O’Maley Innovation Middle School Food Drive for Open Door Food Pantry

Food Drive for Open Door Food Pantry

O’Maley Innovation Middle School students participated in an all-school food drive for the Open Door Food Pantry for two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. Over 1400 pounds of items were gathered to help families in need. The O’Maley SAILS program (Service, Integrity, Acceptance, Leadership, Success) emphasizes Service in our community and this year’s annual food drive was a wonderful opportunity for students to put the school community’s values into practice. It was a great success!

2013 Food Drive - 22013 Food Drive - 32013 Food Drive - 42013 Food Drive

How to Grow Citrus Indoors: Bearss Limes

Bearss Lime ©Kim Smith 2013Bearss Lime

No, that is not a typo! Bearss Lime is a cultivar of the Tahiti Lime (Citrus latifolia) and was first discovered by T. J. Bearss in 1895 in his California grove. 

Bearss Limes ©Kim Smith 2013

Have you ever thought about growing dwarf citrus trees? We have grown Meyer Lemons successfully but this year was the first with our little Bearss Lime tree. We were blessed with a bumper crop!

I had read conflicting information on when to harvest limes–some sources said when green, others when greenish yellow, and still others claimed limes are sweetest when fully yellow. The longer the lime grows on the tree, the more yellow it becomes until, and as you can see in the above photo, it develops the appearance of a lemon. I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison and see for myself which ripeness was best for the limes from our tree and yesterday picked one yellow, one green, and in the process, a smallish one fell off. (when picking citrus, grasp the fruit gently and twist upward with a firm, but again gentle, hand).

I grow citrus firstly for its fabulously scented flowers and secondly for its fruit. Oil of citral is harvested from lime blossoms and is the base of many perfumes. One of the strongest threads running through my book, Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!, is the wealth of information on the most highly scented cultivars covering a wide range of plant families including roses, narcissus, lilacs, jasmines, gardenias, and even fragrant daylilies! The fragrance of citrus blossoms, especially that of the orange, lemon, and lime, is up there at the top of my list, alongside gardenias and roses, for most beautiful scents found the world over.

Citrus plants are fairly indestructible, although they will quickly let you know when they’re unhappy. A few leaves will yellow and fall off, and if the problem is not resolved immediately, the entire plant will defoliate. This is typically due to overwatering and/or a soil mixture that does not allow for excellent drainage. Do not be discouraged, even if the entire plant becomes leafless. Water less frequently and try repotting the plant in a more suitable growing medium. Usually, they can be revived and the survivor will be healthier.

Lime Pellegrino water ©Kim Smith 2013 copy

Back to our experiment ~ Without doubt the yellow lime was the sweetest. The green lime made my mouth fully pucker, the yellow not at all. Both had a wonderfully zesty-fresh-limey fragrance and taste, but the yellow was less tart and I think would be delicious in pies and and lime-aid. With the remaining limes on our tree I will definitely wait until they develop more yellow than green before harvesting.
*   *   *
To learn more about growing citrus indoors see the chapter on fragrant plants for patios and terraces, Chapter 17, in my book Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden.

Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! sells for only $15.00 on my publisher’s website, which is a $2o.00 value off the list price of $35.00.

Click here to purchase a copy of Oh Garden.

*   *   *

A citrus plant would make a very special holiday gift. Logees Greenhouse mail order is a great source for a wide range of dwarf citrus plants, the common and the not so common, including Buddha’s Hand, Blood Oranges, Key Lime, kumquat, Mandarin orange, and many more.

Cape Ann Forum Hosts Omar Dahi at City Hall

omar dahi_cape ann forum
On Sunday, December 8 the Forum hosts Middle East scholar and author Omar Dahi speaking on the Syrian civil war, an increasingly regional catastrophe and humanitarian crisis affecting neighboring nations as well as Syria.  This is nowhere more evident than in Lebanon, where some villages now have more Syrians than Lebanese.  Just back from Lebanon, Dahi reports a lack of hospital beds and growing fear of a cholera outbreak and ensuing public health disaster in the Bekaa Valley.  Dahi will discuss the war, the complex welter of competing groups and outside interests, and the urgent need for a political solution and massive aid in the region.
Omar Dahi is an associate professor of economics at Hampshire College and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace MIddle East Center.
Born and raised in Damascus, Syria, Dahi received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame, serves on the editorial committee of the Middle East Report, is co-editor of the  Syria web page at Jadaliyya, and is widely published in various academic journals.
The  forum will be held at Gloucester City Hall and is free and open to the public.

