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May 1st is an ordinary day in Durham, NC. It’s not a day for political propaganda like in many European countries. Many countries like Sweden celebrate this proclaimed political holiday that brings back memories from old times in failed states like Soviet and East Germany. How can a country have a holiday for one political view and at the last election a clear minority? That means that the majority of the people in Sweden are excluded from the holiday

Durham Farmers Market

because of their political view. They have political holidays in countries like North Korea, China and Cuba were the great leader and the great party is celebrated. It’s to me mind-boggling how a democracy like Sweden still grabs on to this dinosaur from the past. In the early days of workplace justices this day might have had some importance but not anymore. May 1st as a holiday should be abolished and only remembered as a political mistakes. Instead holidays should be inclusive and invite everyone to participate. This will build the community to a better environment to live in. That is what is happening hear today in Durham on May 1st. Just a regular Saturday with beautiful summer weather (+30C), flowers in bloom and leafs on the trees. Community building is going on everywhere in town without excluding anyone. Durham Farmers Market is a great community builder. It’s open year round and the

First strawberries

merchandise characters changes depending on the season. During the winter it’s more crafts and in spring, summer and fall the local farmers dominate the market. All the different farmers markets around North Carolina are essential for the survival and growth of the small local farms that produce quality food. No vendors that sell mass produced items are allowed. It has to be local so that I can visit the farms and see how my food is being grown or raised. You can buy meat from grass fed buffalo, all kinds of vegetables. The first tomato and strawberries were on sale today. Chapel Hill Creamery was there as always selling delicious cheeses and the local winery had wine samples and wine to buy.

“What about the beer! How long are you going to go on with food and community and ranting about politics in Sweden?” you might be thinking buy now. Here in Durham beer is community. Not everyone is interested in beer and not everyone is part of the beer community but enough people are to make an impact and everyone is welcome to join us. And today, when a fraction of the Swedish population is out demonstrating, the home brewers around USA and around the world are gathering for National Homebrew Day. This day (first Saturday in May) is recognized by US Congress and since 1988. Here in Durham, just a block away from Farmers Market, the soon to be opened Full Stream Brewery is hosting Big Brew to celebrate National Homebrew Day. 40 or so home brewers get together at Fullsream and brew beer, sample each others beers, changing ideas and helping each other out. It’s just a fun, laid-back event with a bunch of great people having fun around beer. The

Grill master and Full Steam's practicalist Brooks Hamaker

variety of beers at a home brew event is just amazing.  Today they were brewing traditional American IPAs, Pale Ales and Lagers. And also un-traditional beers like  Dunkel Weizen  Bier, Honey Smoked Jalapeno Rye IPA (jalapeno smoked with sherry wood) and to my great surprise  Berliner Weiss. This fantastic beer style has become more and more popular which I think is just great. I won’t be able to taste it until mid May but the brewer had a sample from his last batch and it was a really fresh and light beer with that lactic taste that is the trade mark of a Berliner Weiss. I hope that this beer style together with Kölsch can be the next summer beer style of choice for many Americans. It wouldn’t have been a North Carolina event without some good southern cooking. Especially not at Full Steam who are brewing beer for the southern cuisine, pull pork BBQ, grilled chicken and beans. was the choice of the day. Not bad at all!

Here are some more pictures from this event.

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