Potty poll - Ashland farm stand asks voters to cast their ballots in outhouse


ASHLAND — The current presidential candidates have set records for the lowest approval ratings in history, and one local farmer is showing the world just how unsavory he thinks the election situation is.
Located on Route 175 in Ashland, Owens Truck Farm is an organic farm stand that is causing a ruckus with its new structure: an outhouse labeled "Official NH Voting Booth" – complete with two toilet seats and two mannequins dressed as presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Chris Owens, the mastermind behind the outhouse polling booth, and his family - wife Patty and son Lucas - have been handing out ballots to farm stand visitors left and right.

"I try to get everyone to take a ballot," Patty Owens said.

In the two weeks the polling booth has been open, it's estimated that a couple of hundred votes have been cast.
Even people who don't stop at the stand are weighing in on the poll.

"If they're not stopping, they're beeping or yelling," Owens said as a motorcyclist drove by shouting his support for a candidate.
Not surprisingly, there have been some heated conversations among participants in the poll. Owens said, "We've had a lot of bickering. The very first day, people were very heated."
A few arguments haven't spoiled the mood, however. "It's been a lot of fun," Patty Owens said. "A lot of people have met and talked who hadn't met before."
The votes will be tallied on Oct. 31 and results will be posted Nov. 1.

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Visitors to Ashland's Owens Truck Farm are greeted by the "presidential candidates" by an outhouse set up for them to cast their ballots. (Brooke Robinson/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Morecello: A taste of Italy made in Meredith


MEREDITH — The conventional end to an Italian meal, the digestivo, or after-dinner drink, traces its origins to the popes and princes of the Renaissance and beyond, but recently struck root in the Lakes Region, where Frank Marino, a patent agent, has turned a family tradition into a fledgling enterprise.

Marino has begun producing Morecello, an infused liqueur akin to the commercially more ubiquitous "limoncello," made from the blackberry, or, in Italian, "mora." He said that for generations his family made the drink at home, and brought it to America in 1917 when his grandfather arrived from Sicily, which along with Calabria, Sardinia and the Amalfi Coast is known for liqueurs made from fresh fruit.

"I've been making it for Christmas gifts for a long time," Marino said, "and people have been urging me to bottle it." Last week, he delivered his first order of 50 cases, each with a dozen bottles, to the New Hampshire Liquor Commission.

Sometimes called "amazzacaffe," or "coffee killer," digestivos, collectively known as "amari," are relished for their medicinal properties believed to ease digestion and generally include a proprietary mix of herbs, spices, roots and flowers steeped in grain alcohol and blended with sweet syrup. Although more than 300 digestivos are marketed, many believe that the best, like Marino's Morecello, follow home recipes. Marino was circumspect, saying only that "hundreds of bushels of blackberries," organically grown by "a little Italian in Washington state," are steeped in grain alcohol "for a secret amount of time" and mixed with sugar, spring water and other undisclosed ingredients. "It's all organic," he stressed, "and 50 proof."

Marino explained that Morecello should be frozen then partially thawed during the course of the meal and finally "shaken vigorously and served slushy" in small drafts of two or three ounces. "It's not meant to be guzzled," he said. Traditionally a digestive, Marino said that Morecello can also serve as an ingredient to cocktails and, above all, said it is absolutely delicious mixed with milk.

Originally, Marino intended to produce Morecello from his home, but was informed that federal law and state regulation require him to operate in a secure facility. He purchased the building next door to the Annalee Dolls Gift Shop on US Route 3, which last served a temporary home to Rite-Aid Pharmacy. He said that the cement block building on a half-acre lot, which has no windows and as a pharmacy is fitted with a security alarm, meets all the requirements while providing 2,000 square feet of space.

Marino said that he spent more than a year dealing with the Alcohol, Tobacco Tax Bureau to obtain the federal permits to produce, bottle and sell distilled spirits, "but it was real easy with the state." He recalled driving to Concord and filling a meter to park for two hours then registering his business, securing his trademark, opening an account with the New Hampshire Liquor Commission and finding 15 minutes remaining on his parking meter.

New Hampshire, Marino said, is one of the very best states in the country for a small entrepreneur to produce and sell alcoholic beverages.

"The state does not tax your product," he explained, "but makes its money by marking up its price. They have a vested interest in your success because the state benefits from your sales."

He said the New Hampshire Liquor Commission will put Morecello on the shelves of its stores in the Lakes Region — in Meredith, Center Harbor, New Hampton and Gilford — and hopes it will also soon appear at the the stores on either side of I-93 in Hooksett. Morecello will be among the products featured at Lakes Region Uncorked, an exposition of locally made wine, mead, cider, beer, spirits and foods to benefit Lakes Region Community Services at Church Landing at Mill Falls on Nov. 3, beginning at 5 p.m.

Marino said he has invested in materials sufficient to produce 5,000 bottles, or more than 400 cases, of Morecello, which he hopes will be exhausted in six to eight months. Still a practicing patent agent, he said that he anticipates spending the equivalent of a day a week on his new enterprise, but would clearly like for the business to claim more of his time.

"I also make a very good limoncello," he said, smiling.

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Frank Marino of Black Cove Beverages in Meredith cradles a bottle of Morecello, an after-dinner drink fashioned from blackberries inspired by a recipe that originated generations ago with his ancestors in Sicily and soon to be on the shelves of liquor stores in the Lakes Region. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Generations Therapy and Care Provider Services focuses on veterans

TILTON — Generations Therapy and Care Provider Services, a veteran owned company, is having a grand opening celebration this Thursday, Oct. 13, from 1 to 6 p.m. at its new location at Riverfront Place, 322 West Main St., Suite 151, in Tilton.

Dwayne Oothoudt, a disabled veteran and a registered occupational therapist said, "Answering the call to assist our veterans has been the foundation of our clinic. Giving back to those who have given so much is what motivates us. The option of a local, veteran owned and operated clinic, builds the bonds necessary for quality therapy and emphasizes the strength of community. Consistency in care and in your care providers is a quality we are very proud of. With the increased need for veteran's services, Generations is answering the call to provide quality therapy and home care services throughout our Lakes Region communities."

Generations Therapy and Care Provider Services provide outpatient therapy services and non-medical care provider services to the members of our community, including local veterans who seek to utilize their Veterans Choice (VCP) benefits.

The scope of services includes occupational and physical therapy, community therapy, home care and Alzheimer's/dementia training. All services used evidenced-based approaches for optimal recovery and independence of our patients.

The open house is an opportunity to meet the team and learn firsthand how choosing the right therapy team can make the difference in recovery. Those at the open house will have the opportunity to learn how occupational therapists assist in bathing/dressing, self-feeding, community mobility and engaging in leisure activities.

Generations' physical therapists are experts on post-surgical recovery, neurological disorders, pain management, and concussion recovery.

Refreshments will be provided as well as many hands on opportunities to test out a variety of equipment.

For more information about Generations Therapy and Care Provider Services call 603-729-0056 or online at


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On hand for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting of Generations Therapy and Care Provider Services in Tilton are, from left, Vinny Benincasa, volunteer with the NH Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve; Dave Quinn, state chair for NHESGR; Lauren O'Reilly, Dwayne Oothoudt, co-owner/administrator of Generations Therapy, Lori Oothoudt-co-owner/office manager; Connor Brough, Harry Accornero and Bruce Thompson, Region 4 chair for NHESGR. (Courtesy photo)