Making the switch
We all know that the end of summer is much later in the month, but Labor Day certainly marks the time when things change dramatically. Of course, our kids and grandkids go back to school. Our summer camps close, Sweet Season Café goes to off-season hours, and there’s a general sense of settling down. The summer’s unusual weather prompted a lot of comments. Was it so unusual? Or, is it always unusual? No wonder Mainers’ conversations are so often about the whether — I mean, weather.
Youth Book Discussion Saturday
This Saturday, Sept. 7, at 5:30 p.m. the free monthly youth book discussion and supper will be held at Gibbs Library. The book is Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin. This youth program is open to all readers in fourth grade and up. All the books in this series are loaded on Kindles at the library as well as being available in hardcover. The discussion includes a nutritious home cooked meal generously prepared by Kate and Nick Nichols. To take part in the fun, stop by the library and pick up the book and just show up at the library Saturday, at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday school at Village Church
Sunday School for all ages will begin this Sunday, Sept. 8, at 9 a.m. at the Village Church on Liberty Road. For information, call Pastor Tim Lewis at 845-2447.
Village flags taken down
If you pass through Washington Village frequently, as we do, the American flags mounted on utility poles along Route 220 from Sweet Season Café to Prescott School are a beautiful and pride-invoking sight. They were taken down recently in order to prevent fall wind and weather from making them unusable for another season. The town got complaints about frayed flags, and the town got grievances about taking flags down so early — proving the theory that you can’t please everybody. The select board has decided to turn responsibility for the utility pole flags over to a citizen group to oversee the care and maintenance of the flags and handle public comments. Right now the flags are stored away for safe keeping until next spring.
Never too late to learn
Last week we attended a talk at the Belfast Library about the lacto-fermentation method of food preservation. Although new to me, it’s the age-old process by which sauerkraut is made — salting down the produce in its own juices. It turns out that lots of other fruits and vegetables can be preserved by the same method and, because it doesn’t use heat in the process, nutrients are fully retained. The simplicity of the whole operation is appealing and it seems well worth a try. There will be another public session on the subject Thursday, Sept. 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St., in Belfast. Author, blogger, and all-round fermentation fanatic, Sandor Ellix Katz, is the speaker. There is a $5 suggested donation for this workshop. If anyone wants to carpool to this out-of-town event let me know.
First place — twice
Agricultural fairs like Union Fair and Windsor Fair offer an abundance of entertainment and education about rural life and home skills. Ever since skipping school in sixth grade to attend a “country fair” I’ve loved the smell of the animals and the hay, the colorful jars of preserves, the fancy-feathered poultry, the handcrafts and the wholesomeness of it all. Our own Evening Star Grange took first place at Union Fair and Windsor Fair for their display. Congratulations to Priscilla Packard, Janet Eckert, and Cheryl Moscato who created the display on the theme “A Gallery of Gardens” featuring canned fruits and vegetables, jam, vinegars, etc., fresh produce, and examples of handwork.
Looking ahead to pesticide collection
The Obsolete Pesticide Collection Program is a pretty big deal so some advance thinking is needed to participate. The program of the Maine DEP and Maine Board of Pesticide Control makes it possible for homeowners, family-owned farms, and greenhouses to safely dispose of banned or un-useable pesticides for free. First thing one has to do is register for the program before Sept. 27, 2013. Contacting the Board of Pesticide Control at thinkfirstspraylast.org or 287-2731.
Day of Affirmation speech
In honor of the I-Have-A-Dream-Speech anniversary last week, here’s a line from The Day of Affirmation “ripple of hope” speech which is generally considered to be the greatest of Robert Francis Kennedy’s career. It was delivered at the University of Cape Town, South Africa on June 6, 1966. In part, RFK said, “. . . human history is shaped each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice. He sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest wall of oppression and resistance.”