Category archives for: Berries,Chowdah and Moxie

Putting A Sweater On A Dunkin’ Donuts Is Apparently Not A Viable Business Plan In Skowhegan

Coffee shop. Maine news from The Rumford MeteorSKOWHEGAN — The sign came down Monday, the doors were locked, the lights turned off and the Tim Hortons coffee shop and restaurant on Madison Avenue was closed. The closing of the Canada-based eatery is a single restaurant closing and not an indication of Hortons’ performance in Maine or any of the company’s other U.S. markets, company spokeswoman Brynn Burton said Tuesday. “Restaurant openings and closings are part of the way we manage our business,” Burton said. “There’s really no particular reason for the closure of this restaurant.” Another Tim Hortons, which also was a franchise of Cold Stone Creamery, closed in Portland the weekend of Nov. 16, leaving 27 company shops remaining in Maine, including two in South Portland, one in Waterville and others in Augusta, the Lewiston-Auburn area, Newport and Bangor. (read more at Kennebec Journal)

Keynote Speaker At Common Ground Fair Says Women Are Often Out Standing In The Field. Maybe They Should Weed Or Water Or Something Instead

Common Ground FairUNITY — The keynote address at today’s Common Ground Country Fair was about the role of women in agriculture, but it was dedicated to the family of a man remembered as a visionary in organic farming. “He was a man who was really important in my life as a farmer, said Deb Soule, today’s keynote speaker. “Russell Libby had such appreciation for young farmers and I miss him dearly, as I believe many of us do.” Soule is the founder and owner of Avena Botanicals, a West Rockport-based nationally recognized company that makes organic beauty and health products. She launched the company at the fair in 1985, when it was still held in Windsor, she told the hundreds gathered on the fair common to hear her speak. She spoke of the many successes and challenges faced by women throughout history and those yet to come, both in Maine and the larger world.  She also remembered Libby, who died in December at age 56, was involved in the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, which puts on the fair, for 30 years, first on the executive board, then as executive director. It was the second day of the fair, which closes Sunday. As Soue spoke, fairgoers listened as they enjoyed both unusual and traditional fair food such as squash burgers and vegetable tempura, Maine baked beans and pie in a cone. Soule, 46, said she was inspired by female farmers, gardeners, artists and beekeepers locally and globally. “As a woman born and raised here in Maine, I am grateful to live in a state where organic farming and gardening is supported,” said Soule, who began her address by thanking the MOFGA staff, over half of whom are women, she said. (read more at Kennebec Journal)

Blessed Are The Cheesemakers

Maine cheesemakersROCKPORT, Maine — Thirty years ago, Mainers shopping for cheese at their local grocery stores would have found few choices — and of those, plastic-wrapped processed cheese slices had a large market share. Some speciality stores might have carried imported cheeses from Europe, but there were very few examples of locally made options for sale, Taylor Mudge of Camden recalled last week. Seeing an opportunity, Mudge decided to introduce a new product to the state: Maine-made hard cheese, which no one else was making. That idea grew into the State of Maine Cheese Co., which is hosting an event on Saturday to mark its 30th anniversary. “There really wasn’t any commercial-style cheese production” in Maine in the early 1980s, said Mudge, who is no longer involved in the company. “The whole foodie thing wasn’t really well developed up here at all. People didn’t think much about quality cheeses, or where they came from.” The times — and the cheeses — indeed have changed. Maine now is home to 71 licensed cheese makers, up from just eight in the mid-1990s, and it has become one of the few bright spots in the state’s troubled dairy industry. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

Explosion Of Maine Beer Festivals Allows Plain Drunks To Pretend They’re Guy Fieri

Maine beer festivalsThere are eight beer festivals scheduled to take place in Maine this year, including two in Bangor and four in Portland. For beer fans and tourism officials that’s worth a cheer. A few years ago there were only three. Starting this weekend through early November, these festivals, in which ale is sampled and the characteristics of hops and barley contemplated, pump up the state’s burgeoning brewing industry, which now has 35 craft breweries, and attracts hundreds of beer tourists with money to spare. As craft beer explodes across the country and Maine’s brewers continue to make a name for themselves among beer enthusiasts, cities such as Bangor are starting to capitalize on the wave. Zeth Lundy, co-owner of Central Street Farmhouse in Bangor and an organizer of the Bangor Brew Fest in early August, is leading the charge in Queen City. Lundy and his wife opened Central Street Farmhouse, which sells home-brewing equipment, in 2010. Around the same time Geaghan Brothers Brewing and Nocturnem Draft Haus opened. “Before those things happened, you had to go to Portland for a good beer bar or homebrew store,” Lundy said. (read more at Lewiston Sun Journal)

Woman Selling Leaf Lettuce From A Card Table At A Farmer’s Market Seems To Think She Invented Agriculture About Four Years Ago

