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Fresh Market: Cherries

BLOOM-Fresh-market-cherries-webBy Vicky Babcock


“Cherries on the ryse,” or on the twigs, was one of the street cries in London during the 15th century. These cherries likely were fruit from the native wild cherry, as the domestic cherry, introduced into Briton around 71 BC, disappeared sometime in the Saxon period.  It was not reintroduced until Henry VIII’s reign in the early 1500’s. Ancient lore holds that the Virgin Mary—prior to the birth of Christ—once wished to taste some cherries that hung high above her head. She asked Joseph to pick them for her but he refused saying, “Let the father of thy child present thee with the cherries.” As the words left his lips the branch of the tree bowed to the Virgin’s hand, allowing her to gather the fruit and thus, silently reproaching Joseph for his surliness. Thus, the cherry is dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics: Embracing the Myths, Traditions, Superstitions, and Folk-Lore of the Plant Kingdom, Richard Folkard, 1884).

The ancient Lithuanians believed the demon, Kirnis, to be the guardian of the Cherry. In Germany and Denmark, tradition holds that evil spirits often hide themselves within old Cherry trees, causing harm to anyone who comes near. Folkard’s book also says that to dream of cherries denotes inconsistency and disappointment in life.

A relative newcomer to the States (1600’s), cherries have likely been consumed since prehistoric times.  Romans and Greeks prized the fruit as did the Chinese. Its royal color and its tart flavor likely earned it a place on the tables of nobles and kings.  The cherry tree probably originated in the territories of Asia Minor near the Black and Caspian Seas.

It turns out the sandy soil along Lake Michigan, as well as the tempering effects of the lake on the arctic air, create an excellent growing environment for cherries in our state.   Michigan has the honor of being the leading producer of the tart cherry crop in the United States, with about 75 percen of the nation’s production, which is almost exclusively centered in the Traverse Bay area. Most of these tart cherries find their way into pies and pie fillings, in addition to preserves, jellies, juice and dried fruit. We are also a big producer of sweet cherries and farmer’s markets and roadside stands are rife with these beauties in July. Peter Dougherty, the first European settler in the Traverse Bay area, is credited with the introduction of the tart cherry tree here. In 1852, he planted a cherry orchard on Old Mission Peninsula. Much to the astonishment of the natives and settlers, the grove thrived.

Consumption of cherries has been linked with reduction of uric acid in the body, bringing great relief from the pain associated with arthritis and gout. In a study done by the USDA, it was discovered that consumption of 2 cups of Bing cherries reduced uric acid by as much as 15 percent. Cherries also help reduce inflammation by reducing the amount of C-reactive protein produced. Powerful antioxidants in cherries—especially the dark sweet variety—help keep cancerous cells from growing out of control. They are an excellent source of potassium, which can help reduce blood pressure by keeping sodium and potassium in balance.  One cup of cherries contains as much potassium as a banana. Trouble sleeping? Tart cherries contain melatonin, a sleep aid, and in studies, two tablespoons of the juice were found to be just as effective as a melatonin supplement.

A cup of cherries comes in at less than a hundred calories, making it an excellent choice for your diet. Cherries contain many B-vitamins as well, which are essential for metabolism. So for a skinny choice, choose cherries!


Fruit Crisp

2 tart pie apples such as Granny Smith or Spies, peeled and chopped

2 Anjou pears, peeled and chopped

1 cup pitted dark sweet cherries

¼ cup sugar

3 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/3 cup quick cooking oats

1/3 cup flour

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup butter

½ cup pecan pieces


Combine fruits and ¼ cup sugar; spread in buttered 8×8 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients except for pecans. Work together until crumbly. Stir in pecan pieces. Sprinkle mixture over fruit layer.

Bake in pre-heated 350 ◦ oven 50 minutes or until crisp is golden and bubbly.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired.


Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.


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Seven health myths that might surprise you

HEA-Seven-health-myths-web(BPT) – Living a healthy life takes some resolve, but success often comes down to knowing what pays the biggest dividends for a given effort. Health coaches are great sources for this insight. They’ve seen it all on the job and learned a lot in their training.

