Good food, an informative speaker, and a detailed meeting describe the annual meeting of the Bayfield Agricultural Meeting. About thirty people gathered for a potluck meal and enjoyed the presentation of Richard Fitoussi’s vision of viticulture in Huron County. Richard, upon residency in Huron, was told of the numerous peach orchards in this area and began his quest to see if grapes were viable here because he always believed that wherever peaches would thrive wine-making grapes would grow. With a French background wine making was part of his heritage. Through a lot of research and consultation there are now two vineyard projects in Huron. He felt that if every family in Huron drank one bottle of wine a month, out of loyalty to supporting local products, the Huron wine making industry would have a solid foundation.
At the annual meeting appreciation was extended to the youth who exhibit and have their efforts rewarded even at the District level. This year Lauren Williamson’s intermediate poster won first prize at the District Level and will be entered in the provincial competition. Cate Thompon had a second place poster and Taryn Siertsema had a third place poster at the District competition. Many youth helped set up or take down the displays and helped with food preparation. Gratitude was given to the Directors, convenors, and committee chairs for their work and to the Treasurer and Secretary for their dedicated commitment to the Society.
This coming year Jentje Steenbeek becomes the President, backed up by Bill Dowson as First Vice President, Ted Dunn as Second Vice President, and Liz Elliott as Third Vice President. This is a watershed moment since there has never been so many people willing to take Executive positions. Jentje’s opening comments included his observation of the Society’s willingness to try new ventures and applauded its support of the Miniature Horse Points Show that will be hosted by the Society at the REACH Centre on June 20.
Honorary Memberships were given to Ted Dunn who has been a member since he was a 4-H member and served as president in four different decades. Kathleen Siertema also received an honorary membership for her longtime leadership in culinary arts, helping with dinners and now assisting with the handcraft section. Afra Van Wonderen also received the honour for her longtime commitment as a Director, role as president in the past, her work with the wreath making right from its inception, and her willingness to volunteer wherever there was a need. All three are truly valued in the organization.
Now events and entertainment will be finalized over the coming months as the 159 Bayfield Community Fair promotes “Blue Jeans and Machines.”
The Bayfield Ag. Society evergreen wreaths will be available to purchase at the Goderich Makers Market on Saturday, December 6th from 9am until 1pm at the McKay Centre on North Street in Goderich. Ag. Society members will also be selling delicious homemade fudge.
The Makers Market features handmade, locally grown and fresh-baked items from Huron County’s talented crafters, artists, growers, makers and bakers. It’s an ideal spot to purchase wholesome products while supporting the local community.
Bayfield Ag. Society’s handmade fresh evergreen wreaths come with a beautiful bow of your choice and are composed of a selection of local greens on a grape-vine base. Homemade brown sugar fudge wrapped up in tasteful packaging will also be available for purchase. Be sure to stop by for a free sample of fudge!
All proceeds from wreath and fudge sales go toward funding the Bayfield Community Fair.
The calendar year is over for the Ag Society and its Annual Meeting will be held this Friday to celebrate the past year. A potluck supper will be held at 6 pm in the basement of St. Andrew’s United Church. This will be followed up with a presentation at 7:30 by Richard Fitoussi on Cold Viticulture in Huron. The meeting will commence at 8. Reports from the committees will be available for anyone to see what has happened over the past year. Three people will be recognized for their commitment to the Society with Honorary Membership. Members or non members of the public are invited to any portion of the evening to show their support for the Bayfield Ag Society. All ideas for the next fair could be left with any of the Directors.
A few wreaths are still available. In Goderich they will be at Riverline Nature Company on Kingston St. for the next 2 weeks. Some will be in Bayfield at John & Kathleen Siertsema’s on Mill Rd. (opposite the water tower) or an order can be left by phone at 519.482.3020.
The festive spirit will be encouraged by activities planned by the Bayfield Ag Society. On the Christmas in Bayfield weekend youngsters will have the opportunity to decorate gingerbread cookies at the Library from 11:30 to 1:30 on Saturday November 8. All materials will be there and donations will be gratefully accepted. The children can also get a ride on or pet a pony on the same day right after the parade until about 2 pm. The ponies will be at Clan Gregor Square Park among all the decorations and rides will be by donation.
The Ag Society members have been busy making Christmas wreaths and some swags/tails. They will be for sale at the front of St. Andrew’s United Church on Friday November 7 and Saturday November 8. The wreaths are made from local evergreen boughs and are decorated with a bow. If anyone wants the wreath decorated, Anna Dalton-Needles (Landscape Designer) will decorate them for an additional fee. The wreaths will last well into January or February. If people cannot attend the weekend festivities, a wreath can be ordered by calling 263-2404 or Stonefield Garden Centre 482-3020,
The Agricultural Societies from Huron and Perth met for their annual meeting last week and it was hosted by the local Society in the Varna Complex. Some of our young people did very well in the poster competitions against all the other fairs in the District. Their skills at creating posters certainly makes the local Society very proud.
The annual meeting for the Bayfield Ag Society is coming along quickly. On Friday November 21 the meeting will be held in the basement of St. Andrew’s Church. It begins at 6 pm with a potluck meal. A guest speaker will take over at 7:30 and the meeting will begin at 8 pm. In addition to regular business, the meeting provides an opportunity to honour members who through their leadership have contributed a great deal over many years to the Society by presenting them with an honorary membership. This year the Directors decided to honour three people with this recognition. All are invited to join the meeting at any time throughout the evening and especially recognize the three new honorary members.
