Lake Living vol. 20, no. 1

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FREE spring 2017 • vol. 20, no. 1

groundcover

into the box

everything in its place

outdoor kitchens

business is blooming


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editor’s note One of the things that drew me to writing, and this is probably true for most writers, is a love of language. Beyond the obvious origin of words like quack and croak, I wonder how snapdragons got their name or who came up with the word sumptuous and what occasion might have prompted it. I delight in learning that the word restaurant finds its origin in the French word restaurer, meaning to restore or refresh. Words are important. They are what allow us to resolve our differences and speak our minds. They are the source of our civility and our ability to be both informed and informative. As someone who makes a living with words, I’ve lately found myself in a state of dismay over their abuse. Have Twitter and other forms of social media made it easier to play fast and loose with the written word? Is the lifespan of a tweet so fleeting that it doesn’t matter if it professes an “alternative fact” in place of the truth? The answer should be an emphatic no. It matters deeply. If we are obliged to beware (be wary) of language and parse the content of a sentence or argue the definition of a word, it doesn’t bode well. We need to be “true to our word,” and hold those who are not accountable. Words have nuance, or I wouldn’t be such a frequent visitor to Thesaurus. com, but a lie is a lie is a lie. I take the small opportunity of this column to urge you to honor words—as a reader, a listener and a speaker. They matter. Laurie LaMountain Editor & Publisher Laurie LaMountain Staff Writer Leigh Macmillen Hayes Photographers Brent Legere, Susan Welchman, Leigh Macmillen Hayes, groundcover staff, Maine Wood Heat, Genest Landscape & Masonry, Benjamin Moore Graphic Designer Dianne Lewis Proofreader/Copy Editor Leigh Macmillen Hayes Lake Living is published quarterly by Almanac Graphics, Inc., 625 Rocky Knoll Rd, Denmark, ME 04022 207-452-8005. www.lakelivingmaine.com e-mail: lakeliving@fairpoint.net ©2017. All rights reserved. Contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent from the publisher. Annual subscriptions are available by sending check or money order for $20 to the above address.

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spring 2017 • vol. 20, no. 1

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8 into the box

by leigh macmillen hayes

10 business is blooming

by laurie lamountain

12 everything in its place

by laurie lamountain

16 suddenly spring 17 groundcover

by leigh macmillen hayes

20 art of collaboration

by leigh macmillen hayes

22 outdoor kitchens

by laurie lamountain

26 primed for paint

by laurie lamountain

cover photo groundcover


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into the box

by leigh macmillen hayes

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brent Legere

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hen you think of a box,” says Brent Legere of Lovell Box Company, “you think of cardboard. Something you can pick up and move.” Except cardboard and plastic boxes stopped making sense to Brent a long time ago and he much preferred the act of storing food he’d harvested or foraged in boxes he’d built from wood he’d milled and assembled. With a sweeping motion encompassing his kitchen, he points to various wooden boxes filled with contents from groceries to tools, then adds, “All this stuff is a box. Some bigger, some smaller. Some thicker, others thinner.” Creating a company to build boxes from Eastern white pine he mills on his parents’ land in Lovell only entered Brent’s imagination a year ago. His life’s journey had led him to MECA, the Maine College of Art in Portland, where he studied photography. But, Brent always had a yearning for woodworking and furniture design and took coursework in both. After a career in commercial photography turned into too many hours in front of a computer, he decided a change was necessary. His parents had moved from southern Maine to a thirty-acre property with two houses in Lovell several years ago and that provided the opportunity for him to join them. To Brent it meant a chance to live a simpler life and cut down on personal expenses. At first, he worked as a finish carpenter. But one day, while driving home from a job site, the proverbial lightbulb went off in his head. He’d noticed that many people in western Maine placed old milk crates on their porches. The crates, while utilitarian, were more decorative in nature. And so, on that ride home, his vision formed. The name popped up immediately, Lovell Box Company. That came from the

brent Legere


susan welchman

vibe Brent had been picking up about the area—he sensed people’s connection to the land and each other; the realization that Lovell is a really special place. Twenty acres of his parents’ land is a woodlot. They wanted to clear some for pasture and create trails on the rest. With that in mind, Brent and his father purchased a sawmill and he taught himself the milling process. While he was still working for the carpenter, he began building boxes and selling leftover lumber to make extra money. At the beginning, Brent worked 40-45 hours a week on siding, roofing and trim and spent any free time fulfilling customer orders. “I had the energy,” he says, “but knew it wasn’t sustainable.” He scaled back his work hours to four days a week, hired a helper, and Fridays became “Box Day.” Together, he and his assistant cut the lumber into twelve inch planks for stock. He built boxes and they sold. In fact, they sold so quickly and he had other furniture projects on his plate so

that when he again cut back his hours for the other job, he ended up getting laid off. That turned out to be a blessing and Brent embraces the lifestyle he’s created. He’s gone from living in a turn-key city apartment with high rent to realizing the rhythm of life through harvesting trees in a sustainable manner, hauling them to the mill, making lumber and using leftovers to stoke the woodstove. “I’m living my life,” he says as a grin spreads across his face. All of this, of course, includes a beautiful setting with the White Mountains as a backdrop. Brent says the fun part is the collaboration that comes with creating custom boxes and other wooden products for clients. “We’re designing it together. It has to fit their needs. I take the technical knowledge of what’s feasible and see it all come together with their vision—what they wanted but better than what they imagined.” He chuckles as he reflects upon the latter part of that statement. “That could be my slogan—‘What they wanted but better than

