Happiness Has a New Address – Tagged "Maine island life" – Dulse & Rugosa
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    Celebrating Earth Day in Maine

    Celebrating Earth Day in Maine

    Earth Day was the idea of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.  He felt that environmental issues and awareness needed to be more prominent in both the media and in politics so he created the first official Earth Day back in 1970. 

    Of course, Earth Day should be everyday.  This year, the official theme is "Environmental and Climate Literacy".  In order to get a bit more literate in this area I'm reading Naomi Klein's "This Changes Everything- Capitalism vs the Climate".  It's not an easy read for me, I tend to like complex mysteries that allow me to escape into a book and this book makes you think.  Another everyday way to celebrate our planet is to get outside and pick up trash.  Noticing all the bits of litter can be very eye opening.  Besides helping to make the earth a tiny bit cleaner you are setting an example for others.  People need to see folks out there not ignoring litter but picking it up. 

    It's nice to get out and about and connect with others on this Earth Day Celebration.  Here's a list of events around the state of ME. 

    MID-COAST MAINE

    JUST EAT IT- A FOOD WASTE STORY

    Sunday April 22 at the Strand Theatre in downtown Rockland

    This event is hosted by Renew Rockland, The Strand and Good Tern Coop.  Check out their Facebook Page for more info.

    EARTH DAY CHORAL CONCERT

    Camden’s Quasimodal Chorus will celebrate the Earth with song.  At the Camden Public Library on Sunday starts at 2:00 and a donation of $10 is suggested.  More info- http://www.librarycamden.org/event/spring-concert-april-2/

    EARTH DAY WORK DAY at MOFGA

    Earth Day Planting Day on Sat April 21 from 9-3 at the Common Ground Education Center in Unity.  More info from MOFGA.

    A WALK FOR MOTHER EARTH

    Sears Island to Belfast on Sat April 21 from 8-3.  Here's a link to the route.

     

    SOUTHERN MAINE

    CELEBRATE SCIENCE & EARTH DAY- WHAT WOULD RACHEL DO?

    This event honors Rachel Carson and is from 10-2 on Sat at the Waterhouse Center in downtown Kennebunk.  More info here-https://www.someplaneteers.org/

    TERRA MATTERS YOUTH CLIMATE SUMMIT

    Sat 9-12 at Hannaford Hall in Portland.  Environmental clubs from Me's high and middle schools will present their projects.  After the event join the march and rally and remember to bring your refillable containers for food and drink.  More info here- http://terramatters.org/

    EARTH FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES AT THE PORTLAND CHILDREN'S MUSEUM

    Seeds,mud, stories, face painting and more! From 10:30 to 4:30, cost of admission to the museum.  More info- https://www.portlandmaine.com/events/earth-day/ 

    WELLS RESERVE AT LAUDHOLM

    This place is beautiful and on Earth Day there are family friendly events including bird watching, a concert, beach clean-up and more.  https://www.wellsreserve.org/

    A DAY OF MINDFULNESS

    If you'd like to experience peace and quiet head to Nurture Thru Nature Retreat

    starting at 9:30  for singing, chanting, meditation and more peaceful activities.  Check it out- http://www.ntnretreats.com/

    DOWN EAST

    EARTH DAY AT COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC

    Roadside cleanup, picnic lunch, puppet show, e car and a showing of the film 

    "The Story of Stuff".  More info-http://www.coa.edu/calendar/#!event_id/28712/view/event

    I know this list is incomplete- feel free to add any events in the comment section.

     

     

     

    Spring in Maine (Finally)

    Spring in Maine (Finally)

    Here in Maine, spring is sometimes really late coming.  For months now my Facebook feed has been full of flowers and green grass from my friends further south.  But after a week of rain, the sun finally came out and it feels like spring has arrived.  The first daffodils have unfolded, the forsythia is blooming, and the symphony of lawnmowers and chainsaws has begun.

    For us, the promise of spring started months and months ago, back when there were still snow drifts on the ground. We grow all the botanicals, flowers and herbs that go into our products but we also grow most of the veggies that we eat all season long and through the winter.  Back in February the first seeds were sown for this summer’s harvest.  Three trays of onions that steadily grew and grew as the days got longer and longer.  Four weeks ago we moved them to the outside greenhouse to make room for the trays of flowers, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs.  Our living room is filled with green, busting at the seams, as the plants grow.  In a few short weeks, once we are sure that the nighttime frost will not return, they will be carefully placed outside and the hard work of summer will begin.

    Seedlings ready to be transplanted

    This weekend we celebrated spring by transplanting or potting up the majority of our vegetables and flowers.  We cleared off the picnic table, mixed batches and batches of potting soil and rooted through the shed to find the right size pots for our precious babies.  As we worked together the barbecue was going in the background with the promise of an amazing dinner once the work was done.  One person worked, gently uprooting the small plant, while the other prepared its new home.  Once the plant was snugly tucked into its new abode we gently watered them before bringing them back inside.  Its still too cold here in Maine for some of tender plants that we grow to live outside…just yet.

    It’s a labor of love to grow these plants from seed all the way through till the end.  It would be much easier to just buy the tomatoes, the onions, the lavender, the thyme.  But that is not what we believe in here at Dulse & Rugosa.  We know that the tomatoes that you grow will taste better than any other.  In the depths of winter when we reach into the root cellar and pull out our onions, potatoes, and squash something magical happens.  Even though its winter a glimmer of summer shows through.  The same magic happens each time I go to make our shower shots or our seaweed shampoo bars.  I open the glass jar filled with rugosa rose petals and I am back on Gotts Island, next to the ocean reaching for the petals, avoiding the thorns, and breathing in the heavy scents of roses, salt, and the summer sun.

