I’ve never been much of a gardener. And I haven’t been to the car races since 1973. But when the list of events at the Ag Fair read: VEGGIE CAR RACES, I really wanted to see this. Perhaps, I thought, Veggie Cars would be a wave of the future.
I had no idea what to expect, but I think it might have been something . . . grander.
Here’s the deal: You got to pick your vegetable. Corn (still in the cob), sweet potato, radish, white potato, and something else that I do not believe I have even eaten (or missed out on). There were also bananas for contestants who preferred fruit.
Then you picked your wooden wheels. The nice woman attendant stuck metal rods into your corn/sweet potato/radish, etc. at appropriate intervals, then screwed on the wheels. A wooden ramp was propped up to about a 45º angle and had three “lanes.” Once you had a competitor (or two) and his or her veggies (or bananas) were ready, the cars lined up at the top. When I watched, there was a yarrow root vs. a sweet potato.
Ready, set, go.
It was not exactly the Daytona 500 or even the old Riverside Park Speedway (can’t believe I remembered the name of that old one in Agawam), but . . .
The race was on. It only took a few seconds, but it was Sweet Potato all the way. No prize was awarded to the winner; then again, there hadn’t been an entry fee, either.
And you know what? It was terrific. Soon, more kids liked up. The veggies raced, laughter rose, competitive natures between brothers, sisters, friends blossomed—all without the use of electronic devices. They had a blast.
Such was my introduction to the Ag Fair on the Vineyard. I really liked the sheep shearing, but, best of all, I think I liked the miniature horse that stood motionless in one of the barns. I think he would have loved the Veggie Car Race, too. He might have liked to have some wheels screwed into a homegrown carrot or a big, juicy apple.
Yup, I love this island.
I meant to post this a week ago . . . but got busy! Sorry!