what they imagined. Lovell Box Company.’” “A lot of what I’m selling is the story of it,” he says. “The products stand on their own, but the story makes people want it—the trees, sawmill and connection to timber. People don’t have a connection to manufactured materials. I leave the bark on the wood and that helps them make that connection.” He equally enjoys the other side of the story—hearing how people use the boxes or wood he’s sold them. His hope is to hire more helpers eventually and continue to use the resources on his dad’s land as well as others. For now, he buys the trees from his father. Once the logs are sliced to the appropriate size depending on the type of box he plans to build, he transports the pieces to a passive solar kiln near his house. The back wall of the kiln is painted black and plastic stretched across a wooden frame allows the sun to pass through, while a fan circulates to keep the moist air out. This process allows him to diminish the wood drying time from three months to two weeks during the summer. In his workshop, the wood is cut to size, glued and nailed into a particular shape. His products range from a simple stock box for odds and ends to recipe card boxes, apple crates, brewer and vinter totes, milk and Ball jar totes, and even live-edged gift boxes. Size and use are open to interpretation. He also builds trays, cheese boards, cribbage boards, stools and bar tops. The latter being large installations for a couple of breweries. “All my best ideas have come from my customers,” says Brent. “That’s how the beer and wine totes came into being.” Someone asked for a beer tote to gift to a son and as is his tradition, he built extras. They all sold. Since then, he has built over a hundred totes. Most of his boxes are flame-branded with his company logo. But even to that end, Brent says he can customize the graphics and shows me examples with the Kezar Lake flying loon logo and others with a Maine Love graphic. In the end, it all comes back to a vision . . . and the story about a young man who constructed a box one day and a company grew out it. Lovell Box Company—What you wanted but better than what you imagined. R Lovell Box Company Call first for an appointment 207.432.2900 Check it out on Facebook

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Business Is Blooming by laurie lamountain

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ackie Gardner’s more than twenty-year relationship with floral design began on Martha’s Vineyard, then moved to Virginia and eventually followed her to southern Maine. Eleven years ago, when she and her husband bought the farm where they now live and raise Tamworth pigs and Katahdin lambs in Porter, it started to get really serious. For one thing, there was land to plant gardens . . . lots of it. And there

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was a job waiting tables at Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield, where there just happened to be a lot of weddings. With her background in floral design, Jackie thought, “I can do their flowers.” The first year she did just a couple of weddings and the next year she doubled that. The third year, she was up to about fifteen weddings and she moved operations from the kitchen at Moonset Farm into the barn.

Then there was the year when she did thirty weddings and she and her husband ended up buying the building across the street from the farm to serve as her studio. She planted flowers specifically for the weddings, and last year she converted all of the gardens at the farm to flower beds so that she no longer needs to buy from outside vendors. Jackie points to three gardens bordering three sides of the main


house, as well as a 96’x30’ hoop house in the lower fields, obtained with a grant they recently received from the USDA, that will significantly extend her growing season on either end. What started out as a couple-ofweddings-a-year venture has grown to almost forty, and instead of ordering flowers from wholesalers, Jackie has become one. Jackie attributes much of her success to the growth of the American-grown flower industry and to social media and the Internet. Without Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, she’s convinced it would be a lot harder. She’s also a member of Chapel Designers, an international collective of wedding and event floral designers, and regularly attends workshops with top designers from all over the country. Of this she says, “It’s reassuring to see that you know as much as you do.” As with any art form, instincts are important and Jackie relies on hers to work with her clients. “When I meet with a couple, it takes me half an hour to figure it out. By the time we’re done meeting, I can pretty much tell her style. I don’t know how I do it, I just do. It’s interesting. You look at pictures, they pick styles they like, you talk and I know just what I’m gonna do. Quite honestly, I usually tell them to just let me do what I want to do and it will be beautiful.” She surprises herself with this last observation and asks, “Is that bad?” I assure her it’s not. I add that I would have loved it if the floral designer for our late October wedding in Ireland had suggested autumnal colors, instead of the white lilies and lisianthus I thought I wanted. Make no mistake, the flowers for our wedding were beautiful, but I can still picture the inside of the little church at Clara Vale in a warm glow of autumn color—and I have to wonder if our designer did, too. Jackie describes her style as “natural” and “organic,” and she makes no secret of the fact that she’s a big fan of Martha Stewart. She also cites Holly Chapel, Francoise Weeks and Kelly Perry as designers she looks to for inspiration. She strives for a visually interesting style that’s “not too tight and not too loose.” Ultimately, though, it’s her brides who inspire her designs through their choice of colors and their own personal styles and preferences—that and whatever is at its peak in the garden. She doesn’t do any packages; every wedding is uniquely designed for each couple. Most of the brides she works with are drawn to

Dahlias, zinnias, cosmos, gomphrena, snapdragons, Bells of Ireland, I use a lot of herbs in all the stuff that I do. Borage is one of my favorites. I like to use lots of different textures as well as greenery.

