Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 4
August 2007
Interesting Reads

Excerpt from American Agriculturalist, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 9, September 1879.

Starting for the Fair

Starting for the Fair


It has come at last—the day for which the whole family has been looking, working, and preparing—the day of the fair, and now on this bright September morning, when the air is filled with the odors of ripeness, and the whole country smiles with a bounteous harvest, this good farmer's family are about starting for the fair.

It is the end of many days of careful thought and anxious preparation. Charlie is afraid that the colt may be just too frisky, and forgetting the care given to the last grooming, may rumple a hair or two; George is in doubt whether his young steers may not forget the many hours of careful training, and in the confusion of sights and sounds at the fair, fail to do as well as they have already done in the yard this morning; each of these has all he can do to care for his pets, and the loading up falls to the father and others.

The potatoes, the turnips, the apples, the squashes, the pumpkins, and the chickens, must all be carefully stowed away. The bread, which the mother was up long before daylight to bake, must have a safe place, and the bouquet to which the older daughter has given all the best flowers of her garden—that must be carried by hand.

But there is the quilt—grandmother feels too old to enjoy the fair, besides someone must be left at home "to look after things"—but she has made a quilt—one of those marvels in patch-work without which no well-regulated fair can be complete. So make a place for the quilt in the load—for precious loving thoughts have been worked in with the stitches—and one of the best places too at the fair, for grandmother will not make quilts for many more fairs.

The family has not started, yet what a world of good has its preparation brought! Did not the father learn that in raising rutabagas and mangels fit to show, he must give each root plenty of room? Has not the older son, to beat his neighbor on apples, thinned that Baldwin tree at least three times during the season? The son with the colt and the other with the young steers, what an amount of self control they have learned in trying to control their animals, and the mother, the daughters, and all have, in their work of preparation, already had much interesting occupation—and the enjoyment of the fair is still to come.

We hope that this picture may serve as a representation of what will take place in many and many a farmers' family this month and next, throughout our broad country. The isolation of the family is the great misfortune of our farm life. The house is placed as near as may be in the center of our large farms, and neighborly intercourse is difficult. Hence it is all the more necessary for the farmer and his family to make the best of the opportunity for social enjoyment afforded by the local fair.

If the fair did only this, it would be worthy of encouragement; but it does much besides. These good people will go to the fair, see much, meet many old friends, learn much, and, let us hope bring away pleasant recollections—and some premiums. But what they will take is far better than any premiums they will bring away—for they take their best—they show that they have pride in the farmers' life, and they show the best products of that life—not in the crops, the steers, the colts and chickens, the bread or quilt, but in the very best of all products of the farm, the men and women, and the boys and girls, who will soon be men and women. These are the best products of American farms, and they are such products as the farms of no other country can show.

Excerpt from American Agriculturalist, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 9, September 1879.

Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an article published in 1879. It describes what was recommended in accordance with the knowledge and practices of the day. While reading it, please consider this fact.

Other Articles from this Issue
What's New in Gardening
Y Shut-Off Valve

Y Shut-Off
BackSaver Grip®

Tilley Airflo Hat

Tilley Airflo
Cape Cod Doormats

Cape Cod
    News & Events  
  Mailing Soon

  What Is It?
Interesting Reads
Customer Letters
From the Garden
    Subscriber Services

Privacy Policy

Newsletter Archive