A glance back at the 2014 fair generated some interesting facts:
1. Over 100 different volunteers worked at the fair.
2. There were 160 more entries in the indoor exhibits this year compared to last year.
3. Exhibitors from Calgary were from the farthest distance
4. A pipe band marched through the arena.
5. The handcrafts section handed out more than $1000 in prizes with 310 exhibits.
6. The flowers and plants section had the second most entries with 303 exhibits.
7. Exhibitors came from Toronto, Mississauga, Cambridge, Hamilton, and Leamington.
8. Thirty 4-H exhibitors took part in the sheep show.
9. Over 500 meals of ribs were sold.
10. Dr. Charles Wallace was the honorary parade marshal.
The next meeting for the Ag Society will be Monday October 6 at 7 pm in the basement of St. Andrew’s United Church. It is a wonderful time to join the group as planning is just evolving for the 2015 fair.
One of the organization’s fundraisers is the sale of Christmas wreaths made from local grapevines and evergreens. Some members are already cutting grapevines and making the grapevine bases. If there are yew, juniper, cedar, spruce, or white pine prunings available, call Don Brodie 519-263-2404 to see if they could be used for the wreath making. The sale of wreaths helps to cover some of the costs of the fair and volunteers are always welcome.
Taken from the BAYFIELD BREEZE – VOLUME 6 – WEEK 35 ISSUE 269
BY: MELODY FALCONER-POUNDER
Members of five local congregations came together to worship on Aug. 17 under the fairgrounds tent in a ‘harvest themed’ community church service that proved to be a widely popular success. Organizers were thrilled with the participation and those in attendance unanimously agreed that this must become an annual event.
Guest Speaker Jean Bennett, well known for her activism in Huron County, shared personal stories from her international travels observing projects of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in parts of Africa and Nicaragua.
The Canadian Foodgrains Bank has operated for over 30 years, with a vision of ‘a world without hunger’. In partnership with Canadian churches and church-based agencies, they organize and support worldwide programs that work towards ending global hunger. Sometimes this is through meeting immediate food needs in crisis regions; but they also work constantly to reduce malnutrition and achieve sustainable food security in developing countries.
Bennett spoke of witnessing projects in operation such as pineapple plantations started with seeds provided by Canadian Foodgrains that now have unified 700 farmers into a powerful co-operative allowing them to receive higher prices for their fruit. Elsewhere, goats are provided annually to individuals this allows local women to both feed and support their families. She also acknowledged that safe, affordable access to healthy food should be considered a basic human right, and the work of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank strives to achieve this through collecting grain and through cash donation.
Because of an established partnership with the Federal Government, all donations for food assistance are leveraged four to one, which means for every dollar donated to Foodgrains; $5 is actually spent.
“The generosity of those attending the Bayfield Fair Community Church Service last Sunday resulted in $1,530 offered as donations to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. With the government’s portion, this translates to $7,650 worth of food aid that will be provided,” said Elise Feltrin, minister of St. Andrew’s United Church. “What a remarkable ‘harvest’ of abundance to be shared with those in need! To all who attended and supported this worthy cause, many thanks.”
The initial highlight of this year’s fair was learning that there were 160 more entries this year than last year. That total was strong thanks to regular exhibitors like Helen Turner at 98 years of age who entered 9 exhibits.
It was wonderful catching the aroma of apple wood smoking ribs that fed over 500 people on Friday night. People were sampling or eating racks of ribs right up to 9 pm. although the vendors were sold out at 8:30. The streets were clogged around the arena as people came for the ribs and music.
It was a delight presenting the President’s Award to Jean Dunn for her longtime commitment to being Homecraft President. The second award was for exceptional volunteering by Don Brodie. Both individuals are excellent and long-time supporters of the Bayfield Fair.
While wandering the fairgrounds early, I met two young lads leading their sheep preparing for the 4-H Sheep Show. I asked if I could get a picture of them with their sheep and you could see their pride that someone also cared as much as they did about their sheep
Riding a jeep which was a convertible in the rain along a parade route was a new experience. Many children verbally wondered why we were riding without the tops up.
A memorable moment was being in the arena and in the distance the sound of the pipes and drums could be heard. The sound increased quickly and everyone noticed the OPP Pipes and Drums band came right into the arena. They turned down the first aisle, manoeuvered without slowing through the two centre aisles and majestically marched the final aisle while many observers finally realized what was happening and took their pictures. The sound was spectacular and quite moving even withour Scottish blood coursing through your veins. The pipe major just spontaneously decided to bring the music where the people were in the shelter of the arena.
All other entertainment was brought into the arena and crowds gathered near each performer. Craig Douglas, our juggler, had every age group fully entranced by his performance. Young children almost took the limelight away as they sat on his equipment to have a closer seat to the action. Juggling and cutting an apple in the process was amazing.
About 80 people watched a fire act performance at the front of the arena Saturday evening. As the performer had fire dancing all around him, cars slowed and stopped to see what was happening. It was a great way to conclude a day at the fair.
It was impressive to see the tent filled for the interdenominational church service. The message of the influence of helping even one person through the foodgrains program was powerful.
Finally the number of people who said they loved the fair will outweigh the influence of rain. We gained over the three days several people who want to be part of the fair organization. After we closely examine the questionnaires that were filled in during the fair and examine the success of each element of the fair, we can approach “Blue Jeans and Machines” in 2015 with confidence.