May 2010 Archives


Presented by Michele Hughes, RPT
Pro-Active Eldercare
Wednesday, June 9, 20106:30 - 8:00 pm

For more info on this free Concord workshop, go here:

What a funny thing chickens are.  I had heard how much people like to watch their chickens, but I always thought it was somehow some type of oddball fringe thing, or a poultry-borne human infection.  Well, maybe we've become similarly infected, because we, too, seem to enjoy watching their antics.  And how downright silly -- even ridiculous -- they are much of the time. 

Below, here they are today at three weeks old. This is their second, larger brooder -- it has a window view and they just love to sit on the windowsill and watch the world go by. Lots of feathers -- I believe five out of six can fly, and at least four of them know it.

The sixth is a bit behind on everything: size, feather development, etc. She competes the least well for food, she's got the least amount of "flock mentality". I'd say she was less intelligent, but brains are not any chicken's strong point. I don't know what it is, but she seems less well equipped for survival.

DSCN1066.jpgPhoto: ©2010 Don Stevenson
Claytonia_perfoliata_005.jpgI grow a LOT of greens here -- dozens of types. Greens for cooking. Greens for salads. Greens that cross over and can do both.  Many of our favorites are generally well known -- various extremely delicious and attractive varieties of kale, arugula, collards, mustard, Chinese cabbage, bok choy and others.

Some other types we grow just didn't work out that way and we may not repeat them: buckshorn plaintain, mizuna, chicories, lettuces.  Interesting and attractive, but we're just not excited by them (turns out chickens adore chick-ory, though).

But we had some hit-the-ball-out-of-the-park hits that everyone adored, adults and children alike. They are mache (aka: corn salad; photo, below left)), claytonia (aka: miner's lettuce, winter purslane; photo, above right) and mibuna.  Salad greens, they are all beautiful to behold, very cold hardy, utterly delicious, wonderfully textured, and simple to grow. I don't ever want to NOT plant them again.

800px-Corn_salad,_spring,_close_up.JPGAnd plant them we will: we get both a Fall and Spring crop.  Of the ones we plant out in the greenhouse in Fall (we'll seed them indoors in a cool spot around Labor Day since they are very heat sensitive), they will be enjoyed until about the Winter Solstice. Some will over-winter and shoot back up again starting in February and March.  Again, we'll sow in January, and set new starts out again in February and March to replace the individuals that didn't make it through the winter.

What about if you don't have a winter greenhouse like we do? Well, claytonia and mache are hardy to 0 degrees F. With a little protection, it's possible they could come right through the winter. Mibuna is less cold hardy, but go ahead and give it a try with some cover in a sheltered place.  All could be grown beautifully in a cold frame.  

Mibuna seed is quite hard to find -- on a lark we ordered some two years ago from Bountiful Gardens and fell in love.  Please buy some from them so they never stop carrying it! They also have claytonia under miner's lettuce, and the mache as mache corn salad. They do tremendous research and are extremely careful with sourcing their seeds, so they are a good company to order many different types of seeds from.

Now that we've had two 95-degree days already (!), I am finishing clearing out the last of the cool weather plants, including these three favorites. I wanted to mention them for your fall/winter seeding plans. 

Listen to NPR's Story About Concord's NPO Tax Story

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Our Board of Selectmen requesting that Concord's non-profit organizations voluntarily pay toward the property taxes they would owe if they were not non-profits is the centerpiece of a story on this issue on National Public Radio.

The text on this page is expanded upon if you click "Listen": (obviously, this story was begun before April's Town Meeting because the selectman interviewed is now retired from office).

Move to a New Brooder

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Sheer chicken terror has been created due to a move to a larger brooder. A de- and re-constructed cardboard box, duct tape, shredded paper, and other carpentry odds and ends are the continued theme here. Oh, and a piece of window screen was put across the top because two-thirds of them can now fly.
They have grown so darned fast, and were ready to start practicing roosting that I needed to bring in some sticks and branches... but had no room in the first brooder.  I also added some dried oak leaves to pick through for bugs. This new set-up has an open window (at least for the moment, until it cools down later today).

