Rabelais Newsletter 3/19/12

These warm days have got me thinking garden.  It was only last week that I ordered my seeds, but they arrived swiftly on our doorstep from some of our favorite seed companies: Fedco Seeds; Johnny’s Selected Seeds and High Mowing Seeds.  We are ready for turning over soil, finding out how the compost survived the winter(?), scraping back mulch coverings.  Out the windows from the back of the house a tinge of red is visible on the tops of trees.  The grass on the edge of our neighbors’ property, the neighbors who mow obsessively, unlike us, is turning green.  Color is returning to the landscape.  The warmer temperatures bring odors of earth and water and sap that I haven’t smelled in months.  It was a very mild winter here in Maine.  Of course now that I say that we will get hit with a late Spring snowstorm… It’s a little hard to believe that Spring is upon us, Tuesday is the vernal equinox, since we barely had any Winter weather to harden us up.  I keep expecting to see the garlic, which I planted very late in mid-November, poking up.  Not yet, but any day now at this rate.

In anticipation of our vegetable garden activities we have registered for a symposium at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC entitled Food and the City. “The intricate interrelationship between urban context and food production, central to the current debate on sustainability, will be the focus of the 2012 Garden and Landscape Studies symposium at Dumbarton Oaks.” We are very excited for this opportunity to learn more about the diverse examples of urban agriculture both in the modern and historical context. If you’re curious about the conference there is more information on their website.

Copper fish pot

If you follow modern farming news you heard how the suit against Monsanto brought by independent American small farmers was dismissed in February. We find this very troubling, mostly because Monsanto is patenting life with many of its seed varieties and then suing small independent farmers when they inadvertently grow similar varieties due to blow over. This issue is better covered in Food Inc. a movie we highly recommend if you want an overview of what’s going on in modern food systems. The suit was a more involved story, but this decision was another example of big business (big farming) squashing the little guy.  What with school systems feeding kids pink slime and all, you have to wonder how they get away with all this.

Coming down off my soapbox, I will just re-state our belief in our local farmers and food producers and encourage all to “know your farmer, know your food”.

wall and flyer

Boxes are being unpacked.  Sections are being assigned. This may be hard to believe, but we may still have more books than we have shelf space for.  We are >this far< from announcing our re-opening. The thinking at this point is call it a soft opening.   We’d really like to open our doors to our lovely customers, even though there is still so much to be done to this fantastic space.  Windows are open today and we are anticipating the doors open and the space filled with food and book lovers.

afternoon light in the kitchen
We have recently heard of a couple of local job opportunities.  If you are looking for work, give us a call, or send us an email.

Afternoon light in the Mill.


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