Opera House Hosts Spooktacular Events


Opera House, pastel on watercolor paper by Leslie Landrigan

Halloween is always something special in Stonington, and this year is no exception. The town celebrates it this year with a Spooktacular Saturday that includes costume judging, pumpkin carving, a parade and a FREE movie at the Opera House that kids will love.

Meg Taintor is the Opera House Arts’ producing artistic director. “There’s really no better way to spend a day than watching the island’s kids ham it up with crazy costumes,” she said in a press release. “This year, the Island Community Center, the Island Rec Board, the Town of Stonington and all the downtown businesses (including the Opera House) are joining together to create a full day of fun for the little ones.”


The day begins at 9:30 am at the Island Community Center (summer home of the Stonington Farmers Market) with a costume judging before the trick or treat parade begins at 10 am. The parade route will run from the community center to West Main Street to Pink Street and back to the community center. After the parade, folks will head back to the community center to carve and decorate pumpkins at 11 am.

Then at Noon, the Stonington Opera House will host Halloween activities for kids, followed by a screening of the film Coraline.

In this 2009 film, Coraline Jones is bored in her new home until she finds a secret door and discovers an alternate version of her life on the other side. At first, this other life seems better than her own life – but soon she starts to see danger, and this intrepid little girl must rely on her resourcefulness, determination and bravery to save herself—and her parents!

For more information on Stonington’s Spooktacular Saturday, email info@operahousearts.org, visit operahousearts.org, or call 367-2788. To learn more about the Stonington Opera House Arts, click here.

Crafters Find a New ROOST

Some of the Stonington Farmers Market‘s finest artisans will be selling their unique handmade items at ROOST Maine in Ellsworth on Saturday, Nov. 12. (Yup, November is coming up on us!) It’s at the Moore Community & Conference Center on 5 General Moore Way, just off State Street.

ROOST will feature more than 25 local artisans, live music and light fare. You won’t find any junk there, because the show is curated and juried. There’s plenty of parking and admission is free.

Bob Gillmor, better known as Spoon Bob, will be there dispensing wit and selling his wooden spoons, cooking spatulas (right and left handed) pie servers, cocktail muddlers and magic wands.

Perhaps he’ll bring his two enterprising grandsons, Thomas and Matthew.


Bob Gillmor, Thomas Coolidge and Matthew Coolidge.

Bob has been told many times his spoons are the BEST.


A small selection of Bob’s spoons.

Robin Byrne of River Wind Woolies will also be there with gorgeous wool pillows she’s been cranking out this fall.

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Robin Byrne at the Stonington Farmers Market this summer.

Robin assures us we shouldn’t worry — she’s working on all of her usuals too, like felted jar covers, beverage bottle covers, gloves from upcycled sweaters, acorn ornaments and those adorable ball and bell garlands. “Who knows,” she said. “Maybe there will be a surprise or two this holiday shopping season!”


Robin’s been having fun making pillows like this.

Gillian Mowrey of Mowrey Handcrafts will also be at ROOST. The ROOST folks say they’re so excited Gillian will be there this year.


Gillian Mowrey behind some of her creations.

Gillian’s ceramic work includes wall plaques, vessels and bird baths. She loves animals and gathers inspiration from the animal kingdom. Gillian makes the most charming animal ornaments, like the fox pictured below:


This one belongs on someone’s tree.

Stay tuned and we’ll bring you news about more of your favorite vendors who will be at the ROOST show.




Nancy’s Good News From Guatemala


Nancy Wynne’s cheerful craft booth at the Stonington Farmers’ Market this summer is helping to lift the lives of extremely poor families in the Guatemala Highlands.

This month, the nonprofit finished its 25th home for needy Mayan families, thanks in part to Nancy’s continuous efforts and to the people who bought handmade Guatemalan dresses, hats or scarves from her.

To give you an idea of the conditions in which the Mayans live, here’s a picture of a ‘before’ house:


The Guatemala Housing Alliance, working with the community, is building houses like this (note the happy inhabitants of their new home).


To see a slide show of a house being built, click here.

From the most recent newsletter, we learn,

Three families worked together to build three homes. With labor their entire contribution, we are now able to build for those families whose poverty is most extreme, all the while strengthening community connections. And these are BEAUTIFUL homes, built of natural materials.

Nancy and her siblings formed the Guatemala Housing Alliance five years ago. The Island Ad-Vantage explained in a 2012 interview with Nancy how the far-flung siblings began the project.

“When my mother died four years ago, we wondered how we would stay together when the hub of the family was gone,” said Wynne

The siblings decided to focus on a project together—building homes and improving the lives of a community along Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The lake is located in the Guatemalan Highlands, home to a population primarily composed of indigenous Mayan…

[In 2011], the siblings decided to turn their “family project” into a nonprofit, moving from a few self-funded home building projects to a whole-community focus including scholarships and support for education.

