring at the hive. It would be a funny thing to post on You Tube for people guess what the heck these people are looking at. One of my favorite things is to ask the younger kids if they want a bee on their hand. Most don't respond positively until I show them the little bee stamp and the stamp pad. There are a few brave little ones that would be very willing to have a live bee on their hand. Some of those are somewhat disappointed rather than relieved when they discover I'm only offering to stamp a bee on their hand.

    I was gratified to learn that not only did I get blue ribbons for both my extracted honey and my beeswax entry, but the beeswax entry also got Best of Division and Best of Show.  I wasn't as impressed with the Best of Division as there were only 6 entries in the beeswax division. Best of Show is a big deal because that means the entry scored higher than all other entries in the Open Honey and Beeswax Exhibit. I guess maybe I've learned a few things about working with beeswax in the eight years I've had the bee store.
Blue Ribbon Blackberry Honey

The really big ribbon in the back is the Best of Show ribbon
     I started yesterday on my bucket list of Fair Food.  I'm signed up for six volunteer sessions at the Fair.  My fair food selection for yesterday was a nice big pork bratwurst smothered in onions and sauerkraut. That still leaves Curly Fries, a Purple Cow, Crepes, Fair Scones, a Walla Walla Onion Burger, and an Elephant Ear to go. This comes at a time when I've made some recent progress in losing weight.  My eight year old grand daughter, Britton, is really looking forward to the Evergreen State Fair.  As she was talking to her dad the other day, she told him that she had $13.00 saved up and she was going to spend all of it on "Fair Food". 

  The Honey and Beeswax Exhibit was not the most exciting thing for me that happened at the fair yesterday.  The biggest deal for me was that I managed to buy a working antique Fulton hand crank corn sheller. I have to admit that I was a little nervous about admitting to Linda how much I paid for it. I'm very lucky that Linda likes old things (in more ways than one). I considered it somewhat of a bargain as it only cost about half of what it would cost to buy a new one. They are actually still making hand crank corn shellers. I suspect the Amish buy a lot of them. I bought it from a guy at the Western Heritage Center at the Fairgrounds. This is a museum dedicated to things like early agriculture, logging, mining, hand woodworking, trains, and other cool things. It is actually one of our grandchildren's favorite parts of the Evergreen State Fair. Its right up there with the toy pedal tractors.  As we have taken grand children to the fair they have all enjoyed shelling corn with the old hand crank corn shellers.  I grow indian corn for corn bread and have always shelled it out by hand. I grow enough of it that this is not a particularly fun task. My fingers are usually pretty sore by the time I've finished. I'm looking forward now to having lots of young and enthusiastic volunteer labor to shell out Grandpa Jim's annual corn crop.  I'll post a picture after I've got the corn sheller painted and mounted in a wooden box like the ones at the fair.

1 comment:

  1. Best in Show! That's great!
    Sounds like you, Sofia, and Britton should all go to the fair together. That was the main attraction for Sofi.
    We can't wait to try your corn sheller.