Christmas by the Sea – Schedule, December 5th through 8th

Thursday December 5th the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce will hold a Christmas Part at Seaside Cycles, 23 Elm Street, Manchester. Raffles, door prizes and more! All are welcome!

Friday December 6 – Shop Manchester will take place from 4:00 until 9:00 pm. Collect stamps in your holiday passbook as you visit any of the merchants and win a valuable gift pack from local businesses. Plus you will have a chance to win a new Apple iPad or new BMX bicycle. Details at the merchant shops.

Christmas by the Sea Childcare Service So the parents can shop with ease and without young ones seeing anything too early, Childcare Services will be available between 5:30 and 8:30 pm at the Manchester Public Library. A minimum donation of $10.00 with a family maximum of $30.00 for the evening. Green Team will entertain the children with arts & crafts/games/movie and light refreshments. Proceeds to support the programming offered by the Manchester Community Center and to support the efforts of the Manchester Essex Green Team. Manchester Public Library 15 Union Street, Manchester.

Saturday December 7th Shop Manchester continues all day with the chance to win the prizes already mentioned and see all the special ideas and gifts the Shops of Manchester have to offer this Christmas.

Santa Claus Comes to Manchester! The Annual Jingle Bell walk will start at 1:00 PM when Santa arrives by boat at Masconomo Park. Santa will lead the children on a walk to Singing Beach followed by an open house at the Community Center from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. See the petting zoo, a craft activity, face painting, entertainment with Mrs. Claus and refreshments. Santa will be available for the children to meet and have a their picture taken with Santa.

Holidays and Wintertide II: An Evening with Chelsea Berry & Friends ~ 7:00 PM Single Tree Music and the Historic Manchester Trust present a special Holiday concert performance featuring Chelsea Berry, Joe Cardoze, Renee Dupuis and John Rockwell. The Crowell Chapel, 4 Rosedale Avenue. Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com

Sunday December 8th Santa’s tour of Manchester starts at 12;00 and will go until about 2:30 PM. Santa will be start at the Fire Station and be driven around on a fire truck throwing Animal Crackers to the children as he tours the Town. Families are also encouraged to visit Santa at the Fire Station at 11:45 AM prior to his leaving on the tour.

A Christmas Concert will be held at the First Parish Church from 3:30 to 4:30 PM. The concert will feature the Manchester-Essex School Band, Soundwaves, the High School Chorus, Memorial School Chorus and La Petite Choral.

4:30 PM Lighting of the Friendship Tree and the Festival of Trees, the official start of the Christmas season following the concert at the First Parish Church on Town Hall Common

A busy weekend in Manchester!


It’s Holiday Delights time of year again. Check out this year’s show!

This just in from Heidi Dallin:

Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops



From Egypt to England to Gloucester: A New Journey for 2013

A Holiday Season Event for All Ages Featuring Students from Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops

Christmas in Gloucester photo by Gary Ng
Christmas in Gloucester – photo by Gary Ng
Mrs. Claus and the elves in Santa's Workshop Photo by Gary Ng
Mrs. Claus and the elves in Santa’s Workshop – photo by Gary Ng
The Carolers photo by Gary Ng
The Carolers – photo by Gary Ng
Fezziwig Ball Photo by Gary Ng
Fezziwig Ball – photo by Gary Ng
Mrs. Claus' favorite elves Photos by Gary Ng
Mrs. Claus’ favorite elves – photos by Gary Ng
Dancing Dreidels Photo by Gary Ng
Dancing Dreidels – photo by Gary Ng

The Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops proudly presents Holiday Delights  from December 13 through December 15 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Holiday Delights features a cast of 40 young people ranging in age from 6 to 17, all students in Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops. Conceived and directed by Heidi Dallin, this festive evening of stories, songs, magic and dance recounts the special traditions that other cultures and families experience as seen during one young girl’s magical journey on Christmas Eve to discover what is really important during the the holiday season.