    Harvest of plenty  

    There is a magic in growing plants.  And each spring as the small, hard, dry seeds magically turn into bountiful flowers, succulent fruits and verdant vegetables I am reminded of how lucky I am to a part of this process.  I cherish spring for its power, magic and most of all the return of GREEN.  Spring has finally sprung here in Maine and we are sooo excited. 

    Calendula Flower

    Living in

    Living in "Heaven"- Also Known as Maine

    The beauty of earh, sea and sky in Maine.

     

    Yesterday at sunset, walking out the door of the Samoset, I overheard a little girl “from away” say to her dad, “Wow, I think I’m in heaven.”  The sun was just setting and it was gorgeous- so lovely social media posts were filled with shots of the red mingling to pink sky.  The family continued to talk about how you just don’t get views like this back home.

    They are right, there is a reason Maine is known as vacationland and I consider myself lucky to live here.  Here are my top six reasons why I love Maine.

    Beauty

    Maine is just so beautiful.  I drive to work and marvel at my views.  I have roads I love to take because of ocean, mountain, sky.  The colors in fall especially as the sun hits the tress and shimmers in lovely blue light makes me wish I was a poet.

    The Ocean

    I see the ocean everyday and make a point to appreciate the changing seasons and moods reflected in the water.  Our local dog park is water friendly and I love to end my afternoons breathing in the salt air and watching dogs swim and fetch sticks.  Going to the beach with your dog is fun, here's a list of dog friendly Maine beaches.

    Dog friendly Maine.

    Lobsters

    We’re famous for lobsters here in Maine.  Coming home from Farm Markets there is always a traffic jam in Wiscasset- people are lined up for Red’s Eats famous lobster rolls.  Then there is the boiled lobster dipped in butter, lobster mac and cheese and even lobster sausage.  The Maine Lobster Festival happens every year in Rockland and this is an opportunity to celebrate all things lobsters.

    Blueberries

    Blueberry season starts the end of July.  Maine blueberries are tiny and sweet- full of flavor.  They are harder to pick than the highbush varieties but worth the effort.  The berries are “wild” and grow by bee pollination.  Blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie and more recipes can be found at Wyman's Blueberries.

    Seaweed

    Maine is number one in the country for seaweed harvesting and the cold mineral rich waters in Maine make our seaweeds valued worldwide.  Seaweeds are divided into three categories, green like sea lettuce, reds like nori and the browns like kelp.  Adding Maine seaweeds to your diet is a great way to get trace minerals and vitamins as well as a delicious umami flavor sensation.  Visit the Maine Seaweed Council for more details on amazing Maine seaweeds.

     

    Farmer’s Markets

    We are proud to be a Maine farm.  In Maine the slogan is “Get Real-Get Maine”.  Anytime you purchase from a farm be it vegetables, value added products like jams or skincare you are helping to grow the economy and protect our fragile environment.

    Support Farmers and Farmer's Markets.

    I’m happy here in Maine- what’s great about where you live?

    Got Umami?

    Got Umami?


    There’s sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami.  Umami is the earthy robust taste sensation that became official in 2000.  Identified in 1909 by Japanese chemist, Kikunae Ikeda, the translation means roughly “delicious taste”.  It’s a meaty, savory, deep taste and when you add umami to your cooking you add a robust depth.

    Umami is the newest taste sensation.

     

    Our umami taste begins with glutamate, which is an amino acid.  Seaweeds are very high in glutamate as well as fermented sauces like soy, miso and worcestershire.  Aging also brings out umami.   Aged cheeses, cured meats including bacon and prosciutto will bring a pop of flavor to whatever you are cooking.  The cool thing is you don’t need a lot of an umami rich ingredient to add complexity to whatever you are preparing.

    Seaweeds are one of the best ways to get umami into your diet.  Maine produces all kinds of seaweeds from fresh to frozen to dried.  Maine is actually number one in the country for seaweed production and our seaweeds are valued worldwide for their quality and flavor.  It’s our cold, mineral rich waters that make our seaweeds so sought after.

    One cold July day out on Gotts Island with the wood stove going we made a soup with a base of local seaweed.  It was simple, we just put a bunch of seaweed in our stockpot and fired up the wood stove.  After a few hours, we strained the broth and added some root vegetables.  The soup was thick, rich and yummy.  Just what we needed on a cold summer day.

    If you want to try a little Umami flavor in your everyday cooking I recommend Dulse flakes.  Dulse is a slightly purple seaweed full of minerals, vitamins and those elusive trace elements.  The flakes resemble coarsely ground black pepper and you can simply sprinkle on whatever you want.  It will enhance pasta, rice and potato dishes and honestly no one will suspect you have boosted both nutrition and flavor.

    Dulse flakes resemble coarsly ground black pepper and are delicious on just about everything.


    I know this is going to sound a little radical but I love adding seaweeds, especially dulse flakes to anything I am baking but especially chocolate.  I like to make brownies from scratch but last spring after volunteering brownies for a meeting I realized I just didn’t have time.  I bought a mix and livened it up with the addition of a tablespoon of dulse flakes soaked in dark rum.  If it sounds a bit weird think of all the gourmet chocolate bars with sea salt added.  Trust me, it’s divine.  

    Seaweed adds depth to chocolate recipes.


    If you want to learn more about umami and seaweeds here are some great websites

    http://www.umamiinfo.com/

    http://www.seaweedcouncil.org