What to do about ‘blueberry pigs’

Sun, 08/21/2022 - 5:30pm

About this blog:

  • Barnako, wiscasset, Maine Art Gallery

    Frank Barnako is a seasonal resident of Wiscasset at Clarks Point on the Sheepscot River.   His career in journalism included on air and news director positions with CBS and NBC Radio and TV stations.  He was a pioneer in the Internet, helping to create and co-found MarketWatch.com where he also developed a 200-station radio network and wrote daily columns focused on the stock market, business news, and technology. Barnako describes himself as “an aspiring photographer,” whose work can be seen at frankbarnako.com<http://frankbarnako.com>. He is a member of the town’s Investment Advisory Committee. Email him at wiscasset@barnako.com.

Well, THAT was the week that WAS.   Fun. Games. Music. Food. rowing races. triathlon. Historical reenactments. The week-long event called Schoonerfest was a smash.  Every time you turned around last week, something was happening as Wiscasset hosted a second annual Schoonerfest.  Beginning Thursday, there was music on several stages each from ‘60s rock and roll by the Two Salty Dogs to “Bygone ballads of Maine”.  

 Each day, downtown Wiscasset saw tourists and locals visiting the art and antique galleries.  Saturday, there was reception at the Maine Art Gallery’s new exhibition featuring several abstract painters.   https://www.maineartgallerywiscasset.org/2022-exhibits

In business news ... (I used to say that a lot for my day job), the lamented Little Village Bistro is, as Chevy Chase used to say about Francisco Franco, “still dead”. But maybe more so.  The building and the business are on the real-estate MLS. So sorry.  I emailed what I think is Tony Bickford’s account, asking for an interview and the story behind the story.  So far, no response. He did a terrific job and we’re all sad.

OK, now here’s something I’d like your opinion on.  Our favorite place for fresh blueberries is North of the Border.  Four weeks a year they’re our place for blueberries which as you know, Donna freezes and so we’re eating those anti-oxidents all winter.

North of the Border is a family business on Route 1.  Besides berries (blue and straw), they sell house plants, flowers, and a weird assortment of concrete lawn ornaments, weathered wooden lobster traps and bird houses.

And did I mention they sell blueberries?

Each morning they unload lots of blueberries, in quart containers.  Donna was in the store and saw some guy loading up his car, almost taking every berry basket.

Then a week or so later, Donna called the store to see if they had inventory since the season’s ending.  As she was talking with the store clerk, the Grandson of the owner, was juggling another phone call and said to Donna, “This guy is cleaning me out, but I’ll put two aside for you.”

An hour later, i went to pick up the order. That’s when Grandson said, “It happens every morning.” I said, “what happens ...?”  He said these guys are saving themselves a lot of hard work, and a long drive from the blueberry fields, by buying berries from North of the Border.  Then they go up the road, pop a tent, split up the quart-size berry baskets into pints, and Boom! sell their’s for a 35% profit - with no heavy lifting!

“I’m happy to take money from anybody,” Grandson said, “but it’s not right these guys do this.  They clean me out by noon and lots of people  don’t get a chance.”

What do you think?  I might suggest that North of the Border could set a maximum size order... maybe two quarts per person.  But I think we know that wouldn’t be popular.

Got an idea for our Blueberry problem?  Tell me. Send me an emailmailto:wiscasset@barnako.com