OLD TIME FARMING FOR THE CITY FOLKS


| July/August 1996



Horse Case

Noel Ertle's 65 horse Case during the Fanner's Day Parade finale.

Manager Indiana State Fair Pioneer Farm and Home Show 4000 More house Road West Lafayette, Indiana 47906

Finally the fall work is done and I've found time to write an article on the Indiana State Fair Pioneer Farm and Home Show. The show was held back in August. It was over 90 degrees for every one of the 12 days!

Ninety percent of the 200,000 visitors to the Indiana State Fair Pioneer Farm and Home Show are non-farmers. Some of them were raised on farms, some remember summers out at Granddad's. Many of them, however, know very little about American farming. They know that all that good food down at the supermarket came from some place, and somehow those farmers they see, portrayed in country magazines, had something to do with it.

Therein lies the primary task of dozens of volunteers who stage the most popular feature of the Indiana State Fair each August. Our demonstrations, explanations of hundreds of agricultural antiques, and our interpreters who roam the showgrounds point all their actions toward the American consumer of food and fiber, who sadly know little about it. The task is a formidable and rewarding one.

In the main hall of the Pioneer Village, you will see reconstructions of summer kitchens, old fashioned country kitchens, general stores, and walk through an old log cabin that was hewn and constructed during past shows. You will see craftsmen spinning wool, quilting, carving ox yokes, making brooms, carving out buckets and bowls, and operating an old woodshop, and you'll enjoy the plaintive rhythm of authentic early American folk music. Outside, you can wander through 'Possum Holler,' a reconstructed country village with a blacksmith, pottery shop, and coppersmith's shack, and enjoy real old fashioned caramel corn.

Then, drawn by the sounds and smells of the good old times, you can walk through an old farm with chickens running loose (watch your step), stick your head in the log smoke house, help in the verdant truck patch, buy some stone ground corn-meal, or stop and enjoy the wonderful warmth of the old cook stove as it busily cooks the cornbread and beans for dinner.