Only 2.5 weeks old, and they're acting like life has ended for them. O, the drama! O, the tragedy!


Memorial Day Parades

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memorialday.jpgConcord has two, one starting the morning (9 am at Rideout Field) and another at noon (starts at Ash Street, goes to the Center and visits cemeteries along the way).

Do you know how Memorial Day started, what it means, and its history?  Read more about it here: ("Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.")

Photo: ©Rich Stevenson, Local Color Images, all rights reserved.

Bay State Disaster Registration Deadline Extended

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From the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), as sent to us by Mark Cotreau, Concord Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director

983784_dirt.jpgDisaster officials overseeing recovery operations in the Massachusetts record-setting Spring floods announced that the registration deadline for homeowners, renters and business owners to apply for disaster assistance has been extended until close-of-business, Monday, June 28, 2010.
The extension was agreed upon by Commonwealth and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials after reviewing the steady and consistent flow of new registrations throughout the last month. Since May 1, nearly 5,000 applications have been recorded by FEMA. To date, more than 33,000 residents or people doing business in Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk or Worcester counties have registered for some form of disaster assistance.
State and federal recovery officials said the steady volume of new applicants was not unusual for a flooding disaster. The original declaration anticipated a 60-day registration period ending May 28. However, severe storms and heavy rainfall continued to soak already drenched Central and Eastern Massachusetts counties through late April. Residents in designated counties with uninsured disaster-related damages occurring from March 12 through April 26 are eligible to request state-federal aid.
952308_yellow_rubber_boots.jpgOfficials said experience shows flooding damage often reveals itself over time as buildings settle or persistent problems with mold and mildew emerge in warmer weather. In addition many homeowners are finding that uninsured or underinsured repairs or remedies are more costly than imagined. Disaster assistance may be available after insurance claims are settled and some losses remain uncovered.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties may apply for assistance by registering online 24/7 at or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 (TTY) for people with speech or hearing disabilities.
The toll-free telephone numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Multilingual assistance is available.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

By Carole Hilton, Customer Service Administrator, Concord Municipal Light Plant

15736764.thb.jpgAs you may recall from last year, 15% of your electric bill is directly related to the amount of electricity Concord uses for just one hour in the entire year.  That one hour, referred to as the peak demand hour, will occur some hot weekday afternoon this summer during the months of June - August. This is the Concordians Addressing the Peak (CAP) program. Here's how we did last summer reducing our peak electrical usage for that one hour:

If we could reduce our electric use during the peak demand hour, the entire Town would benefit with lower electric rates for the rest of the year, plus a cleaner environment as the least efficient electric generating plants operate during peaks.

If you would like to help again this summer, please join our email announcement list (instructions below). Then you can just wait for our email notifications of potential peak days and then do what you can to reduce energy consumption during the specified hours. Like last year, we plan to email that list during the summer when we think the peak demand hour might be near due to weather conditions, and you could help by deferring the use of electricity during that three-hour period to help reduce the Town's peak. We will also post a notice to the Town of Concord website and put out sidewalk signs around Town to notify Concordians a peak demand hour is approaching.

As we noted last year, you can help by deferring the use of appliances such as washers and dryers until later in the day, shutting off pool pumps for a few hours, raising the setting on your air conditioning thermostat a few degrees, or anything else that would reduce consumption. 

We sincerely hope you will elect to join the Concordians Addressing the Peak (CAP) Google Group this summer to help reduce the Town's summer electrical peak and thereby reduce the cost of electricity to all Concordians. This has been set up as a one way email system so members can only receive emails from this site. Email Google Groups will automatically send a reply requesting a verification of the request.

Thanks for helping Concord Light help you.

