Murray’s Mill Harvest Folk Festival

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Click to Enlarge

This weekend, including today, Murray’s Mill is celebrating their 30th anniversary of The Harvest Folk Festival.  Clearly all that practice has paid off.

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The stellar weather was a plus , and there were plenty of Boyscouts directing traffic and parking, which hurried things along.  Volunteers were everywhere, and it was those volunteers who made the day so enjoyable.

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Instead of us watching reenactments of how life was ‘back then,” we got to participate in the activities.  We panned for gold, and while I didn’t find any gold, I did find a pea-sized emerald (so says the volunteer) which I promptly gave to the kid next to me who went crazy happy.  We made our own candles dipping strings into big cauldrons of melted wax.  We watched others start fires with just two sticks, pack their molds in sand at the makeshift foundry, and make baskets.

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Almost every child, and several adults, made a birdhouse, bat house or step stool.  Civil War reenactments with very loud guns and cannons, hay rides, pony rides, food, local craft vendors, live music, a variety of other interactive craft stations, a petting zoo, antique cars and farm equipment, and the obligatory quilters with their silly hats (which I learned were worn not for shade but to keep their hair clean) provided a full day of learning and enjoyment.  I actually feel confident enough now to pan for and recognize gold – which is still a prominent pastime in these here hills.  I also have a “hankerin” to extend my candle-making skills since I’m pretty happy with the one I made today.

There was even a tent where handmade Civil War clothing, flags, and some beautiful leather goods were being sold.

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We left the festival with a sense of a day well spent, but also a renewed appreciation for the time in which we were born.  My generation (I was a baby boomer) filled a space between some rough times in American history.  I feel very lucky.  But I also have a yearning for a simpler time, and it was a nice reminder to me that those simpler times weren’t exactly so simple, but rather lean and difficult for many, and you had to work very hard just to put a meal on the table, or have enough light to read by if you were lucky enough to have a book.

The best part!  This is just the beginning of these festivals in Western North Carolina.  The Wooly Worm Festival  is around the corner.  And I’m looking forward to Octoberfest and several wine festivals this fall.

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About Patsye

I am an older woman and artist. I love to craft. I love to sew and knit and crochet and needlepoint. I love to paint and draw and make art with my hands. Being creative is what gets me up in the morning. Art is my tea, my fresh air, my good book, and my cats all rolled into one. I have much to share and hope you'll visit often.
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6 Responses to Murray’s Mill Harvest Folk Festival

  1. cubbyholes says:

    The yard ones are about the size of a med to large birdhouse. I wanted one but hubby is creeper out by bats. 😉 We went to a garlic festival this weekend. Huge event up here. I got two kinds of seed garlics to grow. Yay! Sounds like you had a great time, too!

    • whimseytopia says:

      Never even thought of growing garlic I guess because it’s so cheap and I use very little of it. However, it has health benefits, and anything homegrown is “better” for sure. Yes, this is fall festival time, and my favorite time of year. Love the colors, the smells, and last burst of energy in the northern hemisphere, just before the big nap!

      • cubbyholes says:

        Most don’t realize how many varieties there are either. These are raised totally organically and are heirlooms so all you have to do is save a few each year to replant. I got one variety that is quite strong and savory and one that is mild and sweet. Should be fun. I’ll get them planted tomorrow and let them sleep all winter.

  2. maureenc says:

    What on earth is a bat house, and what purpose does it fill?

    • whimseytopia says:

      People in North America build bat houses to attract bats to their yard. I assumed this was universal, but I guess not. Like butterfly houses with those thin slats, bats will come to a “bat configured” box in which they are cocooned and can hang. Besides being voracious mosquito eaters, they are just fun to watch with their erratic flying maneuvers every evening. They are eco friendly and the best way to keep the insect population in check without chemicals. If you GOOGLE “how to build a bat house,” you’ll get dozens of sites including several on Youtube.

      • maureenc says:

        No! I doubt if any people go to this extent in Queensland.
        In fact the only bat cage I ever saw (outside of a zoo) was built by a wild life carer to house bats (colloquially known as fruit bats or flying foxes) whose wings had been damaged /badly torn by being caught in barbed wire fencing or other accidents where their wings were so badly damaged that they would never fly again.
        The cage in question was roughly 25 foot long,12 foot wide and about 10 foot high and had chicken netting enclosing it. It was also home to ring tail and brushy tailed possums who were being rehabilitated after sustaining injury.

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