Summertime on Nantucket

There’s always something happening on Nantucket in the summer.  Here are two of my favorite events on the island.  Come join me!

Nantucket Summer Kitchens Tour:  Thursday, July 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Sponsored by the Nantucket Preservation Trust, the tour features historic homes and kitchens in the Milk Street neighborhood in Nantucket. This year, open houses are on Milk, New Dollar and New Mill Streets.  You can get historical facts and stories at each home, and local guest chefs are there to provide delicious snacks and recipes.

The biggest Kitchen Marketplace ever has a variety of vendors with specialty house and kitchen items.   Look for cookbook signings with Lulu Powers, Fran Karttunen and more.

The Nantucket Preservation Trust is an organization concerned with preserving Nantucket’s unique historical architecture, and protecting it for future generations to enjoy.  They provide programs that explore the history of the island’s buildings, and increase appreciation of the importance and fragility of historic sites.

There is no other organization so devoted to preservation of Nantucket’s unique historic resources.  The Trust works to preserve irreplaceable architectural qualities that led to Nantucket’s designation as a National Historic Landmark.

The August Fete is their second summer fundraiser, held the evening of August 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. This year’s Fete will feature a tour of private homes in the Liberty and Winter Street neighborhood, some of which have never before been open to the public

Nantucket Historical Association August Antiques Show:  August 5-7

 

 

 

This is a real highlight of the summer season, and one I never miss!  A major fundraiser for the Nantucket Historical Association, the antiques show presents a wonderful week of parties, lectures and activities.  The show is one of the most highly regarded antiques shows on the east coast.

This year, a Friends of the NHA Lecture will be held on August 2nd at 6 p.m. at the Nantucket Whaling Museum. Michael K. Brown, Curator of the Bayou Bend Collections Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, will speak.

The Antiques Show Preview Party takes place August 4 from 6 to 9 p.m., at Bartlett’s Farm.

 

The Antiques Show is Friday through Sunday, August 5 to 7, at Bartlett’s Farm, 33 Bartlett Farm Road.

 

Don’t miss this wonderful event.  Learn how to support the Nantucket Historical Association at www.nha.org.

Keeping Nantucket Beautiful

There are few things more important to me in life than efforts to retain what is rare and beautiful on this earth.  Nantucket, a tiny island just three and a half miles wide and fourteen miles long, can only be reached by boat or plane, making it a world of its own.

Its distance from the mainland has helped it to retain its quaintness and its charm over the years since it first found itself drawn on a map in 1602.  Grey shingled buildings, roses tumbling over fences, sandy beaches, hundreds of historic homes, and boats bobbing in the harbor combine with the natural beauty of the island to make it a priceless treasure.

ReMain Nantucket

ReMain Nantucket is one organization dedicated to strengthening the vitality of downtown Nantucket, while preserving its unique character and spirit. ReMain is committed to supporting a healthy, year round community on the island, and a flourishing downtown.

In the past twelve months, they have sponsored workshops on seasonal parking issues, presented by transportation experts; held a conference about rising sea levels, in collaboration with the Egan Maritime Institute, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Climate Central, and the Maria Mitchell Association; and hosted a presentation on sustainable downtowns, presented by the director for the National Trust Main Street Center.

They have been responsible for community initiatives, such as purchasing the Mitchell’s Book Corner property and leasing it to a local entrepreneur, Mary Jennings. With the goal of renovating an historic property in an environmentally thoughtful way, they sought the expertise of local engineers and architects.  The building renovation was awarded a silver LEED certification from the U.S Green Building Council.

ReMain Nantucket is a sponsor of Nantucket Race Week, August 13-21, 2011, the Nantucket Comedy Festival, July 28-30, 2011, and the Nantucket Garden Festival, July 20-23, 2011.  The organization only sponsors non-profits, and they ask for a pledge of sustainability for their events, as well as offering guidelines to help make that happen.

Learn more about this wonderful organization at www.remainnantucket.org.

Sustainable Nantucket

Sustainable Nantucket is working to build a more locally-based and self-reliant food system on-island, along with a strong local economy.  They are making efforts to expand agricultural production, promote local farmers’ markets, encourage local food use in Nantucket restaurants, schools, hospital and other venues, and educate the community about sustainability.

Islanders can support their good work at the annual Farm Fresh Feast, happening July 16 at Moors End Farm. The menu is all “Nantucket Grown,” and will include a Nantucket Bay Scallop Ceviche, Herb-Crusted Dayboat Cod with Tomato Basil Salsa, Grilled Seasonal Vegetables from Pumpkin Pond and HUmmock Pond Farms, and a selection of delicious desserts.  For more information and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.sustainablenantucket.org/events-2/upcoming-events/

Approximately 1/3 of our carbon footprint as a nation comes from industrialized agriculture, which also uses pesticides and herbicides, degrading our soil and water.  When you support local food production, you help to reduce the demand for food produced by this system, and at the same time, enjoy better taste, fresher foods, and a higher nutritional value.

Sustainable Nantucket operates a Farmers and Artisans Market on Saturdays on North Union and Cambridge Streets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enhancing the Nantucket feeling of community, vendors include growers, artisans and prepared food purveyors.  There are live music performances, kids’ activities, demonstrations and more.  July is Tomato, Tomato Month, with a “making salsa” demonstration on July 23rd.

Vendors include one of my very favorite places for fresh organic produce, Pumpkin Pond Farm (www.pumpkinpondfarm.com), as well as Bartlett’s Farm, Gourmet Gardens, Nantucket Coffee Roasters and more!

There is also a Mid-Island Market at 113 Pleasant Street on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. that will run through August 30th, providing a second location and date for islanders who may not make it to the downtown market on Saturday, or who are ready to replenish their supplies.

Sustainable Nantucket also operates a Farm to School program to serve healthier meals in school cafeterias, builds school gardens and provides information to parents, teachers and students about healthy eating.  A Youth Council Program began in 2008 to help the island’s youth become leaders in implementing sustainable practices, and ongoing Outreach/Education efforts are made through classes, workshops and targeted campaigns.

Learn how you can help at www.sustainablenantucket.org.

Meet Me at the Dreamland!

Nantucket is so rich in history, but it’s not all about ship captains and whaling boats and lighthouses.  The Dreamland Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Nantucket, has a history all its own.  Although it began as a meeting house for Quakers in 1832, it has also been a straw hat factory and a roller-skating rink.  It was dismantled and moved to Brant Point in 1883, to be part of the Nantucket Hotel.

In 1906, it was floated back across the harbor to its present location, and became a lodge room, dance hall and moving picture theatre.  In the early 1900’s, residents flocked to the Dreamland to watch vaudeville on Wednesday evenings for twenty cents.  By the 1930’s, the latest in moving pictures was being shown there.

Today, the building is undergoing restoration, and the Nantucket Dreamland Foundation is working to enrich the cultural and intellectual life of Nantucket by providing year-round films and educational programs in one of America’s oldest theatres.  Part of the island’s unique character,  the building’s historic architecture will be retained, but the foundation is also striving to meet “green” building goals.

Soon, islanders will be able to say to each other once again, “Meet me at the Dreamland!”

For more information, visit www.nantucketdreamland.org.