Archive for the ‘Maine-made products’ Category

Glendarragh Farm Lavender’s new Camden store is heaven scent

June 7, 2010

I’m a huge lavender fan, not just for the scent, but also the taste. Lavender Earl Grey tea, lavender shortbread, lavender chocolate, lavender chicken… if the ingredients list lavender, I’m a goner. No surprise, then that my nose drew me into Glendarragh Farm Lavender’s new store in downtown Camden, and trust me, for lavender fans, this place truly is heaven scent: lotions, sachets, bath salts, soaps, teas, sweets, sachets, dried lavender, lavender plants; it’s all here perfuming the store and the street outside its front door.

The name Glendarragh, Gaelic for “Glen of the Oaks,” honors owners Lorie and Patrick Costigan’s Irish ancestry and refers to the oak forests that line the fields and pathways of theit 26-acre riverfront family farm in Appleton, where they grew multiple varieties of both French and English lavender. With the move to Camden, the farm is no longer regularly open to visitors except for special harvest events.

And did I mention it sells a lavender cookbook?

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Pour more MOO

May 31, 2010

Have you heard of MOOMilk? When H.P. Hood stopped buying organic milk from 10 Maine family dairy farms, those farms formed a cooperative, Maine’s Own Organic Milk Company, and began producing MOOMilk.

Happy kid, happy cow: MOOMilk photo.

MOO has been struggling, due to a higher price point in relationship to out-of-state brands. In mid May, Hannaford (my favorite supermarket chain for this and many other reasons) came to the rescue. It lowered the price by 30-cents to $3.99 per half gallon, keeping it in line with other organic milks from out of state.

If you’re an organic milk drinker, choose MOO; if you’re not, at least give it a try. Yes, I recognize it might be a budget stretch, but by doing so, even only once in a while, you’re helping keep Maine’s organic family dairy farms in biz.

Wings, Waves, & Woods returns to Deer Isle

May 10, 2010

Birders and art fans are invited to Deer Isle for the fourth annual Wings, Waves, & Woods, May 21-23. The festival, timed to coincide with early migration, is sponsored by the Island Heritage Trust, and a brochure detailing the event can be downloaded from its website.

Bob Duchesne, founder of the Maine Birding Trail, author of Maine Birding Trail, and a Maine Audubon trip leader for more than 20 years,  is this year’s special guest.

The festival opens with a reception Friday evening at the Pearson Legacy Gallery  showcasing bird-related artwork by more than 40 artists.

On Saturday and Sunday, experts will lead walks (free, donations appreciated), guide boat trips (fee), and give presentations and demonstrations. Here’s a sampling:

Warbler Walk, Settlement Quarry Preserve

Scotts Landing Bird Walk

Birding by Kayak, kayaks provided, $60

Nesting Eagles and Their Neighbors, Causeway Beach

Introduction to Birding

Puffins & Pelagics, cruise to Seal Island with Bob Duschesne, $60

Create Birdbaths & Planters, $35

Birdhouse Building for Kids, $5 includes materials and snack

Studio Demo & Tour (with the mega-talented Missy Greene and Eric Ziner)

Birding Identification Made Easy, Bob Duschesne

Lily Pond Walk

Found Objects Sculptures, demonstration, with Peter Beerits at Nervous Nellie’s Jams & Jellies (one of my all-time favorite places)

Local Foods Chowder Supper will be available on Saturday night (seating limited; $12).

Where to stay: There are some wonderful accommodations available on Deer Isle. My favorite is the aptly named Inn on the Harbor, in Stonington. Both the Pilgrim’s Inn and The Inn at Ferry Landing are lovely B&Bs in Deer Isle. To really get in the spirit of the birding weekend, book a cabin at the oceanfront Goose Cove Resort, in Sunset, which borders the Barred Island Preserve. On a budget? Boyce’s Motel, in downtown Stonington, has clean rooms, some with kitchenettes. For dirt cheap accommodations, book a bunk at the rustic-bordering-on-primitive Deer Isle Hostel.

Rock on at the Maine Mineral Symposium

May 3, 2010

View and learn all about tourmaline, amethyst, beryl and other minerals and gemstones at the 21st annual Maine Mineral Symposium, May 7-9, at The Senator Inn & Spa, in Augusta. The majority of presentations and exhibits are on Saturday, with collecting field trips on Sunday for registered participants. Symposium registration is $15.

“This is not like a regular rock and mineral show,” says Woody Thompson, Maine Geological Survey physical geologist and symposium organizer. “What distinguishes this symposium is the program of educational talks at its core.” These aren’t scientific discussions, but more informal presentations, he adds. The three-day program also includes exhibits and field trips. Displays will include the Eureka Blue tourmaline find at Newry.

While the emphasis is on Maine, New England, and the Northeast, the symposium also touches on more exotic locales. This year’s program includes talks on mineral exploration in China and the giant crystal cavern in Naica, Mexico.

Fun Fact: Mineral mining in Maine began in 1820 at Mt. Mica, and the site still is being mined. It remains one of the major producers of Maine tourmaline and is the oldest gem mine in the U.S. (Maine Dept. of Conservation)

Conference presenters include:

Frank Perham, of the famous Perham mining family of West Paris, who will speak on “Recent Pegmatite Mining at the Waisanen and Albany Rose Quarries, Maine.” Pegmatite is a host rock that often contains other minerals, such as tourmaline and garnet, and Maine is famous for it.

