587406_451547-vegcutYou can’t live on love alone. Seriously. Why not give the happy couple the gift of a CSA (community supported agriculture) share so they can live on love and everything from veggies to lamb? Full shares can cost $600, but many farms offer partial shares so there may be a price point for every giver. And the variety here in Maine borders on the ridiculous. You can give flowers (snellfamilyfarm.com or broadturnfarm.com) or dry goods. Songbird Farm packs their CSA with heirloom dry beans, Abenake Flint cornmeal and Red Fife wheat flour, among other things. At portclydefreshcatch.com you can order a gift CSF (community supported fishery). Or how about weekly fresh eggs from Two Coves Farm in Harpswell? For a comprehensive directory of Maine CSAs, listed by county and searchable by town, visit the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, www.mofga.net. – M.P.


587406_451547-wineOyster River Winegrowers runs a wine and beverages club it calls the Enological All Stars. For $275 you can sign your newly wedded friends or family up for quarterly deliveries of three bottles of wine, selected by vintner Brian Smith, who studied winemaking at Fresno State University in California. Listen to the likely options for the 2015 All Star lineup, starting with the 2012 Panacea, the first release of a Maine-grown traditional-method sparkling wine. Native yeast fermented, naturally produced and only 15 cases available. Or how about 2014 Wildman Cider, made from fruit “gathered from our farm and other wild or old abandoned trees from the fields and forests in our locale.” The romance of that alone sells this as a gift. And don’t even get us started on the cuteness of the draft horses who cultivate the grapevines. Call 273-2998 or visit oysterriverwine.com for more information. – M.P.


587406_451547-compostMaybe it’s not the sweetest idea, but how about something highly practical like a gift subscription to a composting service? For $14 a month, Garbage to Garden (57 Industrial Way, Portland, www.garbagetogarden.org) will pick up your bucket of scraps – meat, dairy and bones welcome too – and whisk it away, while leaving a clean bucket. Then the happy couple can request deliveries of matured compost when they’re ready to plant their spring garden. If there is no such pickup and delivery service in your newlyweds’ town, consider the gift of a home composter. The Ecomposter Rotating Sphere Composter, which costs a hideous amount ($249 at cleanairgardening.com), is so good-looking that once we insisted at a garden party it was definitely a cool piece of sculpture. Oops. – M.P.



587406_451547-3applesGive your just-married friends the gift that keeps on growing, like say, an heirloom fruit tree from Clinton-based Fedco. If you aren’t sure what kind of tree your friends would like, give them a gift certificate. Send Fedco a check with the amount you’d like the gift certificate to be for, the recipients’ names and don’t forget to ask for a catalog so the happy couple can spend their first winter together staring out at the snow and imagining something blooming every spring. Visit fedcoseeds.com or call 426-9900. – M.P.


587406_451547-passGiving a seasonal pass to Maine’s state parks is giving an outdoors-loving couple several gifts in one. In spring, when winter-weary Mainers want to soak up the sun like cormorants drying their wings, give the gift of a warm Sunday afternoon at Two Lights State Park, where the newlyweds can spread out a blanket, enjoy a picnic, read a book and watch the lobster boats at work. In the height of summer, the couple can put on their bathing suits and head for Reid State Park in Georgetown, where the white sand beaches offer privacy (at least more than other Maine beaches, especially on weekdays) and brisk oceanfront waters for a cooling dip. The passes are annual, which adds to the specialness of that first year of marriage, and the couple can even share with their friends, as a vehicle park pass costs $70 and allows all the occupants – up to a 17-passenger van – free day use of almost any state park. Buy the passes from the Division of Parks and Public Lands on the website maine.gov. – M.G.


587406_451547-potteryA few years ago, I was confronted with a wedding nightmare: All three of my sister’s children were getting married within a five-week period. For me, this meant spending money on three flights, two hotels (I stayed with my sister for one of the weddings), three outfits and three wedding gifts. I’m close to my nieces and nephew, so I wanted to put real thought into their gifts, to get them something to display in their homes and, eventually, pass along to their kids. I wanted each gift to show the bride/groom the special place they hold in my heart. And while I was willing to spend, I didn’t want to break the bank, either. Also, all three had visited me in Maine many times as children, so I knew they would expect “something Maine-y,” as one of my nieces put it. My solution? Pottery and glass made by local artisans. My oldest niece, the artistic one, got a stunning piece of emerald art glass. Her little sister received a plum-colored platter, at once practical and pretty – just like her. My nephew and his bride got a sky-blue pottery vase fired in her favorite color. I shipped off the well-packed (and insured) gifts so I wouldn’t have to worry about carrying them on my flights. They are all still displayed, and well loved, today. – M.G.

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