20 July 2011

A Birthday Thought

"Youth is not a period of life, it is a condition of the spirit, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, an intensity of emotion, a victory of courage over timidity, a taste for adventure over comfort. One becomes old when one abandons one's ideals."
- Douglas MacArthur 1945

16 July 2011


Down south, great fun for dads and sons:

15 July 2011

Bellevue Market at Party Source

After last week's blog post complaining about Findlay Market raising prices for the farmer shed, I had to visit the place several of the displaced farmers have moved to: the Bellevue Farmer's Market in the parking lot of The Party Source. First off let me say that whoever owns The Party Source is a genius. They have a prime location right across the river from Cincinnati, right at the exit to 471 and they have a well run store with a wide selection at good prices. Every time I visit, they seem extremely busy. Try going there on a holiday weekend, or almost any day in December, and the place is packed.

But the area is bland. The Eat at Joes across the street is ugly, heck everything across the street is ugly, the Justin Scott Memorial Hwy is wide and ugly, and the traffic pattern is becoming more and more congested and unpleasant. Is a place like this a good place for a farmer's market?

Well maybe. It didn't seem so busy, and the farmers all had lots of stuff left to sell at early afternoon. Talking with a couple of them revealed that they had much better sales at Findlay Market. The problem with Findlay they say is that the smaller farmer's could no longer afford $300 to setup at Findlay. Yes, the larger farmer can. For example, Backyard Orchards is setting up at both Findlay Market and Bellevue. He can do this because he has a unique product and lots of it, plus he has a son who can watch the second stand. But the smaller sellers, including Turner Farms and 3 or 4 others have moved to Bellevue. The produce diversity at Findlay Market has suffered as a result IMO.

There were some crafty types selling stuff here too, but the produce selection was pretty good. It just didn't seem like the farmers had enough shoppers.

overview of setup

Ugly road

apples and peaches

string beans and garlic measurer at Turner Farm stand


13 July 2011

Tree of Life

Can't wait to see this.

12 July 2011

Highway Widening

Widening work on I75 south of Mitchell is just begining

10 July 2011

Pennies on the Track

Recreating my childhood with my son 
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08 July 2011

Boys All Cry

07 July 2011

My Childhood is Not My Son's

I saw in the paper today that the festival in Pamplona is beginning this week and that they will be running bulls through the street. And if your like me, when you hear the word "Pamplona", you immediately get a picture of Ernest Hemingway in your head. It’s strange how certain words have immediate connection to vivid images.

For example, this week we got our first watermelon. And as I take my first bite of watermelon, I see my childhood friends (two boys, who in this post will remain unnamed). It seems like my brother and I had watermelon at their house all the time in the summer.

An image comes to my mind of us 4 boys, all sitting just outside their front door in the bare dirt where a bush once lived. (This is the same dirt in which we found their frozen cat one February, and the same planter in which we once mutilated a catfish as we tried to de-bone it.) In my mind, we are sitting in the hot shade, in wet cut-offs, with watermelon juice on our chins and our bare feet in the dust of the barren planter. We have seed spitting contests, then spit them at each other, then return, running and jumping back into their rusting round pool.

I was lucky to have an absolutely beautiful childhood. My friends and I had tons of free play time away from any adults. We did everything a kid could want. We were allowed to wander and to experiment and to sometimes get seriously hurt. But it was wonderful, and those memories sustain me to this day.

And as I’ve written before, I sometimes worry that my children are not allowed the same free time. I never did much in the way of organized sports, partly because it would have cut into my freedom. I certainly didn’t relish going to soccer or baseball. In fact I think it was more like dread. Soccer was OK, but I hated running laps or standing at the plate for fast pitch baseball. My son on the other hand truly enjoys his sports. He loves a competitive sport and a demanding coach. Is this is because he does not have the freedom I once had?

My wife and I try to give him as much freedom as a 10 year old can have. No doubt, he has seen much more than I did at his age. He knows how to navigate the city, knows an extremely wide variety of people, and he likes to help me build and repair things.

In the summer, he and his sister live at the swimming pool. They go early in the morning for swim team, and sometime stay until evening. They don’t just swim. They play capture the flag and kick the soccer ball. They eat there and meet new friends there. They do much of what I did, except less dunking and throwing of rocks ... and yes their watermelon is seedless.

So yes, I worry about my son, but I also need to recognize he is not me. He is a different personality, and he is living his own childhood, not mine. And if I step back an look at him growing into a young man... I think he's turning out alright.

03 July 2011

Admit It You Screwed Up Now Fix It

Dear Findlay Market Managemment;

You have screwed up. You raised fees and many of your farmers have left and are now selling other places. I can think of at least 6 farmers that are not at the market this year.

A person should be able to go to your market at 1-2pm on a Saturday in July and find a farmer who has tomatoes, cucumbers and berries. But yesterday, they were all gone or sold out. Where is our apple guy? Instead you have new vendors selling wildflowers, socks and banana bread. Come on.

Admit it. You goofed. Time to backtrack and get those farmers back.