green on and off the island

Last Thursday evening, I delivered homemade ramp butter from my Brooklyn kitchen safely to my wonderful friend Keryn’s house in coastal Maine. Ever the fabulous hostess (I am finding it hard to leave Maine), there was a table filled with food and wine and very good company, the perfect end to a day’s drive through parkways and small villages.

spread at Keryn's house on Thurs night (she is a charming hostess, of course)

On Saturday morning, we drove onto the ferry toward North Haven, an island just across from Rockland,

onto the ferry

and Keryn pointed out the other islands as we passed them on our ferry hour.

Once on North Haven, she introduced me to Little Lad’s, the herbal popcorn produced locally that is difficult to stop eating,

Little Lad's Herbal Corn "When the chips are down...Try Little Lad's!"

and slipped the new album from local band the Toughcats in for our island tour.

Keryn loves the Toughcats band (this is their new cd we found in Waterman's)

We did see traps in driveways,

in a driveway

but more interesting, we read the signs on this community billboard that everyone driving the island passes (the one-way street makes it so), and I noted the invitation at the bottom of the farmers’ market sign, welcoming everyone to buy or sell.

this farmers' market sign is my favorite (read the bottom)

Keryn deftly steered us out to Turner Farm, where farmer Jen Porter (who we saw on the ferry returning from “cow shopping”) moves the greenhouses on skids (the Eliot Coleman way) and we sleuthed which of the greenhouses had been moved that week.

greenhouses on Turner Farm

Inside, the greenhouses were warm with the future plantings,


green overlapping

herbs and lettuces small and fragrant (Keryn leaned in to smell the basil),

basil and greens

and sunflower seeds were dark against the leaves.


greens in the house

We found the inspiring garden plans and neatly organized charts with dates and locations,

planting plans

planting plans

and I looked again at the green sprouts destined for great things,


learned that even leeks flower.

flower on the leek

We walked up the hill to the beautiful posts and beams in the barn being built by John Libby,

barn at Turner Farm

beautiful barn on Turner Farm

and then, strutting among the chickens,

chickens at Turner Farm

I found Lady Gaga Chicken, holding her own with an impressive head pouf,

Lady Gaga chicken (I love her)

while her fellow chickens had beautiful feather patterns (but no feather headdress pouf).

chickens at Turner Farm

such beautiful feathers

And on we drove to Doreen’s,

rocks at Turner Farm

where little lambs ran up to meet us,

little lambs

lambs and sheep at Doreen's

sheep and a lamb at Doreen's

and one insisted upon being photographed alone (maybe she knew we had just met Gaga Chicken?)

lamb at Doreen's

Doreen, who tends her many animals with great affection, took us to her pasture tucked away in the back of the property,

toward the pasture

where her goats and kids roam, occasionally corralled by Flossy.

Flossy surrounded by goats

Crunching over green that the goats will eat later this season,


pinecones in Maine

I paused at the deep green moss on overlapping roots,

moss on roots

and Keryn and I were both quiet and thoughtful as we wandered back to the beach crusted with purple shells by Turner Farm.

beach by Turner Farm

shells, rocks, and seaweed


purple shell

Back on the mainland that night, Keryn made a lovely risotto with local smoked shrimp and greenhouse pea shoots,

Keryn making risotto

sprinkled salt on top,

Keryn sprinkling salt after plating the risotto

and with her husband Mike, we talked of arancini, ferry travel, island exploration, and the greenness of spring in their house.

pea shoots on a risotto with sugar snap peas and smoked shrimp

Related posts:

  1. an island beach in maine
  2. an island of chapels near cannes
  3. sunday supper at salt water farm