Gardening School Starts and The World’s Fair

Reader Contribution by Ginnie Baker
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Where has the summer gone? I looked forward to the end of this past winter and to a beautiful summer, but it seems to have come and gone before I knew it!

The garden has been disappointing, but it’s still “hanging in there.” The squash is finished, the pumpkins ripened way too early and the cucumbers weren’t what they should be but I did get 15 pints of pickles canned. A friend and I have a friendly competition each year to see who has the earliest tomatoes, who starts canning first and who has bumper crops of vegetables. This year, we agreed that both gardens were disappointing. However, her son and his wife had the bumper crop of cucumbers! They picked more than 200 cucumbers to make pickles!

Thanks to the resident chipmunks, I also have a bumper crop of sunflowers – everywhere! They buried sunflower seeds from the bird feeders in every place they could find some loose dirt. I have sunflowers in my planters with the petunias, at the base of trees and in the main garden and also in the raised beds. The chipmunk is right here in the mums on the deck!

They have been busy raiding every bird feeder and hiding seeds. I hope that isn’t an indication of the type of winter we have in store for us this year.

Our school started on August 20 this year. The elementary school doesn’t have air conditioning so, of course, our temperatures here in Bellville soared into the high 80s as school started.

I coordinate our adult Safety Patrol for our Police Department, and it really felt good to get back in the routine. This is the 11th year I’ve been involved with Safety Patrol; the first couple of years as a guard and the remainder of the time as coordinator and guard in the mornings. It’s been a joy to see so many of the children grow up from kindergarten and go off to the middle school and high school.

I’m a guard by this family’s home and have watched their oldest daughter go on to middle school and watched her younger sister go from the stroller to riding her bike while her little brother is now in second grade and baby Millie is now a toddler!

It’s nice to be out in the mornings right now, but I know I’ll be grumbling when January rolls around and I have to put on multiple layers of clothes to keep warm at 7:30 in the morning!

Shortly after school begins, we start getting ready for the Bellville Street Fair, also known as the “World’s Fair.” This will be the 164th Fair. The only year we didn’t have a Fair was during World War ll. The whole Village gets ready for this great four-day event, which includes school getting out early for “Kid’s Day.” The Fair brings more than 50,000 people to our Village of 1,900 residents!

A friend of mine will be participating again this year, doing her incredible pet paintings on slate. She’s extremely talented.

When my old faithful companion, Millie, my Golden Retriever passed away, I asked Tracy if she could do a painting of her. I gave Tracy a photo of Millie, and she created the most beautiful painting on a piece of slate. It captured all of Millie’s sweetness and her true Golden Retriever expression. The painting is so life-like, her eyes actually seem to follow me around the room! It’s as though my sweet Millie is still here with me.

Tracy has also done paintings of my miniature donkeys, Samson and Delilah, which are hanging above their stalls. She also did a painting of both of them that I have hanging by the door outside as you come in to say “welcome.”

Her talent is becoming well-known, and she has done a lot of pet paintings when someone loses their beloved pet. This year again, she will be displaying her talent at an event we have called “Strutt Your Mutt.”

On Saturday, September 13, The Humane Society of Richland County will host its largest fundraiser of the year – the Strutt Your Mutt Canine Festival. This family and pet friendly festival is action-packed and full of activities for owners and their dogs. The festival is held at the Richland County Fairgrounds in Mansfield, Ohio.

Their only funding is from public donations, private fundraisers, and grants when possible. Generous donations from animal lovers are the only way they continue to save the lives of abused, abandoned and neglected animals in Richland County.

 This guy is in need of a good home!

So as summer and the garden wind down and the children get in the school routine, we eagerly anticipate our “World’s Fair.”

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