Drive for the good of it

MCH Meals on Wheels recipients in Washington and Union urgently need volunteer drivers to deliver their meals. Meals on Wheels is their weekday lifeline, and an important part of how homebound older adults (over 60) and individuals with disabilities, are able to stay in their own homes. Hot, nutritious meals are cooked from scratch each day in the Methodist Conference Home (MCH) kitchen in Rockland.

Volunteer drivers pick up the meals about 9 a.m. on weekdays and deliver them to people on an assigned route. Drivers are expected to attend a training/orientation session prior to beginning deliveries. Masks and hand sanitizer are provided.

MCH Meals on Wheels, which serves all of Knox County, has been a program of Methodist Conference Home — aka “Making Community Happen” — since 1971. Katie Tarbox, the program coordinator for the MCH Meals on Wheels program is the contact person and trainer for Meals on Wheels volunteers. She says volunteers are obviously essential, no doubt. She adds the brief weekday visits are a high point of the day for many of the clients. Any amount of time people can give is very wanted and welcome. To inquire about volunteering for MCH Meals on Wheels, or to refer someone in need anywhere in Knox County, please call Tarbox at 207-701-9641, or email her at ktarbox@mchinc.org.

Pumpkin Vine winter patron plan

Pumpkin Vine Family Farm — just over the line in Somerville — is beginning its winter market season, with a plan similar to last year’s. Since it’s not yet safe to gather inside the cozy, but very small market building, they are offering a pre-order and pick-up like last year. Every other week, vendors offer fresh greens and root crops, bread and pastries and sausage and goat dairy, with other items occasionally added in. Here’s how it works: Every two weeks, Kelly Roopchand of Pumpkin Vine Farm sends out an email with links to each vendors’ order form, which should arrive on Wednesdays. To place an order, click the links and fill out each vendor’s order form by Saturday at 8 p.m. If you want to pre-pay with credit card — the easiest method for the vendors — you’ll receive an email with a payment link by the Monday before the next-day pick-up. They can also accept cash in correct amounts, checks, EBT cards and Maine Harvest Bucks when the order is picked up on Tuesdays. Pick up your order Tuesdays at the farm between 4-8 p.m. Orders will be in the farmhouse behind the red door and bagged with your name on it. If you would like to receive the informational email, send your full name, email address, and phone number to Kelly, at info@pumpkinvinefamilyfarm.com.

Invite to winter markets

If you offer farm grown food for sale during the winter, and your farm/growing area is in Washington or “just over the line” in another town, I’ll be glad to run a mention in another column. Send me your contact details.

Extended growing season

At our house, the first frost was on Wednesday, November 3. Each night since has been super chilly, too. But, according to garden.org, the usual frost-free growing season in our area starts around May 7 and ends about October 1. Of course, that varies, but adding the extra month amounted to around 150 days — a really fine growing season. It brought us right up to the time change back to Standard Time, so it’ll be dark by supper. Is it finally time to stop with the time change?

Did you know?

Maine is one of 18 states that has already approved the idea of going to permanent Daylight Saving Time. And, ta da, there’s more. On Nov. 2, a bill, H.R.5826, to “allow States to elect to observe year-round daylight saving time . . . “ was introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Rogers of Alabama. At this writing time — at 4:30 it’s twilight — the text of the bill was not available, but it’s on its way to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Interestingly, H.R. 5826 text isn’t online because it’s newly introduced. In an example of government efficiency, bills usually go to the Library of Congress from the Government Publishing Office a day or two after they’re introduced — which was Nov. 2. So, we’ll have it next week. Let’s hope it doesn’t take a decade for Congress to act on it.