Strawberry Heaven: Berry Flower Faire Gets Good Turnout
Organizers were pleased at the turnout for the Berry Flower Faire held recently at Camellia Parke Shopping Center at Olmsted Village.
"Over 1,500 people came throughout the day," says Tammy Simmons-Morse. "Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and we received nothing but raves from patrons at the event."
Local strawberries and other garden items were available for purchase, and visitors were able to sample strawberry salsa as well as strawberry and spinach salad.
The Bee Keepers Associations of both Moore and Richmond counties offered information about bees and the healing properties of honey. Handmade baskets, Seagrove-area pottery, wood carvings and other craft items were available for purchase.
Animal Advocates of Moore County held an animal adoption, and Cypress Bend Vineyards offered a wine-tasting booth.
Musical entertainment was provided by The Parsons, as well as Fayetteville Concert Master Bill Ayerbe, with Shannon Sullivan.
A strawberry dessert and homemade jam "taste-off" was held, with celebrity judges Andy Frandenburgh, chef of Nina's Classic Cuisine; Todd Richter, executive pastry chef at the Carolina Hotel; Warren Lewis, chef of Chef Warren's; and Ted Oelfke, chairman of the hospitality and culinary arts program at Sandhills Community College, picking the winners.
Kerstin Hanson, of Hoke County, was the winner of the dessert category with her "Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova," and Brett Smith, of Aberdeen, who works at Easy's Sports Bar and Grill took second place for his "Super Strawberry Torte."
Entries, which were "in honor of mothers everywhere," had to include a short essay about motherhood.
Hanson says in her essay:
"I fall in between a mother and a child. I am a daughter who is cherished; a mother who is blessed. The gifts so abundant, once and still given to me, I now pass on to the next. A nose like mine, a smile so radiant, a goddess child was given to me.
"Now I am the mother, the cheerleader, and friend to the one who steals my heart over and over. Like cream to coffee, chocolate to strawberries, she is the rainbow to my tears, the comfort to my fears. And when 20 years ago I worried that I might not be good at my new role, she came into the world with big hope for me. She is a lesson in love, a gift from above, the comforting hope in the flight of the dove.
"My baby, my toddler, my teen and now my woman-child, with you every day is Mother's Day."
Taking first place in the strawberry jam category was Carol Lucas, using a recipe belonging to her mother, Canary Hunsucker. Ann Lynch was awarded second place. Both Lucas and Lynch are from Carthage.
Lucas contributed an essay titled "Strawberry Fields Forever":
"For me, growing up on a farm in Moore County was the greatest. To get to my grandmother's house, you had to walk down a dirt road that went by the family strawberry patch.
Making the strawberry cake for our yearly Memorial Day celebration at church was a big event. We all had our small parts in making the cake. Mom and I would pick the berries while grandmother would chop the pecans. She even had her own pecan tree in the backyard.
Grandmother is no longer with us, but that delicious cake is still being made today and yes ...the wonderful memories made in our strawberry patch will last forever."
Simmons-Morse says that the organizers appreciate the hard work of the contestants.
"We hope to make the event even bigger and better for 2009 and are so very happy that we could produce this event to help out area farmers at the beginning of the season," says Simmons-Morse.
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 693-2475.
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