2B - Paulding County Progress - Fun In The Sun Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Locally harvested produce tends to be more fresh than produce imported from foreign countries.
Popular items that canbe purchased locally
Many consumers prefer to buy locally whenshopping. There are several advantages tochoosing local products, including the benefitof aiding your local economy by supporting a business with roots in your community. Deal-ing with an individual or small enterprise in-stead of a billion-dollar operation is another reason people are drawn to local stores and businesses.Spring and summer are great times of year to shop locally, as the warmer weather facili-tates strolling community shops and businessdistricts. The following items are popular among consumers who emphasize buying localwhen making their purchases.
If you desire fresher fruits and vegetables,then shopping locally is the way to go. Accord-ing to Local Harvest, most produce in theUnited States is picked four to seven days be-fore it reaches the supermarket shelves, and itmight have traveled thousands of miles beforelanding on those shelves. A lot of produce isgrown and imported from South and CentralAmerica, and such produce can take evenlonger to arrive on supermarket shelves. As aresult, the flavor and freshness of fruits andvegetables shipped from afar might be compro-mised. The best way to get peak-season pro-duce is to buy items that come from local providers.
If you’re in the market for a new air condi-tioning unit or are considering a home renova-tion, using a local, licensed contractor is oftenthe smart way to go. Rather than dealing withthe red tape of a larger outfit that may subcon-tract its work, local businesses are often morecustomer-service driven. What’s more, if ever a problem arises, it’s much easier to go into alocal business and discuss concerns face-to-face instead of dealing with an unknown per-son answering phones at a corporate call center.
The home-based arts and crafts industry hasundergone a rebirth thanks to sites like Pinter-est, Craftsy and Etsy. Many of the items offeredin local craft shops are handmade by local ar-tisans and not mass-produced in overseas fac-tories. Local artisans may be your best betwhen shopping for unique arts and crafts fullof detail and quality.
Dining out is a different experience whenyou select independent restaurants over na-tional chains. Chefs at independently ownedrestaurants have a greater say over ingredientsand menu choices than those at franchise es-tablishments, and you may be introduced tofoods you had never before dreamed of trying.Restaurants that team up with local food sup- pliers offer a double-dose of regional com-merce and fresher ingredients. If you’re new tothe area, browse the local newspaper, commu-nity direct-mailers and coupon books to finddining establishments in your area.There are numerous benefits to shopping lo-cally and ideal ways to get started in your townor city. Take in a farmer’s market or street fair to get started.
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How to prep your yard for summer parties
Backyard soirees are a stapleof summer for many families.Whether hosting a family re-union, a gathering of friends or a mix of both, such gatheringscan be a great time to recon-nect with your loved ones in arelaxing and natural setting.Hosting such gatheringsmight not require as muchwork as organizing a more for-mal get-together, but thatdoesn’t mean summer soireesdon’t require a little work inadvance of the guests’ arrival.That’s especially true if youplan to host the party outdoorsin your yard, which will needa little TLC before guests ar-rive.The following are a few tipsto get your yard ready beforeyour next summer soiree.•
Cut the grass and clearyour walkways.
Cutting thegrass before guests arrivemight seem like commonsense, but try to do so a coupleof days before the party. Thisgives you an extra day or so toclear the walkways of grassclippings, and it saves you thetrouble of cutting the grass onthe day of the party whenyou’re likely to have morepressing tasks to take care of.•
Decorate your yard.
Dec-orations are a staple of partiesheld indoors, so why not dec-orate your home’s exterior when hosting a get-together inthe backyard? Use freshly cutflowers from your own gardenas centerpieces on your patiofurniture, or purchase flowersof various colors from your local florist to add a dash or two of color to the festivities.•
Clear the yard of toys.
Before guests arrive, clear theyard of the kids’ toys, puttingthem away so guests don’t in- jure themselves by stepping onerrant action figures or skate- boards left hidden in the grass.•
Trim trees and shrubsaround walkways.
While a backyard barbecue is less for-mal than a party held indoors,you still want your home to beas accommodating as possiblefor your guests. Don’t forget totrim trees and shrubs aroundthe walkways so guests don’tfeel like they’re on safari whencoming to and from the back-yard.•
Make sure outdoor light-ing is working properly.
If you’re about to host your firstevent of the summer, inspectyour home’s exterior lightingso everyone isn’t left sitting inthe dark. Check patio lightingand replace any bulbs andmake sure the lights alongyour walkways are function-ing at full capacity so guestscan safely navigate their wayaround the party. You mayeven want to string holidaylights around the patio to cre-ate a more laid-back ambiancein which guests can relaxwithout lights beating downon them.•
Protect your guests frominsects.
Insects like mosqui-toes can quickly turn a swing-ing soiree into a nuisance, so purchase some decorative cit-ronella candles to repel mos-quitoes. Tiki torches alongwalkways and around the patio furniture may also proveeffective insect repellants. Inaddition, if there are any areasaround your property wherewater has gathered, such as bird fountains or puddles fromrecent rains, do your best toget rid of that water. Water at-tracts many insects, which laytheir eggs in the standingwater. The less standing water around your property, the lesslikely any uninvited insectguests are to appear.Backyard gatherings are astaple of summer. But even if such soirees are less formal,hosts still must survey their property and address any is-sues before guests arrive.
Before hosting a summer soiree, hosts must survey their property to ensure it’s safe and soundfor their guests.
The unofficial start to summer
With the coldest of weather behind us in most of the coun-try, this month ushers in a dayof commemoration that marksthe unofficial start of the sum-mer season. In the UnitedStates, Memorial Day signi-fies the beginning of barbecueand pool weather. Here’s alook at the origins of each of the holiday and traditional cel-ebrations.Americans celebrate Me-morial Day on the last Mon-day of May each year. Itcommemorates the men andwomen who died while inmilitary service and was pre-viously known as DecorationDay.Initially designated tohonor Union soldiers whofought in the American CivilWar, Memorial Day has since been expanded to embracefallen American soldiers inall wars.There are many traditionalobservances on MemorialDay. Visits to cemeteries andmemorials are made acrossthe country. Volunteers often place American flags on thegraves of fallen veterans. Anational moment of remem- brance takes place at 3 p.m.local time, and the presidentvisits Arlington NationalCemetery. Flags around thecountry are also flown at half-mast from dawn until noon asan honor to lost heroes.Some towns host MemorialDay parades and other fan-fare. The National MemorialDay Concert takes place onthe west lawn of the UnitedStates Capitol. Music is per-formed, and respect is paid tothe men and women who gavetheir lives for their country.