Remember when it was time to buy notebooks and pens and new shoes to get kids ready for school? Could it be that the school year has ended already and summer officially arrives on Monday?
Well, Monday is indeed the first day of summer, and the weather is finally catching up with the calendar. While it’s been a little cooler than we’re used to and the garden may be a bit more yellow than we like, it’s clearly summer. Soon we’ll be eating fresh cucumbers and salad fixings.
So we shift gears, and send the kids off to summer enrichment classes offered by local school districts or town recreation programs, and make plans to visit local farm stands and historic sites.
The Robert Frost Farm in Derry is one example of a gem close at hand. If you’ve never taken a tour of the famed New England poet’s farmhouse, make this the year to do so. And if you want to take a peaceful walk through the orchard where Frost spent time, that’s a free offering of the Farm as well.
The Rail Trails are calling as well, and are easy ways to get out into the woods via accessible walking paths. They’re a good way to enjoy the rural scenery as well as get some exercise.
Local farm stands are opening for the season, ready with hanging plants and vegetables – of the kinds both ready to eat and ready to plant.
Local products and local people come together at these venues, turning shopping for food into an opportunity to visit with friends, perhaps pick up a couple of new recipes, find out about produce you might never have tried, and get a bit healthier in the process. And it’s strawberry season, a good time to pick up some of the fresh berries grown right here at home.
Why not make this the year to grow some of your own food as well, even if it’s a few herbs on a windowsill or a tomato plant in a pot.
And for those stereotypical lazy days of summer that we know are ahead, check out your local public library’s Summer Reading Program. Most libraries offer programs for all ages, including adults, with incentives and prizes to encourage everyone to read more – one of the best ways to slow down and enjoy the season.
Here comes summer – it’s a welcome treat.