Life as I know It

My photo
San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Farm to Table

Greetings! Thanks for visiting this blog, which is all about healthy foods and, of course, about me and my cheeses. Aren't I a gorgeous goat? (If I do say so myself) 

This is the site of one of the last saltwater farms in our area. It is owned and maintained by the Damariscotta River Association, a major force in conservation. Our Farmers' Market is held on these grounds, surrounded by fields that slope to the Great Salt Bay, birdsong, happy people, and a rainbow of dragonflies. We also watch the Monarch butterflies deposit their eggs on the Asclepias patches that skirt the fields. This is a magical farm and is the perfect place for a Farmer's Market.

This giant sunflower keeps watch over the children.

The Damariscotta River Association's Children's Garden. It's a good one, and I love it that they haven't stuck it in an out-of-the-way area. They had just topped the garden beds with kelp from the Great Salt Bay. 

The children's garden is on the edge of our Farmer's Market. A perfect place for the kids to work and play. Note the mailbox, which can hold a supply of children's tools.

The fabulous Goranson clan (Goranson Farm) who pride themselves on offering some of the best, freshest, organic produce along the coast. I've been buying from them for years, and they've never let me down.

Hahn's End cheese "Where the cheese stands alone."

Oh yikes, this is one of the most wonderful cheeses I've ever tasted. "City of Ships" has a deep, nutty flavor unlike any cheese I've eaten. I served this at a party, and it disappeared in five minutes. Once you taste it, you'll understand why.

"Hootin" Gluten Free Bakery in Damariscotta

Elaine Waldron of Damariscotta maintains an absolutely gluten free kitchen. She offers pies, cupcakes, cakes, breads–you name it she'll bake it-gluten free.

Fiona is one of the fabulous cheese makers from Appleton Creamery, Appleton, Maine. Appleton Creamery offers apprenticeships through Maine Organic Farmers-MOFGA- (information on their web-site), and they offer artisan cheese making and home dairy workshops. If they do a cheese making workshop while we're still in Maine, I plan to attend. I've made wonderful ricotta and yogurt cheese, but my skills stop there. These workshops are limited to 5 people. Nice and intimate. Check out their web-site for information about the classes.

Herbed goat cheese with red pepper. These are delicious.

I think these are the most beautiful cheeses in the universe. Sealed in beeswax and decorated beneath the beeswax with ferns and herbs. I want one, but I don't want to ever eat it, just display it somehow in the kitchen or tucked into my garde manger.

These are soaps made with goat's milk. Offered by Appleton Creamery.

The "Mushroom Man" from Oyster Creek Mushrooms arrives with not only mushrooms, but also his educational charts.
You can order on-line. I love their dried mushrooms, which are perfect for soups and dips.

Chicken o' the Woods TASTES like chicken and can be prepared exactly the way you do your favorite chicken recipe. Grill, bake, roast, or fry it and you'll have a light chicken taste without the meat. I think it is exquisite. Couldn't you see this as a table centerpiece? Hey, I'm having a going away party for a friend this Friday...I think I'll nab one instead of a bouquet. It'll do double-duty. Table decoration first and a meal for us on Saturday.

This would've filled my shopping basket.

The last of the week's offering of freshly picked mushrooms.

I was so happy to discover a local coffee "Roastmaster," Dan Sortwell of Big Barn Coffee, Wiscasset, Maine. He had just roasted his fair trade, organic coffee a couple of days before the market. The aroma was intoxicating and I am a tea drinker. We tested a sample and had to buy some for was great. I'm going back for more.

My chair is the empty one-somebody has to take the photos. Everyone is facing our Bristol Peninsula. John's Bay is the body of water. With binoculars, we could see our little cottage. Thrumcap Island is to the left.

And in the end...well, food, family, and friends are what it is all about.

Happy summer meals to you all,



One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Sharon, thank you for taking me on this tour with you on this 105 degree heat index afternoon.
Wish you could put me in your pocket and take me with you.
Thank you for an idea - a mailbox in my garden for my glovees and some tools :)

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

OMG Sharon, I DO want to be there! Oh how I can "taste" that delicious cheese... and all the photos are breathtaking... and YES, Ms Goat is a beauty!
Hugs, Donna

Carol said...

Thanks again for the great tour of another wonderful place.
My mouth is watering over all of those fantastic foods.

Vee said...

Oh, oh, oh, how wonderful. I so want to taste everything, including the chicken-like mushroom and I don't even like mushrooms. What exquisite variety!

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

I just saw your comment on "Our life and time on PEI" and thought your name sounded familiar so I clicked on it and OMGosh I always read Heart's Ease. I still have a lot of my old Country living Gardener magazines. I joined your blog to keep up with it. I love gardening as well as painting. I just had to tell you how much I always enjoyed your Articles.

Pom Pom said...

I'm so happy to find your blog! I read Sunflower Houses just this summer. I was a tiny bit too late to plant a house, but next year I will. Your books are delightful and what a cheerful post, by the way!

Judy Wise said...

What a beautiful day it was. Thank you so much for sharing the goodness. xo

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love absolutely everything you have shown us here...including the weather that allows you to sit outside! That gluten free bakery sounds wonderful (my husband is a celiac) and I thank you for the link to it! Kay Guest

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

I love cheese as well! I knew there was a reason besides lemon verbena that we should be friends! xxoo Nancy

Aunt Jenny said...

