The Green Doctor, kindred souls and squashes.

While I was waiting at the fairgrounds gate I saw people leaving with their arms full of watermelons. A woman walked past me wearing a green t-shirt with bold letters proclaiming, “Things go better with kale.”

Then my friend Linda arrived. We entered the Farm-Garden-Homesteading-Everything show and soon found ourselves at a poultry exhibit. When she invited me last week I hadn’t investigated ahead of time what all there would be to see, and chickens were a happy surprise.

As we were admiring the different breeds one exhibitor explained to us that the truest Rhode Island Reds are a very dark mahogany color, and there was a rooster to demonstrate it. He told us about the “Frizzle” gene that causes the feathers of any breed to grow backward.

We got into a discussion with him about whether the upcoming winter would be warmer than usual. He mentioned seeing scores of baby lizards at what would normally be too late in the year, and wild birds setting on new clutches of eggs. I wondered myself yesterday when I saw a bird pulling rice straw out of my strawberry barrels.

Last week I heard another opinion, that the lack of sunspots of late foretells a cold winter coming. I didn’t even know what sunspots were, and will like to see how winter reveals itself. A related question of no import is whether I will remember any of this come winter!

A young woman I’d met briefly at church was at this fair, selling wool that comes from her family’s fiber mill. Another friend was at the medicinal hemp oil booth. I listened to a bright lady from the South talking for 45 minutes about fermenting, as she occasionally sipped from her bottle of kombucha. I even took extensive notes on that talk, and her recipe for kimchi, knowing full well that I will never make it.

More applicable to my life was the cherry tomato tasting, from which Linda and I and even Master Gardener people at a separate booth concluded without a doubt that Green Doctor was our favorite. It was developed by two women who are both doctors πŸ™‚ . By contrast, I ate a little Yellow Pear, while telling the volunteer behind the table that one summer I had grown this variety and thought I must have got a “lemon” of a pear because every fruit on the vine was tasteless. She answered flatly, “They always are.”

For someone like me who avoids shopping, the shopping at this event was certainly great fun. There were two places with vintage clothing and other used items, from which I chose aprons! One seed booth featured corn, beans, and amaranth, all of which were appealingly laid out in varied and rustic baskets. I did indulge in a packet of orange amaranth seeds, and Linda bought a scoop of the Hopi type below; we will share with each other.

By the time we reached the moringa booth I still had some adventuresome energy to expend, but was slowing down a bit in the legs and feet. When I saw the jug of very green drink they were freely offering, signed “Peppermint Moringa Tea,” I helped myself to a cup, and it felt like Strengthening Medicine. From what I learned, the leaves are in fact concentrated nutritionally, but more pertinent to my situation long-term were other aspects of the plant, that it is easy to grow and can thrive in my area, and — look at these dear seeds! I have to try some. Linda bought a small tree. Now I am trying to figure out some way I might organize all my hopelessly burgeoning garden ideas.

It was refreshing to listen to a motivational speaker who was urging us, not to maximize our financial wealth, but to find ourselves and our joy by digging in the dirt and learning how to grow things. To talk to a man who has been hand-forging beautiful tools for fifty years. We hated to leave his booth, where the trowels, coat racks and trivets wanted to be hefted and stroked and admired, and their creator seemed content that they be appreciated, knowing that most of us couldn’t afford to own them.

Hundreds of people all in one place with whom one might discuss natural pest controls and sheep breeds, Mason jars and succulents…. and species of scented geraniums. Linda and I each took home a little nutmeg-scented plant which will remind us of our outing together. I have a few close friends who are fellow-gardeners and who love to share our excitement with each other, but never before have I had a day as full to the brim of like-minded folk as bright and colorful as the squashes we had come to see.

Whatever winter will bring this year, it is not yet upon us, which means more hours and days I might prepare for it, while bringing in extra basil, strawberries, and figs. Now that I’ve returned from the dream-invigorating festival, it’s back to the Real, my own garden.

14 thoughts on “The Green Doctor, kindred souls and squashes.

  1. What a lovely outing! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I have friends who love to share their fermenting journeys. I always listen, and then draw the same conclusion you did- it’s probably NOT happening. Ah well…

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  2. The Farm, Garden, and Homesteading show sounds like a delightful day of looking, smelling and tasting new and different things. But I tend to stick to the tried and true especially since that suits my DH just fine.

    I love the display of various squash and tomatoes and peppers. Truly a feast for the eyes.

    Thanks for sharing your day.

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  3. This outing here on your blog was ‘fun and exciting’ to me.

    How neat that you were able to try the Moringa tea. I recently, in the last 2-3 months, found out about Moringa. Just received some in ground powder form that I am going to put into capsules. I already have the caps and a little tool for filling them and am looking forward to doing that. I looked into growing it here as it grows quite well in our zone, in fact, maybe too well for me to handle, but I might try it in a huge pot. I would love to have the fresh leaves for tea. The company I buy from sends a free gift when you buy from them, so that I have quite a few seeds. I want to make this healing tree part of my daily life.

    Here is a link with some great info:
    https://www.motherearthliving.com/food-and-recipes/food-for-health/moringa-oleifera-zm0z18mjzols

    Thank you for sharing this fascinating outing your had. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  4. That was an absolutely fun and beautiful outing. I would have liked to do the tomato tasting. I know that I do not like the pear tomatoes either — so flavorless, but pretty. I’ve made my own kombucha and I really love it, but I go in spurts with it. Right now, I just buy one when I’m out shopping. Those squashes are so pretty. I have a lot of acorn squashes in my garden now. I can’t wait until they are ready to eat. Thanks for sharing with us, Gretchen.

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  5. Oh, I would have loved to be there for this! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us, next best thing to being there. I love going to farmers’ markets, would rather see the eye candy there then diamonds in a jewelry store!

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  6. Thanks for the virtual visit to the fair! I love fairs, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fair where the vegetables are so temptingly displayed. At our county fairs, the best vegetables from the contestants’ gardens were displayed on paper plates with identification tags stapled to them. By the time visitors came to check out the produce, the vegetables were usually wilted and unappealing, except the gourds. These all look tantalizing. What a fun day!.

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