Topic: Farm Pickin'
Living in the middle of farm country, we have a pretty large Farmer's Market every Saturday morning in the city of Chillicothe here in southern Ohio, with many farmers selling fresh fruits, vegetables, steaks, pies, honey etc. The first Saturday of every month members of the Foothills Folk Society (non-profit group made up of local musicians) are invited to play to get donations of food and money for the local food bank. (we received over 4 tons of food donations last last year). Having heard us play many times, we were asked (hired) to play at an annual farm bureau event (money going to the FFS, although each musician would receive a small amount to cover gas expenses, etc)
Today was the "Ross County Farm Factor" event. Four farms in the western end of the county were involved. The idea is that participants visit four farms and eat part of a four-course meal at each one. After buying their tickets at the farm bureau, they were told the location of the first farm where they had a short tour and appetizers. Then they were given the location of the next farm and again had a short tour followed by soup and salad. At the third farm they had the main course and ended with dessert at the fourth farm along with live entertainment (FFS musicians).
Although the 300+ participants weren't expected until after 4 pm, we set up a sound system around 1:30, did sound checks, were given free event t-shirts and jammed until the group arrived. I spent some time talking to the guy who was making home-made ice cream for the desserts. He had a large ice cream maker driven by an old restored 1930 John Deere 1.5 hp gasoline engine. I love the sound of those old one-cylinder motors with a flywheel making that pow- chugga- chugga, pow-chugga-chugga sound.
The group arrived about an hour later than expected so we only had about 3-1/2 hours to play, dividing it up into 5 "sets". I played the second set and had enough of my originals and covers of David Mallett and Fred Eaglesmith to do 40 minutes of farming songs (although it was a farm event I was the only one to do all farm songs). My set seemed to be well received, and I had a great time playing under a tent next to two big grain silos with big John Deere tractors and combines parked nearby and the old one-lunger chugging away and making ice cream in the backround. I got to talk to several of the farm families, enjoyed some great food and topped it off with some excellent ice cream (along with a little flask of Kentucky Bourbon I'd brought along). All-in-all a fine way to spend a summer day.