To learn more about the Guatemala Housing Alliance, visit the Alliance’s website at guatemalahousingalliance.org.



Uplifting Documentary at the Opera House Thursday Night

Get inspired tonight at the Stonington Opera House, which presents a film about a Harlem-born artist and poet who lives on the Cranberry Islands. There, 94-year-old Ashley Bryan, celebrates joy, explores the mystery of faith and mediates the darkness of war and racism.

ashley_bryan_01You’ll be glad you saw Ashley Bryan’s World by Sedgwick filmmaker Richard Kane and Brooksville artist Robert Shetterly.

Ashley Bryan wrote and illustrated his first children’s book in 1962, when he was 40.  He was the first African-American to write and illustrate a children’s book that was published.

“I never gave up,” he once said. “Many were more gifted than I but they gave up. They dropped out. What they faced out there in the world–they gave up.”

Since then he published more than 50 books, mostly about the African-American experience.

Life and Times of Ashley Bryan

Ashley Bryan was born in 1923 in Harlem and grew up in the Bronx, where he learned to draw, paint and play instruments at school from artists and musicians in the Works Progress Administration. He went to Cooper Union School of Art on a scholarship, the only African-American to win one. He was drafted during World War II and served as a porter in the U.S. Army. After the war he went to graduate school at Columbia University, studying philosophy so he could understand war. He then won a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Europe.

He taught at Queen’s College, Lafayette College and Dartmouth College, from which he retired in the 1980s. He moved to the Cranberry Islands, where he makes puppets and stained glass windows out of sea glass.

He was the U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2006, the highest award for creators of children’s  books. He also won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his contribution to American children’s literature in 2009.


Melody Lewis-Kane and Richard Kane

Richard and his wife Melody Lewis-Kane are the founders of Kane-Lewis Productions in Sedgwick. Richard Shetterly is known for his series, “Americans Who Tell the Truth.”

The Stonington Opera House is a vendor at the Stonington Farmers Market.

Photo of Ashley Bryan By Sue Hill – http://www.winterswork.com/wwashl.html, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6508295.



A New Look for Blue-Zee Blueberries

Blue-Zee Farm has new packaging for its frozen wild Maine blueberries (organic, of course), and if you’ve never harvested, packaged and distributed something you’ve grown yourself – well, you have no idea what an accomplishment that is!

You may have seen Blue-Zee’s Renata Scarano at the Stonington Farmers Market selling her lovely, lovely produce. She and her husband Mark, with help from their little daughter Julia, run the 100-acre mixed vegetable and blueberry farm in Penobscot. It’s part of Blue Hill Heritage Trust’s Farmland Forever program.

You can buy Blue-Zee’s frozen blueberries at the Blue Hill Co-op and through FarmDrop. Look for the packages with the Scarano family resemblance:


Note the family resemblance

The blueberry packages are not only cute, they’re the cutting edge in packaging technology. Really. It’s all about the stand-up pouches. You’ll see more and more of them.

Super Berries

Wild blueberries have many health-giving properties, according to the Wild Blueberry Association of North America.

Scientists around the world are investigating the disease-fighting potential of blueberries – and the quantity of this research is growing by leaps and bounds. Studies of these antioxidant-rich super berries and the bioactive phytonutrients that give them their deep-blue color reveal a wide range of potential health benefits. From brain health, gut and heart health to cancer prevention, improved urinary tract function and a reduction in diabetes risk, blueberry research is changing the way we all look at this tiny, potent berry!

And freezing wild blueberries doesn’t harm their nutritional value.

We’re fortunate to live in Maine, one of the few places the wild blueberry grows. (The other is Canada.)

And now a word from Farmer Bob (and Marcie)

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Anne Bossi, Bob Bowen and granddaughter Paige

Bob Bowen, who started the Stonington Farmers Market 24 years ago, posted a thank you to all our vendors and customers in the comments section of a previous post. We didn’t want them to get lost, so we’re including them in a separate post:

Thank you to all the vendors who helped make this a trouble free year, Hope to see you all next year. Plus maybe more vegetable farmers. That should help grow the market.
Also thanks to all the wonderful customers who make it all worth while. We appreciate the regular customers who return yearly plus all the locals who come weekly. Especially the younger people who will be customers for years to come.
This is the end of the 24th year of the Market that started in Deer Isle, outgrew the area and moved down to Stonington. And thanks to the town of Stonington for the continued support. Nice to feel wanted !!
Bob Bowen
Father of market !

