Yard Work and Tasty Brews

by Mark Stash

How did you fair this winter? In my neck of the woods it was certainly manageable. Just enough snow – not too much.

We had a March storm that first coated everything with a layer of ice, and then wet snow, and then drier snow. With that combination, many tree limbs became overburdened with the weight and cracked and broke. My yard has its share of broken limbs and tree trunks. I guess some extra cleanup will be required of me this spring. It’s time to have a sharpened chain on my chainsaw and a wood chipper that’s running properly.

To me, spring means warmer weather and sunshine and yard work. I always look forward to tidying up the yard. Having grown up in the country in Pennsylvania, I was exposed to that kind of life from an early age. As I posted on Facebook several weeks ago, some of my earliest memories are of a bubbling brook with skunk cabbage growing beside it, with the warm sun shining down upon my face. Plants and the outdoors have always held a special place in my heart.

Anyone who has a yard has an opportunity to create an environment that is both beautiful and environmentally friendly. This issue has two gardening articles. One deals with different plant combinations and how to use them for gardens for variety (page 24). Another article talks about water runoff and what can be done to filter that water for a cleaner environment (page 28).

Getting back to my roots, I can remember my dad, after working outside very hard all day, would sit in a little metal chair in his basement, with the garage door open so he had a view of the outdoors, and sit and drink a Genesee Cream Ale. He would store his beer in another part of the basement – not refrigerated but cool enough – in recycled glass bottles from the local distributor. That is the first beer I ever tasted, and that’s the only kind of beer he ever drank.

Genesee is still going strong and is still making its Cream Ale, and it’s also creating craft beers as well. The craft beer industry continues to be popular throughout the entire country, and in my opinion few places have more brewers than the Finger Lakes Region. Read about some of them on page 58 and then go out and see for yourself how delicious they are!


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