OH Sharon...what a lovely farmer's market..the cheese! The carrots! That mushroom that sounds wonderful! I wish we could have such a wonderful place to shop near here! I loved visiting thru pictures! Have a great week!

Linda Hoye said...

What a beautiful market! I would love to browse around and do some shopping there!

marcia said...

What a glorious place! and the cheeses and mushrooms, well, ALL the food really,looks heavenly !

LOVE the children's garden :)

Summers bounty, there's nothing like it!

Can you believe it's already August???

happy day and thinking of you and Jeff

A Garden of Threads said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I try to go our weekly farmers market every Saturday. A family dinner is the perfect ending to any day. Take care and I hope you have a wonderful day.

Lili said...

So many goodies to behold! Adore the Chevre in Beeswax and the egg shaped soaps. And that garden for the children is just so precious and such a wonderful and important place to have there. What a wonderful time for everyone to enjoy! ~Lili

Lori ann said...

Thank you again for sharing these lovely posts. What a wonderful time you are having.

♥ lori

(i would like one each of the spoons!)

taylorsoutback said...

What a beautiful bounty of home grown foods - you are so blessed to be nearby to the source! Don't you just wonder how fast food places can be chosen over such riches as you have shared with us. Love the Children's Garden too - that is the place to start for the next generation.
You had a perfect day!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Beautiful photos!
We have wy to few markets like this over here.

I love cheese and have made my own hard chees once. It was really fun to do it and it was edible :-) :-) :-) It got very sweet in the taste and a bit strange in the texture, but edible :-)

Have a great day now!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

This made me so envious of your day. Magical! C

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

What a great tour Sharon! I love Farmers Market's and this one is just amazing! It's so beautiful on the water and so unique too! You do have a charmed life Sharon! I want to hop a plane to Maine pronto!
Just Gorgeous, I don't know how you ever leave.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I would LOVED to visit you and spend hours at that farmer's market. Ours has been "downtown" in the town near us now since I can remember.

My favorite time to visit it is in autumn when they have dulcimer concerts and all the pumpkins and squash are available... but any time of the year is fun, too.

Yes, a goat among goats, a true beauty. :)

Sharon Lovejoy said...

For me the autumn markets are the show stoppers, but also sad. I know, when I start salivating over the first plump pumpkins, that the curtain will be falling in a few weeks.

In answer to Cindy from Applestone-we cry when we leave here. Our days are about the sea, the changing of the tides, the birds who call it home, the constant scent of seaweed, the breezes blowing through our curtains. Leaving here is the hardest, but maybe it also makes us treasure it even more.


Susan Freeman said...

What a lovely visit Sharon. Thank you, it was delightful!!

Susan and Bentley

Pondside said...

What a wonderful market - the variety is amazing. We can go in town to a market, but it's nothing like this. Our rural community has a monthly market, but it's rare to find cheese or anything perishable - mostly honey and preserves and plants. Wouldn't I love to try some of those cheeses!

Knitting Out Loud said...

Wow, this looks lovely! I'm making a trip to Damariscotta for this!

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Such an incredible place! Thank you so much for sharing it with us, Sharon!

Thea said...

that cheese wrapped in beeswax - i'm working on a medieval romance where cheese is involved. i wonder if this is a medieval technique for preserving/transporting cheese? hmmmm excellent blog - i'm fascinated with cheesemaking. and those chicken in the woods - wow, have never seen nor heard of them. see, i learn a new thing every day! thanks sharon! t

Beth said...

What a GREAT farmer's market! And great scenes of the summer. Did you think you would EVER get to Maine? I have been so busy being a full time mother and summer gal that I haven't blogged much this summer, but the days are full of sunny memories. love, Beth

Lydia said...

Ohhhhh, I smell the freshness in the air. Truly a lovely post to start my day.

Lydia said...

Ohhhhh, I smell the freshness in the air. Truly a lovely post to start my day.

Dee Nash said...

Ah, the joys of summer. Now, you've found a gluten free bakery too. Woo-hoo, if ever I'm in the neighborhood my friend, I'm there. That herbed cheese and the one with the beeswax, oh my goodness. I don't think I could eat either one (if I could eat cheese. :) I thought of you all day. Were your ears burning? It was when I was writing about Monarchs and other butterflies and how to attract them. xoxo~~Dee

Kimara said...

I just recently discovered your blog... although your books have lined my shelves for years... and I love doing a bit of "traveling" with you. I have had a mailbox in my garden for years. I am an impulse gardener and it is nice to have supplies handy when the mood hits. I'm sharing a link to your website on Facebook. Thanks for all of your inspiration.

Carol said...

What a wonderful farmers market Sharon! I am working on a post about one near me too. It is so exciting to see so many young people wanting to farm! Terrific tour and what a delightful ending! Lovely setting. A delightful post. ;>)

Tonya Gunn said...

thank you so much for sharing all of these food producers.
it is fun to observe how they package and present their goods.
Farmer's markets are one of my favorite places.
Warm wishes, Tonya

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon-dear, "Where the cheese stands alone" what a clever slogan. I love a good use of words!!

This looks like a wonderful, place with nourishing food and folk. Thank you for taking us along with you. I feel rejuvenated even from afar.

Storybook Woods said...

Wow, now that is some kind, my kind of farmers market !!! Clarice