Bob and his wife Anne Bossi are the proud owners of Sunset Acres Farm in Brooksville.  Granddaughter Paige has inherited their entrepreneurial spirit. She makes and sells dog bones. (You may have seen her hugging any number of dogs at the market.)

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Marcie Amory

We also wanted to make sure you saw a post by Marcie Amory, a market stalwart and proprietor of Bluemoon Market Arts. On the last day of the market, Marcie posted:

Great day! Sure will miss everyone! Be sure to connect with your favorite vendors all year long! We all all eager to assist you. We have email addresses as well as Etsy Shops and Facebook pages … I personally will ship free and make you anything you need within my inventory to provide. Thanks all for a great summer in Stonington… Will be thinking of all of you in Texas this winter !!! Be well!!!
All my love💙❤️❤️💜!! Marcie/
Bluemoon Market Arts / fused glass artist


Last Day for the Stonington Farmers Market

Today is the last day the Stonington Farmers Market will be held in 2016. Next weekend, most farmers will head to the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine.

You might want to come by and pick up some of Anne Bossi’s award-winning goat cheese. It’s beautiful stuff to look at — and to eat. Anne has been making cheese all her life. She and Bob Bowen have about 100 Saanen, Alpine and Nubian dairy goats at their Sunset Acres Farm in Brooksville.


Anne says when she goes into her cheese room in the morning she takes a deep breath and says, “This is why I do it.”

You can’t miss Anne. She and Bob are by the giant yellow truck next to the Island Community Center. Click here to find out where else you can find their delicious cheeses.


You might also want to pick up a frozen seafood pie from Avalon Kitchens. If you haven’t tried their delicious Clam Chowder Pie, you must. It’s a two-crust pie filled with clam casserole, a yummy combination of clams, crushed Ritz crackers, sage and aromatics, salt pork, Old Bay, butter and more. Dan and Leslie Landrigan live in Stonington, but make the pies in a commercial licensed kitchen in Orland. You’ll find them by the 44 North Coffee stand.

Grab some clam pie or some goat cheese before it’s all gone.


Finding Tinder Hearth Bread


Visitors to the Stonington Farmers Market know that long line in the middle of the market consists of Tinder Hearth bread fanatics. If you don’t get there early enough, this is what you’ll find under the Tinder Hearth tent:


Actually, Tinder Hearth’s many fans know they can get the delicious wood-fired European bread at local retail outlets.

On Tuesdays and Fridays, you can find Tinder Hearth bread at the following places:

The Galley in Deer Isle
44 North Coffee in Deer Isle
Burnt Cove Market in Stonington
The Blue Hill Wine Shop in Blue Hill
The Blue Hill Co-Op in Blue Hill
John Edwards Market in Ellsworth
Tiller and Rye in Brewer
The Natural Living Center in Bangor
The Store in Orono

You can also find at the Winter Market in Blue Hill on Saturdays from 9:30-Noon.

Tinder Hearth is located at 1452 Coastal Rd. in Brooksville. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays you can buy pastry as well as bread at the bakery. And on Tuesday and Friday evenings, you can order a Tinder Hearth pizza in the morning and eat it there in the evening. But you must call ahead at (207)326-8381.

This Friday, Sept. 16, will be your last chance this year to buy Tinder Hearth bread at the Stonington Farmers Market, as it’s the last market of the year. So come on by!

Mark Your Calendar for the Last Market

Was that summer that just flew by? Well, yes, and this Friday, Sept. 16, will be the last Stonington Farmers Market of the season.

Though many of our growers and crafters sell their wares at craft shows and retail outlets, Friday will be your last chance to browse them all together in Stonington.


So stop by for some of the best local food you’ll find in Maine.

Blue Zee Renata

Buy something you can take home to remind you of your wonderful summer Downeast.

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Or do some Christmas shopping.

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Socialize with friends and neighbors.

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Buy flowers. And art.

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Or just pat the dogs. But come!

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(And thanks, in advance, for a great year!)


Flowers for a Ferry-Tale Wedding

Leslie Anderson, who sells her art and flowers at the Stonington Farmers Market, sent us the following story to share:

A young woman approached the Dan’s Flower Farm stand a few weeks ago and inquired about wedding flowers. I asked where the wedding was to be, and she replied “I’m getting married on the Isle au Haut Ferry on Labor Day!”

Here’s a shot of her gorgeous late-summer bouquet (minus the ribbon). Juli also crafted floral wreaths for the bride and one tiny flower girl.


Dan’s Flower Farm offers farm-fresh cut flowers by the bouquet or the bucket for wedddings, parties and events – or just a glorious bunch of flowers for your dining-room table.

Visit us at the end of the side aisle (next to the entrance to the Community Center) in Stonington. Remember, Friday is the last farmers market in Stonington in 2016..