Heirloom in the Veggie Patch

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Wiscasset, Maine. A family heirloom lost on Chewonki Neck last spring was recently returned to its owner, and the unlikely tale of lost-and-found is worthy of “clove” attention.

Madison Cooper, a rising eighth-grader from Wiscasset Middle School, was mulching garlic seedlings with her classmates on Salt Marsh Farm during a visit to Chewonki in early spring when she noticed that her grandmother’s ring was missing from her finger. 

The ring had been a gift from her grandfather just before his passing in 2018, and it’s disappearance was quite upsetting to Cooper. Learning of the situation, our farm team organized a robust search but, sadly, the ring was not found. 

Fast forward to this July and Chewonki educator Hannah Marshall harvesting the last few plants in a long row of garlic stalks. Marshall, like many of our staff, has been pitching in to help the farm team plant, weed, and pick produce to donate to local food pantries through the Mid-coast Hunger Prevention Program. 

“As I was pulling up one plant I noticed something gold and shiny encircling the stem,” says Marshall. “At first I thought it was farm-related debris, but then I turned the stem around and…” 

Unbelievably, the garlic had grown straight through Cooper’s ring, which was wrapped comfortably around the stem. Marshall quickly showed the brightly spangled stalk to assistant farm manager Lisa Beneman, who recognized it as Cooper’s lost ring. 

After a little detective work, staff were able to track down Cooper’s contact information and the ring was returned on Tuesday to a delighted family. 

We hope Cooper can visit Chewonki again soon. It was a lucky find and brought a lot of excitement to our day.

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