Several of our Chappaquiddick-raised first year college and university students were home for the holidays. Each one of them has a slightly different demeanor than they had when they headed off at the end of last summer to embark on the next big phase of their lives. They have a more worldly presence now, whether it involves a hairstyle change or just a more engaged conversational style. I also caught a glimpse of a couple of our more seasoned students as well as some of our graduates who were able to take time off from careers to spend time back home with family.

The population of Chappy swelled quite a bit during the final 10 days of 2016. Perhaps because the two holidays fell on weekends this year many houses were also lit up for the whole week in between. The Christmas Eve dinner at the community center saw nearly double the usual number of attendees. The New Year’s fireworks provided by the Harbor View Hotel were particularly showy this year. More than the usual number of Chappy folks stayed out after midnight, taking advantage of Maddie’s willingness to stay up late as well.

Lily Walter of Slip Away Farm has been busy these days. Though the fields are at rest, she and the other farmers are not. Here in her own words is what she has been up to lately: “I am pretty excited about the upcoming season and have been spending my days planning and dreaming. I just made a considerable investment in a perennial flower order: dahlias, phlox, poppies, peonies, lilies, echinacea, and hollyhock are a few of the types that will be going in the ground for the first time this year. I am really excited to get the perennial beds going, but perennial flowers are not a crop that I have any experience in. It is always nice to expand into new territory, but it is simultaneously a bit nerve-wracking and intimidating. I always want to do everything exactly right, but inevitably there will be a period of experimentation and possible failure until I figure it all out. New ventures keep you on your toes.

We are also in the very beginning phases of planning an orchard for Slip Away. Ian Peach is spear-heading this adventure and plans on putting in a small test plot of fruit trees this spring to see what does best. His order includes lots of different varieties of plum, apple, peach, pear and cherry trees. At the end of the season we will take stock of things and decide what will go into an extended orchard. I am feeling very excited about the potential of a ‘fruit share’ somewhere down the line for our CSA members!”

The Slip Away Farm Kickstarter campaign to purchase a new tractor met the goal of $20,000 in the first few days. Since contributions continued the campaign was updated to include several wish list items that will be purchased with any funds over the expense of the tractor. At the close of the campaign enough additional contributions had been promised which after the Kickstarter and payment method fees are paid will cover the cost of three of the four other major implements that will help to make the farm more productive. Included in the wish list were a broadcast seeder, rotary harrow, row seeder and manual mulch layer. These tools will reduce the labor intensity involved in farming, giving this small dedicated group more time for other aspects of growing our food right here on Chappaquiddick.

The community center is still in need of instructors for the sailing program. Two part-time positions are available: a head instructor who must be at least 18 years old with USSA level 1 certification, and an assistant who must be at least 17 years old. They will be teaching children ages eight to 12 years old how to sail with six Sunfish on Cape Pogue Bay. Pay is $15 to $18 per hour, approximately 20 hours per week. For more information or to apply, contact program coordinator Martha Weston at 914-907-8920 or More details can be found at

Also on the CCC website you can print an order form for the new 2017 calendar. The calendar displays 14 winning photos from the annual calendar photo contest. Funds raised from calendar sales and advertiser fees are a major source of operating income for the CCC.

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