Conway and Stone County
It has been another full, but fabulous day. Our first stop was the Faulkner County MG Reunion in Conway. This is a wonderful idea. They invited everyone they have ever trained, starting with the class of 1996 up through their current 2012 class. Each class had an ambassador to help find everyone, and that person was also in charge of the table decoration for their class. Their goal is to reconnect with past members and try to get them involved. I judged the winning table decorations, and it went to the class of 2005–they had a fabulous orchid arrangement and the tableware also matched! Then they had the most elaborate potluck meal with enough food to feed an army. Maguil told me he would go anywhere with me if he could eat like that every day. After eating, I made some comments, the President spoke and then they were giving away loads of door prizes. Maguil and I snuck out at that point. Before we went in to the event, I gave Maguil the tour of the Legacy Gardens in front of their county office. This garden continues to grow and amaze me. The gardens were a riot of color from echinacea and black eyed susans, to flowering hardy hibiscus, monarda, buddleia and more. A few plants were being attacked by loads of blister beetles and aphids–surprisingly it was the native butterfly milkweed. Stop by and see this wonder if you are passing through Conway.
When we left Conway, we drove to Blanchard Springs and toured the caverns. I haven’t done it in years and it was quite impressive, and cool–a standard 58 degrees year-round. I think we sometimes forget the wonders we have in our own state. If you have never toured the caverns, you should do so. Maguil was in awe. Then it was a quick look at the springs, then on to the Ozark Folk Center, where the new county agent Preston met us along with the staff at the folk center to give us a tour of the grounds. Then we stopped in at the Arkansas Barefoot Boys farm in Mt. View where two young 4-Hers are working with their parents to raise vegetables, cattle, chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep and donkeys. The donkeys were braying like crazy when they saw Kasey, the owner. They wanted their sweet treats. The two goats had escaped and were wandering all over the property trying to eat things. They were growing many varieties of heirloom tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, edamame (edible soybeans), and Maguil got to see peanuts growing. They do all their produce selling via the web–check them out on facebook.
We stopped in to eat catfish (which Maguil had never eaten) and then finally made it home.