I attended the Huon Valley Small Farm Expo on Sunday. I ran into a couple of old friends, made a few new ones, and had a pretty nice time.
The Expo was due to open at 10am, yet we didn’t arrive till 10:30am… had some trouble organising the kids before we left.
The show was much smaller than last year. It appeared to have less displays and there seemed to be less people. Once we arrived we rushed to the poultry area and I dove inside to try to find myself an Australorp Rooster. It was a little crowded when I first entered, yet not due to the number of people. There seemed to be less people in the building than normal, it was just that most of the people were taking up large amounts of space by blocking the aisles. I need to bump past many people who refused to move when politely asked. These crowds made it difficult to move past all the cages quickly, yet within a couple of minutes I had completed my circumnavigation of the room. While there were many handsome chickens and roosters, there were no Australorps. This was a bit of a disappointment. I will have to look into other methods of procuring a Rooster… yet, there is no rush. I did realise that I should have sold some of my Australorps… I will think about doing this next year.
Next, I walked to the speakers tent. The website for the expo mentioned that presentations would be given on topics, yet failed to actually describe the topics or speakers. When I arrived I caught the end of a presentation on Permaculture… which was a presentation that I would have loved to have heard. I decided not to wait for the next one, and walked over to the horse rides (as my children were very interested in this).
We checked out many of the stalls, being amazed with one from the Fruit Winemakers of Tasmania.
They had a great little display of mead in a glass vessel in the process of being produced, they also had various other completed wines. I had a chat and explained my interest in the mead and I was offered a taste of an award winning sample. I have to say, I have never tasted a liquor as delightful and delicious. Kitty tried some and she was as amazed as I. I have been planning on making some mead, I have been thinking about it since last August. At that moment I decided I needed to follow through on my plans and try it out. For this reason alone, the Expo was a valuable experience for me.
We didn’t spend too long there this year, as it was a little later that my children expressed their wish to buy some food. We looked around at the various stalls and were appalled at the prices. We encounters stalls selling hot dogs for $7, empanadas for $12, and other over priced food.
It was then that I considered the scene that was before me… while many of the farm stalls were simple and very traditional or basic (I mean it to be a compliment). Others were offering services at well over (what I would consider) market value. For example, one stall was offering poly tunnels for sale. They were asking over $300 for a small mini poly tunnel (it was a nice Poly tunnel, yet it was still just a poly tunnel), and a mist controller (for watering propagated plants in a greenhouse) for nearly $500 (I have seen the same brand offered for half the price elsewhere). Most of the people selling items seemed to be targeting people with deep pockets… people who could buy their farming setup. Of course, I may be a little jealous… I wish I had the money to do that rather than set everything up from scratch.