Most evenings at 6:30 each we host a communal dinner for those staying with us. This is usually one of the highlights of the day, when we all can sit down together and share a home cooked meal, usually by the outdoor fire.
Because of the pandemic, things will be a little different this year. Depending on the number of guests, we may not all be able to sit together but instead enjoy the dinner spread out in our pods at the picnic tables, benches or inside in the common room. In less than stellar weather, some may still prefer to sit in our covered outdoor area. If eating inside is necessary, please note that we may not all fit in the shared areas with the appropriate distancing. Guests are welcome to take their food to their rooms and enjoy it there. We hope that these measures will feel safe and comfortable to everyone while still allowing interaction and a chance to get to know one and other.
The food is healthy and vegetarian friendly. Most dietary needs can be accommodated, such as gluten, lactose or other allergies. Just let us know in advance and we’ll do all we can so no one leaves the table hungry.
Guests wishing to participate in the dinners are expected to bring food or a monetary contribution ($7-10 cash/food value/person). The Hostel offers fresh produce from the garden when available and the main staples like rice, beans, etc. During dinner preparation, the kitchen will be closed to everyone but staff and possibly one helper.
What to bring? The best thing to do is to ask when you call to confirm your reservation. Usually there’s a plan for dinner one or two nights ahead of time and your contribution can be a part of the puzzle! You may be asked to bring items such as bread and cheese, dessert, fresh fruit etc. Often we need supplies for the general kitchen, like olive oil, honey, nuts or seeds. While you’re welcome to bring wine or beer for your own consumption, we can not accept that as a contribution.
There are two grocery stores on the Island. The Galley is located on Rt 15 as you’re coming onto the island, about 4 miles after the bridge, on your right side opposite from the school. The Burnt Cove Market is closer to Stonington, on 15A. It’s bigger than The Galley and has somewhat better supply of fresh produce, cheese and dairy. But, if you’re looking for something but the basics, or wish to go local and/or organic consider stocking up at the Co-op in Blue Hill or in Belfast on your way here. For Farmers Market info, see Deer Isle and Beyond.
The Hostel operates in the balance of comfort and alternative systems. We think you will find the place enjoyable and relaxing even though some of the ways we do things here may be unfamiliar to you.
– We are off the grid with solar electricity. We have electric lights, but no refrigeration. You can charge electric devices here, but not use a hair dryer.
-Guests are welcome to use the kitchen to prepare their own breakfast and lunch. It has a gas stove and the basic cookware, utensils, spices and cooking oil.
-Coffee and tea will be available outside of the kitchen throughout the morning, as well as bowls, utensils, cutting boards and knifes for those wishing to prepare cold food.
– We use the cellar to keep food cool, which works well with most things. Dairy products keep a couple days at best. You are welcome to bring your own cooler with ice.
– Water for drinking and doing dishes is hand pumped and carried to the Hostel building.
A ceramic water dispenser in the kitchen holds the delicious drinking water!
– We have nice, odor free outhouses using the sawdust composting toilet method designed by Joseph Jenkins in his Humanure Handbook. One is located a few steps behind the Hostel, one closer to the huts and one close to the parking lot/private single room. They all have electric lights inside, soap and water and hand sanitizer, a mirror and fresh flowers.
– The shower house is closed in, but open to the sky. The shower has hot running water, heated through a coil in a plant-based compost pile. We use a 2 gallon watering can as a shower head. It’s deluxe! Check out the video!