October 17th, 2010


Poem for Sunday and Family Festival at the Farm

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We spent most of the day at Frederick County's Family Festival at the Farm, where lots of farms, orchards, and nurseries are open to the public for tours. The day offered perfect gorgeous fall weather, high 60s and brilliant sunshine, though the leaves are only partially turning -- a decent amount of yellow but not a lot of red, which may have to do with what a dry summer we had. We started at Whispering Meadows, an alpaca farm that also has longhorns, horses, rabbits, and pigs and poultry for those who wait for the hayrides; it's owned by a really interesting guy who gets up at 3:30 a.m. to commute two hours into D.C. to work at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing as his day job, and the tours were given by local 4H members volunteering on the farm. We got to pet lots of alpacas and visit the store with woolens, plus there were carding demonstrations and food in the barn.

Then we went to Brookfield Pumpkins, mostly to pick pumpkins for Halloween, though they also had some animals -- pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, calves -- and a big barn with crafts and some of the huge squash and gourds grown on the farm. The farm has a fabulous view of the mountains and takes visitors on hayrides out to the pumpkin patches. From there we drove to South Mountain Creamery, which we visited in September but which was having a big open house for the festival with samples of their cheese, yogurt, breads, and ice cream, plus visitors like local honey producers and their bees, the wonderful Marco's Not-Yet-Famous Salsas. In addition to their calves, rabbits, chickens, and kittens, they had visiting alpacas, piglets, and sheep, plus the barn where they keep their incubators open with at least 50 newborn chicks! And we got to hand-churn butter and take it home with us.

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Maryland lost to Clemson while we were out and we only saw part of the wonderful Wisconsin-Ohio State game, plus bits of the Yankees losing (yay) and the Giants winning (boo), plus we watched the new episode of Merlin, which may be the silliest yet (and a bit too reminiscent of "The Gates of Avalon" in some ways), but such is my attachment to the show that this didn't even bother me -- not even the oh-so-period-correct tango music. Collapse )