Winter Solstice is here! Although it seems like it will be cloudy, it will be a full moon and a lunar eclipse. If there was ever a time to express Nature Worship, do it now!
It has been a few months since our last Broadside, so here is the update:
New Jersey cow (that's a Jersey Cow that is new to us, not a cow from Stacy's home state.) We are so grateful to have that lush half&half again.
Our minimal holiday shopping (thankfully) began at Fedco bulbs and ended at Cliff's Flea Market (the containers). Our gifts are greening up and should "pop" next week!
The fields feel barren, so our walks take us into the woods which we don't see much of in the greener months of the year.
The woods at Broadturn Farm have many distinct neighborhoods:
The stream is ever-wandering even in the frozen winter. It draws from many shallow springs from the property and empties into the Fore River watershed. Most of Scarborough is in the Nonesuch River watershed and the marsh, but this water is destined for the Maine Mall, Pape Chevy dealership, and the airport... oh well, at least its a good start.
The quiet of the overgrown pine forest seems related to the singularity of species here. It used to be a field of course, but all the pines grew up at the same time, excluding most other species and all ground growth. Slowly more deciduous trees seem to be gaining ground here.
Nearby there is the Moulton Cemetery, with its half dozen or so stones on an open hill. The house a few hundred feet away burned half a century ago, but the area is reluctant to give in to the encroaching forest.
Not far lies the farm's sparse sugar maple grove. Not enough trees to be worth while to tap (Not worth while "yet" says Stacy), but beautiful and open even in summer.
The farm has 340 wooded acres to explore. The short walk where I took these pictures was just a small section. There is only one official trail, next to the parking area where folks come to pick up their CSA shares, but that shouldn't discourage the adventurous from further exploration. Our partner, the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust bought this land for the community as a whole, and (especially now that hunting season is over) feel free to walk the land!
Other news: The farmhouse will be participating in Efficiency Maine's winterizing program, as promoted by the Maine Green Energy Alliance! When we learned about this program, we were pretty stunned at some of the incentives offered for renovation work that we all should be doing anyway: weatherizing (plugging up drafts), and insulating, and an energy audit all at a potential cost share of up to $3000. Since our CSA members are so dialed-in to awesome and smart and progressive solutions, MGEA has given us all a special offer. So read on... especially note the second paragraph.
Get Paid to Improve Your HomeHelp us earn a free home energy assessment! Join Broadturn Farm in welcoming the Maine Green Energy Alliance for a community energy meeting in January. Debbie Atwood, MGEA Education and Outreach Coordinator, willprovide information about Efficiency Maine's Home Energy Savings Program, which provides up to $3,000 in cash rebates for certain home energy improvements. MGEA has staff to help you through the process, ensuring that you complete your improvements and receive your rebate. Come find out how the program works and look forward to making your home healthier and more comfortable; creating local jobs and supporting our local economy; and saving the planet!
Here's more good news: if ten CSA or Camp member households complete a home energy assessment by March 1st, MGEA will contribute a free home energy for the farmhouse. Additionally, for each of these households, MGEA will provide $50 toward your 2011 CSA share or camp fee.
For more information or to schedule a home energy assessment, call Debbie Atwood at 592-6433 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll see you at the meeting in January - stay tuned for more information.