The State of Maine has a relatively new motto on their welcome sign at the border, "Open for Business." The significance is not lost on me although the implementation of the concept feels wrought with exception. Essentially, our governor's verbiage since he took office has concentrated on the concept of reducing regulation to allow business to grow in Maine, making it more inviting for those from out of state to participate in commerce within our state. And now, I finally have a reason to fully endorse this concept of reducing regulations to allow my business to flourish.....here's how it goes:
Some years back, shortly after we had started Turkey Hill Farm, our first farm business, we were approached by two gentleman who asked if we might be willing to host their wedding on our farm. We were flattered and agreed. It was an entirely fantastic affair and we have them to thank for getting us into the wedding business. Peter and RJ had been together for years, were very much in love, and the most important point, for this story, they were committing themselves to one another for life in in the company of and with the support of their family and friends. After the dust settled from this first foray into the wedding industry, we realized there was a place for us....as a venue hosting weddings, as a flower farmer and designer providing flowers for weddings and as farmer providing meat and vegetables for the wedding feast.
Since then, we have hosted over 50 weddings. 50-75% of these per year are couples who are traveling to Maine from out of state to have a destination wedding. Maine has a thriving wedding industry....let's call it nuptial-tourism. These couples provide revenue for party rental companies, bands, DJ's, photographers, caterers, hairstylists, florists, and yes.....farmers....all local, small, Maine businesses. Beyond that, they support hotels, restaurants, and transportation providers. For now, the farm/barn rustic-chic wedding is hip. People want to come to Maine, get married on a farm, eat a feast made from food raised on the farm, and eat lobster at the beach the next day with their families. They want to shop in Portland, go to LLBean, experience the way life should be or Vacationland as the case may be.
But, how many of these potential couples stop in Massachusetts, at the Cape, and get married because their commitment isn't legally recognized by our state's government? What kind of message are we sending to these couples, and to our own children? Our regulation to not allow same sex couple to marry legally in the State of Maine is negatively affecting my business. We are open for business, but only if you're straight and your moral compass aligns with ours.
So, when the time comes, and I'm in the booth voting, I'm voting YES ON Question 1:
Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?
I want my daughters to grow up knowing tolerance. I want my wedding client's marriages to be recognized and legal in our great state. The reduction of this regulation that doesn't allow couples from Maine or who want to come to Maine have their marriage recognized sends the wrong message. If you speak to reducing regulation.....be consistent, vote Yes on 1, vote in support of love and commitment. Vote in support of Maine's nuptial-tourism industry.
This Week's Harvest:
|A delicious fermentation project with cabbage, watermelon radish, cilantro, and cayenne peppers....Hello Kraut! My mouth waters every time I pass by and all I can think of is how good this will be on some sausage!|
Blessings on the meal,
I almost forgot the best news of the week....This Saturday the Long Barn is hosting their Harvest Festival! It's sure to be a good time.