PO Box 2458, Tijeras NM 87059

Mountain Gardens--finding success with plants for the high desert and East Mountains of New Mexico

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

State Fair, Flowers & Windmills

We made time this year to visit the State Fair. Haven't had time in the last several years, but always enjoy it. It should come as no surprise that I spend 90% of my visit inspecting flower beds and containers, and greening (as in with envy) over the vegetables and fruits entered in the agricultural exhibits. I always look at my pumpkins with a touch of chagrin after seeing the 800 to 1000 pound wonders sporting their blue ribbons. This year's biggest pumpkin was grown in Nob Hill!

We checked out the 4-H Exhibits, the products of New Mexico (the cattle ranchers went all out this year!), and the county displays. In addition to all the pecans, sheep, and peppers in the cases, I counted 14 windmills (I notice them now--our's is kind of iconic). Windmills have been vital to ranchers and farmers here for over a hundred years. Given our wind, that's no surprise. In the 1890's they were high tech, probably second only to the hose in revolutionizing agriculture.
In the wool shop, we watched volunteers weave, card and dye wool. They were using snakeweed for the color yellow. They use many native plants for dyes. In the photo, a yellow batch has been overdyed in indigo, and turns green, then blue, oxidizing in the air as we watched. Mesmerizing.

We saw some beautiful handicrafts. There were some amazing quilts--I bought raffle tickets for the balloon fiesta themed quilt in the photo.

We rode not one ride--not the ferris wheel, or the tilt-a-whirl, or the bungy thing-a-ma-jig. Wink ate curley fries, a hot dog, a corn dog, ice cream, TWO fried twinkies, and about a gallon of lemonade. Aly and I were more modest in consumption.

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