Lewiston's Forage Market will surprise you

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                Downtown Lewiston now boasts many great eateries and shops and the newest one we’ve discovered is Forage Market. We popped in for a quick look several months ago after a friend recommend it. We were impressed with their focus on locally farmed produce and dairy, not to mention the wood fired bagels and breads, (I counted 12 varieties on their website), made there. So on a recent Sunday we headed there for lunch before a visit to The Public Theater.

        One step inside told us the market has a strong following. It attracts Bates College students and patrons who look for great, freshly made food. A long line of customers were ready to place orders and all the tables were full when we arrived. They all seemed to know how to go about it. We did not, and needed to head up to the menu board to get a grasp of what was being offered that day.

Great Octoberfest celebration at Brunswick Tavern

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Octoberfest’s wine and beer dinner at the Brunswick Tavern brought back fond memories.


                An invitation to The Brunswick Tavern to celebrate their 3rd annual Beer vs Wine dinner was a welcome one. But the fact that this one focused on German Food and was celebrating Octoberfest made it even better for me. Fond memories of visiting Munich, Germany many years ago during Octoberfest came back.

                I love German food and now find myself craving sauerkraut. I grew lots of cabbage this year with that in mind and have preserved a gallon of this delicious stuff for the winter ahead.

A Life Lived Outdoors is a great Christmas gift

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 I’ve been getting lots of requests for signed copies of my book, A Life Lived Outdoors, to be given as Christmas gifts. The book was published this year by Islandport Press in Yarmouth. My pastor even purchased 6 of the books for presents to her family members in Idaho.

You don’t have to contact me to buy the book. It’s in most bookstores and available online at islandportpress.com and elsewhere. But if you want a signed copy, let me know and I’ll get one to you. Email your request to georgesmithmaine@gmail.com.

Nine bills proposed for 2015 legislative session

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 I'll be proposing nine bills for consideration in the 2015 legislative session and am currently seeking sponsors for the bills. Over the next month, in this news blog, I'll tell you more about each bill and give you a chance to express your opinions through my Sportsmen Say survey on my website.

But for now, here's the list, with a brief explanation of each bill.

Enjoy an African safari – without leaving home!

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 I’ve always wanted to visit South Africa to see all the amazing animals there, and I will probably never get there, but Vonne Martin’s new book, Southern Africa Safari, published by AuthorHouse, gives me an astonishing, spectacular, close-up look at the animals I’d hoped to see in person.

Martin has been an underwater photographer for 35 years, and this book represents her first photography adventure on land. It’ll be tough to top this, an over-sized limited edition account of her month in the grasslands of South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia.

“It is my hope that the images of the magnificent creatures inspire readers to fall in love with the different species and become involved in conservation efforts,” Martin said. “This was a labor of love and it added so much meaning to my life.”

My Maine - Changing Maine

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Maine has changed a lot in my 66 years here, but in many of the ways that count with me, it’s changed very little.

I was born a Maine sportsman, raised a Maine sportsman, and will die a Maine sportsman. My heritage is wild and native brook trout and white-tailed deer.

I didn’t need today’s Hooked-on-Fishing-Not-On-Drugs program offered by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. I became addicted to our colorful brook trout at an early age.

Hiking deep into the woods up and over the hill behind our Winthrop home, I’d drop a worm on a small hook into the cold free-flowing alder-choked heavily-shaded brook and pull out really nice trout, all of which came home for dinner.

Rebuilding Maine’s hunting economy is a tough challenge

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 While we were able to – again – defend Maine’s bear hunting industry, other types of hunting continue to decline, and we have no strategy to regain the state’s reputation for quality hunts that once attracted lots of nonresidents. Most Mainers don’t hire guides to hunt, so guides and sporting camps have always depended on nonresidents to sustain their businesses.

The decline in deer and moose populations has been devastating for businesses that depend on those game animals to bring hunters into their regions to hunt.

The challenge of reversing a 60 percent decline in Maine’s nonresident hunters was tossed to a Task Force in 2011 by the legislature. That Task Force issued its report with a list of thoughtful recommendations on January 23, 2013, after which the report was promptly shelved.

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