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)

A March Beach?

What a week we’ve had on the coast of Maine. The Vernal Equinox arrived with unusually high temperatures (60’s, 70’s, um, 80’s?) and bright blinding sunlight. Everywhere the crocuses have opened their cups of violet and gold. It seems like we skipped over mud season, maple syrup season, and spring thaw and went straight into summer. This isn’t really a good thing (drought, bugs, poor sap harvest) but there’s one wonderful thing about summer in March: the beach.

We decided not to fight it when, for the fourth day in a row, the day dawned bright and warm and as bright blue as anyone could ask for. I packed my car with blankets, buckets, snacks, and children and headed for Pemaquid Beach. We met another mama and her girls and enjoyed the sun and sand and off-season quiet and freedom. When else can you be on your favorite beach in seventy degree weather with no one else around?

Even though there were babies enjoying the sand….

And mamas enjoying the sun…

… this story belongs to two little girls reveling in a seaside adventure of digging for treasure…

and exploring “far out” beyond the reach of their mamas…

and getting thoroughly soaked and sandy and happy in the process.

The day belonged to the children as they reminded us mamas that smelly mussel shells are as good as gold, that waving to our shadows is magical, that getting wet in the sea is a vital part of a hot March day. It was almost too good to be true.  (Erin)

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Pemaquid Beach is technically “closed” from October 15th – May 1st (after May 1st a strict “no pets” ban goes into effect), but if you’re hearty, you can park outside the gate and walk in. Just remember you’ll have to fend for yourself restroom-wise! In the “on-season,” there are restrooms, a snack shop (with darn good french fries), ample parking, bathrooms/changing spaces, picnic tables galore, sand chair/umbrella/toy rentals, though no lifeguard on duty. Fees are $4/person, children under 12 free. For more information, visit the Bristol Parks and Recreation page.

Rachel Carson Salt Pond Preserve

Just north of New Harbor on Route 32 sits a tiny treasure I must have missed a hundred times before discovering this summer. Credit for my discovery goes to my mom, who has visited the salt pond for years just to sit in her car and enjoy the view. But you really must step out of the car (carefully, as parking is directly on the road!) and climb the tiny staircase down to this amazing spot.

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It doesn’t look like much, but for me and my little ones, it was almost magical. Logan was completely immersed in exploring the pool for little creatures.

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Of which he found a few…

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And I utterly enjoyed taking photos of him standing in the pool of salt water, making tiny ripples…

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But the rocks! Oh, the rocks. If you like rocks at all, this is an awesome spot. It was all I could do to control myself and refrain from taking any home. They are all so fabulous!

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Of course this spot is best enjoyed at low tide or thereabouts, as it is underwater at high tide. Check your tide charts before heading out (or check online here). Read more about Rachel Carson here.

(marisa)