This year, the Vermont Farm Show moved to a different venue, the Champlain Valley Exposition. For the first time ever, the show featured a “Buy Local” Market one evening, which proved to be a smorgasbord of Vermont artisan foods and a haven for individuals claiming to be “locavores”. Vermont’s agricultural base was evident as forty-two farms set up displays featuring their products. Farmers filled the hall at the fair grounds, stocking their tables with samples of maple syrup, artisan cheese, wine, apples, honey, farm raised meat, vegetables, and caramel sauce. One woman commented that she had no idea that it would be like a fancy gathering with wine and cheese tasting. The entire room buzzed with excitement and chatter as people moved from table to table, sampling, and selecting their purchases.
When I filled out the vendor application for the market, I knew that I would be surrounded by farms who raise food. I suspected that they would offer tasty treats to the crowds in order to lure them in for a closer look at what they had to offer. Indeed, people packed the isles to taste their way through the market. I did not want our farm to be overlooked so I offered my own tasty treat….”Yarn Tasting”. Husbands chuckled as they read my “Yarn Tasting” sign while their wives readily picked up a pair of knitting needles. It is one thing to be able to touch and caress a skein of yarn, but another thing to knit with it. At one point, I had women waiting in line to knit with our “Leisel” yarn. My shawl, which I knit from our bunny’s yarn, drew them to the basket filled with yarn. As one woman knit with “Leisel” another woman joined her, picking up our new bulky weight yarn. She wanted to learn how to do a “yarn over” and so the three of us stood at the table, knitting and chatting with one another as though we had known each other for years.
By the end of the night, we had passed out countless business cards and fiber class schedules. We had connected with old friends, and made new acquaintances. We had laughed with people we did not even know, and shared a small piece of our lives with many. We put our yarn into the hands of Vermont knitters and proved that the traditional art of knitting still thrives.