the fact that nearly all of the flowers are grown on the farm or even harvested from the woods around it. “Dahlias, zinnias, cosmos, gomphrena, snapdragons, Bells of Ireland, I use a lot of herbs in all the stuff that I do. Borage is one of my favorites. I like to use lots of different textures as well as greenery.” If bucolic images of wading through fields of waist-high blooms to harvest a few bouquets and flower arrangements are calling you to the trade, think again. Jackie estimates it takes her three to four hours, from harvesting to completion, to create just one bouquet. Then there’s the matter of getting up at the crack of dawn

on the big day. Jackie is quick to credit her husband, Meikle, for doing all the packing and heavy lifting. “I couldn’t do it without him. You’ve got all your personal flowers, the centerpieces, sometimes an arbor, the ceremony . . . it’s a lot! If it’s a wedding party of twelve, you have to do twelve bouquets. If it’s 250 people, with say ten people per table, that’s twenty-five table arrangements.” What does Jackie love most about her job? “I love the feeling when you hand that bride her bouquet and you see that smile. That really gets me. It’s a small little thing I can do on her big wedding day; to make her happy. And when they cry it’s even better. Then I cry and we have to take a picture!” We laugh over the image of this Kodak moment and she adds, “And you know what? It hasn’t gotten old. After twentysomething years of doing flowers, I still get that little something in here when I hand the bride her bouquet.” R Visit Moonset Farm at moonsetfarms.com or call the studio at 207.625.7733. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

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mainewoodheat.com

Everything In Its Place by laurie lamountain

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hile the French phrase mise en place applies to a culinary tradition that depends on “everything in its place,” it has a wide range of applications. When I was speaking with Michael Jubinsky about No Passport Required: Cooking Around the World in Maine, the cookbook he just co-authored with his wife, Sandy, he pointed out that it evolved from a mise en place approach, not unlike the organizing and arranging of ingredients required to prepare a menu in a Michelinrated restaurant. Appetizers, soups, entrees and breads were all organized according to their country of origin and laid out like a sumptuous-but-orderly banquet. The Jubinskys opened Stone Turtle Baking & Cooking School in 2006, after retiring from busy careers that included the unlikely coupling of King Arthur Flour Company with the U.S. Navy and NASA for Michael, and pastry chef at Lulu’s in Niantic, Connecticut, and professional food taster for both Pfizer and Cultor Industries for Sandy. Along the way, the couple somehow managed to write features and a monthly food column for the New London,

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Connecticut, daily newspaper. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with and a lot of it has to do with their dedication to a mise en place approach to just about everything. Their most recent collaborative effort is their cookbook, which will be available for purchase this spring. My first experience of their carefully choreographed approach was in a one-day class on European-style bread making using a wood-fired oven. From the moment the workshop began until it ended almost precisely six hours later, it was a lesson in organization and proper order. How else could you possibly end up with twenty French boules, an herb bread, a sweet bread with dried cherries and chocolate chips, a fougasse and ten pizzas in that short time span? It all depends on preparation. While Michael measured enough of the starter dough (poolish) he’d prepared the day before for ten of us to make two loaves of bread, he kept us entertained with stories of his former life as senior spokesman for the King Arthur Flour Company and director of submarine safety for the U.S. Navy, which, I began to realize, had a symbiotic

relationship after all. Sandy, along with a team of assistants, supplied us with the necessary tools of the trade and ingredients, as well as amusing asides to Michael’s stories. Within no time, we each had a bowl of yeasty, beautiful bread dough to slide onto the rising racks for its first proof. It’s easy to see why King Arthur Flour Company employed Michael as their senior spokesman for twenty-five years. He’s a natural showman. While we waited for our dough to proof, he deftly demonstrated how to use the same French bread dough to prepare a savory herb bread, a sweet bread and a fougasse. He also showed us how to create beautifully patterned round loaves with a proofing basket, known as a brotform or banneton. For lunch, we were each given a ball of dough to shape and dress with an array of toppings before sliding it off the wooden peel and into Le Panyol wood-fired oven. (Warning: this class is not recommended for those on a gluten-free diet.) Our appetites sated, we moved on to the second phase of our bread making. It takes about three hours total for bread to proof, but there was never any down time during


pane rustico This Rustic Bread is a great introduction to artisan breads. The dough receives no pre-shaping or final shaping. It has an open and airy cell structure and is a great accompaniment to a wide assortment of foods, including the pea soup that follows. Jeffrey Hamelman’s Pain Rustique was the inspiration for this bread and we include durum flour for about twenty-five percent of the total flour. The bread has tremendous flavor and a beautiful golden hue. starter (liquid biga) 1 1/3 c cool water 2½ c unbleached all-purpose flour Pinch to 1/8 tsp instant dissolving yeast Mix water, flour, and yeast in a 2-cup bowl until well blended. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours dough Biga All 1½ c warm water (95° F) 1½ tbsp kosher salt 1 tbsp olive oil 2 c durum flour 1 tsp instant dissolving yeast 2½ c unbleached all-purpose flour to 3 Water to dip hands Semolina or corn meal

the class. We were either creating, listening and watching . . . or eating. Michael, Sandy and their volunteer assistants worked like a well-oiled bread machine. When it came time to shape our dough, add a design that would identify it as ours and slide them off the wooden peel and into the oven, I remember feeling something oddly close to maternal. I knew where in the oven my boules were and I recognized them when they were taken out and placed on the cooling racks. Was it my imagination or were they better looking than the others? Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought that because cell phones suddenly appeared where there hadn’t been a one.

In a final bow to mise en place, Michael and Sandy produced dough hooks, stone tiles, yeast and salt for purchase. I sprung for a dough hook, which has radically altered my experience of preparing dough, and two stone tiles. With these and my offspring safely stowed in paper bags, I left Stone Turtle Baking & Cooking Company in a glutenous haze of happiness. R Stone Turtle Baking & Cooking School offers classes in artisan bread making, including French, Italian and sourdough, as well as pizza, focaccia, calzone and pasta. Visit their website at stoneturtlebaking.com for a complete list of offerings. They are located at 173 Howitt Road in Lyman, Maine, and can be reached by phone at 207459-0567 or at info@stoneturtlebaking.com.

