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10/6 Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

Every time I double check to be sure, the calendar does indeed say October.

But tiny little crocuses are peeking out of the backyard flower beds and some of the azaleas are even showing tiny blossoms. Many of us are still saying "what summer?" as we go about making the transition to fall.

Strawberries and raspberries are still flowering and producing tasty and succulent berries almost every day, and we're still enjoying fresh shortcake and scones. Mother Nature is definitely keeping us guessing.

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The Polk County Historical Society celebrates the Apple Festival at the Brunk House from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at 5705 Salem-Dallas Highway (Highway 22).

Early settlers Harrison and Emily Brunk built the farmhouse in 1861 and this year marks the 26th anniversary of this annual event.

Tours of the Classical Revival home will be given for a donation, and apple desserts will be available for sale as well. If you've never tasted fresh-pressed apple cider, here's your opportunity to purchase some for $5 per gallon.

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We're in the midst of Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 3-9). This year's theme is "Smoke Alarms -- A Sound You Can Live With."

Many of us know people who have survived potentially deadly fires because of their smoke alarms -- and sadly, we have heard stories of those who tragically did not.

Jeff Donahue, Polk Fire District No. 1 fire marshal, reminds us that our homes should have alarms on every level; to replace batteries when you hear a "chirping" sound; and especially to never remove or disable a smoke alarm.

For more information: 503-838-1510; www.polkno1.org.

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Most backyard gardens are just about done for the season. But before we lament the loss of fresh and healthy veggies and fruit, MI Town's farmers markets are still bringing the freshest produce to us every week.

Wednesdays from noon until 6 p.m., garden produce and crafts are still available at the old Monmouth fire station, across from Main Street Park. And Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Independence Farmers Market is open in the Sterling Bank parking lot on Main Street.

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I'd like to share the news that the Western Oregon University Emeritus Society recently donated $3,000 for scholarships. Dues are only $30 per year and all contributions go to WOU student scholarships. Call Sandy Newland at 503-838-8147 for more information.

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