The 2013 edition of Holiday Delights features the new journey of a young girl who discovers the spirit and the joys of the holiday season as she faces the prospect of leaving her beloved hometown of Gloucester and moving with her family to a new home in Michigan. During her Christmas Eve travels with Mrs. Claus and the elves, she joins an Egyptian Christmas celebration, celebrates Hanukkah, travels back in time to turn of the century Gloucester to see her Italian-Irish ancestors celebrate the holidays and meets famous literary characters including The Cratchit Family and the Fezziwig Family from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the March Sisters from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. During her Christmas Eve journey she learns about the special traditions of other families and comes to realize the importance of her own family traditions.

The 2013 edition of Holiday Delights features the new story of a contemporary family in Egypt celebrating Christmas inspired by YAW student Farah Moussa, an exchange student from Egypt studying at Gloucester High School. Cast members learned traditional Egyptian dance. The 2013 production includes elements of Sign Language learned in YAW classes this year, magic performed by cast members, new songs, new twists on classic holiday stories and the return of the original story set in turn of the century Gloucester featuring the young girl’s grandmother as a young girl herself growing up on the Fort in an Irish-Italian fishing family. According to director and writer Heidi Dallin, “I wanted to explore the main character’s background so she could see first hand her own family traditions and thus gain a new appreciation for them. I also wanted to offer the entire cast a glimpse of Gloucester’s past and enrich their experience in the production. We had an enthusiastic audience response to the 2012 premiere of the story so we brought the story back this year with some new twists and a new song.” In addition to Dallin, the artistic staff includes music direction by Gloucester Public Schools’ Helen Greene, choreography by Windhover’s Carol Burnham, set design by Gloucester Joe Mustone and property design by Danver’s Jamie Wilkinson, costume design by Lara Jardullo, and lighting design by Brendan Marr.

The 40 young actors bring the original and classic stories to life on stage with a fresh perspective. Many actors play multiple roles in the production to bring all the stories to life. The show has over 100 costume changes. Holiday Delights features classic holiday music including Deck The Halls; O, Christmas Tree, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and the show ends with a audience sing a long and a visit from Santa Claus. Gloucester High School Junior 17 year old Jaqi McCarthy returns to the role of Mrs. Claus. McCarthy has been a student of Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops since age six and has appeared in Holiday Delights for 4 years. Waring School student 12 year old Sara Wheeler plays the young girl who wants to skip Christmas rather than move away from Gloucester. Wheeler first appeared in Holiday Delights in 2007 and was the youngest member of that year’s cast. She has performed in all 5 productions of Holiday Delights, originating over a dozen different roles since 2007.

Holiday Delights performances are December 13 through December 15 at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Performance times are 7 pm on December 13, December 14 and 3 pm on December 14 and December 15 Ticket prices are $15 for Adults; $12 for Senior Citizens, $8 for Students and $6 for Children under 12. For tickets and further information, call 978-281-4433 or visit http://www.gloucesterstage.com

Wednesday’s with Fly Amero ~ Special guest: John Rockwell @ The Rhumb Line


Wednesdays Only: Prime Rib, $12.95!

Hello everyone!
Wednesday, December 4th  8-11
Special Guest: JOHN ROCKWELL! 

jr-11 (2)


40 Railroad Ave.

Gloucester, MA 01930

phone: 978-283-9732

Breaking News…The Cave Cheese Shop Is Now Selling “Gifts Of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen With Sista Felicia,Harvest”



 Sunday afternoon Laura Cramer owner of The Cave Cheese Shop on Main Street here in Gloucester, reached out to  me after a patron shopping in her store informed her that he had just heard on the GMG Sunday Morning Pod Cast with GMG Chief Joey Ciaramitaro, Toby Pett and Amandacakes, that I  was interested in participating in this upcoming Thursday’s Ladies Night on Main Street. I’m thrilled to announce that I will be teaming up with the Cave for this weeks event. Laura cordially invited me to her shop Ladies Night this Thursday Evening  December 5th beginning at 5 pm for a Cookbook/ Magazine signing.