We received the following from Carol Purinton and refers to the story here: -- thanks for writing to us, Carol!

chesterpennym.jpgI understand your Daniel Chester French page on the site is some years old, but here's just one more data point:  I leave pennies for DCF, tail side up, specifically to honor his Lincoln memorial.  I also leave Massachusetts quarters, tail side up, to honor his Minuteman statue (but the quarters don't stay in his mini-wishing well all that long; I don't know who takes them, whether it's the cemetery staff or tourists, but they're gone within a few days of me leaving them).  The wreath on DCF's tablet collects water and it becomes, in effect, a little wishing well to me.

His is the only grave that I leave money at, and I only leave the money because it contains images of what DCF sculpted, so I don't feel like I'm leaving 'money' on his grave - I feel like I'm simply honoring his memory with smaller images of his great works.  The wishing well part is just an added bonus...
The model used to sculpt the Minuteman's right arm was my great-grandmother's aunt's husband's, Charles Richardson.  My grandmother (on the other side of the family), Naomi Wood, has a letter in the time capsule below the Minuteman.  And, my parents are buried on Chestnut Path, as is DCF and the Richardsons, so you see, there's a few (albeit loose) family connections.

Photo: ©2002 Rich Stevenson, Local Color Images

Willard Carnival, Sunday June 6

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willard2010.pngThe annual Willard Carnival will be from noon to 4 pm on Sunday, June 6.  It offers family fun to students, parents, and friends of all ages. Held on the beautiful new grounds of Willard School, 185 Powder Mill Road, the festival features various Carnival games, food, music, entertainment, raffle and more.

The games involve both skill and chance, from Fantasy Fishing to the Dunk Tank. And this year the Carnival is introducing some exciting new ones, like Hit the Spot and Pirate's Lucky Key. The Silent Auction is a great opportunity to bid on Red Sox tickets, golf outings, spa days, photography packages and much more.

For more information, contact Becky Lopresti at beckylopresti at hotmail dot com. All proceeds from The Willard Carnival benefit the Willard PTG, making the day a truly rewarding celebration.

katherineHowe.pngThe Concord Free Public Library is pleased to welcome New York Times bestselling novelist, Katherine Howe (at right), on Thursday, May 27 at 7:30 pm as part of its 2009/2010 Thursday Author Series.  Howe's debut novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, weaves a spellbinding tale of one of the most fascinating and disturbing periods in American history - the Salem Witch Trials.

Howe's book moves between contemporary times and the long ago horrors of the witch trials through the life of her fictional protagonist, Connie Goodwin, a Harvard graduate student.  The story is part historical fiction, mystery and romance.   After agreeing to handle the sale of her grandmother's abandoned home in Salem, Connie uncovers a mysterious document and finds herself drawn to its power:  a physic book - a secret repository for lost knowledge.

36904876.thb.jpgKatherine Howe, currently completing her PhD in American and New England Studies at Boston University, descends from ancestors who settled in Essex County, Massachusetts in the 1620.  Family members included Elizabeth Proctor, who survived the witch trials and Elizabeth Howe, who did not. 

The Friends of the Concord Free Public Library sponsor the Thursday Authors Series from September through June.  Programs, which are held in the second floor Periodical Room of the Main Library, are free and open to all.  Following each presentation, books are available for purchase and audience members are encouraged to continue their conversations with the authors.

The final talk for the 2009/2010  series will feature Ken Lizotte and his new book, The Expert's Edge on Thursday, June 17 at 7:30 pm at the Main Library - 129 Main Street, Concord, Massachusetts.

For more information, please call the Library at (978) 318-3300 or visit

Baby Chick Update

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blurr1.jpgI bumped into a pal at the Family Fun Day at Emerson Field today. She said to me, sotto voce: "Word is out on the street: your baby chicks are very cute."

Damn, the hardscrabble streets of Concord are a tough place. And they're discussing my baby chickens out there now. They're only a week old and already the subject of hard gossip. I panicked, and quickly changed the subject.

But darn, they are very cute, and it's getting more difficult to handle the paparazzi who keep sending me repeated requests for more photos. So I offer these here (click on the two at right to launch a larger image in a pop-up window)

Now, you might think I'm trying to shield these chicks, that they're part of some witness protection program or something because they only ever appear in blurred form.  But the fact is: these kids don't stop moving long enough to photograph until they're asleep... which I am by then, too.  At that point, they're faceplanted in their shredded paper litter, a little bundle of quickly respiring fuzziness. All together they take up about as much space as a slice of bread. 

