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15 Ways to Have More Fun This Summer

  1. Eat Local And Eat In Abundance: Get a CSA or go to your local farmer’s market and see what is new every week. Get excited for something later in the summer and then enjoy it when it finally arrives. When something finally is harvested eat it until you are blue in the face while everything is fresh and delicious. It will help you avoid craving a bad grocery-store version for a long time.
  2. Get To A Real Farm: Whether it is to pick strawberries, help someone pick up their CSA or go to a local farm festival, take time to walk up and down the rows of an active farm. The colors are spectacular.
  3. Go On A Picnic: Pack something fresh and tasty and eat outside on the grass in the elements. Nothing says summer like ants crawling on you and falling asleep in the sun.
  4. Find A Swimming Hole: In Western Mass we are blessed with an abundance of picture-perfect swimming holes. Other places have the ocean to get to within driving or walking distance. Go for a swim outside of chlorinated water and get invigorated!
  5. Throw (Or Attend) An Outdoor Dinner Party: Whether it is a barbeque or just a sampling of delicious seasonal foods and tasty desserts, get in your backyard and enjoy the everlasting dusk of summer. We only get this amazing weather and light for the precious summer months take advantage of them.
  6. Spend Money On Seasonal Treats: It took years for me to realize that turning down fresh blueberries in August because of a $4 charge is insane. Think of all the things we buy that are significantly less exciting and more expensive than berries in season. Buy all these summer treats while you can and just gobble them up.
  7. Bike For Pleasure And Work: It is very fun to go on a long bike ride on the weekends, but you can make a trip to the grocery store just as fun by leaving the car at home and using a backpack or saddlebags. See what errands you could run on bicycle and save gas, money and time sitting in traffic. Plus you can count it as your daily exercise and you get to feel  like a kid on summer vacation!
  8. See Friends Instead of Spending Money: You could book a cruise to the Caribbean and hang out with a thousand people you don’t know or you could invite your closest friends for a visit or for dinner and have a ton of fun for the cost of a good meal. Have even more fun and do something on weeknight just because it is still light out and you can!
  9. Grow Your Own Food: My favorite part of summer is going down to the garden with a pair of scissors and an enormous kitchen bowl and returning with our own harvest. Even a little spice garden where you can go down and cut springs of oregano, rosemary or thyme. Think how decadent it would feel to pick some fresh basil for the top of your pizza or float some of your own spearmint in your lemonade.
  10. See Music/Theater Outdoors: It isn’t just Northampton that sports numerous venues for live, free music or theater outside during the summer months. Bring a sweatshirt with a hood for bugs and a comfortable chair and enjoy some amazing local talent.
  11. Line Dry Your Clothes: It is a gamble, yes. I’ve got clothes out on the line right now and I’m looking at the sky wondering if they are safe. But isn’t that little bit of adventure and the smell of sun-dried clothing worth it.
  12. Eat Ice Cream: According to Chinese Medicine you shouldn’t go near ice cream as it is cold, loaded with dairy and loaded with sugar. But we do only live once and for some (maybe most of us) ice cream is the be-all, end-all treat. In this time of ice cream stands and sweltering evenings is there really anything better.
  13. Re-invent The Salad: For anyone with a farm share you probably already do this on a regular basis, but in the summer months when there is an abundance of salad greens, lettuces, and cooking greens one must get inventive with salad toppings. A few treats we have discovered: berries (dried or fresh), herbs (dill, parley and mint!), cooked veggies, capers, olives, horseradish, sprouts, cheeses, anchovies or sardines, meat, pasta, apples (later in the season), pears, peaches, miso, and so much more!
  14. Get Really Dirty: Gardening is an easy, refined way to accomplish this, but there are lots of other fun ways to covered in dirt and sweat. Our inner child needs to occasionally walk home in the rain and get mud soaked legs.
  15. Watch the Weather…Sometimes: Even though a good weather report can really only take you so far this time of year, it is rather exciting to get caught in the rain every once in a while. Allowing for the element of surprise when you can might just feel very luxurious and spontaneous.

Image credit: vitalinka / 123RF Stock Photo

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