>100 chickens, 50 carnies, one camera

>Port Alberni’s Fall Fair last weekend opened my eyes to a whole new spectrum of rural life. Over the course of twenty-four hours (sleeping in a borrowed tent-trailer with Andrea, the biggest Fair enthusiast I’ve ever met), I witnessed not only the usual puke-cyclone rides and pie judging, but also power tool racing, tractor pulling competitions and logger sports. The real reason I was there, however, was to man an agricultural display put together by a group of local farmers (including Collins Farm). We brought out our prize produce, grains, canned goods and mysterious food preservation implements (dehydrator, pressure cooker, juicer, etc) and explained it all to fairgoers as they strolled by. Hopefully, they learned something and didn’t confuse us with the sideshows. I also had a chance to chat with Wayne Smith, who for the last few years has been growing grains like wheat and rye in Port Alberni, filling the “last 100-mile-diet niche”. Thanks to him, eating 100% locally is now slightly more realistic for people living in the area. It’s a very exciting time to be on Vancouver Island, at least from an agricultural and food security standpoint (especially since where I left off in Oregon, the Bean and Grain Project was just in its second year). I feel like I’m seeing the local food revolution unfold before my very eyes. But more on that in another post.
Rather than try to piece together a bunch of photos into the blog format (Blogger is wonderful, but its photo uploader is as useless as a flat wheelbarrow tire), I’m trying something different this time. The entire album of fantastic, fur-filled, foody fair photos – with captions! – should appear in the slide show below. (It’s not perfect, either. Click the big green “play” button, then push the smaller “pause” button that appears toward the bottom of the photo to scroll through them manually.) Better yet, click here to go to the album directly.

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

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