Thursday, March 30, 2017

Maine Beer News

I was delighted but unsurprised this morning to read that Portland recently ranked the #1 city in the WORLD for craft beer. YOU GO, Portland! I love Portland, and I love a well-made beer, favoring IPAs & lagers - less interested in pumpkin-spice and blueberry varieties, but hey, whatever floats your teeth.
Portland is an up-and-coming tech hub, and those lads & lasses have expensive tastes and the money to satisfy them. Craft beer tastes, and craft beer budgets = 😋😜!!

I was surprised, and even more delighted, to read that Augusta is getting a craft brewery of our very own. Cushnoc Brewing is set to open a location on Water St. this fall. I've been waiting & waiting for the booming economic health in Southern Maine - and especially Portland - to reach Augusta, in the same way that the economic health of Boston crept north to Portland in search of more affordable living options. I may have a long wait yet, but at least soon I can enjoy a craft beer half a mile from my house to pass the time!

Not to mention a wood-fired pizza.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Twist on Tradition: Seed Ball Easter Eggs

Given the holiday's roots - the name itself is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of fertility; and its Christian connection to new life and rebirth - that's what the egg symbolism is all about - I thought it made sense to create Easter Eggs that contribute to new life.

These are made of clay, coffee grounds, and wildflower seeds. Toss them into meadows in April, when the showers will dissolve them and release the seeds. The coffee grounds provide some nutrients to get them started. Well-aged compost is probably better, but I didn't have any of that lying around.
As a bonus, the wildflowers will help support bee populations, which need all the help they can get right now.

For fun I painted mine with some food coloring.

Here are the steps:
Make a little pile of coffee grounds, and one of wildflower seeds, and a few balls of clay.

Flatten out a ball of clay and press it, first into the coffee grounds...

...and then into the seeds.

Roll it into an egg shape. 
Can't wait for spring!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

First Crocuses, 2017

For 11 years now I have been marking the end of winter - the emotional if not the literal end - by watching for the day my crocuses poke their tender heads above ground. Ladies & gentlemen, that day was yesterday! In an amazing coincidence, yesterday was also the coldest day of the winter so far. at around 5°F. This wouldn't have been my choice, if I were them, but I trust that they know what they are doing.

I made sure to replace the blanket of dead leaves I pushed aside to get a peek.

The earliest I've seen crocuses come up in those 11 years was 2012, on February 29th. The latest was March 23. This year is a little on the early side, probably because we got a deep blanket of snow before the real cold came, and because last week was unusually warm.

Spring is coming now! There's no stopping this train.