The Star-Herald

Hedgehog couture

Recently, Maine Public Broadcasting described a scientific investigation concerning reported confidence levels of individuals attempting a new task or skill for the first time.   The study found that a neophyte who watched a large number of DIY YouTube videos on a topic expressed a high level of confidence associated with personal abilities to carry out a brand new task.  However, when comparing their actual success to that of newbies with no video “training,” they showed no measurable improvement in skill.

Most of us know intuitively that first time you try anything, you kind of stink at it regardless of how much watching you do; developing skills requires sweat equity.  This is true for the folks enthralled by the basket weaving demonstrations at the February Harvest Market at Micmac Farms. If you watched in awe as a smooth, tight, sturdy, visually attractive basket appeared from the nimble fingers of a skilled basket weaver, you are not alone.  If you found your mind boggled that a pile of reeds, grasses, or brown ash strips can magically become extraordinarily beautiful and functional art, you are not alone. If you tried on your own and ended up with bloody fingers, a bruised ego, and a snarl of shattered fiber only suitable for combing an ill-groomed hedgehog, you are not alone.  

Fear not.  Micmac Farms is hosting another Festival Market this month; maybe coming again to watch those gorgeous baskets take shape will be the key, or at least the inspiration, to try again. Attending a winter farmers market is definitely an inspiring Saturday morning experience!  In addition to the talented basket weavers, plan to enjoy toe-tapping live music and demonstrations by creative artisans. There will be fun, comradery, and the opportunity to support local agriculture at its finest.

Fill your reusable shopping bags with purchases for your family dinner as well as gift-sized packages to send off to Maine ex-pats who are missing this year’s fabulous winter adventure.  Nothing beats shoveling snow, but a fresh hand-dipped chocolate is a great consolation prize. Vendors will include producers of pork, lamb, beef, chicken and fish. You will find winter produce like potatoes, squash, turnips, onions, and garlic, as well as sweets, teas, baked goods, honey, maple syrup and other delicious foods, all from right here in Aroostook County.  There will be nibbles to tempt your taste buds and recipes to encourage your latent culinary genius to burst forth.

Please plan to attend the Micmac Festival Market and shop for food products from your local farmers and growers.  The Market will take place at the Micmac Farm, located on Route 1 where it intersects with the city line between Presque Isle and Caribou. All are welcome on Saturday, March 9, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  

We will be looking for you, with or without a bedraggled hedgehog.

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