Friday, April 24, 2020

Business Spotlight: Petals Farm and Garden has been said that there are so many reasons to be happy – and flowers are among one of them. A fresh bouquet sitting on your dining room table not only inspires happiness but adds beauty in the home and hope in the soul. What makes the multi-colored spray of natural luxury more special is if it arrives fresh into your home straight from your garden. But not everyone has easy access to such an idyllic situation or do not know where or how to begin to create a flower garden for all seasons.

That is where Petals Farm and Garden can be of service. Owner Lyndsay Stretch offers fresh cut flowers from her and her husband’s eight-acre farmstead, located at 11 Brick Hill Road in Windham. Additionally, the company can provide an opportunity for an individual to create their own beautiful year-round landscape, too. Recently opening her doors, Petals Farm and Garden services include garden design, installation and maintenance at both your home and office locations.

With over 20 years of professional experience in designing, installing, and maintaining gardens, Lyndsay is so passionate about gardening and sharing her knowledge and experience with her clients, that she provides services and products beyond expectation. “I will walk you through the steps and listen to your vision in order to make your gardens the gardens of your dreams,” Lyndsay said.

Furthermore, Lyndsay is currently growing rows of cut flowers on the farm. “I cannot wait to share these beauties with my customers,” Lyndsay stated. “All people need to do is enroll in the weekly flower subscription program to have a piece of the farm grace their own home each week.” Lyndsay will also be selling cut flowers by the buckets at her flower stands on Albion Road in Windham and on Brook Road in Falmouth.” The stands will be opening soon.

You may have known or heard of Lyndsay before. She, along with her husband Seth started StretchWay Yard Services in 2015. “It was a big transition for the both of us,” explained Lyndsay. “Seth needed a change of career and this gave me the opportunity to get back to work part time while raising three kids. Together we built a local landscape business, and each found our niche. I followed my heart by offering garden maintenance and installations.  By year three, garden designs and gardening kept me busy the whole season and it continues to grow today.  I started Petals Farm and Garden as a way to pivot from StretchWay and to continue to follow my path.” Seth and Lyndsay still own and operate StretchWay Yard Services.

In assisting the customers with their dream landscapes, Lyndsay is following her own dream. Her gardening vision all began in culinary arts and business. “I went to culinary school in New York City and spent a year cooking in some of the city’s top restaurants,” Lyndsay explained the journey from her culinary adventure to her horticulture aspirations. “I followed the farm to table movement and sought out restaurants who farm onsite. I soon discovered I loved the growing and harvesting from the restaurant farm and knew I wanted to learn more about farming and growing. One summer, when my thirteen-year-old was a baby, I started to explore becoming a personal chef. I would cook for client events or while clients were on vacation in Maine. That same summer, I took a part time job working in gardens. I learned to love the seasons and watch how the gardens change.”

In 2013, the Stretches purchased one of Windham’s oldest homes, a 1767 center chimney colonial. The land provided the space for the dream she had developed of owning her own flower farm and garden in that first summer 13 years ago.

Once she and Seth created StretchWay Yard Services, Lyndsay began to build additional knowledge about soil, drainage, plant health, companion plants, hardy and reliable shrubs and the various soil types found in the Sebago Lake region. “Gardening brings me such joy and satisfaction,” she explained. “I love the opportunity to create a beautiful space to enjoy and a curb appeal to be proud of. Petals Farm and Garden presents me with the best of both worlds.”

In addition to providing fresh cut flowers at the farm stands, Petals Farm and Garden participate in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription program as an option for their fresh cut flower service. “We also have a goal to sell wholesale to Bio Market in Windham and Good Life Market in Raymond and I am interested in providing flowers for events or by the bucket.”  
It is without a doubt, flowers inspire happiness and hope – both indoors and out. With that being said, “Here's to 2020 and to growing flowers and growing friends,” Lyndsay stated about her new gardening business.

Call now and book a consultation with Lyndsay today and make your own gardening dreams come true. For more information or to enroll in Petal Farm and Garden’s weekly flower subscriptions, peruse their website at or call 207-892-8000.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Business Spotlight: Aerus Pure Water of Portland the April 3rd edition of the Windham Eagle, readers discovered that Aerus Pure Water of Portland
is offering a free one-time air purification service to area residents. In light of recent circumstances, sanitization of surfaces and the air we breathe is of the upmost importance and concern.

“I would like to provide a decontamination service free of charge to any individual in the greater Lakes Region area and beyond, whether it’s in the home or office,” Chris Tarr explained in that article. Tarr is the owner of Aerus Pure Water of Portland, located at 352 Warren Avenue. He has been the owner since July 2019.  Tarr is still contributing this free offer to anyone who requests it.

But what many may not know is Aerus offers much more than the ActivePure Technology. The company offers water conditioning and filtration services as well.

Aerus originally began as Electrolux – the renowned high-quality vacuum cleaner. Since 1924, Aerus has been a leader in the healthy home space and has been honored by the Smithsonian for the invention of the first canister vacuum.

The company has grown by leaps and bounds, adding the cutting-edge water and air purification systems, including the revolutionary ActivePure Technology in 2000.

Its accolades have only continued to include engineered products that aid in creating a healthier home. In fact, ActivePure Technology was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame, an honor shared with only a handful of other influential technologies like GPS, hearing aids, and LASIK.

Additionally, Aerus continues to invent and upgrade water purification systems that meet the needs of homes across the country, including the homes right here in Windham and Raymond where many rely on well water. Well water is known for the scale build up created from hard water. Often, well water includes contaminations that make drinking the clear liquid unsafe.

