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Saturday Adventure at Clarks Hill

On Saturday afternoon, Granddaddy called and asked if the boys wanted to go fishing. Of course! From downtown Augusta, it is about a 30-minute ride to the Strom Thurmond Dam boat ramp. Dad loaded up the boys and off they went.

The trip was more about the adventure than anything else. The boat ramp was full after a fishing tournament that morning. There was so much to see! They rode the lake for a while before finding a quiet corner to do some fishing. No one volunteered to touch the fish, but in the end it was a great trip.

Clarks Hill Lake is also called Lake Thurmond. I think it just depends what side of the lake you are from. The Georgia side folks say Clark’s Hill and the South Carolina side says Lake Thurmond.

Thurmond Lake comprises nearly 71,100 acres of water with a shoreline of 1200 miles. The lake is one of the southeast’s largest and most popular public recreation lakes. Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1946 and 1954 for flood control and for hydropower. Each year, millions of people utilize the many public parks, marinas, and campgrounds.

For more info on the lake and all its recreation:

http://www.sas.usace.army.mil/lakes/thurmond/

Or stop by their welcome center:
J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake
510 Clarks Hill Highway
Clarks Hill, SC 29821
1-800-533-3478

Fresh finds at the Saturday Market

Saturday was a beautiful, warm and sunny day in Augusta. My mom and I decided to take advantage of this weather and visit Augusta’s Saturday Market on the River. The market is located at the Riverwalk entrance on 8th Street at Reynolds Street and is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. from April through October.

The market was filled with people who came out to see dozens of local vendors, farmers and artisans all gathered in one location selling their treasures. All products sold are locally grown or locally made. This is fantastic because I was able to ask the vendors exactly where the fruits and vegetables I was about to buy came from. Can you get this kind of information or freshness at Wal-Mart? I think not. 


I bought several fresh strawberries and peaches, two of my favorites! But the fresh squash and zucchini looked just as delish! My mom bought some red, juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes.

There are also vendors selling several different species of plants, annual and perennial flowers, ornamental grasses and shrubs, ferns, vines and even trees. I purchased a couple of trailing Lantanas, which look pretty in my back yard! Knowing absolutely nothing about gardening, I found the people at Griffin’s Nursery very helpful when I asked about caring for my Lantanas.

There are also artisan and artistic vendors. You can find hand-crafted and hand-painted birdhouses, handmade jewelry, hand sewn children’s clothes, accessories and more!

With so much to do and see at the Saturday Market by the River you are bound to work-up an appetite. No worries! Food vendors are there to serve you. You can sample homemade pastries and breads, grilled chicken, boiled or roasted peanuts and even cupcakes! The bacon and spinach quiche I had from Lily’s Bakery was to die for!

We had a great time at Saturday Market by the River and I plan on going each and every Saturday to see what is new. Hope to see you there!

Saturday Market on the River

Riverwalk at 8th Street & Reynolds

http://www.theaugustamarket.com/index.html

I scream! You scream! We all scream for….strawberries!

Just 15 minutes from downtown Augusta, Georgia, is a great place to pick your own strawberries, blackberries and asparagus – Gurosiks’ Berry Plantation. We recently went on a field trip with William’s 4K class to pick strawberries and they loved it.

It is a big farm with lots of activities for the kids. Of course, the main attraction was picking strawberries. You are given a quick class on the proper way to pick and which berries not to pick. And then you are sent out to the field to discover and uncover strawberries. With lots of squeals from the class of adventurers, we collected two containers full in about 15 minutes.

But the fun was not over yet, the Gurosik’s next took us to see their bee hive. We did not actually get too close to the bees, but we did get the sample their honey. Fantastic.

From there they took us to see their catfish pond. And yes – everyone fed the fish. The kids loved it, but not as much as the fish. There were tons of them.

Then it was lunch time under a covered pavilion on picnic benches. It was a really great day. Before heading off I made William walk through the market with me. The farm market had clean restrooms and ample parking offering pre-picked berries, a full variety of fresh produce, many professionally processed products from the Gurosik’s, hanging flower baskets, fresh cut flowers, hybrid blackberries, blueberries, peaches, purses and jewelry.

Gurosik’s is a 100 acre family farm. Clyde and Marilyn Gurosik have been working on the farm since 1981. Clyde attributes his passion for land preservation and strawberries to his deceased parents, who established strong values and principles. Marilyn was a school teacher until the farm got off the ground – and you can really tell on these school visits about her background.
Seasons:
Strawberries – April through July 4
Blackberries – Late May through July 4
Asparagus – Early April through May

Gurosik’s Berry Plantation

345 Briggs Rd

North Augusta, SC 29860

803-278-0594

http://gurosiksberryplantation.com/

Banjo-B-Que

(This is a repost from June 11, 2010.)

The first time I heard about a new event called the ‘Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que’ that was happening on Memorial Day weekend I knew it was going to be great. The name is so original and catchy.  The Banjo-B-Que is all about bluegrass music and barbeque, and so much more! 

How can you beat a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned barbeque cook off?  There were over 20 teams cooking for days to see who had the best chicken, ribs and pulled pork. As we walked in the gates all we could smell was sweet, sweet meat. A good number of teams cooked enough to be able to sell some of their barbeque for people to try.  I think by the end of the day we tried meat from 3 or 5 different teams, along with boiled peanuts and other culinary delights. I was in heaven!

The promoters of the Banjo-B-Que stated that it was perfect for folks of all ages and they were right.  There were carnival rides and games for kids, and even a petting zoo. 

There was also several food tents with cotton candy, funnel cakes and fried goodies, and for the grownups there were plenty of beer tents, so we were never far from refreshments.

I also got to experience something I never had before…pig races!  Throughout the day they had little piggies running around a miniature racetrack.

I learned that the pigs were in hot pursuit of Oreo cookies.  Seriously, that is what they race for!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHSI7c8pnh4]

They even had a swimming pig.  His name is ‘Swifty’ and apparently he’s a big deal on the pig race circuit.

Another highlight of the day was all the great music.  The lineup was fantastic!  I think the bluegrass musicians we saw were quite talented, and great sports considering that it rained on and off during the last three sets.

We got to see Chatham County Line, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Ricky Skaggs.  Their styles of bluegrass are each a little bit different, but all of them were fantastic!  I was especially excited to see Ricky Skaggs since he is such a legend in the country music world, and he did not disappoint!

Even though it rained a little bit, the whole day was really enjoyable and I can’t wait to see what is in store for next year!

The 2011 Banjo-B-Que  full music schedule for Friday includes: John Popper & the Duskray Troubarours, the Blue Dogs, The Whiskey Gentry, Sibling String and Crosstie Walkers. Saturday’s main stage music line up features Old Crow Medicine Show, Doc Watson & David Holt, Frontier Ruckus, Charlie Parr & the Clack Twig Pickers, Chatham County Line, Little Roy & Lizzy, Bloodkin and Peachtree Station

Hippodrome

5540 Jefferson Davis Highway
North Augusta, SC 29841
(803) 400-3609

http://www.banjobque.com/index.php

It’s (Block) Party Time!

On Saturday, the kids and I visited a new neighborhood development in downtown Augusta just off of the historic Laney-Walker Boulevard. The neighborhood is called Heritage Pines and it is beautiful. They were celebrating the neighborhood with a block party.

 There was a cook-off, home tours and of course a jumpy thingy the kids loved. I loved seeing such neighborhood cohesiveness in Augusta. The theme of the Saturday was “Blocks are Beautiful.” I would have to agree.

This was the first year for the event that organizers hope to make an annual tradition.

http://www.heritagepineaugusta.com/

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