 Laura’s shelves are  currently stocked with copies of my newly released cookbook, “Gifts Of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen With Sista Felicia, Harvest.” Copies will be on sale at The Cave throughout the holiday season, along with Cape Ann Magazine December 2013 December issue! 

laura cave

Laura has been very busy planning a special night. Last year her shop was a hot spot for shoppers and this year she is gearing up for an even bigger crowd. She will be serving several local products, including: wine spirit refreshments, Duck Foie Gras, Fudge Everything fudge sauce~ produced locally in Manchester By The Sea MA., Lark Cookies from Lark Fine Foods located in Essex Ma. , Gloucester Joe’s Coffee, and samples of Sista Felicia’s Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Dip, a recipe featured in “Gifts Of Gold”. The Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Dip will be specially made for this event using a delicious Laura Chenel’s Chevre ~ a mildly flavored soft creamy goat cheese sold regularly at “The Cave.”


I look forward to meeting many GMG FOB, stop by “The Cave to celebrate “Shop local” and purchase you your copies of “Gifts of Gold”, Cape Ann Magazine, cheese, wine, coffee, cookies, and fudge sauce gifts for your family and friends, and  say hello!

Community Stuff 12/3/13

Joey:  Can you help get the word out?  Thank you.

The Magnolia Library  & Community Center will light Magnolia’s 20 foot high Christmas Tree beginning at 5:30 pm this Saturday December 7th.  pm.  There will be a special visit from Santa Clause who will arrive at 6:30 pm.  The event is open to the public and children of all ages.  Hot chocolate and cookies will be served. 

Hi Joey C & GMG Readers!
Stroll Rockport’s Christmas tree-lined streets during our Annual Shopping Stroll – THIS FRIDAY! More than 60 merchants will be offering promotions, discounts, raffles and refreshments to light-up the Holiday shopping season! 
We hope to see you in Downtown Rockport!
Happy Holidays,
Dawn Noble
Rockport’s Downtown Merchants Group




Celebrate Middle Street Walk
at Sargent House

December 14, 2013

In addition to beautiful holiday decorations, seasonal gifts and treats from 11A – 4P, Sargent House will be hosting two benefit performances during Middle Street Walk:

  • 12:00-1:00PM – Listen to a chamber music concert provided by Rockport High School musicians, led by director Nathan Cohen*                                                    
PLEASE NOTE: Seating will be limited for both performances. Please RSVP for one, the other, or both events at office@sargenthouse.org.  Suggested donation for each performance is $10.00 per person. These are benefit performances: proceeds will be split, and will support the performers as well as the Sargent House Museum.

For more information, visit our website: www.sargenthouse.org.

Eastern Point Day School Open House

Monday, December 9th from 9:30 am –11:30 am

Interested parents, guardians and their children are invited to visit Eastern Point Day School on December 9, 2013 from 9:30-11:30 am. Come and meet the dedicated faculty and great students that make Eastern Point Day School a unique and enriching community. Eastern Point Day School is an independent school, Pre-K to 8th grade, focused on thematic teaching with an emphasis on curriculum integration and academic excellence, delivered in a nurturing, creative and dynamic environment.

We offer rolling admission, options to augment homeschool learning, scholarships and financial aid. For more information, please visit www.easternpointdayschool.org or email at info@easternpointdayschool.org.

A Christmas Celebration in Song North Shore Christian Men’s Choir

A Christmas Celebration in Song featuring the North Shore Christian Men’s Choir, a bell choir, trombone, and special guests will take place on Saturday, December 21st at 2:30 p.m.  The free concert will take place at First Baptist Church, (Harvey Park)

Four High Street, Rockport, MA.  A reception and refreshments will follow the concert. All are welcome and invited to attend.


Book Signing In Rockport-

Sarah Clark presents her book A ROCKPORT CHILDHOOD; IDYLL AND REALITY with an accompanying slideshow. Some Gloucester folks may remember her father, Jimmy Clark, who was waterfront, city hall and general Gloucester news reporter on the Gloucester Daily Times for 34 years. The book tells the story of his romance with the Rockport girl, he managed to marry despite her mother’s objections to “the scruffy reporter from Gloucester.” Jimmy’s waterfront column Squibs was a feature of the GDT, and he was noted by the GDT staff as being the one reporter who knew all the spellings of Ciarmetaro.
Books will be available at the event or can be purchased beforehand at The Bookstore in Gloucester and Toad Hall and Tuck’s in Rockport. Price is $12.