Sunday, October 15, 2017

Morning Reflections, Goodwins Mills

Morning Reflections, Goodwins Mills / 10x10

Goodwins Mills is a village in the township of Lyman, Maine, near Saco, Dayton and Waterboro.

Lyman was settled in the mid-1700s, on land bought from the Abenaki Indians. Benjamin and Mark Goodwin were among the first settlers of the town, and built one of the first mills in, you guessed it, Goodwins Mills.

In time, Goodwins Mills became the central commercial district, such as it is, of Lyman - even though part of Goodwins Mills is actually in the township of Dayton. Lyman was originally named Swanfield, but was renamed in 1803 to honor Theodore Lyman, who started a shipping firm there in the late 1700s.

These days, there are a few stores in Goodwins Mills, including a bakery and a general store. There are a couple churches (I painted this piece in the parking lot of one), and a volunteer fire department. There's also a bizarre amount of heavy truck traffic.

Maine Homestead Market

ALL OVER MAINE, there are little general stores, built from need in a place where settlements are few, and distances great. Instead of driving 30 minutes into town to get lettuce, you can go down to the corner store and get your lettuce.

It could cost you two or three times as much as you'll pay at WalMart, but it could save you as much as a couple hours' round trip, and the pain-in-the butt-ness of a long drive for a single item.

However, when we lived in Maine, many of the general stores (including the one near our home in Bolster's Mills) were pretty grubby, in addition to being pretty expensive. The selection was tired, the proprietors were often on the unclean side, and honestly, using them was mostly a matter of necessity.

At least some of that has changed, and changed dramatically. The Maine Homestead Market is a lovely example of the change.

Haley, loading groceries in the photo at left,
told me that Krista Gagne, the owner of the store, bought it in the spring, as a place to take the overflow from her farm and her canning enterprises. She quickly gathered other local food producers, and now has a really nice assortment of fresh fruit and veggies, some organic, some not - and a great selection of canned and jarred items. I bought a jar of hot pickled carrots, and they were delicious.
The store was spotless, the prices were reasonable, there was great coffee and free wi-fi. What a change!

Top, I bought a yellow tomato and had it with my lunch. It was delicious, bright and sweet with the sunny taste of summer. Second from top, the market has great Maine-made coffee, as well as a variety of healthy drinks. Organic and not organic vegetables are locally sourced, in the next photo. Haley, above left, said she really enjoys working at the store. In photo at left, you can see the beautiful quality of the veggies. Below, there are lots of canned goods at the store, too - many made by the owner, Krista Gagne.

Dog of the Day

It's Annie, who lives with my brother, his wife and their daughter - and Archie the mutt. Annie is a bulldog, and she is a fun and funny dog. She's incredibly strong, wildly determined, and when she wags her tail, her entire body wags with it. 

A Final Thought

"Delicious autumn! My soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth, seeking the successive autumns."

  • - George Eliot

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