Editor’s Note by Kathleen Fleury
Apples, apple trees, and apple picking are distinct joys of living in Maine. Cider from Sewall’s orchard graces our dinner table every night in the fall — and we stock up on frozen cider to last through the winter. Cider doughnuts are a Saturday morning staple. My mother-in-law’s apple pie is a coveted treat. For most of my life, though, I thought an apple was an apple was an apple. Until last year.
We belong to Hatchet Cove CSA, a great farm-share in Warren. Every Tuesday from May through October, I pick up our shares at Pen Bay Medical Center, just down the road from the Down East offices. Then, come mid-September, our CSA partners with Out On A Limb, an heirloom-apple CSA based in Palermo (outonalimbapples.com). We get a bag each week with five or six different heirloom varieties, plus instructions on how best to utilize them. The CSA pickup night is an event, with my family tasting all the different apples and comparing notes.
Over the years, Out On A Limb has grown and shared more than 100 kinds of apples. A few of my favorites from last year include Sweet Sixteen, Hidden Rose, Spartan, and Newt Grindle. That last one, says the Out On A Limb website, originated in East Blue Hill: “It was discovered by Newt, who was the caretaker on the farm where the tree happened to put down its roots. He cared for the tree as it grew, with the intention of using the apples to feed his hogs. One day, on the way to the pigpen, he tried a bite, only to discover he had a pretty tasty apple on his hands. He suddenly wasn’t so keen on sharing them all with the pigs. Luckily for us, he must have shared some of the scionwood around the Blue Hill Peninsula.”
You can sample a few a varieties on October 14 at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardners Association’s Great Maine Apple Day, which we’ve highlighted on page 33. This whole issue gives you a taste of fall in Maine — my favorite time of year here — but to really sink your teeth in, I encourage you to explore its apples. There are Maine stories and farmers and traditions behind every delicious bite.
Editor in Chief
From farms to footpaths and long drives to cold drinks, we have five favorite ways to love the fall in Maine’s scenic south.
By Bridget M. Burns
On her farm in Hollis, photographer Nina Fuller makes a near-daily practice out of capturing the serene, enigmatic animals that have (unexpectedly) taken over her life.
Will our burgeoning awareness of tick-borne illness alter our relationship to the Maine landscape?
By Brian Kevin
North by East
A wild Peaks Island art festival goes underground, playwright Bess Welden pens a script with help from refugees, Maine writer Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo‘s posthumous novel is published, and the Maine Mariners take the ice for the first time. Plus, creative headlight alternatives and rowdy squirrels in Maine Dispatches.
Food & Drink
Good Things from Maine
Editor’s note, reader feedback, responses to August’s Where in Maine, and more.
Pro triathlete Sarah Piampiano on Rangeley’s Cupsuptic Lake.
On the cover: Along Hemlock Road in Acadia National Park, by Susan Garver.
Additional photos: Douglas Merriam; Sara Gatlin; Ross Knowlton