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This week Puyallup will be gearing up for its annual metamorphosis: cozy small town turns into money-making car-parking extravaganza that smells like a barn. Yes! As a local, whatís my favorite thing about the Puyallup Fair weeks? I love that fences come down and kids set up lemonade stands. I love the diversity of people in town, the free music, and mostly, itís just so easy to get around!

Seriously, as a bicyclist itís fun to speed by all the vehicles that are inching slowly, painfully along. Bike-riding just feels a little bit safer and a whole lot more satisfying than usual. Plus, itís the only sane way to travel. The car traffic just sits there.

For longer distance travelling, the Pierce Transit routes during the Fair are exquisite. Express buses are going back and forth all over the county straight to downtown. Yes the buses are for fair-goers. But I can always lug around some cotton candy or an exhausted child, and the bus drivers wonít know the difference.

So donít be scared of downtown during the Fair. Itís a secret treasure for locals who know how to get there painlessly. All the stores are still waiting to serve you pie and coffee. The parks are sunny and relaxed. And the farmers at the market, good grief, thatís when all their food is ripe!

Itís harvest time! There are apples, beans, blackberries, blueberries, corn, carrots, garlic, onions, tomatoes, basil, peppers, potatoes, spinach, squashes galore. Imagine that youíre a farmer with bushels of this stuff, who must every September shake your fists at the sky, cursing the traffic that keeps your customers away from market.

Whatís the best way to say yes to Pierce County farms? Go to the Puyallup market in September!

As a bonus, there are some fun events at the Farmerís Market in the next few weeks. Thereís going to be a food preservation/canning workshop, also with a mason jar swap (for anyone needing to get, or give away, extra jars). There will also be a very exciting salsa competition. Iím just so excited that tomatoes are actually beginning to ripen this year!

Iíll even be at the Farmerís Market one day, teaching families how to use worm-bins for composting food scraps. Weíll build clear bins that kids can take home. The worm bins will even be small enough for the bike rack or the bus.

Donít forget: during September thereís plenty of good times, not just in the Fair but in the town around it.

CALENDAR: Aug. 30 Mother Earth Farm workparty, Sep. 5-21 Sustainable Puyallup info available at the Stream Team booth at the Fair, Sep. 6 Make your own worm-bin at the farmerís market

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Page last modified on December 12, 2008, at 05:14 PM