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Today we returned to the Wisconsin State Fair Park for the annual Harvest Fair. Quite a crowd turned out for it. Once again we were introduced to some more Wisconsin traditions such as:
1. The pumpkin growers competition, during which we saw a piece entitled “Ginormous Pumpkin on a Dorm Mattress” (please ignore the police tape in the background).

2. Pumpkin bowling. In case I haven’t mentioned, bowling is BIG in Wisconsin, probably because of the long winters. And I know I’ve talked about how important agriculture is. So putting them together seems like a natural next step.

3. Scarecrow daycare. Yes, that’s correct. One of the events at the festival was to make your own scarecrow. Of course, these are life size and carrying them around the festival for hours may be inconvenient, which is why scarecrow daycare was invented. You can drop off your scarecrow, sign him (or her) up for a few activities and then pick him up when you are ready to head home.

Everett isn’t quite ready to make a scarecrow but he had fun playing in the straw.

4. Vintage rock bands. Ever wonder what happened to rock bands from the ‘70s and ‘80s? They didn’t fade away, they came to Wisconsin. Molly Hatchet is playing a free concert tonight.

5. Trains. Everett is pretty excited about them. There are some active tracks near our house that carry several trains a day, which gives E a chance to demonstrate two things. First, how much more sensitive his hearing is than ours. Second, the fact that trains preempt almost any other activity (except eating). He is not quite old enough for the children’s train that comes to the local events like Tosafest and the Harvest Fair:

At this point the astute reader will likely notice two things: first, like most trains that pass through our neighborhood, this one is Canadian (Canada is the next state, I mean country, over to the north). Second, is the conductor a ringer for Uncle Boy or what? And Uncle Boy is certainly the kind of guy who would build such a thing if for no other reason than to transport his grandchildren. Getting back to E, fortunately he is old enough to ride the train at the zoo.

In other news, we continue to receive vegetables from our CSA farm that are unfamiliar and a little difficult to identify. A couple weeks ago we received brusselini. This might have been some kind of joke because not even The Google lists this as a food. Melissa made a valiant attempt at serving it by roasting the leaves. We enjoyed gnawing on them for a while but it’s not something we are likely to try again. Last week we received a head of Romanesco, which look sort of like a land coral or a fractal vegetable:

We haven’t tried it yet but I’ll be sure to follow up once we do. In the mean time we are building a patio in the back yard which we hope to have finished before the end of the harvest season this year.

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