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"A Day for the River" by Beth Weick, as published in North Country News, July 2010

It's summertime, which means fresh air and summer sun beckoning us out of doors. Well, granted, here at D Acres Organic Farm & Educational Homestead we're outside most of the time anyhow. There's no growing peas in the office, and weeds haven't sprouted (yet) inside the garage. But even us farmers want to get outside for something besides quack-grass and potato beetles from time to time. And we'd like you to join us!

Perhaps you haven't already heard the news: July 10th (I hope you haven't picked up your newspaper a day too late…) is Baker River Appreciation Day! D Acres, in collaboration with the Calm Post Café, PAREI, and the USFS will be hosting outdoor events 9am-3:30pm, and a community gathering at Rumney's Calm Post Café 4-9pm.

Those of us from the farm will be coordinating a paddle and clean-up of the Baker River, beginning at 10am. We will depart from the Rumney Rest Area along Rt. 25 and head to the Rumney Main St. Bridge. Paddlers – in their own boats – will collect trash and debris, then enjoy a complimentary lunch prepared by the Calm Post Café and D Acres. Shuttles will be provided for volunteers. For more information, please contact D Acres at 603-786-2366 or info@dacres.org.

If the water's not your forte, however, you have other options. 9am-12pm will be a volunteer trail work session at Rumney Rocks with Ryan Harvey of the United States Forest Service (USFS). Volunteers will engage in a variety of trail maintenance tasks, then join the paddlers for lunch by the Main St. Bridge. Space is limited, so please register now! Contact Ryan Harvey at 603-536-6129, rjharvey@fs.fed.us, or D Acres as listed above. Meet at the Rumney Rocks parking lot.

For folks interested in other beautification efforts, there will also be a road clean-up within the Rumney Village 10:30am-12:30pm. All participants should meet at the Rumney Library.

And that's not all. Beginning at 1:30pm, Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI) will be leading a bike tour of farms and solar homes 1:30-3:30pm. There will be three different routes that bikers can choose from based on experience and difficulty. The bike ride, which will begin at the Rumney Library, is a fundraiser for Local Foods Plymouth; pre-registration is $20 per person. For more information, please contact Melissa Greenawalt-Yelle at localfoodsplymouth@gmail.com.

Now I have to say this, so read carefully. Please be aware that all physical activities contain inherent risk. Participants' personal safety is their personal responsibility. Please bring proper safety gear such as life preserving vests for aquatic activity and helmets for bike riding. Let care and prudence reign, please.

Ok, now for the real punch line. This series of July 10th events will culminate with a community gathering at the Calm Post Café in Rumney. The event begins at 4pm and will feature local, farm-fresh dinner, local bands, local artisans & organizations, and aquatic education. Volunteers with the morning river clean-up and trail maintenance will receive complimentary dinner. All other attendees can purchase dinner – provided by the Calm Post Café – for $10/plate. Beginning at 4:30pm, local bands will provide entertainment: Blue Ribbon All-Stars, The Cable Guys, Black Bear Moon, and The Crunchy Western Boys. PSU professor Kerry Yurewicz will lead aquatic educational activities, local blacksmiths Joe Vachon and Steve Ash will demonstrate their art with fire and steel, and Mo the Clown will provide clever entertainment for all ages. All attendees will receive a complimentary ticket to our door prize raffle. Drawing will be at 8pm for a large handmade bowl turned by Rumney's Ripple Pottery. Got it? You don't want to miss this.

With much gratitude, I want to thank our sponsors: Baker River Watershed Association, Biederman's Deli, Calm Post Café, Davis Conservation Foundation, Off the Hanger, PAREI, Peppercorn Natural Food Store, Plain Jane's Diner, Rand's Hardware, Rhino Bikes, Ripple Pottery, Samahas, and Shaneware Pottery. Please show your appreciation by supporting these local establishments!

So be sure to join us for a day of summer fun on Saturday, July 10th! Trail work at 9am, river clean-up at 10am, road clean-up at 10:30am, bike tour at 1:30pm, community gathering with dinner and music at 4pm at the Calm Post Café. Don't miss out! Contact D Acres at 603-786-2366 or info@dacres.org with further questions. We look forward to seeing you along the Baker!

Beth Weick is a resident of D Acres Organic Farm & Educational Homestead, a non-profit service organization. She first came to the farm in April 2008 as an intern, and now focuses her work on gardening, tending to the animals, and writing. Learn more about the programs at D Acres by visiting www.dacres.org.

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