Outdoor market. Maine News from The Rumford MeteorSOUTH PORTLAND – The South Portland Planning Board voted unanimously Tuesday to allow the Maine Mall to bring its farmers market out of the parking lot and into center court for its sophomore season, which opens Friday. “So, last time did not work out, I gather?” asked Planning Board member Caroline Hendry. “That’s one way to look at it,” said the mall’s general manager, Craig Gorris. “We thought there would be a little more synergy next to Hannaford in what we call our festival lot. That was probably a miscalculation on our part. It wasn’t the ideal location.” Among the issues, Gorris admitted the expanse of pavement, while also reflecting summer heat onto shoppers and vendors, did not present the agricultural feel one normally associates with a farmers market. A lack of surrounding trees also left the vendors open to the vagaries of the wind, he said. “There are a couple of returning vendors who remember their tents falling down a few times [from the wind],” said the mall’s marketing manager, Stefanie Millette, on Monday. “They don’t have to deal with that this year, so they’re very excited about the move inside.” (read more at Weekly Observer)


Belfast Locavore Restaurant Closes, Cites Unreasonable Customers Unwilling To Eat Nothing But Beets For Seven Straight Months

Belfast locavore restaurantThe rumors are true: The Lost Kitchen, the acclaimed locavore restaurant opened by Chef Erin French in late 2011 in downtown Belfast has officially closed it doors. Almost immediately, however, another restaurant has sprung up to take its place: The Gothic, which will offer locally inspired food and drink on, is set to open Friday, June 7. Even more tantalizingly, chef Matthew Kenney, a Searsport native and part-time Belfast resident who is internationally renowned for his take on raw and vegan food, will be the one opening The Gothic – named for the old coffee shop that was located at 108 Main St. until the mid-2000s. Kenney, who owns two restaurants in Santa Monica, CA and Miami, and who has written ten cookbooks, will offer a mix of raw foods, vegan and non-vegan dishes, and artisanal cocktails at his new eatery. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Local Bees Wish These Dreadful Creatures Would Buzz Off And Pay Attention To Their Own Shiftless, Unemployed, Sugar-Addicted Basement-Dwelling Larvae For A Change

Local Beekeeper in WiscassetTo the members of the Knox-Lincoln Beekeepers Club, springtime means the appearance of the honeybees that have wintered over in their hives. It also means bringing together a class of new beekeepers for six weeks of Bee School. Of the nearly 50 people at a class in the American Legion Hall in Thomaston, fewer than 10 people already have their bees. Karen Carroll of St. George purchased her bees last year and is now attending her second Bee School. She was proud to say that her bees survived this hard winter, when many veteran beekeepers lost theirs. She started with bees in her first year because she didn’t want to just test the waters. “I wanted to start right in with a hive,” she said. Jean Vose opened the first class with information about managing your hive in spring and summer. A beekeeper for 27 years, Vose and her husband, Dick, have cared for many hives, first in Massachusetts and in recent years in Nobleboro. (read more at Wiscasset Newspaper)

Maple Syrup Producers Branching Out Into Producing Birch Syrup; May Try Tapping Telephone Poles Next

Birch syrupLEE, N.H. — Unlike maple syrup-drenched Vermont and lobster-rich Maine, New Hampshire doesn’t have much to call its own in the food world. But it could find a future claim to fame in birch syrup, a nontraditional but increasingly popular product pulled from New Hampshire’s state tree. For now, New Hampshire has just one known commercial producer of birch syrup, which is made in a similar manner as maple syrup but tastes completely different and commands a significantly higher price. But the industry is growing in western Canada and Alaska, and it’s being studied as a possible add-on venture for maple syrup producers across the northeastern United States. (read more at Lewiston Sun Journal)

Maine Maple Syrup Sunday Lets Parents Take A Day Off From Haranguing Children About Obesity While They Chug Liquid Sugar Like A Housefly

Maine maple syrup SundayPOLAND — At Russell Hill Farm, owner Kurt Russell was busy tending the evaporator and answering questions in his 20-foot-square sugar shack on the 30th Maine Maple Sunday. In front of his house family members served up pancakes and maple-related wares, including maple candy and baked goods. It’s his fourth year of sugar production but his first with a shack to work from. Russell described his evaporator as a two-by-six, a designation syrup producers use referencing the size of the actual evaporation surface area. The $6,000 unit is perfect for Russell’s 375 tapped maples on his property. Russell said there are approximately 1,000 trees that could potentially be tapped if he could keep up with the sap flow. Russell showed off his system to a small group that had gathered. First a vacuum draws sap from the trees via plastic taps with check valves, through tubes of various gauges, to a larger collection tank a few yards from his shack. The check valves in the taps prevent the possibility of sap flowing back into the trees in the event of pressure failure. (read more at Lewiston Sun Journal)

Irish Mainers Start Drinking Early To Celebrate… Well, Something Or Other. Whatever’s Handy

Saint Patrick's Day celebrationBANGOR, Maine — With her “Pinch me, I will punch you” green Irish T-shirt and a golden ale in her hand, Amy Douglass sat in Paddy Murphy’s Irish pub on Sunday morning measuring just how far from Kansas she has come. “I have never been up this early in my life. I am totally not kidding,” said the 39-year-old hairdresser and bartender, who moved from Kansas to Orrington about three weeks ago. “I have never celebrated St. Patrick’s Day like this before, unless you count in Kansas, and there the bars aren’t open at all on Sundays.” “Maine,” Douglass said solemnly, “is very cool.” Douglass was among about 75 people who celebrated the Irish-American holiday by doing exactly what Gov. Paul LePage and the state Legislature allowed them to do — start the party early. She and other Paddy’s patrons cheered the emergency legislation LePage signed into law allowing bars and restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day when the holiday falls on a Sunday. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

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