July update

Bike by Pennypack Creek

Pennypack Creek, Huntingdon Valley

Serenity is going on a short bike ride along quiet roads, sitting by a rushing stream, picking wild raspberries, and somehow feeling like you’ve been transported out of a mad traffic culture. That was a week ago already.

Having a farmer’s market in Jenkintown is also a wonderful thing.

Today at the farmer’s market, I had a nice conversation with a maple syrup vendor from near Green Lane Reservoir.  We were talking about tapping trees for syrup, shale drilling, the Perkiomen Bike Trail, and the financial aspects of owning farm land three hours away from where you live.

I also talked with Judy, who with her Husband Ed and son Matt, drive wonderful produce from their farm (Herrcastle Farm) to Jenkintown from Southwestern Lancaster County on Wednesdays.  Today’s harvest was really great, and I bought several cartons of golden cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, plums, raspberries, fresh corn,  cantaloupe, etc.

My daughters really like raw milk for some reason… and cookies.  I guess you can’t beat this combination.  They also like the arts activities set up by the Abington Arts Center and the flute and violin music (especially the flute) of Erik and Jane Petersons.  I enjoyed their music too.

Farmers markets are a growing trend.  At the same time, I think there needs to be greater certainty that people will buy the great produce that the farmers spent all day harvesting and then another day selling.  I think it would be nice to help these farmers link up with my daughter’s daycare or with the Abington Friends School or with the Abington Hospital.  These are all places where people are going every day to work or pick up their kids, and if customers can order a bunch of produce online and pick it up someplace they are going anyway, the farmers wouldn’t be subjected to the weather fluctuations that affect sales.  If someone is driving three and a half hours round trip, and they are providing a great service to us, I hope they are selling what they’ve grown.

As much as I like our farmers market and bike rides, my focus is on my next bike map.  I’ve been researching and analyzing state bike maps, and I plan to present useful rough concepts for the New Jersey State Bike Map in a couple of weeks.  This will be a starting point for discussion that I think will lead to a useful, compelling map.