Thursday, December 12, 2013
Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog, deliciousmusings.com.
When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse.
In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more.
Don Kleiner, a professional Maine guide, and his pointer Rocket in Union.
Last week I headed to Union for my first upland bird hunting experience with longtime Maine guide Don Kleiner. Maine is known for having some excellent bird hunting, but arranging a successful excursion – finding and gaining entrance to a bird cover for starters – does not happen for a lot of folks without professional help. Going with Kleiner meant access to knowledge he has garnered over 50 years of experience hunting and his pointing dogs.
Kleiner operates a guide service in Union, Maine Outdoors that offers a variety of fishing, recreational and hunting services. He also serves as Executive Director of the Maine Professional Guides Association. As a child he hunted with his father and grandfather, who encouraged his love of being outdoors and enjoying wildlife, and instilled in him a lifelong love for the hunt. A guide for grouse and woodcock hunters since 1984, he rarely carries a gun. For him the joy is being in the woods and the camaraderie he has with new and longtime clients – who range from beginners to experienced hunters.
A homemade gingerbread creation by Patricia Moroz.
What is Christmas without baking and family holiday projects? Combine the two and you have a homemade gingerbread house making session. To keep this Christmastime tradition cheery (no Brothers Grimm here) and simple, the Root turned to Patricia Moroz, owner of Starlight Custom Cakes in Rockport, for tips on gingerbread construction. Moroz is Mid-Coast Maine’s authority on gingerbread houses, creating 100 - 150 gingerbread houses annually for a sale to benefit the Rockport Garden Club and at one time decorating the Camden Opera House’s holiday window displays.
Gather the family, pour the eggnog, and get ready to unleash your inner Frank Lloyd Wright. No architecture or baking degrees needed. To design your house or barn, search online for free gingerbread house or dollhouse patterns. Also check out Pinterest for pictures of gingerbread houses (these could come in especially handing when decorating).
Balsam Ridge Christmas Tree Farm in Raymond is a winter wonderland.
In the winter solstice celebrations of Scandinavians and other North European peoples, the decorated evergreen symbolizes the life-force that persists even in the dead months of the year. All I know, is that in my household it does not truly feel like the holiday season until the Christmas tree has been decorated. Perhaps even more fun than decorating the tree, however is the adventurous morning visiting a local Christmas tree grower to pick out this year’s tree. At Balsam Ridge Christmas Tree Farm, a family operation in Raymond that has been selling pre-cut and cut-your-own trees since the mid-1990s, you can drink hot chocolate and nibble on a maple lollipop while finding that perfect evergreen. One feels as if they walked onto the set of White Christmas or that it would be perfectly normal for a family to stop and sing a few lines from Lydia Maria Child’s “Over the River and Through the Woods”.
In 1993, Sharon and Dewey Lloy purchased their 50 acre parcel with the intention of operating a Christmas tree farm. In 1998, they began sugaring. The tree and maple operations were developed so Sharon could be a stay-at-home-mom and generate part-time income (her husband has a nonfarm job).
This week I have posted a gift guide once a day. I hope they will help you with everyone who is on your list. Check out Monday’s post on gift ideas for your best friend here, Tuesday’s post for your significant other here, Wednesday’s post for your aspiring farmer or young animal lover here, and Thursday’s post for your sibling(s) here.
Part #5: Your Co-Workers, Without Whom There Would be Less Laughter and Song
A tin of homemade cookies and the Mast Brothers Cookbook (check out the chapter on the Maine Coast), $35. For a sweet stocking stuffer, consider the Mast Brothers Dark Chocolate Bar with (Maine) Sea Salt, $10-12.
All this week I will be posting a gift guide once a day. I hope they help you with everyone who is on your list. Check out Monday’s post on gift ideas for your best friend here, Tuesday’s post for your significant other here, and Wednesday’s post for your aspiring farmer or young animal lover here.
Part #4: Your Sibling, "The Grow Your Own-er"
Help his or her collection of ceramics with pretty handmade pieces from some of Maine’s artists.
Kari Radasch teaches ceramics at Southern Maine Community College. Lately she has become interested in assertive acts of decorating: graffiti, stickers, tattoos and piercing’s. “They seem unequivocal and self-assured in there desire to adorn,” Radasch said. “The physical nature of these acts alone shows conviction. I like that confidence. I like to think that every time I decorate I am instigating a deliberate and significant act of “Making Special”. I decorate therefore I am.” Price range $40- and up Don’t miss her Online Holiday Mug Sale Tuesday, December 10 at noon. Fast shipping turnaround, gift wrapping option and local pickup available.