john and kamrin have been married seven years today! hurrah.
i coached their daughter, keltin, on the way back to town to say “happy anniversary” in her loud voice when we saw her parents at the end of the day. (it worked.)

which means, they have the day off and i get to kick it with the kids!
start: garfield park and the nearby beach. these kids love sand and water. back to the trailer for lunch and nap time. [reading during naptime – Farm Together Now.] then swimming with two little kids in the KOA pool. i need my mom’s ability to teach kids in the pool. will be calling her and asking for advice before our next swimming adventure. then back to town to get john and kamrin after their adventure celebration and chicken pot pie from grand traverse pie co. for dinner.

we stopped at a small farmers market near the old Northern Michigan Asylum – the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. the market wasn’t super impressive, but the area surrounding it was. there is a brick oven bakery there called Pleasanton Bakery. i stopped in and bought bread for the household and 3 different cookies for after dinner. after striking up a conversation about being a baker they offered me one of each of their grissini breadsticks – garlic parmesan and cranberry for free since it was the end of the day and they couldn’t resell them tomorrow! score.

plus, we got a look at Higher Grounds coffee roasting company and the storefront they have there. i started drinking their coffee years ago when i first learned about fair trade and shade grown coffee in Auburn. it was great to run into the place where they do all their roasting and see their setup.

the most interesting part was learning about the old asylum, which john and kamrin had heard more about from people in town. apparently they believed in work-based therapy to heal the maladies of those at the hospital so they taught them trades including gardening, furniture making and canning. to the point that it kept the institution fully self-sufficient. though they eventually closed, they are now remodeling the old buildings as part of the Village at Grand Traverse market project. there’s still a great farm area there and it looks like they have teaching areas in some of the old buildings. definitely a project to keep an eye on.