Our opinion: Lumber and apples

There are festivals that have various comestibals as their focus – barbecue, apples, corn, virtually everything except liver and onions – but there is one in Warren County that celebrates the lumber industry the hosting community its start.

Sheffield’s Johnny Appleseed Festival is this weekend

OK, there are apples involved here, but stay with us.

The highlight of the festival, but by no means the only reason to go, is the lumberjack competition on today, Saturday and Sunday. There was a time when timbering meant men going into the woods with axes and long saws. The cutting was done by sweat and brawn; the skidding of the logs was done by draft horse.

The lumberjack competition, its events born from that work, honors that tradition. And here’s the kicker: It’s pretty doggone exciting.

Still, the festival is named in honor of Johnny Appleseed, that favorite character of childhood stories, who traveled the countryside more than 100 years ago with the goal of planting sowing those seeds in an effor to spread the wealth of nutrition of deliciousness hither and yon.

Yes, there was a real Johnny Appleseed, and there are indications that he did his work in Warren County among many other places. His real name, John Chapman, wasn’t nearly as catchy as his nickname.

For all its homage to lumbering and apples, the Johnny Appleseed Festival is, at its heart, a community festival, and a great one at that.

The festival starts today and runs through Sunday.