Pour 1 cup of water around the edge of the starter to free it from the sides of the container. Pour starter into a large mixing bowl and mix to break it up. Add salt, olive oil and durum flour, and sprinkle yeast on top of the flour. Mix well. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add an additional ½-cup of flour and mix well. Add enough of the remaining flour so that the dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be wet and sticky at this point. Leave the dough in the bowl and using wet hands and a plastic dough scraper; pull the dough in an up-and-over motion from the edge of the bowl to the center. Work around the bowl, using a little more water to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the scraper. Do this for about 2 minutes, wetting hands and scraper as needed, or until you see some gluten strands develop. Cover and let rise for 1½ hours, doing stretches during the rise as described below: Stretches: Let dough rise for about 20 minutes. Dip hands and dough scraper in water. Pull one side to stretch slightly and

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From the moment the workshop began until it ended almost precisely six hours later, it was a lesson in organization and proper order.

swedish style pea soup (Ärtsoppa)

fold over half the dough, then repeat a total of 30 times, turning the bowl as you work. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise an additional 20 minutes. Repeat doing 20 folds with wet hands and dough scraper. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise an additional 20 minutes. Repeat doing 10 folds with wet hands and dough scraper. Cover with plastic wrap and le t r i s e a n add it ion a l 3 0 m i nut e s . Liberally flour the work surface. Sprinkle flour over the surface of the dough, especially around the edges. Using a plastic dough scraper, scrape down the sides of the dough to free it from the bowl. Turn the bowl over onto the floured work surface. Gently handle the dough—do not deflate! Shape the slack dough into a rough rectangle, about 8 by 12 inches. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and cut into three pieces, about 4 by 8 inches—do not stretch the dough. Using the scraper or a well-floured spatula, lift one piece of dough and place onto a well-floured, smooth cloth*. Make a fold in the cloth next to the dough and place the second dough alongside it. Repeat with the third piece. Lightly flour the tops of the dough pieces and loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes. While dough is rising, place a pizza stone or quarry tiles in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 500° F for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle a peel (or the back of a baking sheet) with semolina or corn meal.

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When dough has risen, roll the pieces over and transfer to the semolina-coated peel or baking sheet. Slash down the center of the dough. Slide onto the preheated stone/tiles. Quickly do the same with the remaining pieces. Add steam (see note below on steaming). After 10 minutes reduce temperature to 450° F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the breads are a deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 210° F. The breads should feel light and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. * We use a smooth linen or cotton dish towel. You may need to use two towels to fit all three pieces next to each other with a fold in-between. Steam can be added a couple of ways: • Use a pressurized garden sprayer and adjust the nozzle to the finest setting. After loading breads spray the oven for 10 seconds with the oven door partially closed. After 10 minutes reduce temperature to 450° F. • Place a small (8-inch) cast iron pan on the floor or lowest shelf of the oven when you begin preheating. When you notice that the dough is nearly risen, bring a couple of cups of water to a boil. Immediately upon placing breads into the oven, pour 1-cup of boiling water into the cast iron pan and close the door. After 10 minutes reduce temperature to 450° F. Be careful: Adding the boiling water to the hot pan may cause splatter. Use long sleeves and oven mitts!

1 pound whole dried yellow peas, or 1 pound split dried yellow peas 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped fine 1 large celery rib, chopped fine 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped fine 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced as fine as possible, or ½ tsp ground ginger ½ tsp dried thyme 1 ham bone, preferably with a little meat, or 1 ham hock (optional)* 4 c chicken broth 4 c water 1 tsp kosher salt ½ tsp ground black pepper 1 bay leaf Sour cream for garnish Sort through the peas and discard any foreign material. If using whole peas: Place peas in a large stockpot, cover with enough cold water to cover the peas by 2 inches. Soak overnight. If using split peas, this step is unnecessary. Drain peas and set aside. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrot and sauté until the onion is soft but not taking on color, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat, add ginger and thyme, and cook an additional minute. Add ham bone (if using), chicken broth, water, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and peas and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. Remove bay leaf and discard. Remove ham bone (if using), pick off any meat, and add meat to the soup. Discard the bone. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream. *Ham bone or ham hock is optional but adds a lot of flavor. You can omit them and use vegetable stock in lieu of the chicken stock, and make this as a vegetarian pea soup. Both recipes © 2017 Sandy & Michael Jubinsky, Lyman, Maine. Excerpt from No Passport Required – Cooking Around The World In Maine. For use by Lake Living magazine


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1. Root Honey Blends Candle Collection available at J. Decor in Bridgton 2. Foxgloves Gardening Gloves available at Craftworks in Bridgton 3. Dramm 5L Watering Can available at McSherry’s Nursery in Center Conway, NH 4. Barebones Living The Essential Gardener Collection available at groundcover in Bridgton 5. A Book of Bees, special order from Bridgton Books in Bridgton 6. Granite Bird Bath available at Genest Landscape & Masonry Center in Windham

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groundcover: Bridgton’s Garden Oasis by leigh macmillen hayes

