Monthly Archives: August 2012

Westport Islanders turn out for Jimmy C.

Jimmy Cromwell showed obvious emotion when looking around at the crowd that filled the Old Town Hall on Saturday night…family, friends, and neighbors. “I didn’t know I Jimmy Cromwell talking to supportersknew this many people.” Others were as moved, “Makes you feel good to see this many people. This is a good community.” “I’ve lived here half my life. I’m embarrassed because I don’t usually show myself at these events; but Jimmy’s a good guy, and I want to support him.” Common thoughts.

Despite all the people, there was food left over to feed as many because those that couldn’t come brought food, checks, raffle items, and good wishes. The organizers “done good” — unfortunately, at least two had to work and couldn’t be there to see the fruits of their kindness and labor.

When Jimmy was laying in a heap on August 7, he was frightened by his pain and inability to move. He sustained fractures to his neck, spine, sternum, and ribs at a work site accident in which he lost his balance on a ladder, fell onto a railing, and rolled over the railing onto the floor a flight below. The first responders were all friends. It was tough on everybody at the scene; and it seemed forever before the nearest life flight arrived from New Hampshire. The good news: the breaks were clean, no surgery, and family and friends have had his back and been by his side.

No work and not much independence for awhile…just time to reflect on what matters most.

We’re giving thanks that Jimmy C. is back on his feet, and the prospects for a full recovery are good. Take heart Jimmy C. You have friends here on Westport Island and beyond…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Donations can still be made to:

James Cromwell Benefit Fund
c/o First N.A.
Attn: Mitchell Wellman
P.O. Box 940
Damariscotta, ME 04543

Westport Island Wedding

Views from a big day on a small cove

On August 4 as the day wound down, Samantha Hodgdon and Caleb Bonyun married — uniting families with long histories on the Island. The tides, the sun, and the guests put on their best to bless this beginning.

Westport Island’s own “poet laureate”, Jerry Day Mason, spoke. She shared this poetic prayer that she originally wrote, published, and has now adapted for Samantha and Caleb — who started seriously dating in the month of March some years ago…

Wedding Prayer (for Sam and Caleb)

In March, the apple tree bent toward spring

as you toward one another.

All things are at a being and beginning.

Now, may your love be both a dewed cobweb catching sun

and the sure flight of wings.

May it be a coming of all wondrous things

to bring you solace for your tears and a belief in dreams.

May you always need each other.

May you always touch.

— J. Day Mason
adapted from the original Wedding Prayer published in “Speaking to Strangers”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Microburst on Westport Island?

Wind: the island nemesis

There were no emergency management alerts last Friday: no more than an expectation of passing thunderstorms. And — other than a night without electrical power — for most on the Island, Mother Nature served only a brief pounding of much-needed rain, a cooling wind, and a few claps of thunder.

For a half mile along the western shore of Westport — roughly from the Ferry Landing to 289 Main Road — August 3 brought a tad more “weather.” Donna Curry says it’s the worst damage she’s experienced from any storm in her 17 years on the Island. She had horizontal sheets of rain pushing into her attic vent, and she’ll be cleaning uprooted and snapped trees and debris from her yard for weeks to come.

According to the Weather Channel Storm Encyclopedia, a severe thunderstorm produces one of the following: hail of 3/4 inch or more in diameter; tornadoes; or wind of 58 miles an hour or more. The National Weather Service estimates that trees are uprooted or snapped with 58- to 72-mile per hour winds — so it’s fair to say that the winds that struck the Curry property and nearby were in excess of 58 mph. And, a “microburst”, which is a downburst confined to an area less than 2.5 miles in diameter, is among the most devastating expressions of a severe thunderstorm. A downburst is defined as “a sudden vertical drop of air that produces strong wind shear.” Looks like a half mile of wind-related destruction meets the definition of microburst…

The only other Lincoln County storm reports to Portland’s National Weather Service station on August 3 were in Boothbay. The winds were reported to be from the southwest.

Sometime around 7:30 or 8 p.m., Westport Island’s thunderstorm microburst “warmed up” at the Ferry Landing where it snapped a broad pine next to the Wright house and lifted a stand of pine from its rock base on the point. The wind sped onto the Curry property with increased strength where more than a dozen 20- to 70- foot hardwoods and pines were leveled. The top “feathers” of branches brushed the side of Donna’s house and broke off on her deck and roof. Part of the stairs to her dock were crushed, and she ended up with a stray orange kayak on her shore that she would like to return to its rightful owner.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Field of “Greens” on Westport Island

From the microbusiness “MicroMainea”

Here on Westport Island, at “MicroMainea,” grow the current microjewels of inspired cuisine: microgreens. Microgreens are the first true leaves of seedlings that are harvested within days of sprouting. The resulting microbouquets of petite green, yellow, and reddish leaves are prized for their taste, tenderness, and versatility – referred to as “gourmet confetti” by MicroMainea’s seed supplier, Johnny’s Selected Seeds. MicroMainea owner Judy Hughes at Boothbay Farmers Market

MicroMainea, Judy Hughes’ three-year old Westport microbusiness, grows a selection of vegetable and herb microgreens that has put her on the map with chefs at creative restaurants and catering companies from Yarmouth to Waldoboro — including: the Portland Yacht Club, Henry and Marty’s, Laura Cabot Catering, Oliver’s, Trattoria Athena, Bresca, and the patrons of the Boothbay Farmers Market. Microgreens can add flavor, texture, and presentation panache to almost any dish.

Judy’s personal microgreen favorite is garnet mustard. Garnet mustard has visually appealing green and dark maroon leaves as well as a spicy mustard taste. She uses the greens on poached or fried eggs for a splash of color and flavor pizzazz. She also likes them as a garnish on pork or chicken dishes, or for added spiciness and texture on a salad.

Judy’s interest in microgreens comes from a life-long passion for fresh food grown within a shout of home – without the use of pesticides. Growing up on Long Island, New York, her family owned a fresh fruit and vegetable business. Every week her dad traveled to local farms for eggs, fruit, and vegetables. Her mom instilled the notion of eating one yellow, green, and white vegetable in every meal.

From growing tomatoes in the windowsill of her first apartment some 40 years ago to growing vegetables in Alna with her husband, Judy Hughes has been experimenting for a lifetime with growing nutritious, organic food. Her sister, an entrepreneur in natural foods and home-grown businesses, sparked the idea of gourmet edibles – she grows vegetables and edible flowers on Prince Edward Island.

edible calendulaA trip into Judy’s cellar, onto her porch, or around the perimeter of her yard is like walking into an “enchanted garden.” There are micro-fields of petite green, yellow, and red-hued plants; fluffy mounds of pea tendrils inside the house and out; and splashes of brilliant color from pots of edible calendula, viola, and spicy nasturtium.

To make all this “MicroMainea” happen, Judy is a master of organization. On any given day, she could be: planting, cutting, drying, weighing, packaging, delivering, selling at the farmer’s market, emailing customers with MicroMainea’s weekly offerings, or conferring with her business advisory group. For Judy, it’s all in a day’s “adventure” of pursuing her passion for food.

Stop by to say “hi” at the Boothbay Farmer’s Market from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursdays – and be adventurous yourself… Try a little China Rose Radish, arugula, lemon or cinnamon basil, corn shoots – or maybe Judy’s favorite: garnet mustard.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.