Monday, August 11, 2014

The County Fair ~ A Neat Thing for Homesteaders

 We recently had our county fair. Like normal, the kids and I entered various things in the open class. We love taking things to the fair but I started asking myself why I am so committed to the fair even during a super busy Summer. Well there are quite a few reasons......

  •  We enjoy making things and making things is something that I like encouraging my children to do and so this is a fun way to showcase some of the things we have made. 
  • The fair motivates us to complete projects. I sometimes have the tendency to start a lot of things and forget about finishing them and the fair helps me to get things in order and get them finished (so that I can enter them of course!)
  • Entering things in the fair has prompted us to try different kinds of crafts. For instance my girls are right now enjoying using knitting looms because I bought them when I noticed there was a category for things made on knitting looms at the fair. That is just one example.
  • The fair is a neat place to be inspired by what others in our community are making. This year I saw some beautiful knitted projects that made me want to get out my knitting needles and give Fair Isle knitting a try. We also have some opportunities to connect with others that love to create too. I remember one memorable time at the grocery store when Mara complimented a lady on her handmade coat and then we got to visiting and we said who we were and she so sweetly said that she had wanted to meet us after seeing our name on things at the fair. 
  •  We earn money. For the kids this is a big motivator. I also find it pretty fun. It isn't like you get tons of money per ribbon a first usually only wins from $3 to $8 per item and seconds and thirds are even less but when you enter quite a few things and get ribbons of some color on most of them you will end up with a nice check. This year I received $88, Mara $45, Jonathan $5, Aaron $9 and Megan $17. This year was a kind of disappointing one for the boys (that happens sometimes) but they have had other years when they have gotten quite a bit more.

 The kids enjoy getting the premiums so that they can have more spending money or sometimes they have given it away to missions. For me it is my little personal fundraiser for South Sudan African Mission.

    I have thought though if you were struggling to make ends meet how helpful the fair premiums could be. For instance in the horticulture department I entered very little this year - only a few herbs and some hollyhocks which were perennials that I could quickly and easily pick. They still won $14. That would have been enough to pay for 1/2 of my seeds that I bought this year. With a little more effort I think I could easily win enough money to pay for my seeds each year. Also the money could go to help pay for things that you want to make. This summer the kids and I made some pottery projects (we had been given the clay). We took them in town to a little shop to fire them and glaze them so that we could use them for eating on. I paid $15 to have that done. We entered several of them at the fair and the winnings from our pottery was just barely short of paying for what we had done - and of course we still have the things that we made for using.

 Anyway - those are a few thoughts on why we like entering things in the fair. I would love to hear your fair experiences!

A boat that Jonathan made and entered this year.


Michele Reynolds said...

I <3 hook rugs! Pretty and practical. Always wanted to make one, maybe this Fall:)

Brooke said...

Our county fair just finished yesterday. I always enjoy putting things in! It is pretty small, so there isn't much competition. I managed to get a Grand Champion and 2 Reserve Grand Champions in the sewing class! I was so excited!

Abbi said...

Michele, rugs are really fun to make - a great fall project!

Brooke, Congratulations on your ribbons! How neat. I haven't managed to snack anything like that yet.


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