Gardener's Grapevine 2012.09.05

Written by David Green.

The Fulton County Fair was this past weekend. It is in my opinion the best fair around. One of the reasons I feel that way is cleanliness. They keep the place tidy and spruced up. In Art’s family the fair is a big deal. His father went every year of his life. When Art and I started dating I couldn’t understand the desire to go to the fair more than once. What do you do? I’d ask. Visit and see the exhibits and eat was the answer.

As the past 30 years have passed, our children have been in 4-H at that fair, we’ve both worked and made friends all around the area, and now even I get excited about the fair. It’s just plain fun. I get so excited to eat the crazy fattening food and see all the people I worked with or knew from my days as a nurse in that county. 

Let’s talk about the food. No other time of year do I eat an éclair funnel cake. It’s deep fried dough covered in powdered sugar, a huge glob of bavarian cream, and drizzled with chocolate. Two forks please…Art has to help me with this. We carry this crazy blood sugar raising mess around and check out the animals that by the way will be on someone’s dinner table next week, the grange produce and canning entries, and the art exhibits.

The Grange is a place a lot of people don’t even pay much attention to, but as a gardener, it is one of my “must sees.” When Morenci was mostly a farming community the Granges were hugely popular. It was a social meeting place for farmers and anyone in the local area that had an interest in their activities. There aren’t many Granges left.

I like looking at what the members have grown. They show huge pumpkins, squash tomatoes, and just about anything else that can be harvested. They also display their talent at canning. Their jars look so beautiful lined up and shiny. I always see something that looks like it would taste great.

The Granges also display a lot of sewing, particularly quilts of all sorts of things.  A few years back I took some old quilts to Sauder Village to have them evaluated as possible donations. The lady who met with us showed us a quilt from the Morenci Grange that was raffled off many years ago. It had embroidered sections like a Dresden plate pattern and inside each piece was a name of a grange member. It was fascinating to see some very familiar names from days past. 

This week I will be canning tomatoes and thinking of all the gorgeous cans of food lined up for show at the fair. One new thing I’m going to try with the rest of the green beans is “Dilly beans.” It’s a recipe to pickle green beans from a lady my daughter works with. They sound so good. After the fair is done it is always nice to get home to my fresh organic produce and low fat diet. There is only so much éclair funnel cake a person can stand…at least ’til next year.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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