Health coaches for workplace well-being leader Provant identified seven commonly held health and wellness myths drawn from their research and experience:

Myth No. 1: An aerobic workout boosts your metabolism all day. Wrong, it just burns calories while you’re doing it. Muscle-strengthening exercises, however, will burn calories long after your workout.

Myth No. 2: If you don’t break a sweat, it’s not a workout. Wrong, sweat is just the body’s way of cooling itself. A better reflection of effort is the talk test: your workout is moderate if you can talk, but not sing, and vigorous if you need to take a breath every few words.

Myth No. 3: You should stretch before you exercise. Not really, you could hurt yourself. Better to stretch after you’re warmed up with light, smooth movement of gradually increasing intensity.

Myth No. 4: Frozen fruits and vegetables are less healthy than fresh ones. Actually, they’re both healthy. Frozen fruits and vegetables are generally picked and frozen at nutritional peak. Canned can be a fine choice if you’re watching your budget. Avoid fruits packed in syrup.

Myth No. 5: Cigars and chewing tobacco are safe because you don’t inhale. This is another myth. Cigar smokers have higher rates than nonsmokers of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and are four to 10 times more likely to die from cancers of the throat, mouth, lips, larynx and esophagus, according to the American Cancer Society. People who chew tobacco are more likely to develop oral cancers that affect the tongue, lips, cheeks and gums.

Myth No. 6: Stress happens. There’s nothing you can do about it. Not true, stress doesn’t have to overwhelm you. There are several approaches to managing it. Set priorities and tackle simple problems first. Then move on to complex difficulties. Practice relaxation exercises. Make yourself more resilient by eating smart, exercising and avoiding tobacco.

Myth No. 7: Cold turkey is the best way to quit tobacco. Nope. It’s just one of the ways to quit, and the more times you try to quit, the better your chances of succeeding. Research indicates to help improve success rates, you need: the desire and readiness to quit, some form of pharmacotherapy (nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medications) and social support (family, friends, health coach).

Keep this information in mind as you go about improving your health, and most importantly, don’t give up.


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The Post travels to Paris


Martha Bobb, of Nelson Township, went to Paris, France May 11-18 and took a copy of The Post with her. She said that her young-   est daughter, Susan Bishop, won the trip, so Martha traveled with her and her family.       She had a great time!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!


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Post turtle rescue club

The Walma family, in Spencer Township, has been busy rescuing turtles over the last month.

Matthew Walma said he rescued a snapper turtle in Newaygo in May, and a box turtle on Harvard Ave in June.

Ashley Walma rescued a red painter turtle last week at Harvard and 15 Mile.

Ken Walma rescued a box turtle last month on Lincoln Lake Rd and 16 Mile.

Congratulations to all of the new members of the Post Turtle Rescue Club! Please call us at 696-3655 to make arrangements to pick up your certificates and keychains.

As a reminder, if you see a turtle trying to cross the road, pull your vehicle off the road and put on your hazard lights. You only need to help them to the other side, in the way they were traveling, not keep them. Here are some tips from the Turtle Rescue League:

*When picking up a small turtle, grasp it on either side of its shell behind the front legs. The turtle will still be able to kick at you, but many will choose to stay safely tucked in, during the short time you are moving them.

*Keep the turtle low to the ground when moving them. Even small turtles have surprising strength. If a turtle pushes free of your grip, you do not want it to fall and injure itself.

*If you are helping a large snapper, simply push it from behind with a blunt object. Don’t use anything sharp or pokey. You don’t want to hurt the turtle. Although snappers can seem dangerous, they are just protecting the babies they are carrying, like any wild animal, and you need to exercise caution.

*Make sure to put the turtle in the direction it was heading, never turn them around! The turtle is on a mission, and if you turn it around, it will simply go back across the road when you drive away.

*Although you may be tempted to relocate a turtle, don’t. Many turtles have “Home Ranges,” a territory they call home, and when relocated, they will search out ways back. Besides risking many additional road crossings, some turtles, if they cannot find their way back will stop eating and just wander listlessly.

If you’ve rescued a turtle, you can email photos and a brief summary to news@cedarspringspost.com; mail to Post Turtle Rescue Club, PO 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319; or stop in at our office at 36 E. Maple Street in Cedar Springs. Please do not post them to our Facebook page.

