Sunday, December 8, 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.
Hunter Orange at L.L. Bean in Freeport
In an effort to explore all of Maine’s food sources in this blog, I have begun spending time with hunters and fishermen learning about some of the traditions of the great outdoors. Living in and traveling through rural parts of the state I have become intimately aware of hunting as both a sport and a way to feed one’s family. What has surprised me is how much the hunters I have spoken with enjoy simply being in the woods, the rituals, and the camaraderie with old buddies; as much if not sometimes more than the challenge of the hunt.
Maine has long been of this country’s great hunting states. With an abundance of birds and big game and vast stretches of rural country in the northern part of the state, it is no wonder Theodore Roosevelt developed his love for outdoor sportsmanship here. People come from all over to experience the rawness of Maine’s great wilderness and participate in a wildlife-related activity.
Feeling wintry? The days are darker and cold weather is making its way into the forecast. This just means it is time to incite the holiday spirit and set up camp in the kitchen and map out which of the following local ag minded fun and educational events you want to attend.
Tonight is Maine Farmland Trust’s Annual Meeting. The event will be from 5-7 p.m. at the Salt Institute Gallery at 561 Congress St. in Portland. The event is open to the public. Food from Local Sprout Cooperative, local wine, beer, hard cider, music, general merriment, and just a little bit of business! Severine von Tscharner Fleming, director of the film The Greenhorns, about a new generation of young farmers, will give a short talk at 6:30PM.
Portland Farmers’ Market will continue on Wednesdays (in Monument Square) from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Saturdays (in Deering Oaks on Deering Avenue) from 7 a.m. – noon thru November 20. The Winter Farmers’ Market will move to 200 Anderson Street in Portland on Saturday, December 7.
Rosemont Produce Company will host a tea tasting with Little Red Cup on Saturday, November 16 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Rosemont Produce Company at 5 Commercial St. in Portland.
Every November families crowd around the dinner table to clink glasses, say thanks, and to eat a lot of (hopefully) delicious food. Serving the big meal to me, means sourcing as many ingredients as possible locally to honor those first settlers in Plymouth, Massachusetts who in 1621 you know were not cruising down the aisle of a big box store in search of Stouffers. It is far more likely the Pilgrims were eating game acquired by Native Americans and dishes made of crops harvested from nearby fields.
This holiday is about more than just eating, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to say thank you to Maine’s extraordinarily hard working and efficient agricultural community and to share one’s abundance with those who are less fortunate (e.g. those affected by natural disasters in the last couple years).
With these sentiments in mind, following are sources for locally produced food and drink as well as suggestions for what to do with leftovers and extra ingredients. For fun I have also included an expert's tips on cooking a turkey, and a few recipes from Maine sources.
The Big Meal
A house on Summer Street in Kennebunk welcoming trick-or-treaters, also on October 31, 2012. Press Herald file photo.
As the days grow shorter and the nights frosty, harvest season is coming to an end in Northern New England. The last two weeks have been spent under frequently gray skies in my insulated Carhartt overalls clearing out the garden beds, planting garlic, piling hay bales around the chicken coop in the barn (as a wind block), and disposing of field mice caught by my cat. Dead leaves are scattered behind the beehives in the back, lending a deeper look into the woods.
Custom Cheese Plate
During the month of October (American Cheese Month!), The Root is embarking on a short series celebrating Maine cheese makers who have the attention of cheese lovers from near and far. The first piece in the series, featuring Spring Day Creamery, may be found here and the second on Hahn’s End here.
For this series, The Root is collaborating with Shannon Tallman, American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional (one of two in Maine) and Specialty Cheese Buyer for Whole Foods Market.