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Where has summer gone?

Photos by Carol Ann Gregg painted hay bales to look like farmer and a tractor in a field
FALL FARM ART: Lorraine Thiele creates artwork using round bales and places them near a state highway that passes by the farm.
Farmhouse Window: Summer will be over soon, but fall is also a great time of year on the farm.

Remember your mom telling you that the years go by faster as you get older?

She was right!

The transition between summer and fall will soon be here, and while it happens every year, I am never quite ready. While summer can be busy, the fall calendar fills up quickly with activities.

The time between summer and fall is a beautiful time of year in Pennsylvania. Folks are known to take bus trips to New England to see the leaves changing color, but I am not sure the leaves there can be any prettier than they are right here.

Our area is blessed with adequate rainfall that makes it green throughout the growing season. As the corn changes color, so do the leaves on the many varieties of hardwood trees.

Harvest will be ramping up soon, as well as activities designed to share farming with consumers.

For more than 30 years, our county held a county farm tour. Farms in one area of the county would have open houses on a Saturday and Sunday in September for the public to come enjoy. It was a great event for families.

Farmers are learners, but they’re also teachers. Extension and conservation groups are planning on-farm field days. This was always the most interesting part of my job as an ag journalist. What a treat it was to ride in a self-steering tractor or to hear about the latest ag research.

Open-house events require an army of volunteers, and unfortunately it has become very difficult to get volunteers to put events together. It is also difficult to attract busy families to new and different events.

Farmers learn about cover crops at the Thiele Dairy Farm in Butler County, Pa., at a field day

FARMER EDUCATION: Farmers learn about cover crops at the Thiele Dairy Farm in Butler County, Pa., during a recent field day.

One event that provides an opportunity for communication between farm and city folk is the county fair. Our county doesn’t have a central county fair, but five fairs spread out across the county and throughout the summer and early fall provide the fair atmosphere for lots of folks.

Even as an older adult, I enjoy entering exhibits at the fair. There are numerous categories of entries, and almost anyone should be able to contribute something. It is always fun to see all the baked goods, needlecrafts, and craft and art displays.

Local 4-H and other groups use their creative skills to share the story of what their clubs or organizations are doing. It is good for people to work together to create a display and share their talents with the public.

The animal exhibits draw in families with children. It is a wonderful place where they can safely see live animals up close and learn about them.

Gregg writes from western Pennsylvania. She is the Pennsylvania 2019 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture and is a past president of American Agri-Women.

TAGS: Farm Life
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