I saw an advertisement for a craft show in a nearby town earlier this month and thought I’d check it out. Held inthe Wentworth Greenhouses, both the plants and crafts were varied and impressive. The business itself grew from a small family-owned farm stand to a building with over six acres of covered greenhouses. During the winter, juried crafts share space with plants and garden products. As you can see, many of the crafts are whimsical. There was even an entertaining parrot in a vest. His handler said that disease had taken many of his breast feathers and she made the little vest to protect his skin.
The greenhouses are in Rollinsford, another of New Hampshire’s small towns with a population of just over 2,500 citizens. Centuries ago, the Abernaki Indians fished there by stretching nets across the river to catch migrating salmon. Later, textile mills were big business utilizing the power of the rushing river water. Town planners originally forbade mill workers from drinking alcohol and required they attend church on Sundays. Those rules, like the mills themselves, gradually fell by the wayside and now the Mills offer low-cost studio space to artists. Dave Guard, my favorite Kingston Trio singer, was born in Rollinsford.The town is also home to North Country Hard Cider Company. They use only fresh apples and yeast to make delicious hard cider. You can drink it in their tasting room or take some home in cans or growlers. For the uninitiated, a growler is a container holding four pints of liquid.
On the political scene, Exeter holds annual elections during March. The town has an elected Select Board and Town Meeting form of government. After presentation by town officials and deliberation at a February Town Meeting which is open to all voters, warrants are placed on a ballot. This long ballot included candidates for town and school board offices and citizen petition articles. There were also recommendations for zoning amendments and the town budget including improvements to the library, the sewer-operating budget, a pay raise for the firefighters, and sidewalk repairs. Budget items affect property taxes and the impact is spelled out. It’s quite a transparent and democratic process.
PS Did you guess the trivia question in February’s NH Notes? The picture showed the rake part of an eel catcher, used for pulling eels out of the mud at the bottom of nearby rivers. Before you say “UGGG”, know that eels are a great nutritional source of omega 3’s!