Bath showcases area’s agricultural heritage

Published 7:37 pm Saturday, July 14, 2012

Holly Hudson tries her luck at spitting watermelon seeds during the Historic Bath event held Saturday. Awaiting his turn is challenger William Andrew Van Staalduinen. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

BATH — Life down on the farm was celebrated Saturday when the Historic Bath State Historic Site hosted “Living Off the Land,” number two in a series of three Second Saturdays events being held this summer.

“We wanted to focus on our agricultural roots in this area, and we invited artists who hand make their items, whether it be pottery or aprons,” said Leigh Swain, Historic Bath site manager.

A unique look at farming was also provided when members of the Eastern Antique Power Association shared their collection of vintage equipment.

“Certainly the equipment from yesteryear puts us back in time,” Swain said. “And I know the kids enjoyed simple pleasures like the water bucket races, watermelon seed spitting contest and story time.”

While the youngsters were kept entertained with down home activities that didn’t require Internet access or batteries, the adults were free to browse among the various booths set up for the day.

Artists and other vendors offered a variety of wares including hand-woven baskets, wool felt items, tobacco stick art, jams and jellies, fresh garden produce, kitchen aprons, pottery, woven textiles and handmade jewelry.

The garden at the site’s Van Der Veer House was also open for self-guided tours. Thanks to hard work by the site’s staff, the garden is a showplace for squash, tomatoes and other vegetables, with sunflowers and zinnias providing splashes of summer colors.

The third and final Second Saturdays event is planned for Aug. 11, according to Swain. That event will celebrate “The Written Word.”

“We have contacted some local authors to share their work … there will be book selling and book signing,” Swain said. “The Friends of the Bath Community Library will have a book sale inside the Carson Cottage, so that will happen rain or shine.”

*For more photos of Saturday’s event, see the Pamlico Horizons feature in the July 22 edition of the Daily News.