Tblurr2.jpghey are growing quickly, and you can see from these images that the light-colored ones -- the New Hampshire Reds -- have a full set of wing feathers!  I have been rather disturbed all week about this, because I was suspecting these two to be older than newborn when they were shipped -- which would have been cruel (newly hatched chicks can go a day or two without first food or water).  But last night I read in my chicken snailmail catalog (What?! You don't receive at least one yourself??!) that this particular strain of NH's are bred for quick feathering out, so I feel better about it now.  (Why anyone would take the trouble to bring out this particular characteristic was not mentioned.) Today, one of these two girls came very close to flying out of the brooder today, and I'm not sure who was more surprised: me or the chick.  Obviously, new living arrangements need to quickly be made. (I'm looking for a large cardboard box for their next quarters: something on the order of a dishwasher or washing machine-sized box -- please email me if you have one I can pick up -- thanks.)


BookSale woman with hat.jpgOn Saturday, June 5, join the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library on the front lawn of the Main Library (corner of Sudbury Road and Main Street) for books, music, refreshments, and fun! This is a great community event, and a mainstay of our local culture, too.
More than 20,000 books in good condition will be for sale, Saturday, June 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 129 Main Street, Concord. Books are carefully sorted into more than 20 categories for easy browsing and are priced to sell: mass market paperbacks 4/$1, large paperbacks $1, hardcover books $2, children's hardcovers $1. Specials and local interest priced as marked.
The Friends of the Library accept donations year-round, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Main Library. Books should be in clean and good condition. When books are donated close to the time of the June sale, they sell them on the Friends shelves in the library, at the holiday sale in December, or the following year in June.

The sale is sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. Proceeds are used to buy library books, movies, CDs, museum passes and to fund concerts, poetry readings, and author talks. For info or to volunteer for the library, email Rain date: June 12.

Hazardous Waste Collection June 2

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By Rod Robison, Concord Public Works Environmental Services Program Administrator

19364717.thb.jpgConcord Public Works is hosting a hazardous waste collection event on Wednesday, June 2nd. This event will run from 3:30PM - 7:30PM and will take place at 133 Keyes Road. This will be a great opportunity for businesses and residents to properly dispose of hazardous waste.

Concord curbside program subscribers receive a free pass for one load. Call 978-318-3240 to
obtain a free pass; you must bring this pass to the event. Concord businesses and residents who don't subscribe to the curbside program pay Clean Harbors directly; pre-registration required. Callt (781) 380-7121, by June 1st. Identification will be required.

To find out what are acceptable and unacceptable materials to bring to this event, download a list here:

This is a satellite collection under the Minute Man Household Hazardous Products Facility program. Concord Curbside subscribers have choice of attending this collection or one of the 8 collections at the Minute Man Household Hazardous Products Facility in Lexington.

Hope to see you there and please feel free to contact our office at 978 318-3240 with any questions.

Sunday, May 16th, Emerson Field 
Family Day events begin at 10AM
Baseball Game at 2PM:
CCHS Varsity Team vs. Concord Police/Fire Team

skywarnnav4-1.gifThe National Weather Service SKYWARN Coordinator will be offering a free workshop on Saturday, May 15, 10:00-1:00, in the Ransome Room at Concord Academy.  This SKYWARN training is an excellent way to become familiar with severe weather events like super-cells, hail, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
Amateur radio operators (many weather spotters are hams) and non-hams are welcome to attend.  The workshop is free, the multi-media presentation is captivating, and the new handouts are excellent reference materials.
Join this workshop and become a trained SKYWARN observer and partner with the National Weather Service.


The Peeps are a Local Hit!

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They've received phone calls, emails, requests to be seen: these baby chicks are FAR more popular than the humans who tend them. (See above in their brooder under a red heat lamp, which shifts the colors strangely.)

