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Lavelle: Summertime on the farm

Laura Lavelle
Lake of the Pines
Shoppers stroll through the Lake of the Pines Farmer’s Market located near the Marina parking lot.
Submitted photo |

According to my mother, summertime in the rural farm communities of Arkansas during the early 1940s was different.

Ice cream was enjoyed only once per year, on the Fourth of July. Since there was no refrigeration, her father would drive his truck into town and bring back a big block of ice.

The family would take turns rotating and shaking a mixture of cream, sugar, and vanilla until it would freeze over its bed of ice.

The produce Mom ate on the farm was fresh. Most summer days were spent working long hours in the fields harvesting beans and strawberries, or picking tomatoes to send to the cannery.

The one break in the season was a two-week period when the tomatoes were still ripening.

The children were allowed play time while my grandfather followed bees into the woods to find honey.

The pollen-coated honeycomb stored honey which became solid in the winter, and was eaten, comb and all, as a treat.

Decoration Days were similar to Memorial Day, and took place at the Hazel Valley churches on about five or six different Sundays during the summer.

The community potlucks rotated between the churches of Black Oak, Greasy Creek, Sunset and others.

The women would bring roses and chrysanthemums made from brightly-colored crepe paper to the cemetery.

They would stick the baling wire stems into the ground near the graves of loved ones, and then spend the day filing by long wooden tables and sampling the pies, salads, and sandwiches of their neighbors and trading stories.

Today, most stories are shared via Facebook, and ice cream loses its value by being stored in the freezer year-round.

If you have eaten more than your share of ice cream this summer, you may wish to join in an important summer community event and burn a few calories at the same time.

The sixth annual Bear River Fun Run will take place 8 a.m. Saturday. This is a 5K Run or Walk event which will benefit both the Higgins Fire Department and the South Nevada County Chamber’s Scholarship Fund for Forest Lake and Bear River high schools.

This run is part of the Gold Country Grand Prix Series which is brought to you by the Sierra Trailblazers Running Club.

To download a registration form, visit http://www.sncchamber.org. Contact LeeAnn Halleib for more information at 530-308-6959 or email leeann.halleib@suddenlink.com.

Another way to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle is by eating fresh produce from the Lake of the Pines Farmer’s Market located near the Marina parking lot. This event takes place 5-7:30 p.m. Tuesday evenings, now through Sept. 30. Several local growers are bringing fresh produce to the community. Last week, Nevada County grower Jardin del Rio was selling fresh tree fruit, tomatoes, and other healthy treats. Samples of Satsuma nectarines and other fruits and vegetables were available for public tasting. Food vendors like Sweeney’s Weenies are on site to provide a quick meal. Craft booths are also present at the market. LOP residents and their sponsored guests are welcome to attend.

Laura Lavelle’s column is for southern Nevada County residents to share thoughts and information. Contact her at lavelle@cebridge.net.

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