Wonderful things to do in Antrim County in October

Posted on September 24, 2010


I am in receipt of a press release from the Martha Wagbo Farm and Education Center that makes me want to clear all my October weekends in order to do everything they have on offer. 

First up is the Bike Repair Workshop.  Rob the Firefighter bought me a bicycle and I love it, but I have never figured out how to use the gears effectively.  I pedal around the neighborhood, riding blissfully along on the flat bits and the downhill bits, and getting off the bicycle and walking up hills.  I know, I know, but that’s the way it is.  So I figure if I go over to Wagbo with the bicycle and beg for instruction from an adolescent I might make some progress.  Besides, there’s a potluck, and you know how I feel about Antrim County cooks. 

Then there’s the paddle on the Jordan River in search of Highbush Cranberries and Wild Ginger.  I can do that!  I can paddle the little blue kayak just fine.  And if I come home with wild treats, so much the better.  This photo is not real recent and not very good, and it’s on the Boyne River, but it is of me, and it is the little blue kayak!

The next weekend they’re going to make lemonade.  OK, not really.  Here’s the deal.  We are infested with the aggressively invasive autumn olive in these parts.  However, it turns out that autumn olive berries are tasty and nutritious.  So we are going to find ’em, identify ’em, gather ’em and eat ’em.  See, I think we can get lots of invasive stuff under control if we can just figure out a way to eat it.  Or get our dogs to eat it, in the case of Asian Carp.  This is right up my alley.

Finally, there will be a community apple pressing.  I am a big advocate of doing this stuff in a group.  There are lots of people to help me and they will keep me from actually injuring myself as I pursue the homely arts, along the lines of the apricot canning event.  And then I get to come home with sweet cider.  I love apple cider.  And I would not put it past me to set aside one jug for the purpose of making applejack.  (This is not part of Wagbo’s instruction, but I have a wonderful memory of the applejack made by Billy Brooks’s father a hundred years ago or so, and I would be willing to devote a lot of time to figuring out how to make something that delicious.) 

Now I just have to go get some chicken soup and a fresh box of tissues.  I’ve pretty much decided that my problem is not a bad cold but ferocious allergies.  Either way, chicken soup is bound to help, don’t you think?

OK, I went out and came back and as you have probably guessed that is not chicken soup. That is vegetable beef soup with barley from the cafe at Sonny’s. Michelle made it, and she says it will knock out whatever ails me, especially if I add just a dash of cayenne pepper. I took my allergy tablets and I’m going to drink tea and read more of Waiting for the Morning Train and use the tissues to best advantage.  And eat the Gala slices and the blue corn chips.  No, they are not spoiled.

Meanwhile, there is a nice intern over at Wagbo named Maria Wesserle, and you can ask her all about the October events if you call 231-536-0333. You can also read the entire press release on the Wagbo blog.