I just happened to be in Woodland, CA, around the 4th of July, and was delighted to see that they would be having a bike parade to celebrate. I was able to attend the celebration afterward, and what I found was a charming, small-town charm. The parade seemed to be especially cherished by the children in town, many of them dressing up in costume and decorating their bikes in striking patriotic colors. The parents also got into the spirit with dress and décor.
The celebration was quaint, with a ragtime band playing in a gazebo, game areas for kids, and some food concessions. I could see that this was a great way for townsfolk to come together and connect with each other. I was happy to see that the great spirit of township is alive and well in America.
Photos by Pandora Patterson
Bessemer is a community located in the southwest corner of the Michigan Upper Peninsula (U.P.). Bessemer is a large city (population as of 2012 was estimated to be 1,855) compared to some of the more rural communities in the U.P. In spite their small number, the residents of Bessemer have large, patriotic hearts. Their 4th of July celebrations are a week-long “go big or go home” party, which has made the “Bessemer Blast” the Upper Midwest’s greatest 4th of July celebration.
They begin by honoring the men and women who have served in the military (past, present, and future) beginning on Monday, June 27th at 7pm CT, with the Tree of Honor lighting ceremony in Pocket Park. Also starting that day is the 50/50 raffle, poker run, selfie challenge, and the Bessemer Geocache Dash, which will run through the week.
On Tuesday, June 28th, there will be hamburgers and Freedom Fries at the Bessemer VFW, a Fat Tire Bike Tour, and Bingo at the City Hall.
America’s Bombshell Duo, Letters From Home, a ‘40s style singing, tap dancing, comedic team, performs at the City Hall Auditorium on Wednesday, June 29th. There will also be events held at local businesses, and you can watch Marty’s Goldenaires practice. The Goldenaires are a nostalgic drum and bugle corps that was established in 1950 that now includes men between the ages of 16 and 79. They play a selection of swing, rock, and patriotic music that will have you dancing on the street!
If you are still in a dancing mood on Thursday, you can join in the fun of the VFW Polka Dance with Hank Thunander. The American Legion Post #27 will be hosting a spaghetti dinner, and there will be a DJ on the street keeping everyone’s toes tapping through the night.
Fridays in the U.P. aren’t complete without a fish fry, and there will be several businesses and restaurants in Bessemer that will be tempting your taste buds on the 1st. Helicopter rides will be offered for much of the day, and there will be bingo at the Bessemer City Hall Auditorium to benefit the DOVE domestic violence program.
On Saturday, July 2nd there is a full day of fun events that start with the 28th Annual Hometown Run/Walk and the 7th Annual Tot Trot. Join in the Mud Runs or the 5th Annual Water Balloon Toss to stay cool in the moderate summer weather of the U.P.
Worship in the Bluff Valley Park with the Sharon Lutheran Church on Sunday morning, followed by a pancake breakfast hosted by the Knights of Columbus, or attend the silent auction and bake sale with the Daughters of Isabella Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle #746. It will be another day filled with ongoing events, music, fun, and food, but you won’t want to miss the reciting of the Declaration of Independence and a walk through historical downtown Bessemer.
Wake up on Monday, July 4th with Poncho’s memorial salute at Massie Field with the Matonich family. There will be several parades during the day, beginning with the Children’s Parade. Later, you can enjoy the Bessemer High School Band and a Memory Lane Car Cruise, followed by Bessemer’s Giant 4th of July parade. Marty’s Goldenaires will be performing, and the week-long celebrations close with a fireworks display by Thunder on the Mountains.
(Sources: http://cityofbessemer.org/, http://bessemer4th.com/, http://lettersfromhomesingers.com/index.html, http://martysgoldenaires.squarespace.com/)
Dave Freed, the Tomato Guy, is a successful self-made experimenter who is known for growing great tomatoes. In his presentations below, he shares his wealth of knowledge and applied skills to show you what works for him, and assists you in caring for your tomato plant.
- Self-Watering Containers: A foolproof way to grow great tomatoes as a well as most garden veggies in containers.
- Choosing which plants to grow: Heirlooms, Hybrids, Beefsteaks, Cherry, Determinate, Indeterminate. Grafted tomatoes. How about GMO? Not for us.
- Sunshine: How much sunshine is enough?
- Soil: What are great organic soils for containers, and how to improve your existing backyard and raised bed soil to easily grow and produce great tomatoes as well as other veggies… tested and compared for the best results.
