Monday, November 10, 2014

#MicroblogMondays: A royally good time

I'm late to post, because I was out for most of the day. An online (non-ALI) friend was in town for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and I took the train into the city to spend some time with her.

I've lived here for almost 30 years, but this was my first time at the fair (although I have attended other events held in the same location).  For me, it was a bit of a blast from the past, a little country in the big city. While I never lived in the country myself, I grew up in small rural communities where many of the kids arrived from farms by school bus.  My grandparents had a small farm where my dad grew up, and where they grew grain and sugar beets, and kept cows, pigs and chickens, and many of my other relatives lived on farms as well.

Walking around the barns and watching some of the 4-H dairy competitions brought back a whole lot of memories -- of running through the back pasture with my cousins; stepping over (and sometimes into) cow patties;  collecting eggs in the henhouse with my cousin (and sometimes dropping one on my shoe);  watching my grandmother milk the cows, and then following my grandfather into the little shed where he would put the fresh milk through the separating machine.

I wouldn't say I know a LOT about agriculture -- but I probably know more than most people who live in this city do.  I'm willing to bet that most of the schoolkids thronging the fair this afternoon had never seen a real live cow before (much less made the connection to the milk & hamburger on their dinner tables).

What's been your experience with farms and farm animals?  

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here  

Holsteins, as far as the eye can see. ;) 


  1. Grew up on what was called a mixed farm. Apparently when I was three (or was it four) I knew the names of all our dairy cow, and one of my earliest memories is of standing on the table (though I'm surprised I was allowed to so maybe it's all in my imagination) reciting them. (Yes, this was in the days before dairy herds had hundreds of cows.) I grew up feeding lambs, watching the wheat harvest, and driving the tractor (or throwing around hay bales) to feed out hay to the cows in winter. LOTS of experience! lol

    So i was shocked when you said most of the schoolkids at the fair had probably never seen a real live cow. I guess some in NZ cities would be the same - but our farmland is so close to our cities that I would think it would be a much smaller proportion.

    My husband was a "townie" when I first met him. He was of course treated with contempt by my sister and I on the farm, but my father took him under his wing and educated him in rural ways.

  2. I'm a bona fide farm girl! I grew up on close to 200 acres and we had hogs, cattle, chickens, and grew corn and wheat. I was in 4-H for 11 years. Like Mali I've driven tractors since my feet could reach the petals and thrown my fair share of hay and straw bales. I think I'll always be a country girl in my heart, but I do enjoy the modern conveniences of living in a city (public water and living on a road that the snow plow goes down are at the top of my list). I also married a "townie" who has come a long way since we started dating, but he is still the butt of many good natured jokes from my dad and brothers-in-law (he's also the first person that any of them call when they have a computer or electronic issue).

    When my sister was in kindergarten at a rural elementary school, she had a first year teacher who was a city girl. They were doing a lesson about I don't even know what when the teacher asked if anyone knew where milk came from. My spunky little five year old sister confidently raised her hand and when called on she exclaimed "from the udders of a cow!" And just like that the teacher's lesson went up in smoke.

  3. I grew up in the suburbs, remote as it was, I did not have any contact with farm animals. Though I do recall going on a school trip and watching someone milk a cow.

  4. I love fairs like these! We go to the 4-H fairs in our county every summer, and I'm descended from farm folk, at least on one side. :)

  5. I live in a rural-ish area outside of the city, so we're on farms a lot. Mostly we pick vegetables, but sometimes the kids go and milk cows. There's a farm here that lets you feed their cows twice a day so if you hit it at the right time, you can feed them, too.

    Though a lot of times I'm lazy and just go to the farm stand and get fresh milk, vegetables, fruit, etc.