My son has become a smoothie fanatic. Not a flaxseed oil, protein powder, chia seeds type smoothie. His are more basic: half a frozen banana, 1 cup of orange juice, 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of blueberries. Thanks to the frozen banana (and a frozen glass if you remember to store one in the freezer) they cool you down and are healthier than ice cream.
He's excited because it's almost July and that means blueberries! Not from our garden (we went that route but the geese seem to get more berries than we do) but from the Kiwanis. Much as I like to picture those dignified, community leaders out picking berries in the "Kiwanis blueberry patch" they actually import their blueberries from New Jersey for their annual sale. They are so fresh! Yes, the Kiwanis are selling blueberries (delivery is July 8) for $31 for a 10 lb. box. This is a HUGE number of blueberries but thankfully they freeze well. They even give you a list of blueberry recipes! Profits go to support local charities and scholarship funds. You only have until July 3 to place your order. Contact the Blueberry Chairman, Henry Beaver at 570-985-7262 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless you have central air, you might have noticed that evenings are much comfortable outdoors than indoors. Yesterday I escaped to a peaceful (and not as hot) chair on the back porch to read around 6 pm. Consider two outdoors concerts this week: tonight at Providence Place, 2200 First Avenue, Pottsville at 7 pm. They're featuring M&J Band and strawberry sundaes. Then Thursday the Tamaqua Railroad Station is featuring Magic Stew at 6:30 pm. As always with outdoor performances, bring your own chair or blanket.
Tonight the Schuylkill County Historical Society, 305 N. Centre Street, Pottsville is hosting an education event at 6:30 pm. Dave Thomas will be speaking about Civil War injuries and medical treatment. I have a feeling this event will make us very grateful for the advances in medical treatment!
I love Romaine lettuce but was not loving the seemingly every week notices about Romaine lettuce recalls. In fact, I stopped buying it all together. But I missed my Romaine! So this year, for the first time, I added Romaine lettuce to my garden. Can I just say the Romaine is apparently the zucchini of the lettuces. I have more than I know what to do with! And I am loving it! There is nothing better than a vegetable that goes from the plant to the plate in 30 minutes. Next up is green beans.
If you don't have a backyard veggie garden you can still enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of the season by visiting your local farmers market. I highly recommend it. You may also find flowers, plants, herbs baked goods, homemade soaps, crafts and music. You never can tell at a farmers market. Here are a few in our area:
Frackville Farmers Market
Lehigh & Frack Streets
Thursday at 2 pm
June to September
Schuylkill Haven Farmers Market
West Main Street parking lot
Thursdays from 3 pm to 6 pm
June to September
Shenandoah Farmers Market
South Main Street (near the Bolich & Burke Building)
Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 am to noon
June to November
Hometown Farmers Market
125 Mahanoy Avenue, Tamaqua
Wednesdays from 8 am to 8 pm
Pottsville Farmers Market
Arch Street parking lot
Saturday at 9 am to 1 pm (every other Saturday)
June 29 to September 28
Minersville Farm Stand
Sunbury Street (Fuel Up parking lot)
Friday and Saturday from 9 am
June through September
Let us know if your town has a farmers market and we'll add it to the list. And if you're wishing you had your own veggie garden it's never too late. Well, it is for lots of things but...you could still buy a tomato plant or some herbs and give it a shot. You can also take advantage of our second growing season by planting in late July or early August. A few of the things you can plant to harvest in September or October are:
Happy First Day of Summer! I don't know what you have planned but I'm going to be doing some weeding in my veggie garden. This rain (grrr!) has really inspired the weeds. But that doesn't mean I won't squeeze in some Welcome Summer fun.
If you happen to be in the Pottsville area today you can get a special treat. Twisted Sisters -- the ice cream parlor from Orwigsburg will be visiting the Yuengling Brewery with their adorable "on the road" ice cream cart. So if you're in an ice cream mood between 11 am and 3 pm stop by the brewery.
Music lovers can head to Hamburg this Saturday for the Hamburg Hoopla from noon until dusk. Some of the musicians scheduled to play are
Don't miss the updates to June hikes here.
