Reminders: Friends of the HarborWalk Cleanup Sunday (Tomorrow) Morning at 10:00am and Last Day to ORDER MILKWEED SEEDS

Gloucester harbor walk Gardens ©Kim Smith 2013 copyBlue skies and warm weather are predicted for tomorrow’s HarborWalk Cleanup.  I hope to see you there! You don’t need to be a gardener to pitch in; everyone is welcome!

The order for milkweed seeds and asters in being placed on Monday so please get your orders in before then. Thank you! Read more about the Cape Ann Milkweed project here.

I am presenting 2 lectures this coming week, Monday on Butterfly Gardening in Shrewsbury and Wednesday evening on The Pollinator Garden in North Reading. Please visit the events page of my website for more information.



Spontaneous Mug Up at Hobbit House Studio

2014 open studio mug up

Since I am going to be open anyway, and have eggs and coffee, and everyone knows that hobbits are spontaneous, fun loving creatures, I thought to myself, why not just open earlier and have a Mug Up.  I know it is last minute, but what the heck, spontaneous is fun.  Anyone who is out and about and wants to come over, I’ll be deviling some eggs and have jelly beans, cookies, cupcakes, crackers and cheese (all bought today Joey!), so come by and save me from eating them.   Will be great to see whoever can make it.

When:  9:30AM, Sunday 4/6

Where: Hobbit House Studio (aka Khan Studio), up the stairs at 1 Wonson Street (behind Sailor Stan’s Restaurant – which by the way is opening on Saturday, 4/12 weekends)

Why: Because it’s spring dagnabbit and time to come over to Rocky Neck.

E.J. Lefavour

Gloucester Police Department Proudly Supports Massachusetts Special Olympics


The Gloucester Police Department Proudly Supports Massachusetts Special Olympics with an incredible evening of food, music and good company.
Giuseppes Ristorante 2 Main Street, Gloucester, MA  (978) 879-4622

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 from 5pm-10pm
Come in and enjoy a great dinner with music and great company. Gloucester Police Officers will be assisting in serving you and explaining how you can “Tip a Cop” to help out our Special Olympians. All Tip proceeds will go directly to Massachusetts Special Olympics. Lets pack the place and beat the State record for donations! (Rumors abound that for a special donation, you will get a song from a certain Police Chief known to play late night Springsteen tunes)
Call Giuseppes directly for a reservation or stop on in and enjoy a great night for a great cause. You wont want to miss this!!

Bringing on the Bling, Sox Style

I’m going to share some Opening Day photos from Fenway and then I’ll lay off the Sox photos for a while, I promise.

The Red Sox organization rarely disappoints and this year’s opening day ceremonies were no exception.  It was such a mix of emotions to celebrate last year’s victory and this year’s new beginning while also honoring the families and fellow firefighters of Lt. Ed Walsh and Mike Kennedy and survivors and the families of the victims of the marathon bombings.  Likewise, watching Mayor Menino hand the ceremonial first pitch ball over to Mayor Marty Walsh tugged at the heart strings a bit.

While the Red Sox ultimately lost their home opener to the Milwaukee Brewers, the day was a win.


Kid’s Bike Safety Day Sunday, May 4

All kids big and small are welcome at Big Mike’s Bikes’ first annual bicycle rodeo and safety day! It will take place Sunday, May 4 Noon-4PM at the O’Maley Innovation Middle School parking lot, between the ice rink and the skate park. We will be offering FREE bicycle safety checks for child-sized bicycles to make sure they are safe and roadworthy. Kids will have the opportunity to win cool prizes like helmets, bells, and lights by completing the safety obstacle course! Every child who enters the rodeo gets a chance to win a BRAND NEW Redline Raid 20″ bike! 


We have received some generous donations from the community and from AAA of Southern New England to make this event successful. We hope to see you there!

Kathleen & Mike

Big Mike’s Bikes – 57 Washington St


Weekend Forecast For Cape Ann April 5th – 6th

Marine Forecast….
Small Craft Advisory Through Sunday Afternoon with Gusty Winds…
Today W winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 20 kt. Seas 4 to 7 ft. Patchy fog this morning with vsby 1 to 3 nm.
Tonight W winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 4 to 7 ft.
Sun W winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt… Diminishing to 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 20 kt in the afternoon. Seas 3 to 5 ft.
Sun Night SW winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas around 2 ft.

Weekend Forecast morning fog , late morning clearing and sunshine 50’s .. Tonight temps fall into the upper 30’s to mid 40’s… Sunday mostly sunny 55-60°… West winds 10-20mph…. Sunday night temps in the 40’s…
Have a Great Weekend…. Thanks for viewing …
Peter Lovasco







Spring Pasta with Grilled Chicken & Garlic Butter



Tis the season for baseball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis and all spring sports. Our Daylight ours may be getting longer but the amount of time to get dinner on the table seems to get shorter and shorter this time of year!  With that fact in mind, I thought I share my families new favorite Spring Pasta with Grilled Chicken & Garlic Butter recipe I developed earlier this week. It’s quick, easy, and tasty.  A perfect go to dinner idea for all busy parents rushing to get dinner on the table after the kids afternoon activities. It was a huge hit in our house, and made its way onto our dinner table two times this week!  