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hile many of us may envision vinca or thyme when we hear the name of the botanically-themed shop Lucia Terry opened in August 2016, she explains, “groundcover is not meant to indicate typical ‘groundcover’ plants, but rather to conjure the ground-covering nature of all plants, and furthermore, to think of everything we do and have and create as covering the ground, covering the Earth . . . the planet we live on.” The shop expresses her love of plants and native landscapes by featuring an eclectic variety of garden-themed merchandise from tools to gifts. But, groundcover actually offers more than that. It includes Lucia’s commitment to “repurposing and recycling, and a design philosophy that draws from the Arts and Crafts notion of beautiful things having purpose and things we use everyday being beautiful.” Enter through the gate at 209 Main Street in Bridgton, and let the decorations and deck gardens embrace your spirit. When you are ready, step up into the tool shed where you’ll find garden tools, includ-

ing spade shovels arranged among dried wreaths created from grasses and grape vines, flower pots and other garden supplies. This room is a place to begin thinking about what might work best in your yard, or even how you could bring the garden indoors as you’ll surely be inspired. A large work table surrounded by benches provides a gathering space to contemplate possibilities, meet friends or learn during one of the monthly workshops and pop-up events. Pass through another doorway to information central, walled with barnwood, and home to the sales counter and a variety of gardening resources, including a lending library. The seating area serves as a place to ponder and when you are ready, it encourages conversation about your garden wants and needs. Next, stop by the barn, where you’ll discover harvested botanicals hanging from the walls. After you’ve visited the “outer” buildings, it’s time to continue the journey. If your experience is anything like mine, and in the spirit of not giving away the surprise,

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I’ll only say that sensation, sound and sight will enhance your walk to the mud room. You will still be inside, but your senses will bring your soul outdoors for a few moments. Intrigued? You should be for the experience isn’t one you’ll find anywhere else in the lakes region. And if you know what I’m talking about—don’t tell. Let your family and friends discover the uniqueness of this walkway for themselves. At last, the main shop opens before you in three rooms, the first enhanced with a brick fireplace, and all three brightened by light floor boards, white paint and large windows. The merchandise reflects each season, some of it found, repurposed and unique. Products have been carefully selected for their exceptional quality and environmental benefits. Around the shop, you’ll discover anecdotal notes explaining the creator’s story, such as Anne Riggs Designs of Portland. Ms. Riggs sews items including reusable sandwich wraps and her comments begin with the following: “The way I see it, when you buy and use a reusable product, you are casting your vote for sustainability. You are saying you want to take care of the Earth. You are helping your family save money and create less trash. You are showing your children how to care for the world they will inherit.” That’s precisely the mission of groundcover. For me, a walk through the shop creates a sense of stillness and calm. It’s a serene and relaxing place, yet colorful and fun. It’s an experience—much like walking through a garden. It’s also a place that has recorded another journey involving the previous owners who were kindred spirits of Lucia’s. This was formerly the home of Carol and Dale Honaberger, and their Lamp and Shade Shop be-

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fore a tragic car accident claimed their lives. groundcover’s tool shed served as Carol’s lampshade workshop, where the walls were racked to the ceiling with fabrics and forms and other tools of her trade. Today’s information center was the lampshade showroom, while the barn overflowed with custom lamps and parts. Tucked into the back of the barn was Dale’s workshop. Still called Dale’s Room, his former work space is for staff use only, but most of the barn serves the public as the main entrance. Following in their footsteps was initially a bittersweet journey for Lucia. “I spent many hours in the Lamp and Shade Shop re-visioning old lamps with Dale and figuring out the proper shades with Carol.”

She and Carol also coaxed red tulips in the gardens each year. When the house went on the market, Lucia acknowledges it was a long, slow path from first seeing the “For Sale” sign on the front lawn and wondering what would become of it, all the while grieving and accepting what had happened to her dear friends. She’d pass by the house during the estate sales, but couldn’t bring herself to enter until the last day when she purchased a box of lamp parts. “I finally realized I could honor the creativity and sharing spirit they had that everyone knew and loved them for by realizing my own dream there and so I began dabbling with possibilities,” says Lucia.


She tells me that her mom says in a prior life Lucia was a shop keeper, so a shop like groundcover was a natural step. “I have a desire and knack to put things together,” she adds. While Lucia couldn’t afford to purchase the house, she soon discovered she could lease it from the eventual buyer. As she has transformed this place with help from her talented shopkeepers, Kyla and Julia, and her daughter, Meli, the bittersweet feeling has evolved. “It’s now more sweet than bitter,” she says. “I can feel them here. I feel Dale pushing me—telling me that no matter how much we love what we do, we also have to find a way to have it support us. And I feel Carol’s eye on the place, ‘Lucia, why not red for a signature color?’” Continuing in the Honabergers’ footsteps means hanging the flag, pushing the barn door ajar and switching the old sign to “open.” Welcome to groundcover, a quiet garden oasis in Bridgton, where you can watch Lucia’s ideas continue to grow in an organic manner, much like the plants she tenderly raises. R

Turn the Garden Out Spring 2017 Workshop Series Saturdays 10-noon

April 15 How Will Your Garden Grow? seed swap, seed bombs and garden plans May 13 Plant Your Own Herbery: tea garden, kitchen garden or cocktail garden June 17 Container Gardens You Love: design, plant and tend for long season enjoyment

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The Art of Collaboration by leigh macmillen hayes

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Collaboration is the ultimate test for two artists. It requires the act of putting yourself aside in order to embrace the work of another. Ultimately, it’s a collision of sorts, where media connect and new ideas form.

