Blog Post About Our Cider-making Webisode

I mentioned in an earlier post that I took the kids to an antique tractor show. One of the displays was an antique cider press…a LARGE, antique cider press. I spoke with the woman handing out the samples of cider. She said her husband came home telling her he thought the dusty old machine he spied at a farm, where he occasionally works, was a press and asked the owners if he could clean it up and bring it to the show.

It was really something to behold. Buckets of apples were dumped and washed on the tray, then gently guided into one of the holders which made its way up the conveyor. They were milled at the top and the scratting collected until a handle released it onto the thick cloth lining a wood tray. Each tray’s cloth was folded over before another tray was placed on top. When a handful of trays had been stacked, the apples were pressed and the cider flowed!

People (as well as bees) gathered to watch the process and, of course, have a taste.  Imagine what this would have meant to a community hundreds of years ago…celebrating a summer’s worth of hard work, welcoming fall, and a delicious reason to gather.

Visiting a Community Fair – Webisode 2

Tracy Toth, our host, continues our day at the fair. We learn more of “all things Ag” at the Oley Valley Community Fair in part two of our two-part webisode.

Blog Post About Our ‘Visiting a Community Fair’ Webisode

Six years ago we were hurriedly looking at properties in the area and happened to be with a real estate agent driving right by the Oley Community Fair, which was in full swing.

Parked cars filled every available street spot while large fields and temporary lots accommodated the overflow.

I said something to the agent like, ‘wow, look; a county fair!’  She said that it wasn’t—that it was the “community fair.” That, although it’s open for the public to attend, only residents whose townships join the ag-rich Oley Valley could participate in the contests/judging.

Canning Competition Entries

And, oh, what a level of participation! From the numerous volunteer committee heads and organizers who work year-round for the three-day culmination, to the local fire department, to the thousands who turn out, the excitement and anticipation seems to increase with each year’s festivities.

My friends and I will joke with one another about the “blue ribbons” but, kidding aside, it’s not about that at all. It’s about the celebration of a lifestyle and a heritage that we strive to keep alive. It’s a  three-day celebration of a well-connected community… connected with each other and connected to this valley.

Best Display of Jellies

Best Display of Pickles

This is probably a good time to thank Evelyn (again); she was our real estate agent who suggested we might be happy here.

Visiting a Community Fair – Webisode 1

Join our host, Tracy Toth, as she introduces us to a communal celebration of “all things Ag” at the Community Fair in part one of this two-part webisode.