TOM SMITH, DIRECTOR
816 4th Street
Three Rivers, MI  49093

269-858-8305​
FAMILY  ACTIVITIES
JULY/AUGUST 2019 GRANGE NEWS

It’s hard to believe, but State Session is only about 4 months away. So how are you doing on entries for all the contests in the various departments? Your efforts and participation is what it’s all about, so don’t let yourself or the Grange down.

Our State Session is in Adrian this year, and our Family Activities/Community Service is for an organization that assists the homeless in Lenawee County. Last year, we did the Mitten Tree for Kalamazoo, and we are expanding a little on that. My sources in Adrian tells me that they can use mittens, gloves, scarves, hats or
socks. We had super support in 2018 and I am sure we can do just as well or even better in 2019. An questions, just call me.

​I wanted to remind you again of the Family Activities report form that will be coming your way soon, if not already. Please take the time to fill it out, and send it in. I’m awarding a special gift to the Grange with the most outstanding report. I have out-of-state judges lined up so they have no knowledge or bias our Grange. There’s still time to do a couple more things before sending the report in, so please push and prod to see that your Grange could be the winner. All Granges submitting reports will be recognized with a certificate. Report forms are due by September 10th.

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Spring, Summer and Fall! That means all that good fresh Michigan produce to choose from and enjoy.

​Here are some tips I gleaned from a pamphlet from the USDA which should interest all of us:

​They recommend washing fruits and veggies before eating, we all know that, but here’s the tips that can help prevent an illness or worse.
  • Begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
  • Cut away any damaged or bruised areas. Produce that looks rotten should be discarded.
  • All produce should be thoroughly washed before eating. Wash under running water just before eating, cutting or cooking.
  • Many pre-cut bagged produce items are prewashed. If the package says that the contests have been prewashed, we can use it without further washing, just be sure to look it over for bruising or damage.
  • Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first.
  • Washing fruits and veggies with a soap or detergent is not recommended.
  • Scrub firm produce such as melons and cucumbers with a clean produce brush.
  • Drying produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel may further reduce bacteria that might be present.
  • On a separate note, with highly perishable berries, one method for helping them to stay fresh longer is to soak them in a vinegar bath. And don’t worry, they won’t taste like vinegar. This reportedly helps destroy bacteria and mold spores. Cared for this way, strawberries can last up to two weeks and raspberries a good week.
​Here’s what you need to do:
Make a solution of 3 cups water to 1 cup white vinegar. Place the berries in a bowl and cover with the water/vinegar solution. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse the berries. Place on paper towel to dry. To store, line a container with paper towel and place the berries in the container. This will absorb any more
moisture.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 GRANGE NEWS

State Grange Session is coming up quickly! Are we ready? I’m trying to get my end in order, but your help is needed to make it all worthwhile. First, if you haven’t already, get your yearly report form filled out and sent to me. As I’ve said in other articles, a special award will be made to the Grange with the most outstanding report. I’m hoping for 75% of our Granges to respond, so there is your challenge.

The session in Adrian has plenty of exhibit space, so with your help we can fill the tables and give our judges some challenges in their decision making. And don’t forget our “help” project this year is to assist a group working with the Needy and homeless of Lenawee County. Gloves, mittens, scarves, hats and socks can be brought to the Convention and placed on our bare Christmas tree. With your help we can make a pretty tree and help a lot of people in the Adrian area. We had super participation at West Oshtemo in 2018 and I hope we can do just as well this year.

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I’ve said this many times over the last three years, but we’re saying it again! My goal has been to take this department from one of contests and women’s activities and broaden our scope to focus on families. Since we have so many 3, 4 & 5 generations in our membership, this should be a natural. The following is something I clipped that has some great ideas for educational fun for family building.

Fall is a great time for family togetherness, but it passes quickly if we don’t plan ahead a little. Here are some family fun activities that are inexpensive and memory making:
  1. Go weekend camping, maybe just in a backyard (remember the Smore’s)
  2. Take a color tour
  3. Go on a nature walk and try to identify various trees you see.
  4. Visit a pumpkin patch
  5. Don’t just buy your apples, go pick some.
  6. Create your own decorations with leaves and gourds.
  7. Make handmade Christmas cards.
  8. Make handmade Christmas gifts.
  9. Whole family take dancing lessons.
  10. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  11. Organize a food or clothing drive.
  12. Research and plan holiday travel together.
  13. Create and sell items for a fall or holiday bazaar or craft show.
  14. Plan holiday surprises.
  15. Start Christmas shopping.
  16. Go to a local free movie event.
  17. Watch historical reenactment.
  18. Attend a fall cultural festival
  19. Pick a movie series and have a weekend watching marathon (don’t forget the popcorn!)
  20. Attend a local play or concert.
  21. Cheer for your favorite team either in person or by watching TV together.
  22. Read a book as a family.
  23. Go on a local holiday tour, such as a mansion or lights tour.
  24. Begin planning your own Christmas displays.
  25. Foster an animal from a local shelter while they search for a forever family for his or her.
  26. Get lost in a corn maze.
  27. Go on a hayride.
  28. Learn a new game
  29. Visit a farm.
  30. Try cooking new recipes together.
  31. Plan that Thanksgiving feast.
  32. Can and preserve produce.
  33. Make and enjoy Christmas cookies early.