Folks seem to be drawn not just to their cuteness (which is considerable), but to the idea of raising chickens at home.  While this is a trend now sweeping the nation, it's still a bit unusual; for example, we are the first in our neighborhood to be doing so.

Not long ago, it was fairly normal in Concord to raise a few chickens in the back yard. This is not just a reflection of our agricultural past, but of the entirely different way food was grown and distributed. So we're not so much part of a new trend, but of the re-establishment of an old one.

Here are the peep's during their live first interview. Pretty articulate for being 2-3 days old:

Saluting and Celebrating Volunteers

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Editor's Note: Concord has such amazing volunteers!  We volunteer for just about everything under the sun -- it's in our community's blood, and it is certainly one of our great strengths. Below is a testament to our volunteer culture, from a great community volunteer herself.
By Nancy M. Crowley, RN, BS, Executive Director, Concord Park, Independent & Assisted Living & Compass Memory Support

1179695_old_man_2.jpgHere at Concord Park, we are uplifted by the spirit of volunteerism day in and day out, as our
residents and associates work together to better our assisted living community, as well as the surrounding Concord neighborhood.

A big part of how we at Concord Park give back is by hosting community organizations. There are so many different groups, each with a different mission, that manage to fit time into their busy schedules and accomplish wonderful things. We have opened our building to these groups, and offered them the convenience of using our space free of charge. Some of the groups that meet here include the Concord Business Partnership, the Concord Public Ceremony and Celebrations Committee, the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Committee, the Lions Club, the Green Thumbs, the Liberty Alzheimer's Partnership, West Concord Task Force and many more! Hosting these meetings also provides our associates and residents opportunities to be involved in the town of Concord in many different ways.

As you know, within our Concord Park community we have a specialized neighborhood for
individuals with memory impairment, newly named our Compass Memory Support Neighborhood. Each year, our residents, their families, and our associates raise money for the nation-wide Memory Walk. Memory Walk is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. All of the funds we raise are donated to the Alzheimer's Association. Our residents are proud to be a part of this important cause, and have been generous with their donations of time and money. On the more local level, our management team is actively involved with the Liberty Alzheimer's Partnership, a group that provide support to families in our area who are caring for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Feel free to stop in for a visit, and learn about how you can be involved with the residents of Concord Park. From reading to a resident, to leading an exercise group, or sharing photographs from your recent travels, we would welcome the donation of your time.

A Box of Peeps Arrives

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neh_1_s.jpgAs part of our exploration into the question: Just how much food can we produce given our resources? we received six day-old chicks today. All "dual purpose" breeds (can be used as layers or meat birds), we got these with eggs in mind -- all hens, we hope! 

They are all hardy, heritage breeds: Gold-Laced Wyandottes (the ones that look all dark from above); Barred Plymouth Rocks (the ones that are dark and light); and New Hampshire Reds (the golden ones). They're pictured below in transport from the home of the Carlisle Chicken Discussion List order organizers (thanks, Ken and Giuia!):  a six-pack cooler for a six-pack of warm chickens! 


Yes, they are so cute it hurts...


Concord's William Wheeler Celebrated

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The World of Concord's William Wheeler at Home & Abroad (1851-1932)
 You are cordially invited to attend this multi-media event

japbridge.jpgFriday, May 14, 2010
Harvey Wheeler Community Center

Free Admission
Light refreshments at 7 pm
Program at 7:30 pm

Connections.... In History

Join us in celebrating the recent publication of the English Version of William Wheeler: A Young American Professor in Meiji Japan by Tetsuro Takasaki.  Learn about Concord's connections with Japan in the late 1800's. 

Meet the book's translator, Kazue Campbell, who will talk about Wheeler's pioneer days in Japan.  In addition, Concord historian and relative, Joseph Wheeler will provide insight into William Wheeler's family connections and his contributions to Concord and the world.

Connections... In Harmony

notjapbridge.jpgEnjoy the delicate sounds of Japanese folk music played on traditional Japanese musical instruments: the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) played by Mary Ellen Miller and the koto (a 13-stringed instrument) played by Tomoko Graham.

