(what we celebrate)

The Farm Show

The Farm Show is happening
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,
the state capital. If you’ve
ever shopped, looked at the
markings on a package of food,
and seen (you may say penna-
dept) “Penna. Dept. of
Agriculture,” that’s us.
That’s Pennsylvania. With
standards so high for food
that theirs is an approving
agency relied on
‘round the world.

Not local mythology (not
yet), this state (my state
for now) is important for
food—and the annual
Farm Show is a celebration
of this.

Is there anything better
to recognize than organic
eatable or otherwise livable
selection? I know there’s
a classically brutal aspect
to farming of most kinds.
Animals are raised to
die, lands are turned under
losing ancient undergrowth
and artifact, and now
there’s the tension of
losing farm land itself to
other development. But
for now and anyway, we
celebrate what we need
to eat.

Sheep-to-shawl (alpaca-
to-shawl) and field-
to-shelf, the process of
feeding, clothing, and
sheltering America and
the world is exhibited. Yes,
there are statues made
of butter. Enjoy! (A PA
celebrity famous for saying
that, although he said it
twice.) And there are
auctions for animals.
Many shows of the rodeo
kind abound, and many
buy the food there as well,
which I’m afraid refers to
some snacks better-suited
for carnivals. Though baked
potatoes don’t sound so bad.
Even loaded. Even chased
with a Pennsylvania dairy-
made milk shake. (Sorry, Mister
Weldon Johnson, but for these
Bits of cooperative creation:
That’s good!)

These festivals take place
elsewhere, certainly. And
so might we agree that
raising up the cause of
(say viddles) victuals is
worthy for all? (To borrow
again:) That’s good!

Missive. Truly yours,
from Harrisburg’s
Farm Show.

C L Couch

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
January 2016