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The Winding Down of Summer Means Dahlia Season

Posted on September 12, 2014 by Rebecca | 2 comments

 

I don't know what it is about me and Dahlias.  Maybe it is that they are so easy to grow; maybe it is the tremendous variety.  Perhaps it is the vibrant colors.   Either way, I rarely have the heart to pick them.  I leave them in my garden for as long as possible to enjoy the enormous, colorful blooms that are like candy canes in my flower beds.  During the Great Geauga County Fair, I was able to sneak away from the Draft Horse Barn long enough one evening to visit the Dahlia display, the largest entry of flowers at the Fair, by far.  Probably due to the fact that the end of summer is this tuberous's most prolific showing before our first frost.  They are entered and displayed so simply; in a vintage glass milk jar or simple clear bottle.  Some of the blooms are as big as platters - they measure over 12 inches in diameter.  Some are no more than an inch across.  The colors are like a fireworks display, each leaf looks like they have been hand painted, sometimes in multiple colors. There is also a sense of symmetry about this plant like no others that I know.  Doing a little research,  I found that the great variety of these flowers results from dahlias being octoploids—that is, they have eight sets of homologous chromosomes.  Apparently, most plants have only two. In addition, dahlias also contain many transposons—genetic pieces that move from place to place upon an allele—which contributes to their manifesting such great diversity.  Who knew?! Usually, there is a hush in the flower barn as everyone assembles their dahlia entries, it is a reverent quiet,  almost hushed environment in the flower barn compared to the vast chaos of the rest of the Fair.  It is my treat every year to go view the splendor of the Dahlias, reflecting and contemplating upon the end of the summer and the arrival of early Fall, one of my favorite seasons.

 

 

 

 

Until next time, Enjoy!!

 

Best - Rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Favorite Time of the End of Summer: County Fair Season!!

Posted on August 12, 2014 by Rebecca | 0 comments
The days are getting shorter and the gardens are in full swing providing us with all of that wonderful produce that we have been working so hard to nurture.  Last night, we had a glorious super moon that was fiery orange in the sky.  There is no denying it.  Fall is around the corner.
 
The end of the Summer in Northeastern Ohio signals County Fair season and in Chagrin, our fair is the Geauga County Fair, the oldest County Fair in Ohio, dating back to 1823.  Over the course of five days, tens of thousands of people enjoy one of America's most authentic agricultural and animal-based events.  Anywhere you can assemble two barns full of draft horses and almost a dozen eight horse hitches is a serious fair.  My favorite time is check in on Wednesday evening, when all of the animals come in and the Junior fair are carrying in their arms anything from turkeys to rabbits to ducks in all sizes, shapes and color.  There are cattle everywhere - pigs with kids chasing behind them and a generalized chaos, but in a good way.  It puts all of our tech savvy world of cell phones, video and Wii games on the back burner - even if just for a few days.  It reminds me of the roots of our country and makes me grateful that we haven't forgotten what farming is or what an impact that animals truly have on our lives.
 
I'm sharing a few photos from last year, including some of our Percheron girls. 
Camlyn at our house, getting ready for Fair!!
 
Derek and Camlyn, ready to go!
 
Did someone say "Fair?"
 
The Midway one evening...
 
Nothing better than Maple Sugar Candy from the Maple Capital of the US!
 
Yummy!
 
Canning for Fall
 
The Flower Exhibit Buildings - one of my favorites!
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I'll take lots of action shots during the fair to share with you as well.  Happy End of Summer!  Find a County Fair near you, enter a pie and take a child with you so they know what Farmers do!
 
 

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