Even for those still working, the "summer vacation" attitude of the school kids seems contagious. We're more relaxed, more fun and at times...more careless. There are a few fun events happening in the area to give us a few reminders about safety. First up is today's Safety Night in the lower level of Martz Hall, Pottsville (raindate is Tuesday) from 6 pm to 8 pm. There will lots of big equipment for the kids, opportunities to go through a house fire simulation, have your finger prints taken and more.
In Hancock Street Park in McAdoo there will be a Bike Rodeo at 10 am on Saturday, June 15. Hosted by the McAdoo and Kline Township police departments, this will give kids plenty of bike riding fun but they are asked to bring protective gear including helmets. You can register at both township buildings.
There will also be a free Fall Prevention Program for people ages 50 and older at Bethesda Evangelical Congregational Church, Schuylkill Haven. The series will be presented on Wednesdays from 9 am to 11 am from July 3 through August 21. Registration is required by next Wednesday, June 26 at 570-624-3017.
Finally, today is the deadline to register for the Narcan Program being held at Groody's Catering Hall, 350 E. Centre Street, Ashland on Thursday, June 20 from 6 pm t 8 pm. You can register at 570-628-6990 or www.coginc.org
Now, let's lighten things up with a list of this week's free concerts! Bring your own chair!
Tuesday: Third Brigade Band at Joulwan PArk at 7 pm. Raindate: Thursday.
Wednesday: Cressona Band at Genesis Healthcare Orwigsburg Center at 7 pm.
Thursday: Six to Midnight at Tamaqua Railroad Station at 6:30 pm.
What do you do when the work day is done? Garden? Cook? Paint? Snap photos? Crochet? Carve wood? Chances are, if you have a creative hobby I have a contest for you. The Schuylkill County Fair is fast approaching (July 29 - August 3) and along with barns full of animals, live music, amusement rides and delicious food there will be plenty of contests for everyone. If you'd like to learn more about the hundreds of contests you can enter at the Schuylkill County Fair check out the Fair Premium Book here.
Don't forget that you have until June 30 to fill out the super short survey about Schuylkill County and have a chance to win a $200 Visa gift card. Take five minutes today to fill out the survey here.
The Majestic Theater has not gone on summer vacation! There are plenty of things happening all summer long. This month starts with that favorite with many audiences: Spamalot. This quirky show based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail will be performed at 6:30 pm on June 14, 15, 21 and 22 This is adult humor -- it is recommended for ages 12 and up. Tickets are $20 and can be ordered online here.
Another event at the Majestic is quite the mystery to me. Comedy Hypnosis with Dylan Daubenspeck. I want to attend just to figure out what this show will include. The show is June 29 at 7 pm and is another show skewed to adults. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
If you want to spend your fun time outdoors why not come to a new event...Pottsville Cars & Coffee. There will be a mini car show in the area outside the Pressed Coffee Shop and Republican Herald office on Mahantongo Street on Saturday, June 15 from 9 am to noon. So bring your car, motorcycle or other vehicle (to participate register here ) or just show up with your favorite car enthusiast to check out the cars. This is a free event for car owners and car enthusiasts.
This weekend I visited the national cemetery at Indiantown Gap. As always, the grounds offer an impressive from the moment you arrive. The road leading into the cemetery is lined with flags - both United States flags and the state flags. Few things arouse your patriotism like the silence of a cemetery filled with those who served our country while flags flutter in the breeze.
This week we will be celebrating Flag Day so, if you won't be visiting Indiantown Gap anytime soon you can contemplate the meaning of our flag at a local ceremony. On Wednesday there will be a Flag Day Ceremony and Concert at Admiral Boone Park, Third Street, St. Clair at 6:45 pm. In case of rain the event will be moved to the Elementary/Middle School, 227 Mill Street. Another Program and concert will be held on Friday at Mahanoy City Elks Lodge 695 at 6 pm. Both events are free and open to the public.
There will be another event that will be awe-inspiring in a different way this week -- a star gazing party at Locust Lake State Park amphitheater on Saturday, June 15. The Hazleton Area Astronomical Society will be giving a presentation at 8 pm at the amphitheater followed by a viewing at the south boat launch parking area with the help of a few telescopes. What an amazing opportunity! Shine only.