Sit back, relax and experience the Japan of William Wheeler's time as you view 19th century Japanese lantern slides from the unique collection of Concordian, Pete Funkhouser.

Why Some Areas of Concord Lost Power Tuesday

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Remember how windy it was around 6 PM? (Photo: ORNAC around the Concord Country Club. ©2010 Don Stevenson)


Celebrating Margaret Fuller at 200: May 21-23 Events

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mfat200.png Actors from Concord will portray Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and other members of their circle in a play about Fuller, the brilliant and controversial 19th century author, critic, and early advocate for women's rights.

Donna Davis will play Fuller and Alec Walker (both pictured, below right) will play Emerson in "Margaret Fuller's Universe," a staged reading in costume to be presented at First Parish in Concord on Saturday, May 22, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at 978-369-9602 or at the door, space permitting. The event is part of a three-day celebration of the bicentennial of Fuller's birth in 1810.

MFand RWEsb.jpgA close friend of Emerson, Fuller was the first American author to demand equal opportunity for women, the first female foreign correspondent, and the first editor of the Transcendentalist journal The Dial. She was also the first full-time literary critic in the United States of either sex.

The play depicts scenes from Fuller's short but intense and event-filled life, which included friendships with thinkers and writers on two continents and involvement in the Roman revolution of 1848. Passionate, brilliant, and unconventional in the highly conventional Boston of the early 19th century, she was decades ahead of her time in her dedication to the causes of feminism, social justice, and freedom from tyranny abroad.

Other events taking place during the bicentennial celebration will include a panel discussion by three eminent Fuller scholars and moderated by Rev. Jenny Rankin, at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 22, at First Parish in Concord; a keynote address by Charles Capper, author of a prize-winning two-volume biography of Fuller, on Friday, May 21, at 7 p.m., at Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street in Concord; tours of various Fuller-related sites in Concord on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.; and a concert of chamber music of the Transcendentalist period by Clara Schumann, on Saturday at 4 p.m., at First Parish.

Parish is at 20 Lexington Road in Concord. For further information visit or call 978-369-9602. 

SwapOff Cancelled, DropOff Still On!

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By Fred Serr, President, REUSIT

20145480.thb.jpgThe wet weather has forced us to cancel the SwapOff portion of today's DropOff/SwapOff event.

The DropOff will go on as scheduled. We'll have more than one hundred volunteers on hand to help collect everything from electronics to mattresses to scrap metal to styrofoam to old sneakers (and much, much more) for recycling or proper disposal. We're also repeating the collection of unwanted medications and SHARPS, which proved very popular at our last event.

In addition, Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts (HGRM), Cradles-to-Crayons, Reusable Building Materials and Bikes-Not-Bombs will all still be accepting donations of usable items at the DropOff, which might be a good alternative for some items that would otherwise
have gone to the SwapOff.

Concord on Wikipedia

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Thumbnail image for 400px-Dickens_Statue.pngOur town has long had a Wikipedia entry, but we noticed today that there is a "Category" page for Concord, Massachusetts which collects numerous pages mentioning Concord.  Find it here:,_Massachusetts

The pages linked from here include businesses, schools, non-profits, landmarks, events, and a fascinating sub-category called "People of Concord" (,_Massachusetts). This contains entries for people we hadn't heard of before, including the sculptor Francis Edwin Elwell, born in Concord in 1858, and creator of the Dickens and Little Nell sculpture pictured here (located in Philiadelphia, PA).

Photo: Courtesy WikiMedia Commons

FEMA Goes Local

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991135_pumping_water.jpgBy Chief Mark Cotreau, Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director, Town of Concord Fire Department

I am pleased to announce that FEMA has opened a new Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Concord at the Concord Armory, 91 Everett St, Days & Hours are:   Monday through Saturday 9 am - 6 pm.  This important resource is open to all residents or business owners with questions, concerns or in need of additional information and will enable them to get one-on-one assistance.  There will also be small business administration reps at the site.  If you have already put an application in to either FEMA or SBA, you can check the status of same at this center.  The center is scheduled to be in operation until May 24th.

