The South Schuylkill Garden Club is holding their annual Plant Sale this Saturday, May 21 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 46 Avenue C, Schuylkill Haven (across form the school complex). There is parking behind the Medical Arts Building. All plants are donated by club members (so you know they'll be just perfect for our growing zone). There is definitely a little bit of everything (mostly perennials): tomatoes, peppers, native plants, daylilies, herbs, hostas, sedum, shrubs, small trees, cannas, gladiolas and dahlias (my favorites!). Prices start at $1.00
Knowledgeable gardeners, Master Gardeners, members of the Monarch Butterfly Society and members of the Daylily Society will al be there to answer questions and give advice. The club accepts checks and cash but NO credit cards.
Also, if you'll be bringing along a non-gardener -- there will be food to purchase. Whoever isn't browsing the plant offerings can purchase hot dogs, BBQ, coffee and homemade baked goods.
If you want to go a little further afield looking for additions to your garden drive to Hawk Mountain where they'll be holding their Spring Native Plant Sale on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 22 from noon to 4 p.m. There will be about 300 species of natives: trees, shrubs, wildflowers, vines, ferns and ground covers. Gardeners will be available to help you make the right selections for your garden and help you transport the plants to your vehicle. There will also be lectures and live raptor programs at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on both days.
When I was growing up, kielbasi was a "holiday food". Easter dinner, Christmas breakfast...I don't remember it making an appearance at that all-American holiday: Thanksgiving. When I married and the kielbasi fairy (my parents) started leaving kielbasi in my freezer I discovered there's a lot more to do with kielbasi than use it as a substitute for bacon at a holiday breakfast. Summers brought kielbasi cooked on the grill to make kielbasi sandwiches and fall brought pasta topped with kielbasi fried up with fresh spinach, onions, garlic and apples with a generous dose of cinnamon. Sounds weird but...YUM!
If you need proof that kielbasi isn't just for holidays anymore stop by the annual Kielbasi Festival in Shenandoah this Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The three biggees will be there with samples: Kowalonek's , Capital Foods and Lucky's Deli, not to mention all the amateur kielbasi makers who will be vying to win the trophy for the best kielbasi. And what do you think of when you hear the word kielbasi? OK, horseradish. But after that...that's right, pierogies. Mrs. T's will of course be supporting this hometown festival by bringing their pierogies.
When you're done filling your belly you can listen to some polka music and enjoy some arts and crafts vendors, including ethnic crafts (Matruska dolls are my favorite). There will be games and activities for the kids and tours of the Greater Shenandoah Historical Society and the Schuylkill County Historical Fire Society Museum.
Not a kielbasi fan...I know, I'm as shocked as you. But if not, why not try the Anthracite Heritage Festival? It starts on Friday, May 27 with a parade in Shamokin. The parade will form on Water Street at 5 p.m. and start at 6 p.m. going down Independence and Market Streets. The theme is "Local History" and will be offering prizes for most decorative/creative, best dressed/costumes and best of show. Call 570-648-9500 for more information or register at the first National Bank of Shamokin, 10 S. Market Street.
On Saturday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. there will be all sorts of fun. Performers will be on the stage throughout the day: musicians, drummers, even belly dancers! There will be cemetery tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ($10) as well as local church tours. If the tours tires you out you can rest your feet with a train ride -- 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ($10), a horse and carriage ride ($5 for adults/$3 for children) or a trolley ride ($5 for adults/$3 for children). On the street you can enjoy artists at work, a butterfly habitat, pony rides, old movies of Shamokin, model railroad displays, food vendors, street entertainers and more. Quite a day packed with fun!
I'm not a wine expert. So I never feel comfortable buying a bottle, especially from a winery I'm not familiar with, if I haven't tried it before. Wine festivals are made for folks like me who are reluctant to try new wines. It gives you a chance to sample new wines and decide what you like. Not to mention meet fellow wine lovers, enjoy good music, food and maybe win a door prize. If you're in the mood for a wine festival there are three events happening in the upcoming weeks.
Appalachian Wine Festival
At the Schuylkill County Fairgrounds from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Samplers must be 21 year or older. Tickets are $20 at the gate or $15 in advance at t102.com (click on wine festival banner). You can even win tickets on T-102. There will also be food and craft vendors. You may bring bottles water and snacks. At least 11 local wineries will be in attendance.
Fieldwood Spring Festival
At Fieldwood Winery, Schuylkill Haven from noon to 5 p.m.
Bring a chair and snacks. Enjoy the music of Crossroads Duo.
Memorial Day Weekend
At Galen Glen Winery from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday.
Includes walking tours of the winery (wear walking shoes, some of the tour is over rocky areas) at 1 p.m. and wine slushies.
