Washington news

By Charlotte Henderson | Mar 15, 2019

Recipes debut at Union Historical Society

Union Historical Society is bursting into spring with a new event for the whole community. On Thursday, March 21, UHS will host its "Come Spring" Tea, featuring goodies made from recipes written out by Lena Grinnell in 1896. The recipes were rediscovered recently in the archival room at UHS and inspired the tea party to launch a cookbook. UHS board member Wanda Garland has transcribed all of Lena’s recipes and served as test baker, trying each dish in her old Clarion cookstove and bringing samples to other members.

As she’s worked through the collection, Wanda has taken pictures to use in the cookbook. Members in period attire will present the "Come Spring" Tea from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Robbins House on the Common in Union. There will be tea and goodies, plus a sneak peek at the proofs for the cookbook. The event is free and everyone is welcome to come. What a good way to have some fun, get a taste of history – literally -- and connect with others interested in local times gone by.

Go native with spring planting

Local author, forager and founder of Washington’s Edible Landscape David Spahr, is encouraging home gardeners to go with native plants when planning their yard or landscape. Spahr, the ultimate naturalist, points out that there are many reasons to favor native species. One important one is that, in a natural system, birds count on the native species for their food supply and if there’s insufficient food, the birds are unable to breed. Of course, that was the short version of the story.

If you’re drooling over the catalogs, consider native plants and seeds. A favorite, relatively new resource I use is WildSeedProject.net. Local farms that offer seedlings include Crystal Lake Farm (Sharon Turner and Eli Berry) and Dharma Farm (Abby Lydon and Jeffrey Knox). (Others? Let me know.) Coming up on April 5, Gibbs Library and Washington Lakes Association are sponsoring a public talk with Extension’s Hildy Ellis about using native plants and enriching bird habitat. More about this in a couple of weeks.

Book group pushes forward

Gibbs book group actually is pushing forward the target date for reading “These Truths,” Jill Lepore’s lengthy and interesting deep look at American history. It’s just not the kind of reading one can buzz through, so the group has decided to take more time. The March 21 discussion will hold over to April 18.

Fun on the farm

The Farmers Market at Pumpkin Vine Family Farm – just over the line in Somerville – will be open for its March winter market Sunday, March 17, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. There are winter vegetables, baked goods, organic pork, eggs, goat cheese and more. While you’re there, you can say hello to some of the goat mammas with their bellies full of babies that are due to be born in a few weeks. Pumpkin Vine Farm is one mile from Route 17 (Augusta Road) on Hewett Road in Somerville (right turn just after Somerville Fire Station).

Lakes Association to meet

Washington Lakes Watershed Association will meet to appoint board members Monday, March 18, at Gibbs Library. This is the first of the four meetings the group schedules each season. Most of the association’s activities are outdoors, with lake water sampling, paddles on Crystal Lake or Washington Pond, and periodic checks for nonnative aquatic plants. WLWA was formed in 1991 by property owners and residents to help maintain the excellent lake water quality that contributes to local recreational and property values. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in the Bryant Room.

Historical society at Masonic Hall

On March 19, Washington Historical Society will meet at Mt. Olivet Masonic Hall, its regular meeting place, after three meetings at Gibbs Library for a mapping project. At this regular third Tuesday get-together, members will begin planning activities for spring and summer, including their open house dates, Community Auction, and annual meeting. Everyone who would like to help make the events happen or who has an interest in Washington’s bygone days is welcome to attend the meetings, which start at 7 p.m.

Election and town meeting

Coming up on March 29 and 30 are the annual municipal voting opportunities. On Friday, voting for selectman will take place at Gibbs Library from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. At town meeting on Saturday, March 30, residents will review and vote on the Warrant, a list of many items relating to town policies and spending our property tax money. One item is to see whether voters will approve $2,500 to install a blinking yellow speed limit sign on Liberty Road for southbound traffic before entering the village.

Town meeting, as I’ve so often said, is not only democracy at its foundation, but also interesting, fun and a great way to meet up with other residents and be in the know about the town’s business.

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