Heritage Harvest Dinner

By Lydia Coburn, Communications Coordinator

When we put up the raised garden beds by our Neptune Drive office last spring, the future was unknown. Over the summer, we had the pleasure of watching a variety of vegetables and flowers grow, as well as the creation of an enjoyable outdoor space for our New Mainer neighbors.

But what do you do with an abundance of fresh food and a growing community? You throw a party of course!

Wednesday October 20th, BTLT staff and board members, New Mainers of all ages, and mentors all joined together for a “Heritage Harvest Potluck.” Each guest brought a culinary dish that held a special place in their heart – tables were filled with food from Vietnam, China, Congo, Angola, Mexico, Rwanda, and Maine. We enjoyed freshly shucked oysters, Chinese chicken wings, apple pie, ceviche, fumbwa, chocolate cupcakes, Swedish meatballs, spring rolls, fufu, and so much more – not necessarily in that order!

ESL educator, and co-host of the event, Kelli Park shared her thoughts:

“The Harvest Heritage Dinner was more than just a dinner, it was a symbol of things to come for our increasingly diverse community in Midcoast Maine. The dinner featured recipes from all over the world and showed that being part of a thriving, welcoming community extends far beyond the geographic boundaries of our local towns and into the far reaches of the world. This collaborative community event was an example of the things that individuals can accomplish when they come together with an idea: to find ways to cultivate connections among individuals from all walks of life to promote a thriving multicultural community. 

“My goal is to continue to facilitate collaborative programming with active participation from my English language students, whose voices are invaluable to us as we navigate our changing community. My hope is that this is just the beginning. Thank you to everyone who made this event happen! I look forward to many more evenings like this in the future.”

Throughout the evening, I witnessed someone eat their first culinary caterpillar while someone else had their first raw oyster, taught a group of women how to make the perfect s’more, and watched kids make new friends (tag is a universal language).

The other universal language? Food. Here’s to sharing more meals with our new neighbors and community members!

Mushroom Foray Fun

On the last day of August, Louis Giller of North Spore Mushroom Company joined a group of eager foragers at Bradley Pond Farm Preserve.  Louis started the program by introducing three different types of edible wild mushrooms that we should look for in the forest: chicken of the woods, chanterelles, and black trumpets. He talked about look-alike mushrooms that may be dangerous and responsible foraging techniques. Collecting and eating wild mushrooms is not to be taken lightly!

Before setting off on the trail, Louis made sure to remind participants of the Leave No Trace principles, something that all foragers should remember when walking through the woods.  Although a few of them didn’t apply to the foray (I hoped we wouldn’t need a fire…), it doesn’t hurt to refresh on the rules of the wild!

The Seven Leave No Trace Principles
  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

We started out hoping to cover the Upper Loop Trail and the Perimeter Trail, although with so much wandering around, it became clear shortly after setting out that we would not be able to cover that much ground. Looking so deeply at each square foot of forest takes a lot of time!

And take our time, we did. We looked at every bit of the ground, hoping for bright orange colors (of chicken of the woods and chanterelles) and dark black or brown (black trumpets). Although we came up short in chicken of the woods and black trumpets, we found a few beautiful patches of chanterelles. Although we weren’t searching for them, we found some old man of the woods, another edible mushroom.

The dry weather over the last couple weeks stunted the typical mushroom-boom of late-summer, but we still had a great time learning from Louis and we all left with a big handful of oyster mushrooms provided by our friends at North Spore.

Thank you, Louis!

BTLT in the News, “Soak up the latest trend – forest bathing”

Soak up the latest trend – forest bathing

June 10, 2018

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Jade Integrated Health are teaming up tonight for the first of three forest bathing programs.

Want to check out the trendiest thing in walks? The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is collaborating with Jade Integrated Health in Brunswick for a series of Forest Bathing classes that starts tomorrow and is directed at “finding mindfulness in nature.” For a small donation, you can experience a guided walk – err, bath – through the woods in Brunswick.

To read the full story, click here.