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ollaboration is the u lt i mate test for t wo artists. It requires the act of putting yourself aside in order to embrace the work of another. Ultimately, it’s a collision of sorts, where media connect and new ideas form. Meet Don Best and Judy Mayberry of Studio 448 in Norway—two artists who share a space and frequently work in collaboration. After graduating with a degree in Fine Arts from the Portland School of Art, now called MECA, where he studied painting and sculpture, Don worked in a variety of crafts as well as other jobs to support his family. In the early years, his artwork included weaving, jewelry and print making. After marrying a local veterinarian, Don has spent the past decade or more carving sculptures that illustrate his passion for wild and domestic animals, especially cats and dogs. He and another artist originally opened the studio/showroom on Main Street and Judy became his studio-mate about three years ago. Beginning when she was twelve, Judy had taken drawing lessons from the late Lajos Matolcsy, which led her to the University of Southern Maine, where she earned a degree in Fine Arts. After a decade away, Judy and her husband returned to the area to raise their children. Weaving drew her focus until a shoulder injury affected one hand. Determined to overcome it and because she’d always loved mosaics, she began clipping tiles as a form of therapy. For the last twenty years, she’s created home installments including colorful backsplashes. Art can be a private affair and sharing the studio allowed these two introverts to

move out of their homes and into a spot on Main Street where locals and tourists could wave from the sidewalk or stop in to say hi. At first, they created individual work as they sat at benches with their backs to each other, all the while exchanging ideas. And then one Christmas they took on a challenge—making ornaments together to raise money for the local food bank. Glass met wood. And all proceeds went to the cause, which was a significant amount given that they discovered they couldn’t make the ornaments fast enough to keep up with demand. This has become a tradition and the recipient of the funds raised is now The Yeats Fund, to help sick pets whose owners are in financial need. That was the beginning of their teamwork. They still do their own thing, but their combined efforts juxtapose elements of texture, light and scale in a totally different


way as they create 3-D sculptures that depict animals in a colorful, whimsical manner. Don begins with a sketch and sometimes a cardboard template. “I stand back and look so I can make adjustments,” he says. As an ethical carver, he uses wood indigenous to Maine including basswood and white pine as a medium to bring his drawings and ideas to life. “I usually do elongated figures,” says Don. “I like the aesthetic-like lines, the tallness of it.” After roughing out the shape with a band saw, he turns to hand tools to finish the creation. With wood burning tools texture is added. Pieces are glued together into a wall piece or free-standing sculpture and the almost completed work is glazed before Don adds color. Finally, he hands it off to Judy, who sometimes matches his wood-burning technique and other times follows the grain of the wood with her mosaics, all the while working to blend the tiles into the structure. Her work is more labor intensive and requires patience as she painstakingly cuts the glass into tiny pieces before attaching each. “I do a lot of grinding to get the edges down,” she says. “I want to work the grout into the wood and try to make it not noticeable so it will blend into the bark.” She enjoys embedding the tiny pieces and watching which way the wood and glass flow as they begin to form a coherent whole. Sometimes, she sticks tiles into nooks and

crannies, adding a touch of color here and there to a finished piece. For both artists, the foundation of their work is the initial sketching. And the foundation of their working relationship is mutual respect. They are open to an exchange of ideas so that they each have a say in the final piece. “We get along well,” says Judy. “It’s an easy art relationship as we give and take and offer constructive criticism.” Their collaborative work is mostly oneof-a-kind and that uniqueness appeals to both of them. Each piece is different by virtue of the wood and glass and how the artists are feeling when they sit down on their respective stools. “We’d be bored making the same thing twice,” says Judy. The final result—sculptures that flicker and soar like the birds or other animals they personify. The dedication of these two artists toward their work and their obvious admiration of each other’s talent is witnessed in the minute details. The sculptures have movement and fluidity intensified by the static glass that adds vibrancy. From creating illusions of depth and playing with reflection and light, Don and Judy make magic with the work of their hands—where glass meets wood in the art of collaboration. R Studio 448 448 Main Street, Norway Open by chance or appointment

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Creating the Outdoor Kitchen by laurie lamountain

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he outdoor kitchen concept is not a new one. According to Steve Richard of Frost & Flame in Gorham, it’s just taken a while to catch on in our neck of the woods, where the summers are all too brief but also much too beautiful to spend inside. Outdoor kitchen installations can be as simple as a built-in grill station or as elaborate as a fully-equipped kitchen and dining area. Richard, who has owned Frost & Flame since 1990, says it’s the fastest growing segment of his industry, with people investing as much as $100,000 to convert exterior space into useable living area for cooking, dining and entertaining. After speaking with Richard, along with John Jaques of Genest Landscape & Masonry Center in Windham, I quickly came to the conclusion that there’s too much happening in the outdoor kitchen industry to cover in just one article. Spring is the perfect season to set the stage: creating your floorplan, as it were, with patio paving stones and landscaping walls to define your space, and adding either a fireplace or fire pit as a focal point for gatherings. We’ll cover where you can go from there in our summer issue.

