Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nostalgia, Food and Farming at The 2012 Long Island Fair

A prize winning pumpkin or a blue ribbon apple pie might seem better suited to the Amish county than a suburb of Manhattan, but indeed, the good fun and neighborly traditions of our agricultural heritage are thriving this weekend at the 170th Long Island Fair. 
Held annually at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, The Long Island Fair is the official New York State sponsored County Fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.   The event was first held as the Queens County Fair back in 1842, when family farms dotted the landscape of Long Island. 
The event is co-sponsored by the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau & Suffolk Counties, one of the oldest agricultural societies in the United States.   Originally held on member’s farms and vacant lots in Hempstead and Mineola, the society acquired fairgrounds in 1866 on Old Country Road in Mineola, today the site of the County Court Complex.    A focal point of the fairground was the Grand Exhibition Hall.  For years, the event was known at the Mineola Fair, before it moved to its current home at Old Bethpage Village Restoration in 1970 where the Grand Exhibition Hall has been reconstructed for the annual autumn celebration. 
Strolling the fairgrounds is like a walk back in time to a simpler era.   One is surrounded by the smells of food and the sounds of farm animals and traditional fiddle music.   
Inside the Grand Exhibition Hall, the handicrafts of gardeners, bakers and quilters are displayed, many pinned with prize-winning ribbons for “First-in-Show” awarded by the society.  
Many are forging a new agricultural tradition on Long Island.   Restoration Farm is well represented at the fair with a bounty of autumn vegetables transported from the nearby fields by electric tractor.
The agricultural exhibit features the impressive yields of farmers and gardeners all over the region, including the largest pumpkin grown on Long Island this season.
There are more than a few bushels of locally-grown apples for snacking.
Who can resist an old-fashioned homemade treat, like these pumpkin glazed donuts?  Certainly not me!      
Everywhere the fruits of the soil dazzle the eye.
It all kind of makes you yearn for the simplicity of a kinder and gentler time, until you realize that moment is right now, and fortunately for Long Island residents, baking, quilting, planting, getting your hands dirty and harvesting your own food hasn’t gone out of style.  
©2012 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

How fun. Look at all of those pretty apples. It does look more suited for Amish country than the burbs of Manhattan.

I'll forward this to my BIL & his wife who lived in Mineola for years and have just retired and moved near us.

Have a great weekend T.W.

Barbara said...

I love the small-town aspect of this fair, so close to NYC! I well remember the Michigan State Fairs I used to go to....HUGE. This is so much more manageable and the displays are wonderful. Lucky you, T. W.!

Kat said...

I am regretting that I did not go to our County Fair that ended just yesterday. Wonderful photos, made me feel like I was there. It is somehow comforting to know people still do quilt, can, garden. Thanks for the photos. Those apples made my mouth water!! Can't get good apples in the south. I always used to say (when I first arrived in the south) that an apple turned to cotton in the south.

Tammy said...

Oh my, what fun!! This is just one of the many reasons I love Autumn! Fabulous pictures my friend, and that pumpkin donut looks sooooo good :D

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment on my cake, T.W.!

Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon.


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

'Tis the season, and there are lots of wonderful fairs here in Rhode Island and Eastern Connecticut. I think there's probably one every weekend in August and September.

~~louise~~ said...

Oh how I miss the Long Island Fair T.W! I had no idea though of historic significance. I remember when Long Island was dotted with farm stands along the road. I suppose that's what drew me to Pennsylvania. Although, the landscape is now changing here too since the Marcellus Shale findings.

Thank you so much for giving us a taste of the fair T.W. I remember it well and I'm thrilled to learn it is still gong strong!!!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful fair! What a lot ofFall produce!

Even the Sunflowers do look beautiful & are in abundance too! :)

Cool shots too! I love the pics of those stunning & all varied sizes of pumpkin too! :) Such a lovely post!

Gloria Baker said...

What nice and beautiful pictures dear I loved the apples look so georgeous!!

Velva said...

So, so very cool!


tasteofbeirut said...

yum! those pumpkin donuts look fantastic! so does everything else and that shot of the horse is worthy to be on a postcard.