The last country show I visited was when I was in high school in Gympie. That was forever ago, after living in Brisbane on and off for the past ten years, Maleny has been my home for the last nine months. The first weekend of June is reserved on the social calender here for the show. Two days of horse jumping, equestrian, cow parades, woodchopping and a rodeo, this year celebrating 75 years.
Walking around the grounds with a good friend (thanks Ally), taking in everything that was on display. reminiscing about experience from our younger years. You know I was once scared of cows, now I think they are adorable with their big eyes and long lashes, looking at you so innocently. Preferring horses when I was kid, I think it was only because my granddad (pop Evans) would take us for rides on his horse.
Now, chickens. They make me so happy, they are so simple, eat, shit and lay a few eggs. Rare breed birds are ornamental with coloured feathers and unique shapes catching my eye. Not long now, soon I will have my own chicken run in Hunchy, with a few rare breeds, and some trusty egg-layers.
Wood chopping is a sport that reminds me of yesteryear, almost caveman like. Saturday the men threw their axes at lumps of hardwood (flooded gum). The aim is to cut your piece of wood in half first. Round one (above) was won by the man in the center who split his block in 33 seconds.
The men choose their piece of wood, and then fix it to the stand using nails, braces and their axe. Using chalk from their pockets drawing the marks on the wood to aim for. Some used measuring tapes to guarantee to find the center of the block.
The other really cool thing that I noticed watching this sport is their shoes. I know, I know, but they all have Dunlop volleys on their feet. With extra grip on the bottom and flexibility to grip the wood under foot, I guess.
ABOVE: Using all his breath to help his movement when cutting the block of wood.
BELOW: Spectator watching closely to the men getting ready for the next round
The rain was coming, it was time to run inside for a cup of tea and GF biscuit. Both Ally and I were amazed at the tables, topped with paper tablecloths, salt and pepper and fresh flowers arranged neatly in the middle of each table.
ABOVE: Young boy waits patiently for the train to go by.
BELOW: Gumboot painting competition.
Each year gumboots are painted according to the theme. This year is the year of the farmer.
ABOVE: Decorated cake with butter icing – isn’t it dainty.
BELOW: Bread competition, with the jars of preserves in the background.
ABOVE: A patron taking in the men’s chocolate cake competition.
BELOW: The winning sponge cake.
It looks amazing, I need to find this lady and get some more tips. Mine always seem a little yellow, and a bit burnt, with no thanks to my oven.
Plants, flowers and floral displays.
Handcrafts (above) covered the length of the hall, from quilting, cross-stitch, knitting, dress making and tapestry.
A crowd watching the woodchop and horse jumping, staying dry under the cover provided.
This is for the boys, a ute competition. Categories included feral (below), working and Aussie (above). Yes, the one below does have some sort of gun attached to it, to make it tougher perhaps. The bent bullbar just needs to be straight, that could make it cuter – in an old rusted pile of metal kind of way.
The fruit and vegetable display had: bunches of parsley, kale, mandarins, sweet potatoes, pecans, macadamias, eggs, lemons, oranges and an edible native section. Chokos took out the champion title, putting a smile on my face, remembering only two weeks ago, people trying to flog them off for 50 cents each. Yet no one really knows what to do with them.
A personal favourite, my grandma use to boil them up and season with plenty of salt and pepper, keep it simple. Other great ways to use the chokos are in pickles, mustards and apple pies.
With the rain determined to scare everyone away, I was glad to see that on Saturday there was still a reasonable crowd. Small town shows are some what cute. Old crafts, cooking competitions and the woodchop will not be forgotten.
Do you have any fond memories of your local show?