Louise Jonaitis, partner at Plumbago Mountain, who will discuss “What’s New at Newry,” where the rare Eureka Blue tourmaline was discovered. A large stone was presented as a gift to President Obama during his recent Portland visit.

Richard Bostwick, of New York City, will speak on “Franklin and Sterling Hill, New Jersey: A Great American Mineral Locality,” and the world’s premier source of fluorescent minerals;

Vandall King, of Rochester, N.Y., who will speak on “Lithium Mineralization in Granite Pegmatites.” Lithium is an important ingredient in many rare and colorful minerals in pegmatites.

Bar Harbor food faves opening in Portland

April 30, 2010

One of my summer pleasures is having dinner at Havana followed by a scoop or two of some outrageous flavor at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream. This summer, I won’t have to travel to Bar Harbor to do so. Both Havana and MDIC are opening outposts in Portland. According to MDIC’s Facebook page, it plans to open in May (according to Portland Food Map, it’s at 51 Exchange St.). Havana South is targeting a June opening for its Wharf Street location. Next thing you know, Acadia will opening a section of the park in the city (only kidding).

6 Maine food products finalists in NASFT awards

April 25, 2010

Products from four Maine companies were among 125 finalists (out of 1,570 entries) that have advanced to the Part 1 finals of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade’s sofi Awards—consider these the Oscars of the specialty foods industry. Even better, two were double winners.

The finalists in Part 2, Outstanding Product Line and Outstanding New Products, will be named in early June. The overall winners will be announced June 28.

Part 1 awards were presented in 31 categories, from Outstanding Appetizer, Antipasto, Salsa or Dip to Outstanding Vinegar. Here are the Maine finalists, by categories. For full results, go here.

Appetizer, Antipasto, Salsa or Dip

Sullivan Harbor Farm, Hancock Village: Omega Burst

Chocolate

Sweet Marguerites, Portland: 12-Piece Assorted Chocolates

Food Gift

Sweet Marguerites, Portland: 12-piece Fleur de Sel Caramels

Frozen Savory

Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co., Cundy’s Harbor: Frozen Savory, Port Clyde Mac & Cheese, and

Soup Stew Bean or Chili

Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co., Cundy’s Harbor: Linekin Bay Lobster Corn Chowder

Vinegar

Rogers International, Portland (importer/distributor): Cattani Balsamoso Organic White Balsamic

Goat bliss: Open Creamery Day at Painted Pepper Farm

April 23, 2010

Here’s a delicious activity for this weekend: Painted Pepper Farm, in Steuben (that’s north of the Schoodic Peninsula), is the source of what I think is to-die-for gelato (try the lemon zest topped with blueberries), made from Nigerian goat milk. Saturday  (that’s tomorrow) is Open Creamery Day, and the farm is welcoming visitors, especially families, with music, storytelling, dancing, a kids’ fun run, and face painting, along with the opportunity to visit the dairy and see the newborn goat kids.

Of course, the farm will be selling its delicious yogurts (honey ginger, mmmm), cheese, fudge, and gelato as well as its other treats. During the summer, you can also purchase the farm’s products at local farmers’ markets, as well as on site. Taste, and you’ll quickly understand why this small, family-run saltwater farm has won so many awards for its products.

Sunday is Maine Maple Sunday

March 24, 2010

It’s the sweetest Sunday of the year.  This Sunday, March 28, is Maine Maple Sunday, when sugarhouses throughout Maine will open their doors for tastings, demonstrations, and tours. Consider it a rite of spring.

This is a grand opportunity, and an especially family friendly event. Learn about the process for making maple syrup from tap to table. Even better, taste the sweet goodness, perhaps on ice cream or pancakes or as cotton candy or other creative uses. Some farms will offer sugarbush tours and wagon rides. Check the website for a listing of participating sites, by county, with details on offerings at each.

Dairy-free, gluten-free truffles

March 23, 2010

Dean’sSweets has created two new non-dairy and gluten-free truffle flavors for Passover. The hand-dipped truffles, made without dairy products or grains, are available in orange and coconut and will only be available until April 1. All Dean’sSweets truffles are made without preservatives or nuts (or nut products). Now you might think Dean’sSweets has taken all the fun out of truffles, but you’d be mistaken.

Free ice cream tomorrow (really!)

March 18, 2010

Family-owned Gifford’s Ice Cream kicks off its 30th-anniversary season, tomorrow, Friday, March 19, by offering free, small ice cream cones from 6-8 p.m. at its five Maine stands: Skowhegan, Farmington, Bangor, Waterville, and Auburn.

Of course, if that’s not enough, you can splurge on other tasty treats including old-fashioned ice cream sodas, brownie-n-cream sundaes, ice cream cakes, banana splits, sundaes, parfaits, frappes and freezes. And don’t forget your dog: Gifford’s has a special dog bone sundae.

Want to know why Gifford’s tastes so great? The company makes its ice cream from fresh, pasteurized, growth-hormone-free cream and milk that comes exclusively from independent family farms in Maine and it uses premium ingredients, such as real Maine maple syrup.

Since I’m a chocoholic, I’m opting for chocolate. Gifford’s twice has been recognized as “World’s Best Chocolate” at the World Dairy Expo.  And watch for this: Late last year, Gifford’s caught the attention of producers at Food Network’s “Unwrapped,” and the local favorite will be featured in an April 2010 episode titled “21st Century Chocolate.