TROY — Fall is about celebrating colorful foliage, hot cider, and picking that perfect pumpkin. At the Miami County Park District’s Fall Farm Fest over the weekend, it was also about bringing awareness to one of the largest foundations of our community – agriculture.
With over 400 acres of land for running through a corn maze, a tour of “Scarecrow Lane,” or shooting off a corn cannon, the festival provided many activities to engage in favorite fall festivities, but also at the festival were stations such as gardening, simulated cow milking, or harvesting honey to get children thinking about farming and the environment.
“(Agriculture) is such a large part of our heritage and we want to recognize that,” Executive Director Scott Myers said. “The kids can learn how things happen on the farm … that’s sort of the goal. (The festival) reminds everyone what’s all out there and what agriculture is all about.”
The festival took place at Lost Creek Reserve, which is where the historic Knoop homestead resides. The Knoop family was one of the first to settle in Miami County in 1797. The park district purchased the land from the family descendants, Mark and Dorothy Knoop, in 1997.
“We wanted to continue connecting kids to the history (of property),” marketing administrator Amanda Smith said. “They are not just having fun, but they are learning.”
The first Fall Farm Fest was held in 2009, attracting around 3,000 to 5,000 visitors and has grown over the years to approximately 12,000 visitors.
Organizations that provided demonstrations or information booths include the Miami County Farm Bureau, Western Ohio Beekeepers, and Miami County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Merrill Cox, of Piqua, brought her daughter, Savannah Cox, and Savannah’s cousins, Lyndsey and Maggie Reckers, to the festival on Saturday. The family knew friends working at the festival and it was their first time attending this year.
“Whenever we can get outside and enjoy being outside, especially with this weather, it’s awesome,” Merrill said. The girls mentioned their favorite activities at Farm Fest being the hayride, corn maze, and archery.
Couple Makiko and Yosuke Yamamoto, of Troy, originally from Japan, brought their young daughter, Momoka, to Farm Fest for the first time this year, after being residents in Troy for two years.
“We enjoyed (Farm Fest) very much,” Makiko said.
The event was sponsored by Buckeye Insurance, Kerber Sheet Metal, and Miami County Farm Bureau.
Reach reporter Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.