Tuesday, October 10, 2006

views from Amish Farm and House

There were so many interesting things to see while we were set up doing demos at The Amish Farm and House. Maryanne's blog (my sis) has more pictures of different things, by the way. In the tobacco shed, they show the tobacco hanging to dry. That used to be a very big crop in Lancaster County, but now we grow more corn, grains, and soybeans. The tobacco grown here was mostly used as the outer wrapping of cigars. I was happy to see this little guy crossing my path. A wooley bear caterpillar with NO black bands. Whoopie! That would mean a pretty mild winter. I've seen a few with very small black bands on either ends, but not when my camera was handy. I'm still on the hunt. Stay tuned.
This pair of pea fowl allowed me to take a picture, and I found a few small feathers around. They shimmer in the light like gemstones. We have some pea fowl living nearby. I've never seen them, but they sure make a racket. This pair was fairly quiet.
This pie wagon was directly across the path from us. The buggy was fitted with shelving to hold pies, cookies, breads, and jellies on three sides. We didn't stand a chance.
At exactly 10:45 all the bells in the county rang in memory of the Amish girls slain one week ago. There was a bell on the building directly behind me, and I found myself looking directly into the eyes of a young Amish woman when the bell rang out it's first chime.
This is a yew "bush". There are three just like it, and this "bush" must be several hundred years old. A woman visiting the farm was blown away by its size. She told us that she was a botanist, and that she'd never seen anything like it. Yews of this variety generally grown to about 6 feet under the best conditions. These were 30 to 40 feet high and spread even wider.
I have never really looked at a female ginkgo tree in fruit before. This one was lovely, and had not yet developed the scent that generally makes people avoid it. The flora growing on the farm was really stunning.
There was also a Chinese Chestnut tree growing. The quilter told me that in years past, the bounty found beneath the tree was much larger, but one tree had been cut down and this tree needed to self-pollinate, resulting in smaller nuts, and fewer of them. I had forgotten how prickly the burs of the chestnut are. They are like tiny needles, and it is nearly impossible to pick them up without stabbing yourself. Several of us compared methods we used in our childhood to get the nuts out of the burs. I particularly enjoyed one story of using the feet (shoes), and how important it was NOT to wear canvas sneakers while doing it.
One crafter had a beautiful display of dried ornamental plants and wreaths, along with wonderful potpourris and spices.
These Chinese lanterns are so pretty. When I was a kid, one of my great aunts always grew them along with "silver dollars" (Lunaria) and would put them into a large vase together. They seemed like the most extravagant thing to me at the time. Pure magic.
There were so many beautiful things to look at. I really enjoyed our days at this show. Autumn is arriving and painting everything in new colors. The air is brisk and clean.
Back to work on getting all the addresses up to date and the mailing labels printed up so that as soon as we get The Essential Herbal from the printer we can get them into the mail. Did I mention how wonderful this next issue is?

1 comment:

Becky said...

Awesome pictures Tina, I so would have loved to have been there!

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