Sunday, October 26, 2014

Community Supported Agriculture in Northern Cecil County

For the past few weeks, Marianne has been getting fresh vegies from a farm in the northern part of the county close to the Pennsylvania. She and one of our local friends, Wendy, have joined forces to buy a single share that costs $200 over an 8 week period. I toddled along to see if there was a blog opportunity.

As you can see in the background, Fall / Autumn is finally arriving in our area. The cold weather seems to be late this year and I haven't seen very many spectacular trees.

The farm shed where we selected our produce. There were a  reasonable number of cars which indicates a decent number of customers. Some people drive up from Baltimore.

Stuff was still growing. Usually by late October we have had at least one night below freezing, but not this year. 

I had never seen knobbly pumpkins like this before.

Inside the shed. When you sign up, you can buy the right to nine shares each week. A sign shows how much you can have for one share. It's an honour system. You cross out your name in the book, load up your bag with the appropriate amount of stuff and leave. You can also purchase items if you are not a member.

There is quite a selection of stuff. Typically Marianne buys produce that benefits from being locally grown.

Some flowers outside the shed.

If you want to know more about this, here is the website.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Airedales at the Montgomery County Kennel Club - Terrier Show

Our second Airedale, Bridgit, was a rescue dog. We got her from Airedale Rescue when she was about two years old and she brightened our lives for the next eight years. Airedale Rescue has groups all over the world and is probably one of the best organized Rescue groups. Marianne has been involved with the group for many years, particularly with the annual quilt raffle which is drawn each year at the Terrier Show.

The event is held at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. They have a campus with extensive grounds which are beautifully kept. When we arrived about 9:30, the front parking lot was almost full and a kind gentleman gave us a ride on a golf buggy down to the area where all the action was taking place.

The purpose of this blog is mostly to give people who bought raffle tickets a chance to see what it all looks like.

Not all of the photos are flattering. There are so many people milling about, it's difficult to take a photo without a human appearing. If you are upset by any of of these photos which will be seen by people world wide, let me know in the comments section and I will remove them.

If you have information about the dogs, add comments.

The main quilt. The Airedales are wearing hats. You can click on the photo to enlarge it and more about the quilt can be found here.

One of the bonus quilts made by Carolyn Finlayson and Sharon DeBoer.

More bonus quilts. Marianne created the quilt on the right and Candy made the lower left quilt. Linda Bell made the quilt on the top left. The wind was so strong that Lori was having some trouble keeping everything ship-shape but everything seemed to stay in place where it needed to be.

Airedales in primped condition, waiting to be judged.

Un-primped, no judging required.

The judging ring. The judge is the woman with the grey hair. Most of the dog owners were well dressed. To be honest, it's not a hobby I would want to get into, but I can understand the appeal.

Like most dogs, Airedales love to chew. 

Two puppies. It's good to bring your dog to these events because they get used to other dogs.

Airedale Rescue had three tents that were doing good business. One of the people who manned this tent was Candy who also maintained the web pages for the quilt raffle.

This is a picture of the first rescue quilt. More about it here.

Another Airedale Rescue tent that was getting set up.

Pinky owns Candy, but she had to sit in her cage.

The judging continued.

Our Airedales usually looked like this, quite woolly. Airedale hair needs to be stripped, not shaved or cut, so it is quite a process.

Presumably, the centerpiece is the prize for the dog that can jump the highest to get at the water bowl on top.

Of course, while an Airedale is the largest terrier, there are many other kinds of smaller terrier.

One of the huge tents where owners primped their dogs prior to showing them.

"I'm downright miserable in this cage". You can see it in the eyes. Most of the dogs seemed to be enjoying themselves.

I suspect the winners get their official photos taken here. Then the owner gets a ride on the Segway in the background.

There were quite a few tents where stuff was for sale.

I'm not particularly knowledgeable about other terrier breeds so let's just say these were small ones.

Another huge tent.


I suspect there would have been bathrooms in the college building in the background where lunch was available. In the foreground are generators for the primping equipment.

Other breeds had tents, but Airedale Rescue was the only breed to have tents dedicated to the Airedales that have been rescued.

I did not know that Airedale Rescue had an official car.

This is an enormous event and there were parking lots filled with these campers. People who show their dogs a lot are very serious about it.

Somehow I can't imagine a fully grown Airedale doing this but it would have fun trying.

More tents with items for sale.

These were nice looking dogs.

Resting, but paying close attention.

The judging continued. It seems to be quite a lengthy process, taking much more time than what you see on TV when they show Crufts or the Westminster dog judging. The audience members were paying close attention. I couldn't tell what made a champion dog. They all look good to me.

There is nothing like giving your dog a friendly pat. 

Now that is a tail. It used to be that Airedale tails were chopped off at birth but fortunately that practice is now going away. You don't need to see a tail wag to know that an Airedale is happy.

Well, hello.

That woman with the tan dress forgot the proper colour for this breed.

Primping paraphernalia.

This link shows a West Highland Terrier.

I presume this is not a Westy.

Yet another huge tent. Large tents like this are often used at college graduations, particularly for large colleges.

Flat out.

Kerry Blues. It's worth reading the Temperament section of their Wiki article.

The judging seemed endless.

We had a good conversation about Australia with the owner of Phoebe who is eleven years old. As an older dog, she was quite happy to lay on your feet. We recommended staying at Wombat Bend near Melbourne which is a B&B with Airedales. Read about it here and here. By the way, Sue, one of the owners of Wombat Bend, won the quilt a couple of years ago.

All I can say is that if I was that dog at the back, I would be worried.

We left shortly before lunchtime. This was the first cold day of Autumn with temperatures in the low 50's. A strong wind made it feel much colder.

The raffle raised $16,522. It takes a lot of money to get a rescue Airedale ready for its new owners, particularly vet fees. For all of you who bought tickets or helped with the raffle in any way, the Airedales thank you.

Finally, an old photo of Bridgit and Robin.