When I was in university, I skipped class to go to the Royal Winter Fair. Arriving back at school for a late-afternoon tutiorial, I sat in the room thinking "what's that smell?!" It was me--the barnyard odour had seeped into my sweater and there was fresh manure on my shoes. I didn't mind. These are the sorts of things you should take home from an agricultural fair.
A few days ago, I returned home from the Royal Winter Fair with a bag full of sanitized, processed, packaged goodies (cheese crackers, skin cream, birch syrup), and zero in the way of animal smells--unless you count the dwarf-goat slobber on my palm, from the petting zoo.
The Royal is now, pretty much, a marketplace of fudge and funnel cakes, where you're hard pressed to find Ontario's agricultural bounty. Sad.
But I did delight in the poultry, once I managed to look past the display of chickens dyed baby blue, pink and yellow (yes, I'm serious). I met a farmer who raises Chantecler chickens (a uniquely Canadian, heritage breed on the Slow Food Ark of Taste) and I plan to contact him in the spring to get a couple of hens. So all was not lost in this outing to the fair, but something significant has certainly been lost if the smell of french-fry grease in the Royal's food court overpowers the smell of soil and barn.