Ice out watch under way
At last, spring is making her way onto our local scene. The darkening ice on our lakes and ponds is signaling the approach of Ice Out. Here in our little town a contest was held at the SnowFest and Fishing Derby back in February to guess the date of ice-out on Washington Pond. The contest, with a $50 prize for the correct date of ice-out, is sponsored by the Washington Lakes Watershed Association to create interest in this natural phenomenon and add a fun activity to the Derby Run by Hill & Gully Riders Snowmobile Club. Guesses ran from March 14 through a couple of dates in May — those latter no doubt reflecting the pessimism of winter 2014. For the purpose of the contest, ice out is defined as the date when a paddler can travel the length of the lake from a northern point to a southern point unimpeded by ice. Volunteers are watching as the ice thins, darkens, breaks up and disappears (yayyyy). Last year ice out was April 8. We’ll be sure to announce ice-out date and the contest winner as soon as it happens.
Masonic Lodge presents public supper
Mt. Olivet Lodge will be hosting a Roast Pork Supper this Saturday, April 19. The meal includes roast pork with gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetables, salad, biscuits, dessert, coffee, tea and punch at $10 for adults and $5 for children. An alternative meal for kids is a free hot dog in a bun and chips. The supper is served from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the lodge, 48 Liberty Road, just north of Washington Village on Route 220. For more information, 845-3045.
Farmers market opens for season
Our local farmers market opened last Saturday for enthusiastic loyal patrons and newcomers alike. Fresh eggs and sausage from Sue Frank; dairy products including milk, cheeses, and yogurt from Cara Lewis; baked goods such as breads, turnovers, sweet rolls, and cookies from Jean Feldeisen; hardy seedlings from Sharon Turner; and handmade wooden cutting boards (beautiful and useful) from Neal Foley. Neal is also introducing “bokashi,” a finished compost enhancer. We’ll get more details from Neal and report more on that next week. The Market, or more formally, Washington Grange Farmers’ Market, will be open every Saturday morning until late fall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Evening Star Grange Hall, 31 Old Union Road. Local products from local producers plus lunch items from Grange cooks to eat in or take out. What’s not to love?
Becoming an Apple Auntie
A few weeks ago we signed up with MOFGA to adopt three heritage apple trees and track their progress. (The moniker “Apple Auntie” popped into my head as a nurturing and fun designation for myself in this role.) Last Saturday we drove off to Unity (MOFGA’s headquarters) to choose the adoptees. A countless array of young trees was arranged by categories – planting zone, whether for eating fresh or cooking uses, and variety name. Our choices were from the southern central Maine zone, one fresh eating and two cooking use apple types named Daniel Foster, Davis Purple and Mother. There were some varieties available whose names seemed a little familiar, but choosing unknowns seemed attractive and would offer a chance to research these varieties. So, the deed was done. Sunday, it rained making a perfect day to get our babies into the ground. No doubt we’ll have more to say about our little living heirlooms. If you or someone you know is also raising baby heritage apple trees, we’d like to know about it.
Donations and volunteers needed
Every year Gibbs Library presents the Giant Garage and Plant Sale, it’s most lucrative and also labor intensive project. Volunteers are needed to help collect, price, and sell donated items; dig, box and label plants; and help with set-up, take-down, and provide assistance during the actual sale. This is a huge effort and lots of helpers are crucial. If you have some items to donate or will help out with some aspect of this project, please call Beth at 845-2611 and make a plan. The Giant Garage and Plant Sale is Saturday, May 17, all day.