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Elizabethtown 8-20-11

— The E-town Farmer’s Market is finally filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. Many folks wondered if their gardens would ever grow after a long wet spring. Farmers were planting and some found their seeds rotted in the ground. The hot weather and sunshine of the past month has finally given the plants a chance to catch up.

The Community Garden behind the Hale House is filled with tomatoes and squash, some of which are ready for picking. In my own garden, I’ve given up trying to grow spinach. Maybe its global warming, but cool weather crops that should thrive, can’t take 90-plus degree heat.

In many gardens zucchinis seem to grow overnight. It won’t be long before homeless squash, string beans and cucumbers appear on the front porch of the New Russia Post Office. Somehow these fresh veggies always find a good home.

Speaking of New Russia, the last remnant of commerce in this historic hamlet is on the chopping block. Despite loyal patrons and summer folks from the Underwood Club, the New Russia post office has not been able to sell enough stamps to save it from the USPS axe. It may be closed this fall. If that happens, hoards of New Russians will drive to E-town, where there will be stiff competition for parking spaces at the Post Office.

Mid August also means blackberry-picking season. Many folks have favorite picking sites, whose location is only shared with blood relatives. But the location of last year’s bumper crop may have disappeared. Trees grow tall and shade out the sun; so last year’s berry patch may now be filled with saplings. The best black berry spots are along road edges that are not mowed and in clearings made by loggers a few years after the trees have been harvested.

If berry picking is not for you, stop by the Elizabethtown Thrift Shop. It is now open six days a week (but never on Sunday). Donation day is Saturday, Aug. 20, at the UCC Parish Hall from 10 to 11 a.m.

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