Make way for Seedlings!

We are on lockdown in Maine as we try to ‘flatten the curve’ of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Early on, we recognized the broader impacts of food insecurity that is being faced now and will unfold over the short season in Maine. Over the winter, we grew lots of vegetables in the greenhouse and now it is time to harvest some for our kitchen and more to pass on to our local food pantry. We have made it our goal to share something fresh from the garden every week during food box distributions through the seasons. Last fall, the Blue Hill Garden Club under the leadership of Peter Leonard (Grandpa) started a new public garden on Tenney Hill in the town of Blue Hill. Little did we know just how important this new space will be in providing fresh nourishment for our neighbors. Working with the Downeast Gleaning Initiative, Healthy Peninsula and the Blue Hill Heritage Trust, we are not only growing food for free distribution to the members of our community in greatest need, we are developing a platform for education on seed saving. The run on seeds this season has sparked great interest in saving seeds. We are trying out several ways to share how to save seed, why it is important and provide a platform for exchange and preservation of seeds for future growing season. For now, we are clearing out the greenhouse to fill it with seedlings that will be planted in the public garden later in the spring.

Our lettuce is going to seed, which we will sow through the season in the public garden, and the kale flourishes with plenty of greens to share. Rosemary maintains her happy home and offers nutrient dense leaves to share as full branches in the food pantry. Herbs are like super food! Even with the simplest meal, they add flavor and (more importantly) a dose of nutrients that are found in these culinary plants that are closest to the wild. They store easily when dried too.
Watercress flourishes in the aquaponic bed and the chard has grown into a giant!
Pickled beets to be – taken out of the dirt to make way for seedlings
Various pumpkins and squash emerge
Seedlings stay cozy under a late April snow.
Brassicas and onions – perfect planting companions
A new set of greens are planted in the terraced beds.

Secret Suppers by Cooking Studio Taos in the Distillery Gardens

Secret Supper by Cooking Studio Taos
Menu created by James Beard recognized chef, Chris Maher.
Chef Chris Maher in the Distillery Gardens
Chef Maher harvests the freshest salad from the Distillery Gardens just before dinner.
Salad plating at the Taos Distillery
Plating the salad – the Distillery kitchen was designed with wide, open countertops made of local granite to accommodate spreads like this.
Secret Supper Club in the gardens of the Taos Distillery
Guests start arriving to chat with the chef in the portico. Greeted with a drink and amuse bouche on the rooftop deck, we enjoy the view of Taos mountain with the sunset before sitting down at the table set up under the catalpa tree.
Taos Distillery plating
Valerie with Chef Chris Maher at the Taos Distillery
Seasonal soup by Chef Chris Maher
Carrot soup with curry & turmeric
Roast Quail with Bulgar & dried cherries served with sprouts & baby courgettes