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Fireworks Law and Safety

As the 4th of July fast approaches, the Kent County Sheriff Department wants to remind you to be safe and follow the fireworks laws.

Michigan law prohibits using fireworks:

• On public property such as a city, township or county park.

• On church or school property.

• On private property, such as business parking lots, without the owner’s specific consent.

• While under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.

Michigan law also prohibits the sale of fireworks to anybody under the age of 18.

Michigan law also permits local governments to impose firework curfews between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m. the day of, before and after the holiday. Fireworks may be prohibited other days of the year. Check with the city, village or township that you plan on using fireworks in for their specific restrictions. (See specifics for City of Cedar Springs below.)

Always use caution when lighting fireworks. Last year, more that 8,700 people were treated in US hospital emergency rooms for firework related injuries. One-third of those were children under the age of 15.

In addition to injuries, fireworks caused more that 17,800 fires which resulted in eight civilian deaths, one firefighter death and $32 million in property damage.

Fireworks Safety Tips:

• Only buy from licensed dealers

• Never alter or combine fireworks

• Children should never handle fireworks

• Never point fireworks toward anything other that open sky

• Only use away from structures, vehicles and trees

Follow the rules, be a good neighbor and be careful and you will have a happy holiday.

In the City of Cedar Springs: People may only use consumer fireworks in the city if it’s on the day before, the day of, or the day after a national holiday, but not between the hours of 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. The national holidays include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day or Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

If residents want to use fireworks any other day of the year, they will need to purchase a permit, but must do so 15 days prior to the event. In order to receive a permit, the applicant needs to show proof of financial responsibility by a bond or insurance for possible damages to property or personal injuries resulting from the fireworks. They also must not be within 15 feet of another person’s property except with permission.

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Celebrating Summer

Photo by Peryy Hopkins

Photo by Peryy Hopkins

The first annual Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Summer Celebration kicked off last weekend with a Renaissance Festival in Morley Park.

According to Chamber member Perry Hopkins, Friday night was damp but they still had a crowd of 20 for the outdoor movie “Sword and the Stone,” which was shown under a big tent. Riccardi’s sold pizza by the slice and Pinnacle Popcorn donated popcorn to hand out.

On Saturday, Hopkins estimated that they had around 200 people (not counting entertainers and vendors) enjoy the festivities. The mermaids, belly dancers, and pirates filled the day with entertainment, and at 6:30 p.m. they had the Royal Dinner and entertainment. Entertainment included two solo acts from Middle Eastern dancers and one drum soloist.


Photo by Peryy Hopkins

“One comment I received from an attendee at the Royal Dinner was ‘Wow! This is so great I feel like a real king eating this meal with the entertainment in front of us—outside!” said Hopkins.

On Sunday the crowd was slower but picked up a little after 2 p.m. They had pirates, sword demonstrations, and belly dancers.

“We had many people on Saturday and Sunday that dressed the part for the renaissance era,” remarked Hopkins. “We received great comments from the attendees and have new volunteers from this year’s event to make next year’s event bigger and better.”

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Pastor dies in car crash

Pastor Kurt Hoffman and his wife Brenda. Photo from Trinity Evangelical Free Church website.

Pastor Kurt Hoffman and his wife Brenda. Photo from Trinity Evangelical Free Church website.

A pastor in the community of Stanton drowned last weekend when the car he was driving left the roadway and careened into a lake.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff Department, Pastor Kurt Hoffman, 53, lead pastor at Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Stanton, was last seen Saturday, June 21. A passerby discovered his car on Sunday, June22, just before 10 a.m., in Lampman Lake, located on South Brown Road, between West County Farm Road and Ruby Road, in Sidney Township.

Police said that the vehicle was about 30 feet off the roadway, and submerged six feet under water. Pastor Hoffman still had his seatbelt on.

The investigation determined that he failed to negotiate the curve in the road, struck a fallen tree, and went into the lake at a high rate of speed. An autopsy found the cause of death to be drowning.

Hoffman was a long time and well-liked minister in the Stanton community.

Montcalm County EMS assisted at the scene.