- Plant seeds or live plants and/or work with volunteer plants.
- Watering: A mature tomato plant can use more than two gallons a day. Learn basic and advanced watering techniques for containers, backyard soil, and raised beds.
- Planting time: when? How about growing tomatoes in winter?
- Temperatures: Temperature and tomato production how-to.
- Mulching: What is it, and what is the importance? When to use it?
- Pollination Needs: How to do and substantially improve tomato production.
- Pruning: Basic pruning: when? Advanced pruning for maximum tomato production.
- Fertilizers: Organic and regular. Which to use? How to make a Compost Tea/Manure Tea?
- Pests and Disease: What to do?
To schedule an “Easily Growing Great Tomatoes” and other garden veggies presentation, go to Dave's Facebook page.
Editing by Lisa Charles, MPH
Starting next Monday, April 18, the UCLA community and the general public will celebrate Earth Week by participating in UCLA’s 3rd Annual Green Screens Film Festival. During this four-day film festival, four movies about pressing environmental and sustainability issues will be showcased. The films will start at 7:30 pm each night, and a Q&A session will follow each screening. There will also be nightly giveaways and raffle prizes.
FREE for everyone
UCLA James Bridges Theatre, 235 Charles E Young Dr N, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Monday, April 18: Doors open at 7 pm for a gala with food and a photo booth; screening of “Last Call at the Oasis” begins at 7:30 pm
Tuesday, April 19: Screening of “The True Cost” begins at 7:30 pm
Thursday, April 21: Screening of “Can You Dig This” begins at 7:30 pm
Friday, April 22: Screening of “Dive” begins at 7:30 pm
January 1st marks the anniversary of the official launch of the Greener Good blog. We have been posting one blog a day for a year, and have enjoyed every minute of it. We love to show our ideas about sustainability for the greater good.
Greener Good is a project of The Center For A Sustainable Today. The Center is a nonprofit 501(3)(c) organization, and has several projects that promote sustainable living practices.
Our content focuses on simple positive actions that make our communities more livable. We appreciate you visiting Greener Good and becoming a part of the greener community by putting some of our ideas into practice. If you enjoy our content, then please LIKE our Facebook page.
Happy New Year to you and Happy Anniversary to Greener Good!
One of my favorite culinary writers came to town on a book tour. Ruth Reichl, author of the new book My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, a personal narrative cookbook, inspired me in powerful ways with her talk that day, and certainly with My Kitchen Year.
The reverent magazine Gourmet—where Reichl had been editor-in-chief of for 10 years—shut down suddenly in the fall of 2009. I can’t help but wonder if Reichl had pictured herself retiring at the magazine. Either way, one of the themes of her book is change, and the recipes change through the seasons.
Almost six months after the demise of Gourmet, Reichl gathered for a reunion with her former colleagues. All were moving on in their own ways. Some had found jobs, and some, like Reichl, had not. In her post-Gourmet life, Reichl found a happiness in the kitchen that anchored her. It informed what she would do next. At the reunion, the magazine’s former travel editor reminded Reichl of a wish she had talked about incessantly while the two worked together at the magazine: to coax people back into the kitchen.
At her book talk, Reichl spoke of her social observation that people can get intimidated by cooking because of a fear of making mistakes. When dining out, we’re presented with food that has been cooked with trained, tried-and-true methods. It’s easy to grow accustomed to this if you have the means. Additionally, if you care about sustainability, but are taking shortcuts, it’s easy to get comfortable with eating healthy, packaged, pre-prepared food.
I certainly appreciate the difference between heating up healthy, packaged, pre-prepared food, dining out, and cooking myself. And the farther away from home the meal is made, the less I know about its waste streams, including energy, water, transport, and other resources. This is true no matter how much "green" is on the packaging, no matter how many times “natural” is printed on the box, no matter how many times “organic” is listed in the ingredients.
Reichl’s words are an invitation to comfort yourself and others, to create, to experiment, to use seasonal produce, and to waste not. Indeed, cooking our own meals is more sustainable.
This fall, Reichl has coaxed me back into the kitchen. I’m taking meals I enjoyed as a child and giving them my own twist. And I intend to bake marvelous buttermilk buckwheat biscuits. I ordered one recently (see top photo) at Coquine—a special place where ingredients are local, seasonal and sustainable—and where Ruth Reichl dined the night before her book talk.