Thursday, October 6, 2011
Farm Show Research
Last year when I drug Bran to the PA State Farm Show I was fascinated to find at the very back of the building a whole section that was just filled with all sorts of, pretty random looking, hand crafts. Some of them even had ribbons indicating some kind of contest or prize. I'm not sure if I commented then that I ought to make something and enter it then, but it seems like I should have at least been thinking it.
Although really I had no idea how to go about anything or if it was even open to the public and as I was caught up in all of the other things that are going on I mostly forgot about it. Then recently YarniMarni, an awesome local blogger who puts together amazing liveblogs of the Farm Show's Sheep to Shawl contest, posted about Farm Show preparations. And my dreams and aspirations (ok maybe thats a bit overkill, but nevertheless) were rekindled.
The problem was then finding any kind of information on entering hand crafts. The epic website search began. Now I fully respect that the PA Farm Show really is an epic undertaking and so the website is probably not one of their biggest concerns. But really there must be a better way to have some of this information available. Eventually in the midst of a giant 200ish page PDF document I found the information I was looking for under the link "2012 Premium List". I suspect that if I'd been more involved or grown up around such things maybe some of this terminology would make more sense.
From what I've been able to find it seems like anyone is welcome to submit an "exhibit". Fun fact, all of the various livestock are exhibits, just like a knitted scarf. This amuses me. I thought I remembered reading something about Pennsylvania residencey being a requirement but I can't even find that now. So really all you need do is find these crazy forms and deliver your stuff. Sweet deal. The premiums, or prizes are as much as $500 but that's for some of the popular baking contests and such. For most of the arts and crafts they award $3-$12. This is also a fact which I find to be highly amusing. There are entry fees for some exhibits but not for anything I'm interested in.
My area of interest is Department 24, Family Living. This department covers a TON of stuff. Firstly there are all kinds of food stuffs. Including what I understand are some pretty serious baking contests. There are all kind of canned and preserved food entries as well. I actually considered maybe entering my Pickled Watermelon Rind or Watermelon Jelly. But in the end I don't think that my canning skillz are really up to par. The goods shall continue to just go to friends and family.
Where things really start to get interesting to me is the later bits of Home Living. There are all kinds of different crafts, not just knitting either. There's tons of things I could totally do. It's almost overwhelming and I've already written a bunch so I think I'll have to come back with more of my thoughts on what I want to create and submit later!