Location, Location, Location The first step in creating an outdoor kitchen is determining how far or near you want it to be from your indoor kitchen. There are advantages and disadvantages to either placement. In general, building onto or next

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to the house will be simpler and less expensive than building a freestanding outdoor kitchen. Besides easy access to electric, water and propane supply, proximity to the indoor kitchen may eliminate the need for an additional sink, refrigerator or cabinets. Another advantage to an attached outdoor kitchen is that it’s protected to a great extent by the house, whereas a freestanding structure may be more vulnerable to weather. On the other hand, an attached outdoor kitchen may literally feel too close to home. If you’re OK with the fact that a freestanding kitchen is almost certainly going to cost a lot more in order to make it as self-sufficient as possible, there are

some distinct advantages to making your outdoor kitchen more of a “destination.” For one thing, you’ll have more options with regard to design and layout if you’re not adding onto an existing footprint. A remote location might also afford more privacy or showcase a unique aspect of your property, such as a view. Choosing a location that could use improvement or needs attention may serve a dual purpose and make it worthwhile to incur the expense of bringing in heavy equipment. An easy and fun way to determine where you want to locate the real thing is to try it out. Choose a spot you think you might like and, using a portable grill


and table and chairs to create a temporary setting, see what it feels like to cook and eat there. In any event, avoid creating an outdoor space that is either too large or too small to suit the scale of your house.

It’s All About the Base The rise in popularity of outdoor kitchens has seen a concurrent growth in engineered and natural stone surfaces. Engineered paving stones have made it easy for contractors and DIY homeowners to install patios, walkways and walls with exceptional results. Genest Concrete, a family-owned company that has served Maine’s masonry industry since 1927, began manufacturing paving stones in the 1980s. The manufacturing process, which was developed in Germany and is currently used throughout Europe, starts with a “base mix” of highstrength concrete combined with crushed stone that is placed in a mold and compressed. A “face mix” of fine aggregate, cement and pigment is then immediately added to the base and compressed to form a composite whole. The end result is a paving stone that has the structural integrity to withstand harsh New England weather and is attractive and easy to install. A diverse range of styles and colors makes it possible to achieve everything from the traditional look of clay brick to the natural look of stone flagging to the feel of a rustic, cobbled courtyard. They even make a permeable line of paving stones that ensures a “puddle-free” patio. A good way to get a sense of how they look and feel is by visiting the Windham showroom, where the entire floor showcases the many different styles and patterns that can be achieved. Genest also offers the area’s largest selection of natural stone paving, walkway or garden path options that are pre-cut and patterned for ease of installation, as well as a full line of Portland Stone Ware natural thin stone veneer that is suited for a range of outdoor applications.

Retaining & Landscaping Walls Whether you simply want to define the area that is your outdoor kitchen, or you’ve located it in an area of sloping or uneven ground, your layout will likely include landscaping walls or retaining walls, which can be made of stone, treated wood or modular concrete blocks. Free-standing walls provide a great way to accent a patio design or turn a featureless outdoor living space into an inviting, enclosed courtyard. Under license from Anchor Wall Systems, Inc., Genest manufactures a range of

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built stone or masonry fireplace (according to Richard, up to $22,000), with the addition of a pizza oven, it serves a very important household function. Before you build, be sure to investigate local building codes and carefully consider privacy and prevailing wind direction. Gas fireplaces may not have the allure of a wood fire but the argument could be made that they are a simpler, safer and less intrusive option— and there are several out-of-the-box kits that will cost you considerably less. There is even a see-through indoor/outdoor gas fireplace that allows you to enjoy the fire from inside or out. R Next up—the best pellet smokers and grills, outdoor kitchen cabinets, pivoting pergolas and sun awnings, torches and outdoor furniture.

retaining and free-standing wall systems that are easy to install—no pins, mortar or misalignments involved. As with their pavers, there are a number of textures and colors from which to choose.

Fire Pit, Fire Table or Outdoor Fireplace Fire pits create an enduring campfire atmosphere with all of its associated warmth and ambiance. Jaques points out that for about $400, you can purchase a round or square masonry fire pit kit containing blocks and a metal insert that can be installed over a weekend. Richard points to the other end of the spectrum—gas-fired pits that feature an adjustable flame and remote control and retail for as much as $4,000. In either case, you’ll have added a focal feature to your outdoor living space. Fire tables combine the ambiance of a fire pit with the convenience of a surround that typically accommodates four to eight for dinner or drinks. They use liquid pro-

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pane or natural gas for fuel and usually come with an optional flame guard. When it comes to outdoor fireplaces, there’s really nothing that compares with a wood-burning fireplace. And while it will likely cost you more to install a custom-


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Primed for Paint by laurie lamountain

M

y love affair with paint began in my twenties when I made my living for a while painting houses with a friend. The precision required to cut in with a brush completely appealed to my OCD side and nothing compared to the satisfaction of stepping back at the end of the day to assess my progress. It was like viewing before and after facelift shots, but with far less expense involved. While my days of professional painting are over, home improvements, two large dogs and a wood stove have since provided plenty of opportunities to paint. Because painting is such an easy and relatively inexpensive way to dramatically change your living space, I highly recommend it but also want to offer some tips before you try it at home.

An hour of preparation is worth a pint of paint

I’ll admit it, in my eagerness to transform a room I’ve been known to throw caution to the wind and skip the prep work. Each time, I’ve regretted it. Drop cloths are an absolute must. You’d be surprised what a few drops of paint can do to a wood floor. And if you can’t remove all the furniture in the room, move it to the center and cover it as well. Opt for good-quality drop cloths; bed sheets are too thin and plastic sheeting is slippery and won’t absorb drips.

Don’t try to use paint as a cosmetic cover up. If you have cracks, dings or dents, take the time to fix them before you paint.

