Fall is officially here, and despite the unsettling fact the some local growers still have heirloom tomatoes on the vine – seriously, what’s up with that? – I’ve accepted the fact that Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner.
Actually, I’ve only reluctantly come to grips with the arrival of autumn, a season I typically adore, because it arrived much too soon after an inexcusably short, difficult summer. My therapist dragged me kicking and screaming to this realization by suggesting that I surround myself with all the familiar symbols of Fall: pumpkins, mums, kitschy Halloween lawn ornaments. I suggested instead decorating the front porch with dead raccoons, of which, like apples, there seems to be a macabre bumper crop this season, but she didn’t get the joke. Not much of a sense of humor, that one.*
In truth, autumn this year has been glorious, with warm, sunny days, moderate rain, and the woods all ablaze with color. So, to embrace Fall to the fullest, and to officially welcome Matt and Tricia Casper Park of Creekside Meadows Farm as Farmshed CNY’s newest business sponsor, I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and show you all some serious love. Of course, since this is Week 2 of the Farmshed 2.0 “Show the Love, Taste the Love” promotional campaign, you’re going to have to show some serious love in return.
Farmshed CNY’s 1st Annual Locavore Pumpkin Carving Contest.
(Hint: not just any carved pumpkin will do, boyo.)
1. The Reward.
To get everyone into the spirit of the season, this week we’re giving away 2-15 pound, natural, pasture-raised turkeys (a $60.00 value, each), from Creekside Meadows Farm, a grass-based farm in New Woodstock, NY. Matt and Tricia Park employ rotational grazing and sustainable farming practices, process their poultry on the farm, and use no herbicides or pesticides. They are master meat producers, and their chickens, turkeys and pork are amazing.
If you’ve never enjoyed a pasture-raised turkey, well, let’s just say you’re in for a treat, assuming you like real food with genuine flavor and texture, because naturally-raised turkeys taste nothing whatsoever like the inbred, industrially farmed, turkey-like food product found in your local supermarket.
2. The Task.
This week’s promotion is a true contest, because we have only 2 turkeys to give away. To participate, you need to carve a “locavore pumpkin,” and post one or more photos of your creation to the Farmshed CNY Facebook page.
By “locavore,” I mean anything that can be broadly but reasonably associated with local farming or food production here in Central New York and the Finger Lakes. I’d love to see a pumpkin carved with “Farmshed CNY” or our logo (see below), but “Buy Local,” “Syracuse First,” “Pride of New York,” “No Farms, No Food,” “Slow Food,” or the name or logo of your favorite farm, farmers market or state, regional or local farming-oriented organization, would work, as would images of livestock or seasonal crops. I trust your imagination, and will err on the side of inclusivity. But I’m not the person you have to convince, because the Farmshed CNY Facebook community will vote on the submitted carvings, and they collectively will select the 1st and 2nd place winners.
So sharpen up your knifes, hone your carving skills, and get creative. You’ll have until 10:00 pm next Friday evening, October 21, to submit your photos, and until 8:00 pm Sunday evening, October 23 to vote for – i.e., “Like” – your favorite submissions.
3. The Details.
a. The Contest begins immediately and will run through 8:00 pm Sunday evening, October 23. Contestants will have until 10:00 pm Friday evening, October 21, to submit one or more photos of their carved locavore pumpkins.
b. Contestants may submit as many different pumpkins as they want, but the submissions must be of pumpkins that they or someone in their immediate household carved – no ringers, please – and individual contestants can win only one of the two available turkeys. In the spirit of fair play, contestants must provide proof on request that they carved and are in physical possession of any pumpkins submitted for the contest, or their submissions will be invalidated.
c. The turkeys will be available some time in early November. The two winning contestants must pick up their turkeys at Creekside Meadows Farm, and make arrangements with Tricia Park as to when the turkeys will be processed and picked up. Anyone living in Central New York or the Finger Lakes (or outside of the region) is welcome to participate, but you must be willing and able to pick up your turkey at the farm, which is in Madison County.
d. Individuals must be 18 years old or older to participate.
e. Viewers may vote for – “Like” – as many carvings as they wish, and may vote as many times as Facebook will allow. If you submit a pumpkin for consideration, vote for it as many times as you can, and get your friends to visit the Farmshed CNY Facebook page and vote for it too. This is a promotional giveaway, so go for it, share the page with your friends, bribe relatives with offers to clear the table and clean up after Thanksgiving dinner, etc., etc. As far as I’m concerned, the more people who visit the Farmshed CNY Facebook page, the better.
d. To be eligible, photos of pumpkins submitted for consideration must be posted to the Farmshed CNY Facebook Wall. If for some reason you post one or more photos and they do not appear on the Wall, attach the photos to an email and send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to posting the photos to the Wall, I will create a Facebook Photo Album titled “1st Annual Locavore Pumpkin Carving Contest,” and will periodically update and repost the album to our Wall.
e. In case I’ve forgotten something important, or my lawyer strokes out because I omitted some critical legal disclaimer, I reserve the right to revise the terms of this contest at any time, for any reason whatsoever, and without prior notice, or to cancel the contest altogether.
*I’m not actually seeing a therapist – “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Nor am I a “food pornographer” (see last week’s “Show the Love, Taste the Love” blog entry). I just can’t resist a bit of artistic license every now and then, especially when it comes to indulging my warped sense of humor.