Wednesday, July 3, 2013


So far this summer, it's been quite the season for strawberries!
 They're coming on like gangbusters!
 And I don't know how this freakishly awesome strawberry occurred!
And more to come!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hello Summer!

After a whole year of no blog, Ella, my daughter, 
has decided to take it over.
Our lovely lupines!
 I have no idea what type of ivy this is,
 but it sure is beautiful.
A chorus of iris
 This is the clay head Ella made at school and put in the garden
One of the many comfrey plants scattered around the property.
 The peas are about to burst!

Loverly lavender

And the beautiful peonies are starting to bloom.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Top Ten Day

June 1st at Birchwood Motel — Birdsong woke us this morning as did bright blue skies and sunny gorgeous weather. My mom would call this a "top 10 day."

the motel porch and aforementioned blue sky

Here are some favorite things to do around Camden on a top 10 day:

Walk. Have a thrilling outdoor adventure without being an expert hiker or enthusiast. Beauchamp Point and Beech Hill are two low impact strolls with high impact views.

Hike. Head into Camden Hills State Park if you need more of a physical challenge. Ocean Lookout or Bald Rock provide the best reward.

Eat. Great selections for wine, spirits and beer (many locally-produced) available at Rayr Wine Shop, Lily Lupine and Fern and even the little Stop N Go gas station. Grab a bottle of something and drive to Young's Lobster Pound. Order a couple pounds of clams and a couple of lobsters boxed and steamed. Consume immediately on their back deck overlooking the water.

Shop. Come home via Route 3. Stop at John's for a quick ice cream cone and then head into Liberty for  Liberty Graphics tshirts. Cross the street for antique tools and other finds at Liberty Tool.

Sail. End the day with a sunset cruise on one of the many lovely schooners you can pick up right at the public landing in Camden harbor.

Or just be. Our 200 foot long front porch with Penobscot Bay across the way and the beautiful gardens surrounding the motel and farmette provide lovely spots for relaxing after a day's adventure. A couple of bald eagles must be nesting nearby as they seem to make regular passes by the motel. Last week an osprey landed for a drink just a few yards away from where I was gardening!

Sleep. Sound-proofing between rooms, new Maine-made mattresses, ocean breezes and wicked clean rooms with organic housekeeping all provide for a good night's sleep at Birchwood Sustainable Motel.
newly-renovated "cottage-style" room – furniture, mattress, linens all from Maine!

Monday, April 23, 2012

April Showers...FINALLY!

Boy are we glad to get some rain. we’re also very pleased to offer a hands-on workshop “Making Rain Barrels with Jesse Watson, Midcoast Permaculture.” With a dry hot summer in the forecast conserving water in rain barrels should go a long way toward protecting the gardens, flowers and farmette surrounding the motel. Why not protect your plants, too?

Rain barrels retail for over a $100 each putting them out of reach for me. But Jesse Watson will walk us through assembling barrels using recycled materials and parts at a fraction of the retail cost.
winter barn...just wait to you see the spring greenery!
The workshop will be held in our beautiful new red barn on Saturday May 5 from 9am – 1pm in honor of International Permaculture Day. Register early, we’re only offering 8 spots. The $20 fee includes a vegan lunch.

Register at 207-236-4204 or via email Hope to see you then!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

will april sigh?

Who can guess the weather anymore? Last week saw us in tshirts planting early cover crops. And come to think of it, New Year's Day we took a paddle on Penobscot Bay in almost 50 degree weather! But now March ends with us back in wool huddled by the woodstove with snow falling outside.  Fingers — and toes — are crossed for a return to gorgeous. We want to garden!
after much fussing a cold-weather cover crop chosen and set!

Not much skiing this winter. Instead there were lovely walks to favorite spots;
 most locals know this special beach. 
if you stay at Birchwood more than a night, we might tell you, too!

some reading and dreaming in front of the wood-burning stove;
my garden guru always makes great suggestions...can't put this one down

 plenty of shenanigans with our flock of girls (all are now laying!);
“Lucy” knows our naming her proves us more animal lovers than ranchers
plus some cooking;
pumpkin from friend + eggs from our chickens + “healthy” crust recipe

and crafting, too.

crocheted plarn knapsack from upcycled plastic bags, designed & made by Miss e. 
Thank you Common Ground Fair and Waldorf education!

 The longer days outdoors are probably still way ahead. Back to our reading for now.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

eat, drink & be merry

Lokel Yokel returns from hiatus.

Leave it to me to take a stellar locavore evening at the elegantly-appointed Salt Water Farm and make it about beer and sausage! But here goes.

Last Friday, Eric and I attended a wood-fired cooking class at the farm, just two miles up the road from Birchwood (which in Maine makes us close neighbors). The rustic fall dinner menu cooked entirely in their dual-hearth (open fire and brick oven) featured sausage, kale and root veggies — sounds basic until you factor in caramelization, smoke and heavy cream! — along with oysters, focaccia, and a sensational dessert of roasted pear and creme anglaise (made with duck eggs).

you're nothing without caramelization
Dinners are BYOB. A dinner of oysters and sausage calls for ale. Local ale. Even better, a new local ale. Enter Oxbow where they conveniently pour growlers for retail sale on Fridays from 2-6pm. (Found locally on tap at 40Paper in Camden).

love everything about them, even their sign

A gorgeous drive with my fella to the Oxbow homestead (in Newcastle, a few miles beyond the Alewives fishladder in Damariscotta Mills) to chat with the brewmasters, sample beer and fill some growlers was just the start of a perfect date. That night we left with both stellar offerings — the Pale Ale and the Saison Noel.  (For advice on other local ales, spirits or wine stop in and ask the clever fellows at RAYR who are always able to suggest a nice pairing.)

paired pears 
My words don't capture how much fun it was to slowly and consciously prepare a meal in a traditional way, in a beautiful space, with two young, enthusiastic chefs. (And don't count on my photos to help either. How well I recorded the evening is inversely proportional to how much I enjoyed myself.)  Experience it for yourself and find a way to make it over to Salt Water Farm.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011