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The Post travels to Assateague Island


Bob and Elsie Waller, of Nelson Township, traveled to Salisbury, Maryland in April, and spent time with friends. While there, they visited Assateague Island, known for its more than 300 wild ponies that roam the beaches, inland forest, and salt marshes. While there, they took a break from sightseeing to get this picture of them with The Post.

Thanks, Bob and Elsie, for taking us with you on vacation!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!



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Concert in the park

Kids had a good time dancing to the music. Post photo by J. Reed.

Kids had a good time dancing to the music. Post photo by J. Reed.

Warm weather, family, friends, good music and a chance to win $100 all made it a great night last Thursday for Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation’s Concert in the park. The band Roosevelt Diggs provided the entertainment, and adults relaxed in lawn chairs or chatted with friends, while kids danced to the music or played on the playground equipment at Morley Park. Independent Bank gave away a $100 gift card at the end of the night, to celebrate its 150th year, and will give two more away at the concerts in July and August.

Next month’s concert in the park will be July 17, at 7 p.m., and feature the group Cross Creek.

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Fresh Market

By Vicky Babcock

Maple’s Sticky Gold

On a hot morning in July 2012, Michel Gauvreau, an accountant with Veragrimar, arrived to inventory a warehouse full of maple syrup owned by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. The building, located in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, held around 16,000 barrels of syrup, stacked six high and hundreds deep. Each full barrel weighed 650 pounds—a value of $1,800, nearly 13 times the price of crude oil. This particular warehouse held about 1/10th of Quebec’s annual production, a vast sea of the nation’s “sticky gold.” It was not a setting for drama, yet unbeknownst to the principal players, the scene had already been set.

BLOOM-maple syrup tooMichel was scaling the barrels when he nearly fell as a barrel shifted beneath his weight. Catching his balance, he rocked the barrel. Empty. The first of many.  Gauvreau notified the Federation, who arrived to investigate. Upon opening a barrel, they found not a brown, goopy liquid redolent with the wintry scent of vanilla, caramel and childhood; it was thin, clear, and odorless. It was water.

Sixty percent—six million pounds—of syrup had vanished, about $18 million dollars, wholesale. The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist was a blow to Canada, which makes approximately 80 percent of the world’s production. It would be months before the Federation would have any answers. To siphon off and transport that amount of syrup alone would have required more than 100 tractor trailers.*

Canada prides itself on its maple syrup and its maples, and the maple leaf is an icon featured on their coins, military uniforms and their country’s flag. Ten species of maple are native to Canada and markets there produce maple sugar, maple butter, maple pork rub, maple vinaigrette, maple coffee, maple tea and yes, maple perfume.

On a smaller scale here in Michigan we have our own maple industry and it’s Pure Michigan! According to the Michigan Maple Syrup Association, our state ranks fifth in maple syrup production in the country with an average production of about 90,000 gallons per year. Maple sap collection usually begins in February and runs about six weeks, although in the U.P. it can run well into April. Temperatures play a part in the production, as the tree needs a combination of warm days and freezing nights for the sap to run. Timing is also important, as the sugar content is highest in late winter to early spring. When the trees come into bud, the sap is unpalatable. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

Native Americans introduced European settlers to the practice of collecting and reducing the sap, although the settlers refined the process. Its discovery is uncertain; however, popular lore speaks of an Indian chief who carelessly embedded his hatchet into the trunk of a maple tree. The tree yielded its sap, which was collected by the chief’s squaw and used to cook their meal. This pleased the chief and so began our love affair with maple syrup, most often used today to enhance the flavor of our pancakes and waffles.

Unlike sugar, maple syrup contains an abundant amount of naturally occurring minerals, including calcium, manganese, potassium and magnesium. It is also a source of antioxidants, which have been shown to aid the immune system, lower blood pressure and slow the effects of aging.

Michigan made maple syrup can be found in farmers markets throughout the State from June through August—or until the last pint is gone. Better hurry though, the Michigan Maple Syrup Association tells us that maple syrup is one of the few Michigan crops where demand exceeds supply!

*For more on this story, Google “The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist,” by Brendan Borrell. Much of the information in this article was gleaned from this source.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.


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