Farmers markets are popping up all across the country as Americans rediscover the joys of eating farm-fresh food.
A brand new farmers market begins this week in Finland. The new market will offer a variety of fresh, seasonal produce, eggs, wild jams, homemade baked goods and maple syrup. It makes my stomach growl just thinking about it.
The Finland farmers market will be held every Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Clair Nelson Community Center on the Cramer Road in Finland, from now through the end of September.
If you would like to be a vendor at the market, you can purchase booth space for the season or for an individual day. To reserve a spot, or for more information, contact Marc Smith at 353-7536. As always, you can contact WTIP for more information.
The Fourth of July should be big this year as it falls on a Friday, which is the ideal day for a weekend of patriotic celebration. Tofte will be the center of the universe again this Fourth of July with a full slate of fun for everyone.
The day will begin with the umpteenth annual Tofte Trek. This year’s footrace will be epically muddy, so it’s not to be missed. Races begin at 9 a.m. You can register at www.sugarbushtrail.org or you can arrive early and register on site.
The main festivities are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tofte Town Hall, right by the post office in Tofte. All day there will be lots of good food, a beer garden, an arts and crafts show and minnow races. The parade will start at 2 p.m. and all are encouraged to participate - just line up at the west end of Tofte Park Road beginning at 1:30.
Cook County's Most Wanted, the hottest band in the land, will be providing live music. In addition, for the first time, the Cook County Vikings Band will make a special appearance at noon and will participate in the parade.
The daytime festivities wind up with a delicious spaghetti dinner at Zoar Lutheran Church served from 5 until 7 p.m.
If you’re like me, you’ll catch a quick nap so you can be rested and alert for the always-popular fireworks show over the big lake starting at 10 p.m.
I’ve been interested in the recent news about the declining maintenance of Forest Service roads due to budget constraints. As a result, the Forest Service is planning to close the old iron bridge across the Temperance River on the 600 Road just west of the Sawbill Trail.
I can’t imagine that this will actually happen, as the bridge is a vital link in the popular North Shore Snowmobile Trail. If the bridge were closed, it would tempt snowmobilers to attempt crossing the river on the ice, which would be an unacceptable safety risk. I know the bridge is old, but I can’t imagine that it will collapse any time soon under the weight of a few snowmobiles.
In my opinion, we are seeing the effect of the popular political rhetoric of the last couple of decades that called for no new taxes. Nobody wants to pay unnecessary taxes, but taxes do tremendous good when they are applied to construction and maintenance of community infrastructure like roads and bridges. The payback in terms of jobs created and economic activity supported makes those tax dollars the best deal going.
It’s common to hear people saying that the mosquitoes are worse this year than they have ever been in previous history. It may well be true, but at my advanced age I’ve started to notice that every year seems to be the worst year for biting insects in history. This perennial observation my say more about the nature of human memory than it does about variation in insect population.
That said, the bugs have been truly bad in the last couple of weeks. Here at Sawbill, the sales on headnets, bug shirts and repellent have been booming.
Nobody likes applying insect repellent, but if you are planning any outdoor activity, you will need it, unless you plan to swath yourself in netting. A good tip for DEET-based repellents is to use them thoroughly, but sparingly. If you put a couple of drops in your palms, then rub it over every square millimeter of exposed skin, then wash your hands, you won’t even know that you have it on, but the bugs will not bite.
Years ago, I asked a Grand Portage elder, who had been born before 1900, how he coped with mosquitoes and black flies before the advent of chemical repellents. Without any irony he replied, “You just have to learn to not let them bother you.”
There is wisdom in that statement, but I also notice in historical photo that people in that era have their pants tucked in their socks, their sleeves cinched tight around their wrists, clothes draped around their necks and they are often smoking pipes or standing in the smoke from a smudge fire.
Whatever your strategy is, don’t let the bugs keep you out of the woods and take heart that the dragonflies are out in full force. Soon, the worst bug year in history will be a fading memory – at least until next year.