May 13, 2010, 7-8:30 pm at Concord-Carlisle Cable TV Studio, Concord-Carlisle High School

Safety alert technology. Online communication services. Remote medical sensors. There are so many devices to help us monitor our health and communicate.   And new ones on the way.

Are you confused about the new technologies to help senior citizens, the disabled and their caregivers? Some are truly beneficial to elders, the disabled, their families and caregivers, while others are mere gadgets or toys that aren't a good value. We will help you separate the real hype from the real help, allowing wiser choices in this bewildering, rapidly expanding marketplace. We will review some of the high tech tools on the market, highlighting ones we think have the ability to help you stay connected, happy, safe and healthy. Included will be remote medical monitoring devices, safety alert technology, and consumer technology customized for seniors and the disabled. You will come away better able to assess new technologies for yourself.

To Register for Concord: Call 978-318-1540 or register online for Course Number #4321 at Fee: $10 donation. Location: 500 Walden Street, Concord (enter the front left door where glowing Adult Education sign can be seen).

Presenters: Jim Reynolds has been a National Practice Leader for IBM in the area of mobile and wireless technology. His family has owned and run the largest private-pay home care agencies in Florida and Kansas since 1992. Continuing the family business, he is the owner of Caring Companion Connections in Concord.

Deborah Bier, PhD, has been a health care educator, author, and wellness coach for 20 years. She holds a doctorate in counseling and has helped hundreds of individuals and families to live better with chronic illness and disability. She is the director of the Concord office of Caring Companion Connections.

The event in Concord is sponsored by Concord-Carlisle Adult & Community Education
and will be recorded for future broadcast. CCC's speaker fee will be donated to the
MinuteMan Senior Services Meals-On-Wheels program.

Happy Summer! At least that's what it feels like here -- and I'm not talking about inside the solar greenhouse... which is more like a moderate oven than a place to grow plants. Drowning in March, no frost in the ground since before those heavy rains.  And then dry and HOT in early May. (click on any photo below to see a larger image in a pop-up window)

bokbloom copy.jpgThis is certainly a bizarre time we live in. And gardeners aren't sure if we should be continuing with spring crops, or go and plant the heat-loving ones -- will we get more frost, or will it stay warm? As for spring crops: I've been giving away, eating and freezing as many of the greens we grow as possible; I can say I've only just make a substantial dent today after failing to even keep up with their growth.  Every cold-loving plant is trying to set seed, knowing its days are numbered (photo above). Which means that they're getting more strong tasting and less tender by the minute. 

Below are five portions of our beautiful and delicious Red Russian Kale, blanched, squeezed dry and ready-to-be-frozen in two-person family-sized servings.  Once solid, I'll plop them into a large bag with their similarly-treated cousins, Giant Red Mustard, Georgia Collards, Broccoli Raab and Siberian Curly Kale. We enjoyed last Spring's frozen greens so much through the Summer and Winter -- especially when served with our own homegrown dried beans, veggies and all-corn, minimally-sweetened cornbread... yum! -- that a repeat act will be most welcomed this year.

redkaleforfreezer.jpgWe've fully opened up the greenhouse due to the extreme heat -- 100+F even with it opened up 4-12 of the 48 feet of its length. We've found managing the hot days and cold nights much, much easier this year.  The improvement is that we discovered that we can slide the plastic cover open and closed at one end, unlatching it from the frame of the greenhouse or sliding it closed and only partly reattaching when it's cold. Except for days with high wind when the plastic really needs to be weighted down (either held open or closed) we have found that a slap-dash approach to securing the untethered plastic skin is quite sufficient. We've therefore needed no shade cover this year like we used last -- thank goodness!

open2010.jpgelow is a photo of Sungold tomatoes in the -- for now, open to the elements -- solar greenhouse.  Yes, that is a marble-sized tomato!

firsttom2010.jpgPhotos: 2010 by the author.

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