Food, Community And All Things Sustainable

June 28, 2008

It's a......cultural event

Wow! What an incredible day at the local farmers and artisans market - just imagine one of the largest farmers markets in the area coupled with a car show! Two dynamite events.

My friend J, a Hmong man who came to this area as a teenaged refugee over 20 years ago, sells egg rolls in the booth next to ours. He was surprised to see the turn out at the car show and asked me if I knew the anticipated attendance. I was surprised to hear him use the word "anticipated". I was unaware he knew the word - obviously his english skills have improved greatly in the past few years. So, we chatted about the anticipated attendance, and then he asked what is the purpose of this "car show" gathering?

I stumbled around just a bit trying to explain just what is a car show. J wanted to know if there was a money prize for the best car. At Hmong festivals there is frequently a cash prize for the best soccer team, or badminton team or dance team. He seemed puzzled when I told him no cash prize at this event.

Well, I thought I'd try to explain why the car show was such a big deal that hundreds of classic cars would show up along with thousands of admirers. So I pointed out a 60-something year-old lady who was dressed as a bobby soxer - hair in a pony tail held in place by the folded scarf, white shirt - untucked, of course, blue jeans rolled up into big cuffs, white socks and tennies. I said - that's how she would have dressed as a teenager in 1957 - and that car she's standing next to would have been a popular car in 1957. Ah, J said, nodding that now I get it head-nod. He said, "This is a cultural event - you are showing your children how you used to live."

Ah, yes. Although I've never quite heard of a car show referred to in that manner, J did indeed get it right - it's a .....cultural event.

June 22, 2008

Summer's here

What a joy to be enjoying the summer weather here on the peninsula jutting out into Lake Michigan - cooler near the lake. Warm enough for shorts, t-shirts and flip flops; but not hot enough to make one perspire. Breezy enough for flying kites at the beach and maybe enjoying a picnic lunch at the water's edge.

June 15, 2008


The bike is out of the shop and back home! What joy - now I can bike downtown to my favorite coffee shop and just ride for the pleasure of it. I don't know if it's just me, but there seems to be a lot more bikes on the roads these days.

Each Saturday I marvel at the number of bikes at the farmers' market and how the ingenious bikers stow their purchases. When the baskets or panniers are full, they turn to a back pack or a quickly purchased cloth market bag to sling over the handle bars. There's been plenty of rhubarb and tomato plants peeking out of baskets in the past couple weeks. I see that and I try to imagine what the rhubarb coffee cake or pie or cake with taste like. And how delicious those tomatoes will be.

June 4, 2008


Been noticing more bikes out and about lately. Not bikes on the bike trail along the lake– out for a spin so to speak. But bikes outfitted for hauling stuff, big basket on the front, rack on the back, and maybe even baskets or panniers on the back. Last week I was enjoying a spot of organic tea at a local coffee shop, just daydreaming, looking out the front window at nothing in particular. A bike goes by, outfitted for hauling. And, within minutes, another. And then, another. All in all 14 bikes went by while I watched from my window perch.

This all made me smile, yes, it did. Also made me anxious to get my bike back from the shop. The 1964 Raleigh Sport needed the spokes tightened, and the shop has lots of business from folks like me who are returning to biking. So I’m on the list, waiting my turn. I miss my bike.

Although I don’t currently own a cruiser, I love the feel of pedaling down the street on one. I had a cruiser as a county raised child. A bike I learned to ride on a cider driveway and tarred roads. Have had lots on cinders picked out of my knees. That bike was incredible, its big balloon tires carried me over field paths, through woods, and down to the local fishing and swimming holes. I could often be found pedaling down the country road with a stringer of blue gills and perch tied to the handle bars, gripping the fishing pole while the tackle box occupied the back rack. I was headed for home, knowing we’d be having fish for supper!

June 1, 2008

Farmers Market and Indie Musicians

I love our local farmers' market - well it's actually a farmers' and artisan's market. We had a great time in our section of the market - despite the windy conditions. If we weren't running to catch signs, we were running to catch other items that were blowing out of our stands. But all in all, it was a good day. We had good customer traffic, good sales (went home a lot lighter than we were upon arrival), and lots of folks stopped by to talk about raspberries, asparagus and looked at our rain barrels. And, of course, we got to smell all those good aromas coming from D Green's Outdoor Cafe.

Today was Becky's CD Release Party at Stumpjack. That gal sings like an angel. Nice crowd, good drinks and awesome music. Becky's Six Degree's partner, Bill, entertained us during Becky's break. He's an incredible musician. And then another guy played (sorry, didn't catch his name) - and Wow! another incredible musician. I love the Stump and all the indie musicians who share their talents with us. Can't wait for these indies to play at the farmers market!