There are so many aspects about our county that we know little about...for instance, the airport. After all, how often have you used the airport? If you want a fun and unsual afternoon stop by the Schuylkill County Airport next Friday, May 20 for a tour of the airport (and lunch) that includes MedEvac, military uses, flight school and more. The day costs $15 per person and begins at 10:30 a.m. If you're feeling especially adventurous you can book a Schuylkill County Air Tour at $100 for three passengers.
As the mother of a drummer (it helps that I'm slightly hard of hearing) I know that Spring is concert season. I enjoyed Night at Bald Mountain last month, Beethoven two weeks ago and Spring Concert (he won't tell me what the pieces are..it's a surprise!) this Sunday. If you're in the mood for a Spring Concert there are two coming up:
Ready to step out after too many days of rain showers and overcast days? There are plenty of fascinating hikes happening this month. I'm looking forward the Orchid Adventure! A forest near our house has ladyslippers (my kids always called them duck flowers because they look a bit like a duck and can even float in water) but I'd love to see some other varieties. Which one appeals to you?
Sunday, May 15
Orchid Adventure -- Meet at the old Schoolhouse Auction on Route 924 at 1 p.m. for this 3 mile hike rated easy. Tom Pesock will lead this hike that will include ladyslippers and intriguing stones.
Wednesday, May 18
Spirit of the Tuscarora Trail -- Meet at the upper beach parking lot of Tuscarora State Park, near the trailhead at 10:30 a.m.. This 4.5 mile hike is rated moderate and will travel through several habitats, including a cove. Bring a lunch and, if he's leashed and friendly to dogs and people, your canine hiking pal.
Saturday, May 21
Bird Walk -- Meet at the Tuscarora State Park visitor's center at 7:30 a.m. Led by bird enthusiast David Kruel, this hike is all about identifying birds by sight, song, habitat and behavior. So bring your binoculars and your life list. No pets (dogs and birds just don't mix).
SCEETR Sojourn -- Porcupine Pat will be leading this 3 mile hike rated moderate. Meet at the New Philadelphia Post Office along Route 209 for a visit to a watershed improvement project led by Schuylkill Headwaters and some back country coal roads. If you're wondering, SCEETR stands for Silver Creek Environmental Education Trail Recreation.
Saturday, May 28
Silver Creek Fire Tower Hike -- Meet in the Locust Lake State Park parking lot at 10:30 a.m. for this 8.5 mile hike rated challenging. The hike will be led by naturalist Robin Tracey through turkey and grouse habitats to a historic fire tower. Dogs (leashed and friendly) are welcome.
In the United States, 1 in 5 people are living with mental illness. Learn more about Mental Illness Issues on Wednesday, May 11 at the Wall Auditorium, Schuylkill Medical Center, 700 East Norwegian Street, Pottsville at 6 p..m. This free program will be presented by Jody Mismer, Program Director of Behavioral Health Services.
An even more common health issue is skin cancer. Each year 3.3 Americans are diagnosed with one or more skin cancers. Receive information and learn more about your skin at the Free Skin Cancer Screening at the Schuylkill Medical Center, Outpatient Surgery Center, 200 Schuylkill Medical Plaza, Pottsville on Saturday, May 14 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. No registration is needed for this free program and screenings will be done by Advanced Dermatology Associates, LTD.
Have you done your grocery shopping for the week yet? Some people don't have the option of buying whatever strikes their fancy as many of us do. Why not help out those who are having trouble by picking up a few extra things this week and participating in the 2016 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 14. This massive food drive is organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers and the U.S. Post Office. Non-perishable food items can be left in a bag next to your mailbox and your letter carrier will pick it up when he drops off your mail. Last year the drive collected 71 million pounds of food.
Sometimes it's tough finding fun new things to do with your kids that don't break the bank -- even a matinee movie can empty your wallet pretty quickly. So I was thrilled when my girls were little to discover the Bear Creek Festival. On Sunday, May 15 the 15th annual Bear Creek Festival will be held at the Schuylkill County Fairgrounds. This event, organized by the Schuylkill Conservation District, is free, free, free. There's fishing, walks in the woods, birdhouse making, flowerpot painting, live animal programs, music and plenty to learn. The program is from noon to 4 p.m. and I reccomend it to everyone! It's great fun and shouldn't be missed by anyone with young children.
If you're dying to get outdoors without the kids, consider the Photo Safari on Tuesday, May 17 at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park. This is a fun event for shutterbugs to capture nature and get some tips from fellow photographers and Bob Evanchalk, who knows Sweet Arrow Lake like the back of his hand. The event begins at 6 p.m. and you'll need your digital camera, download cable and an empty card. For teens and adults this event goes on rain or shine. They also prefer preregistration so call 570-391-6400.
Have fun celebrating the mothers in your life this weekend!