On Friday last (the rainiest day in the history of ever) we had the opportunity to visit Landis Valley Farm Museum for their annual Herb Faire. We try to make an effort to attend this event every year, as we always enjoy ourselves. We awoke to pouring (nay, deluging) rain, but out of eternal optimism, or insanity, we headed out anyway.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a filling parking lot when we arrived at Landis Valley. The stalwart gardeners of the area were not to be deterred by a trifling rainstorm! After all, gardening is a rain or shine kind of thing, so why shouldn’t a garden faire follow suit? People were trucking in to the entrance gate, pulling their Radio Flyers and clutching their baskets. Galoshes were the footwear of the day, and umbrellas of all colors bounced up and down above their dedicated owners, offering a little halo of dryness.
I am not sure I have ever loved my galoshes more. The place was an absolute sea of mud, but I could stomp right through the puddles with nary a glance. I was amused to watch some people in cute, but impractical, (and totally ruined) footwear, gingerly picking their way around puddles. It really wasn’t a day for wedge sandals, I’m sorry to report.
Little Thistle joined me, all snug, warm, and dry in his baby carrier. We incurred the wrath and serious side-eye of a few little old ladies, who only meant well, I’m sure, out of concern for a baby out on a rainy day. One approached, and relayed to me the story of how when her babies were little, they did not leave the house for the first six months. We had a pleasant exchange, and I was left pondering the implications and (im)practicality of being house-bound for six months with an infant. In the end, I was glad to have the freedom of my own convictions to decide whether or not an outing was suitable.
In addition to browsing the many plant offerings, I took the opportunity to enjoy the farm. It looked especially beautiful in the rain, and I walked to some of the far corners to explore. This was very practical, as Little Thistle likes to be kept moving at all times.
We visited the horses who were in a huddle under the trees in front of the Grossmutter House (Grandmother’s House). A short walk away, we ducked into a barn with its floor deeply blanketed in straw. It took a moment to realize we were keeping company with two bovines! The barn was peaceful and soothing, and the only sounds were the soft chewing noises of our animal friends and the rain drumming on the roof. I closed my eyes and inhaled, taking in the smells of damp straw and rain. Perfect.
Another favorite spot is the kitchen with its open hearth. The dimly-lit room is warm and inviting, with all manner of delicious smells wafting from the hearth. One interpreter was shelling peas, while another checked the progress of a dish in a Dutch oven. I could have stayed in this space all day, but Little Thistle awoke and had different ideas. Back to puddle-splashing we went.
We picked up some vegetable plants from the farm’s heirloom tent, and my parents selected Virginia Bluebells and plenty of heirloom tomatoes from the various vendors at the faire.
It was a fun, rainy, puddle-y kind of day!
Have you ever visited Landis Valley Farm Museum? If not, be sure to drop by sometime. I volunteered there (collections) when I was in college, and love the work they do. It’s a treasure!