Posts Tagged ‘Nervous Nellie’s’

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.

Speaking of the holidays…

November 21, 2009

I recently received Nervous Nellie’s 2009-2010 catalog, and it’s filled with cool Made-in-Maine gifts. Anne and Peter make the best jams and jellies (including a marmalade that my husband labels his favorite–which says a lot, the guy loves marmalade). All are made in Deer Isle, without preservatives, colorings, or flavor agents. These products are the real deal, authentic, not artificial. I’m a fan of the red raspberry and the wild Maine blueberry, but there are other yummy choices, too.

Beyond jams and jellies, the catalog (on the web, too), lists:

• Maine wildflower honey
• Joan’s scones (same ones sold in the cafe)
• cornmeal griddle cakes
• Maine maple syrup (the best)

It also sells:
• teas ad coffees
• kitchen goodies
• bird houses (one-of-a-kind crafted from recycled wood and salvage)
• float rope doormats (same rope lobstermen use to hall and tether traps)
• locally made folk art ornaments
• books
• Maine balsam pillows
• pottery
• Peter’s Nervous Nellie’s books (episodes 1–6) and posters.
And, of course, gift boxes.
Truly, you could find something for just about everyone on your holiday list here.
And be sure to add Nervous Nellie’s to your must-visit list for the next time you’re in Maine. For more on this special place, see my previous posting.

Foodie alert

October 1, 2009

Hungering for a Maine culinary adventure? Craving a taste of Maine in fall? Make plans now to attend the Edible Island Conference and Fundraising Dinner, on Oct. 9-10.

The event kicks off Oct. 9 with a spectacular dinner prepared by renowned chefs Jean-George Vongerichten (restaurants in London, Paris, Shanghai, and New York), Melissa Kelly (Primo, in Rockland), Michael Leviton (Lumiere, in West Newton, Mass., and Persephone, in Boston) and Lawrence Klang (Camden Harbour Inn, in Camden), and served in a private home in Deer Isle.

The evening begins with a pre-dinner champagne and hors d’oeuvres, then a five-course meal with wine pairings. Guests will have an opportunity to speak with the chefs. And the evening ends with an auction. Fee is $250, and seating is limited to 75. All proceeds benefit the programs of the Island Culinary and Ecological Center.

Saturday’s  all-star program features:

• Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman, organic gardeners extraordinaire, of Four Season Farm.

• Ingrid Bengis-Palei, owner of Ingrid Bengis Seafood, which supplies some of the nation’s to restaurants with local seafood, believes Stonington seafood is its own brand.

• Aaron Dority and Ginny Olsen: He’s the director of the Downeast Groundfish Initiative Project for the Penobscot East Resource Center. She’s a conservation activities who owns, with her husband Blaine, Oceanville Seafood in Stonington.

• Terry-Anya Hayes, writer, herbalist, and wild foods educator, will talk about the local edible landscape and share how to identify, gather, and use the bounty.

After a lunch comprising soup and a salad, afternoon options include:

• Diver Ed: A boating trip during which Diver Ed explores the mysteries of the deep and shares via video.

• Foraging Expeditions with Terry-Anya Hayes

• Visits to local producers, including Sunset Acres Farm, Nervous Nellie’s, and Five Star Nursery


Favorite Places: Nervous Nellie’s

August 10, 2008

Even on foggy, damp day (and Lord knows we’ve had enough of those this summer), Nervous Nellie’s Jams & Jellies is a treasure.

Located off the Sunshine Road in Deer Isle, it’s a combination tea room, jam kitchen, folk art gallery and fantasy land for kids of all ages. This is one of those off-the-beaten-path Maine treasures that make travel fun. Every time I visit here, I find something new.

Peter Beerits is the sculptor, creating critters of all types from found objects. The funky dogs welcoming folks to the property, crafted from old mailboxes, wood, and other dump finds, give new meaning to the term junkyard dog. Dragons, bears, knights in shining armor, even a castle, can be found in the woods behind the tea room. More characters—a bear, fox, people—litter the fields. Others peer out of windows or hide in the property’s nooks and crannies. Many of the whimsical characters Beerits constructs are drawn from his Nervous Nellie’s stories. He’s finished the fifth episode.

Beerits even has brought historical buildings to the property, including Johnson’s Market and the former Hardy’s store, bringing both back to fantasy life and populating them with characters. It has elements of a living history museum, preserving icons of island life right down to the pickled eggs on the store’s counter.

After a trip down south last winter, Beerit’s has added a multi-cultural touch to his village with Red’s Lounge, a bona fide musical road house. Really, you must see it—and hear the music in this joint.

Peter’s wife Anne operates the jam kitchen, making delicious jams and jellies, conserves and preserves, chutneys and marmalades, which are sold at the tea room, through mail order and at a limited number of specialty stores, mostly in Maine. At one point, the products were carried by places such as Dean & DeLuca in New York. No longer, they’ve downsized, allowing them to keep making their products by hand in small batches.

In the self-serve tea room, you also can have tea, coffee or other sweets—which of course you’ll want to slather with jam. There’s also a tasting bar for the jams. Don’t be surprised if you end up purchasing a number of different flavors of jam; many are unusual and in limited production. Eat inside or our on the deck with the duo playing checkers.

If nothing else, this place is bound to make you smile.