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Quiet Valley Harvest Festival

Posted by bj on Monday, October 13, 2008

Quiet Valley, as I've said before, is a little slice of heaven. It's a living history farm, with no electricity to the farmhouse, and all farming done the way it was 150 years ago. This past weekend was the Harvest Festival. All the kids and members showed off their crafts and the bounty of the harvest-- quilts, tinwork, candles, caning and basketry, herbs and veggies, spun and dyed wool hanks and things made from the homespun wool, and many other great things. And the FOOD! Wow! Apple dumplings made from the farm's apples, homemade ice cream (the kids got a workout manning the manual crank style ice cream makers!), sausage sandwiches, barbecue chicken, cole slaw, apple cider, root beer, skillet cookies, shoo fly pie, pretzels, and many, many other tasty treats, all from the farm. And I bought enough homegrown organic veggies to last me all week, not to mention daffodil bulbs to make me smile next spring. I also managed to harvest sassafras leaves for Kiva Rose.

The Civil War Re-enactors were camped down below, and the Boy Scouts were camped up above. A great mix of uniforms! Not to mention the kind of noise the kids love, as the re-enactors fired off those black powder guns periodically.

But the music was the greatest! All oldtime and early bluegrass and country, all acoustic (only the main stage had a PA, and it was a one mike setup!) and all wonderful. Though this is NOT advertised as a jam event, I was clued in by the volunteers that if I brought my fiddle I'd be able to play all day. So I did. And I did. Well, I played when I wasn't eating. Which seemed to be often with all the goodies available.

The Dulcimer Club plays this event, and has little groups of dulcimer players all over the place. And they like for other instruments to join in with them. So bringing an instrument along is welcomed. And if you wear period costume you can get in for free as a volunteer. I didn't do that, since I don't begrudge them the six bucks they charge for entry, but anyone is welcome to do that. I think you also have to be added to the volunteer list. All the dulcimer players love the oldtime tunes, some of which I knew, some of which I started to learn by the last go round.

The Druckenmillers did their usual great job in playing oldtime and educating people about it.

What surprised me is I enjoyed playing along to the early bluegrass and country stuff just as much as the oldtime stuff. No, I'm not going to focus on bluegrass or country. But I think maybe I'm not going to be afraid to go to an occasional bluegrass jam either. It could have been the players. The guys call themselves Rock Bottom, and almost everything they play is from the 1930's through the 1950's, and you could hear the oldtime roots in many of the tunes. In fact, they do a few oldtime tunes, like Redwing and Blackberry Blossom. Anyway, they kept asking me to play with them (geez, someone actually wants me to play? I must be getting at least a little better!) so I obliged, both adding vocal harmony on the chorus and playing soft and simple fiddle backup to the rest. These are three really great guys who love the music and play it well.

I will be adding Quiet Valley events to the calendar from now on. I know there is one at Christmas, but that won't be a music event, it's a lamplit tour of the farm. The next music event will be in the spring. I hope y'all join me there.



5 comments on “Quiet Valley Harvest Festival”

Rene Says:
Monday, October 13, 2008 @10:17:28 AM

Way to make me envious. Where exactly is this place? Curious also as to what Kiva is doing with sassy. leaves, I've got them everywhere.

bj Says:
Monday, October 13, 2008 @10:57:46 AM

Quiet Valley Farm is near Stroudsburg PA, not far from the Delaware Water Gap.

You'll have to ask Kiva Rose what she does with Sassafras Leaves. I'm sending them in exchange for some work she's doing for me. She also wanted roots, but I wasn't allowed to dig up any. You might query her on that. She also needs wintergreen leaves and yellow or black birch twigs.

bj Says:
Monday, October 13, 2008 @11:01:15 AM

Oh, and I didn't mention that QV is over the ridge, and they're in full Autumn change. We aren't, our leaves are JUST starting, and we're only 15 miles south. The colors were breathtaking. And the weather was perfect. Hovered around 70 degrees with the sun shining all day.

Rene Says:
Monday, October 13, 2008 @5:35:27 PM

Stop already, I can't take anymore :) Maybe next year.

brya31 Says:
Tuesday, October 14, 2008 @8:32:14 AM

Sounds like a wonderful weekend!

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