To mask or not to mask

Here again, I’ve been known to skip the tedious task of applying masking tape to baseboards, trim work and contrasting walls, and only sometimes have I regretted it. Masking takes time and can leave a jagged edge or even remove the paint beneath if the tape is not carefully pulled away in the recommended amount of time. If you can perfect the art of cutting in (for example, painting just the surface you want and not the moulding that butts up to it), you’ll save the time and expense of masking. If finessing is not your forté and you opt to mask, be sure to use blue painter’s tape.

Buy quality brushes and rollers

I know some people who never wash their brushes because they buy cheap and throw them away. Granted, cleaning brushes is not exactly fun, and is not always successful, but there’s a reason a good-quality brush costs more. A better brush produces better results and is easier to use. Look for tapered bristles to make it easier to work an edge and flagged tips to help spread paint evenly. Natural bristle brushes are better for oil-based paints but a synthetic brush

I’ll admit it, in my eagerness to transform a room I’ve been known to throw caution to the wind and skip the prep work. Each time, I’ve regretted it.

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is best for all-around use. Take the time and effort to clean and dry it well and a quality brush should last you for many jobs. When it comes to rollers, consider the surface. A longer nap will hold more paint, which is better for covering an uneven surface like plaster or textured ceilings. And while I wouldn’t dream of throwing away a good brush until it’s outlived its usefulness, I’ve learned to let go of a roller once I’ve completed a job. For one thing, they’re almost impossible to clean thoroughly and they never perform as well once washed. In both cases, I’ve learned that as long as you’re using brushes and rollers on a daily basis, there’s no need to clean them until the job is done. Wrap them in plastic bags and keep them in a cool place overnight. If you store them in the refrigerator, allow them to come to room temperature before reusing them.

Buy quality paint

It won’t matter how good your tools are if you don’t have good quality paint. And, as with all things quality, it’s going to cost you more. Or does it? Higher quality paints cover better and hold up longer, which means you may use less and have to paint less often. They’re also easier to keep clean. The very first house I painted was with Benjamin Moore paint and I’ve been pretty much brand loyal ever since. I figure any company that’s been making paint since 1883 must know what they’re doing. There are four premium interior lines: Aura, Regal Select, Natura and Ben, of which Regal Select is my go-to choice. A gallon will cost you around $50, but the fact that it covers beautifully, has almost no smell and is selfpriming makes it worth it. For bathrooms or other high-humidity areas, ask for a mildewcide additive or a formula with a built-in mildew fighter. Never attempt to paint over mildew. Use bleach to clean the area and make sure it is completely dry before applying paint.

Gloss, Satin, Eggshell or Flat?

High gloss paint surfaces are the most durable and easiest to clean, but their high sheen is also more likely to highlight underlying imperfections or a bad paint job. It’s best to avoid them on large or sun-washed areas where defects are more likely to show. Due to its high durability, high gloss is a great choice for areas that are subject to a lot of handling, like cabinets, trim and doors, but it’s too much shine for walls.


What color is your parachute?

For me, choosing colors is probably the most agonizing aspect of painting. I’m sure Dr. Max Lüscher, who invented the Lüscher color test to determine emotional state based on color preference, would know what that reveals about my personality. Kevin, co-owner of Windham Paint, probably felt as though he were

becoming my psychotherapist when I was choosing colors for a master bedroom suite several years ago. When I finally chose three complementary colors and then called him later to discuss my reservations about the colors I’d chosen, he suggested I paint three boards and prop them up against the wall to get more than a color-swatch sense of them. Then he gently suggested that it was, after all, only paint. If, after living with it for a few weeks, I didn’t like it, I could change it. I haven’t yet. Just recently, when I went on line to match an existing color for a bedroom that had been remodeled, I was happy to discover that I’m not alone in my color insecurity. Benjamin Moore has a “Find Your Color” tab on their website that allows you to choose a color and apply it to each room of the house. Not only was I able to find the color I needed to match, but I was able to choose ceiling and accent wall colors to go with it. It was so much easier than standing in front of a wall of color swatches and trying to visualize how the color on a 2”x2” piece of paper would look on a 12’x10’ wall. There’s even a section devoted to the psychology of color that may reveal something about your personality.

For those who need to see the real thing, Benjamin Moore offers one pint samples to “try on” a color before making a final commitment. One pint provides enough to apply two coats over approximately 32 square feet. And for those who find their inspiration on the fly, there’s a Benjamin Moore app that allows you to match colors from photos. Snap a picture of anything that catches your eye and Color Capture® will not only find its match from their collection of 3,500 paint colors, it will even suggest complementary colors to go with it and tell you where the nearest Benjamin Moore retailer is located. By the way, you won’t find Benjamin Moore paints at the big box stores. It’s only available through a trusted network of independently-owned paint and hardware stores. R

benjaminmoore.com

Semi-gloss is a good choice for kitchens, bathrooms and kids’ rooms, where grease, moisture and hand prints may be an issue. It’s still durable and easy to clean, but it won’t highlight imperfections the way high gloss will. While it will work better on walls than high gloss, it’s still better suited for trim work. Satin has a nice luster and is easy to clean, but it bounces light in a way that reveals application flaws and touch-ups. Eggshell is my go-to choice for walls. It’s still pretty durable, though scuffs and dings are not well tolerated, and it leaves a soft finish that absorbs light and is great for minimizing imperfections. Flat or Matte provides the most coverage and is great for masking imperfections, but nearly impossible to clean. Avoid using it in rooms where there are large dogs, a messy husband, kitchen grease or a wood stove. Personally, I’ve never had occasion to use it.

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