This week, we officially shift into the winter boat schedule, although we’re really just beginning to appreciate the changing colors of the leaves. It is the season of the final harvests, and gardeners are pulling in the last crops: pumpkins, squash, potatoes and late tomatoes that haven’t succumbed to blight.
For those who work with healing plants, it is time to gather roots, as the plants are beginning to pull all of their resources underground for a long winter. A student of herbal medicine on Great Cranberry is doing just that, gathering plant medicines from a new herb garden she started this year and from wild and cultivated plants in her island community.
Sarah McCracken is shifting her model of The Island Ecology Project from vegetables to medicinal herbs. Without the participation of her coworkers who have chosen to move off island for the time being, things are moving slowly. About half of the garden at Mark Alley’s house was seeded with perennial herbs this year, the other half to be planted next season. Islanders curious about medicinal plants should feel free to ask about herbs that might support them both physically and emotionally throughout the coming months.
Cars lined the road outside The Ladies Aid Sunday evening for the Harvest Supper. Helen Byrtles welcomed everyone at the door and handed out tickets for the raffle, and the community enjoyed an incredible beef stew, salad and biscuits. Thanks to everyone who showed up to support The Ladies Aid Society and to all helped cook, clean and eat.
Thanks to Kaitlyn Duggan for taking on the Harvest Supper on Islesford this past Saturday, Oct. 7. Hordes of Islesford friends and some of their friends came to enjoy generous portions of everything from turkey to vegetables, salads, soups and desserts (can’t forget them). Instead of the usual center table loaded up, each table’s setting included food. The kitchen crew was able to sit down for supper; they also spent a lot of time making sure things were offered at different tables. Among those who came were Melissa and Jim Amuso; Tony, Sarah, Hank and Sadie Archino; Emily and Ron Axelrod; Marian Baker and Chris Wriggins; Deborah and David Brooks; Paul Brumaghim; Barbara and Bradley Bryant; Cory and Bode Duggan; Peyton Eggleston; Lindsay Eysnogle and Jason Pickering; Barb and Bruce Fernald; Malcolm Fernald and Mary Schuch; Dan Field and Ronnie Hanson; Trinks Howard; Susie McNamee; Erica and Jack Merrill; Katya, Patrick and April Mocarsky; Tammy and Steve Palmer, with Aaron; Peter Philbrook; Jane Porter; Sally Rowan; Chris and Eric Sandberg; Cheryl and Andy Sholl; Kathy and John Sinnott; Dianne and Jay Speakman; Joy Sprague; Jeri and Ted Spurling; Serena Spurling Cindy and David Thomas; Joanne and Paul Thormann; and many others. Strong support for Neighborhood House and the space it provides for the island, whether for large gatherings such as the Harvest Supper or access to a decent internet connection, is important, and it was good to see.
The October Dip has happened, for Barb Fernald and Cindy Thomas. Barb Fernald’s report: “So glad we dipped while the water was still a balmy 55 degrees. (54 degrees at the Eastern Maine Shelf buoy). October dip catches us all up on the 15-year mark. That’s 180 consecutive monthly dips! (Though we’ve all been in the water way more than that.)
There was a Historical Society meeting on Islesford on Oct. 6 to develop an official collections policy. It was well attended and Gail Grandgent’s first meeting as chair.
Cindy Thomas has the kids active at the library. The first story and craft time for the season was held. The book was “Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert. The craft was making Leaf Man puppets from paper bags. Participants included Elliott Hadlock, Bode Duggan, Marina Pickering, and Zinnia and Phoebe Gray.
It is indeed that time of year again. Sharon Leckbee Daley, from the Seacoast Mission health service, plans to bring flu shots to the islands soon. The date isn’t firm yet, but will be in October.
Katelyn Damon, public safety coordinator for TCI, posted a reminder on the Cranberry Isles Information Page that it is hunting season in the Cranberry Isles. Archery season has begun, and gun season is the end of October through November. Blaze orange is important through the end of the expanded archery season. Sundays are the only days of the week that hunters cannot hunt. Sunrise and sunset are the times that deer and hunters are most active. Cranberry hunters are careful, but accidents happen.
Many thanks to Elizabeth T. for providing evening commuter service this week. Next week, the Downeast Windjammer’s Miss Lizzie takes over through the winter.
Birthdays: Katya Mocarsky will blow out candles on Oct. 14. Katelyn Damon will celebrate on Oct. 18.