Sunday, October 17, 2010

HILLSIDE FARM HARVEST FESTIVAL

Fall.  Beautiful weather.  A county full of fabulous things to do.  Today we left it to a vote.  And I lost.  Another car show.  Another fall festival.  Really not a loss -- time with my best friend and our bubbly, beautiful ladies -- however...

Not much to say about the car show.  The ladies like the paint; they live to play the punch-buggy game.  But beyond that, they can cover Carlisle in fifteen minutes or less.  Scott and I have learned to be quick about it.

The fall festival...  I know they say (whoever "they" are) that you make your own fun, but let's face it, some events can use life support.  Six cars in the lot, near gale-force winds, and twice as may empty tables than cars in the lot.  Uh-oh.  Five to twenty dollar donation?  For...?  No food for another thirty minutes -- leaving us plenty of time to...?  It wasn't looking good, folks.

Well, let me tell you -- a few bales of hay, a little face paint, and you've got yourself a party!  No really. 

"For the girls' sake" I gave it a go, and pointed them toward the first craft table with a forced "Hey, look at this!  You wanna make a pumpkin?"  Madison's sarcasm is flawless for a soon-to-be ten year old.  But Olivia was already in the chair.  That's my girl!  It wasn't long before Maddy was sucked in.  The girls decorated these adorable pumpkins using products from the farm -- a "parent-approved" foray into playing with your food.  Things were looking up!  Next were the corn husk dolls, a suggestion met with suffocating silence.  Medic! 

While Daddy stowed our food art in the truck, we checked the lay of the land.  A scavenger hunt?  Really?  Well, I'm all for scavenger hunts, but the kind that involve school mascots, road signs and pictures taken in funeral homes.  (What can I say?  I'm a derelict at heart.)  I didn't think it would fly.  Turns out, the scavenger hunt was perfectly easy, but contained enough items to make it last longer than a yawn.  The guy who passed out the necessary accoutrements was pleasant and enthusiastic without being plastic -- just enough to draw the ladies in.  Bonus!  It was a great way for them to think a little about farming, and look at things they take for granted, in a whole new way.  And prizes!  Popcorn on the cob -- another fun lesson for later!

Face painting -- FREE! (music to my ears)  Freshly pressed apple cider -- delicious!  and FREE!  Butternut squash soup, two types of salad with fresh (not grocery store "fresh") greens, roasted mushroom soup, muffins, desserts, a radish "bruschetta" -- food worth the wait!!  Top it off with a hayride that was better than any other -- thanks to a wonderful host (and, I'm told, quilt maker) with a slightly warped sense of humor.  Activities were in full swing as we left, and the place was getting packed.  As we bade farewell, I stopped and readjusted our donation in an attempt to measure up to the fun we had.  I can't say enough about it, but Hillside Farms Harvest Festival was slammin'! And...

truly the best loss I've "suffered" in a long time!   

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