For Step-by-Step recipe details and photos click see more Continue reading “Spring Pasta with Grilled Chicken & Garlic Butter”

Open Studio this Weekend

open studio

I’ve been working hard to get the place spruced up, new work completed and framed, and I’d love to see whoever would like to come by.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 4, 5 & 6 from noon to 5:00.  Hoping it won’t be freezing cold with 50 mph winds.  When is winter going to end?

Also, be on the lookout for the opening of Sailor Stan’s Restaurant on April 12.

E.J. Lefavour


The order for milkweed seeds and asters in being placed on Monday so please get your orders in before then. Thank you!

Thank you so very much to everyone participating in the Cape Ann Milkweed Project! Lots more good information to come!

Monarch Caterpillars Eating Common Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2012JPGMonarch Caterpillars Munching on Milkweed

Ordering information:

Please note that the milkweed seeds are available in two different species and two different quantities. Please place your order amounts in the comment section of this post as follows:

Your Name, Your Email Address (optional), and Seed Type and Quantity.

For Example:

Pippi Longstocking,

1 Packet Common Milkweed  3.50

1 oz.  Marsh Milkweed 15.00

2 Packets Pink New England Aster @ 3.50 ea. =  7.00

My order total: $25.50

We are not collecting money ahead of time for the seeds. The orders are placed entirely by the honor system. Last year we did not have a single stiff and I will accept cash or check at the time of pick up. Seed pick up and information day will be Sunday, May 18th, from 9:30 to noon, at Captain Joe and Sons.

The packets of milkweed seeds (200-300 seeds) are perfect for a relatively smallish patch.

The larger ounce quantity is ideal for planting larger areas. On average, plan on 50 seeds per square foot. If your patch is 10 feet x 10 feet, that equals 100 square feet, and would require approximately 5,000 seeds.

Additionally, we are also offering pink and purple New England Aster seeds. I’ve never grown New England asters from seed, but have read that they are relatively easy to start (although slow to germinate). New England Asters make a beautiful border and will not only offer sustenance to southward migrating Monarchs, but in late summer also provide nectar for myriad species of bees and butterflies.


Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca

Seed Packet (300 seeds) 3.50

1 ounce (4900 seeds)  12.00


 Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Seed packet (200 seeds)  3.50

1 oz. (5,200 seeds) 15.00


Pink New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae variation)

Seed Packet  (1000 seeds) 3.50


Purple New England Aster (Aster novae angliae)

Seed Packet (1750seeds) 3.50

*    *    *

Why is it so important to plant milkweed for the Monarchs? Milkweed is the only food plant of the Monarch Butterfly caterpillar. The Monarch Butterfly migration is in serious peril due to loss of habitat in the United States by the use of Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready corn, soybean, and sorghum crops. Global climate change is also a factor in the diminishing migration. We can all help mitigate some of the destruction by planting milkweed and nectar-rich wildflowers.

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the milkweed we see most typically growing in our dunes, meadows, roadsides, and fields. It grows quickly and spreads vigorously by underground runners. This is a great plant if you have an area of your garden that you want to devote entirely to milkweed. It prefers full sun, will tolerate some shade, and will grow in nearly any type of soil. The flowers are dusty mauve pink and have a wonderful honey-hay sweet scent.

monarch-caterpillars-common-milkweed-c2a9kim-smith-2011Common Milkweed and Monarch Caterpillars J-shape

Marsh Milkweed (Aclepias incarnata) is more commonly found in marshy areas, but grows beautifully in gardens. It does not care for dry conditions. These plants are very well-behaved and are more clump forming, rather than spreading by underground roots. The flowers are typically a brighter pink than Common Milkweed.

Monarch Butterfly marsh Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2012Marsh Milkweed and Monarch Butterfly

New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) is a hardy late summer blooming perennial that grows approximately 36 inches to 60 inches. New England asters prefer wet to medium soil, grow well in full sun, and will tolerate part shade. 

New England Aster and Monarch Butterfly ©Kim Smith 2014New England Aster

Got Milkweed?

Gordon L. Osborne from Newport, Vermont, writes the following
(he’s a friend of Fred Bodin and Clark Linehan: retired from Varian Semiconductor):

Hi Kim,

The milkweed seeding program caught my interest. Last year I had a notion to do a still life combining milkweed, an old milk bottle, and real milk. Trouble was finding milkweed gone to seed. Finally in late September, on the way home from church, the right milkweed appeared beside the road. My startled passengers thought I had gone
bezerk when stopping so suddenly. All came together with the still life below. Caption is undecided but may be: “Got Milk”, “Got Milk Bottle”, “Got Milkweed”.