Morning Dew

In our neighbourhood, we have an abundance of amazing organic farmers.

Trying to support them all is a worthwhile endeavour, and one that we attempt very lightly on Friday mornings at the Damarsicotta Farmers Market. Generally we try and grow much of our own produce, but this year, like a few before it, have been so loaded with our busyness that that simply wasn’t possible.  Enter in- the CSA.

Community Supported Agriculture is an incredible means of enjoying the summer’s bounty while helping the farmer. With a CSA, you pay up front for a season of goods (there are many around that supply milk, cheese, vegetables, meat, winter vegetables, sea food, etc, etc…) and throughout that season you pick up weekly amounts of the harvest.  It’s an amazing method, and worth the upfront if you can manage it. AND if it happens you can’t, many farmers now have been a part of a grant that allows them to take EBT cards for a half the cost while the other half is paid by the state. For many the ideal of a CSA is unreachable, and this makes it possible. See here for more information.

Bringing local home is what it is all about.

This season our family has a CSA through Morning Dew Farm of Newcastle. I’ve known Brady Hatch for years…(about 15…wow…) and met her husband Brendan about 7 years ago when we moved back from Portland. They were just starting up back then, and have since made quite a name and business for themselves in our small midcoast area. Their clientele includes specialty food stores (like Treats), local restaurants (like the Newcastle Publik House, the cafe at The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and Savory Maine), Rising Tide and Good Tern co-ops  as well as  just general everyday folk like you and me who happen upon their lovely goods. (Their salad provencal mix is AMAZING…whilst pregnant with my youngest I bought it by the pound and ate it for breakfast…it was the best cure for morning sickness that I found.)

This past Thursday my wee one and I arrived early to the farm and wandered while we waited. Such a lovely farm. (And, as always, it feels so good to see our food growing and know where it comes from!)

(This will be my last post until September, as we are busily trying to put some hard work in on our new house. I am passing the command over to Erin… See you in September in time for the Common Ground Fair! Happy summer all!  xo, ida)

Sheepscot General Store

Driving past the hayfields, you would never expect to come upon a store. Especially one like this.

Or maybe this is exactly where a store like this should be.

Ben Marcus and Taryn Hammer have done an amazing thing with a store that had been closed for years. They reopened it and re-established a community base and hub that had been vacant for years. Whitefield is a center place for an amazing number of farmers and craft people, and here they gather and exhibit their wares. For years, those of us that had grown up in the sweetness of the Uncas Farm store missed it’s community. However, 15 years ago, it was nothing like what Ben and Taryn have turned the place into.  Yoga classes, talks, dance classes, a lending library, movies, take out pizza (with organic, local and even gluten free options!!!), an open mike night- hosted by Bert Koller, and an incredible selection of the region’s finest foods, beers, and craft-ables.  It is a market all it’s own.

Ben is the man out in the fields, more often then not, while Taryn “mans” the store. From outside perspective it is a dream come true, working a farm with your sweetheart and making it all work. The social involvement and community eyes must make for an interesting and very busy life. I applaud my dear friends, Ben and Taryn. They have a strength for this sort of endeavor that is rare. What is truly wonderful is that it’s worked. Every single ounce of it.

(this was the greeting my daughter got… although she did give me a hug…)

the spring tree/plant sale. Hard to walk away empty handed… (I sure didn’t…)

best deal around for a cup of coffee…not only that, but like any well known cafe, they have WIFI, so you can sit for hours and make that joe LAST… (that is, if you don’t have children or a life to attend to…)

Great beverage selection…and right by that is the bulk snack shelves, which my youngest took it upon herself to rearrange. Multiple times.

“Folk Art” as Ben puts it. (That is Taryn and my little one lost in the lid selection.)

For more information about Sheepscot General, visit their site. They are host to many activities and festivities through the year- which are great fun for all. Enjoy the beautiful country on the way up! (And stop in at some of our favourite farms!! Treble Ridge, Thirty Acre, and Swallowtail Farm and Creamery. )

(ida)

A Fiasco

Late last week, a couple of us mamas had the pleasure of bringing our wee ones to The Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick. Not only do they have drop down incredible gelato, they are coffee shop extraordinare, with Wicked Joe’s on drip and in their espresso bar.  Pretty much as soon as we walked through the door, (they open at 11, and we were bound and determined to eat a healthy lunch before we came!) it was moments before 1:00. Having not yet consumed my daily quota (none, in fact!) of coffee I immediately ordered a cafe au lait, which is my cafe beverage of choice.  I do love espresso, in fact, I have been known to dream about it, and theirs is up there on the incredibly amazing bracket, but I was craving my old standby. (When I was 10 years younger and worked for CBD in Portland I discovered that coffee with steamed milk is incredible…)

And thus, gulping my life affirming and delicious beverage, we sat for a moment to wait for our friends before ordering gelato. And the littlest one declared that the ideal moment to nurse. Of course. It’s often hilarious how often she will decide the perfect moment has come to snack in the not so perfect moment. (ie: the flooring store, while looking at floor tiles, the middle of the grocery store, in the midst of talking to prospective plumbers…) In any case, we made ourselves right at home on their incredibly comfy couches, and discussed flavour options. My big girl decided on strawberry balsamic sorbetto, raspberry sorbetto, lemon sorbetto (needless to say, she is a sorbetto fan…) and vanilla sorbetto. The incredible servers have made it their personal goal to squeeze any many flavours in a single cup as you can think up… which is a very brave statement. People like my daughter want it all….  And I had yet to make up my mind. My favourite flavour wasn’t available that day, (caramel with seasalt), but a vast array of St. Paddy’s day influenced variety was. (Irish cocoa, Irish coffee, Green tea with chocolate chips; to name just a few…)

When Blueberry and Buttercup arrived with their lovely mama, I still hadn’t decided. Our big girls promptly ordered and set themselves down to enjoy the most heavenly of treats, side by side and giggling madly.

The mamas ordered and sat down, with babies on laps to try and work out how to finagle the infamous red spoons towards our mouths with out being hijacked on the way by our littlest ones. I had decided on the vanilla bean gelato, which, say what you want, but in no way is boring. Not overly sweet, but VERY vanilla.  Beside me sat Irish coffee and Irish cocoa, which were both slightly spiked with whiskey, and for a dry pallette for the past year and a half, quite the taste experience. (YUM.)

After eating, the big girls decided to play a game (which are stacked in the corner for any and all customer to play!)  They settled on “Candy Land,” which in their sugared up state was rather hilarious. The littlest ones tried as they might to devour the game pieces and the big girls pretended to understand the concept, although neither had played that particular game before.

After a loud few minutes we decided it might be best to take our girls out into the overcast Friday afternoon and let them run their sugars off in the park.

Fun, fun, fun. And we’ll be back, soon of course. This mama has grand high dreams of one day thrifting at the Fort Andross indoor flea market…anybody want to come?!