Aerus’ water conditioner system reduces water contaminants, scale build-up from hard water, electricity use, and even extends the life of your appliances all while delivering better-tasting water and providing relief for those with sensitive skin and who care about the environment.

“Water conditioning aims to address three major issues that are present in most water sources: limescale, bacteria and algae,” Tarr said. “These problems can cause issues in water systems, including the insides of pipes, on heat exchangers and water fixtures. We also offer Origins Reverse Osmosis for those who want to improve the taste, odor and appearance of their water.”

With reverse osmosis you get the quality of bottled water without the cost and environmental impacts as a result of plastic bottles. This system has easy-to-change filters that provide premium water, exceptional taste, and total convenience. Reverse osmosis filtration system is a compact, space-saving design and produces 75 gallons of water per day. The system includes a classic faucet, a 3.2 gallon tank and all the hardware. What is even more exceptional is that the Origins Reverse Osmosis is offered at a reasonable rate.

Aerus also offers a whole home water filtration system. Contaminants like disinfectants, chemicals, and other deposits often sneak into the water even after public water filtration systems have cleaned it, making water taste worse. This is a perfect option for those homes with city water and need additional water filtration.

Finally, of course, is the amazing air purification and sanitization system, ActivePure. This system is used by hospitals, schools and sports stadiums to end staph infections and other viruses.

As stated in the April 3rd article, ActivePure has virtually eliminated bacteria, infection and fungus at a major sports stadium. After four players in the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball organization contracted methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in one year, the team installed ActivePure air purifiers in its stadium’s locker room and gym. Over 30 major league baseball stadiums use the systems at the present time, keeping the infections and bacteria at bay.

Local Windham resident, Lorraine Barrett has been using the purification system in her home for over seven years. “I must admit, my husband and I both smoke in the house and the purifier is amazing at keeping our indoor air clean and smelling fresh. When our kids come to visit – they never complain about the smell,” Barrett laughed and then continued. “We also have a home in Florida, and I have an Aerus purifier there too. Although we don’t smoke in that house it does magic on keeping the pollen count down.”

Call Tarr today and get your free decontamination service. “And if an individual wishes to learn more about the other services we offer, I will go over all the alternatives,” Tarr said. “Together we will find the best option for their home and budget.” For more information, contact Tarr at 207-400-6437.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Business Spotlight: Pillar To Post Home Inspectors - The Lussier Team by “Entrepreneur” magazine as one of the top 500 Franchises in the U.S., Pillar to Post Home Inspectors, located at 243 Roosevelt Trail, Suite #1 in Windham is the premier local home inspector service in Maine. Brandon Lussier, Franchise Owner and Operator and the rest of the Lussier Team and experts assist home buyers, home sellers, and real estate professionals in numerous ways, offering high quality inspections since December 2013.

In addition to being recognized by the well-respected magazine, out of the approximately 700 franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada, Pillar to Post’s Lussier Team is in the top 15 of all. As a result, the company prides itself on holding the highest standards for the home inspection business. The team has completed over 5,000 paid inspections and they also offer radon air, water quality testing, camera septic inspections, sewer scoping, mold, asbestos and lead testing.

Recently they have added virtual home inspections to their list of professional services.

“We are considered an essential business,” began Brandon. “So, we are still here to provide certified home inspections and, in light of present circumstances with social-distancing, we also want to be mindful of keeping everyone safe and healthy and still assist home buyers and sellers in reaching their real estate goals. The virtual home inspections can make that happen.”

Brandon stated that the Lussier Team can deliver these virtual inspections thoroughly and comprehensively and – still – maintain a service that is highly personable. “Of course, it goes without saying that the in-person home inspection is still the preferable method, but the virtual inspection is a perfect alternative until the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. Until then, the user-friendly virtual alternative is easy to understand and very intuitive to operate.”

In this online home inspection program, the user will get the opportunity to see the result of the inspection from the comfort of their home. It includes the floor plan and a real -life version of the home and property. The user can easily navigate and take a 360-degree tour through the house, examining each room and level/floor, as well as a floorplan of the home with measurements. As one “enters” each room, a list of inspection notes will be displayed to the right of the screen. The tour, however, does not replace the official written inspection report which will be delivered through the mail.
Brandon Lussier, Owner

“One amazing feature about this virtual inspection program is that you can share it with family, friends and contractors for those who are thinking about doing renovations,” Brandon said. “And, you can go back and revisit the tour at any time. For some, this comes in handy as they decide on furniture placement, etc.”

Both virtual and in-home inspections are performed by an unbiased and extremely detailed report which includes color photos. This report is printed on site before the inspector leaves, which is a unique service in the industry.

The inspection report will include the site location, the home’s interior and structure, the plumbing systems, bathroom fixtures and components, built-in appliances, heating, cooling and electrical systems, the garage, basement, attic as well as kitchen components and the roof.

More importantly, all Pillar to Post Lussier Team inspectors continually upgrade their skills and keep current with new technologies and professional standards in order to examine all types of homes and residential structures in the Maine area. This includes anything from condominiums to single family homes, town homes, mansions, estates, historic residences and manufactured homes.

Brandon and the rest of the Lussier Team are your ideal home inspectors as they are fully licensed in the state of Maine for radon air/water, mold and lead testing, hold the highest standards for home inspectors as Lussier is a Certified Master Inspector. Additionally, the qualified and courteous professionals are appreciated by their clients for their ability to explain their findings in the right perspective so there is no undue alarm or concerns. And – with worries over the COVID-19 virus, the Pillar to Post home inspectors have gone above and beyond to alleviate apprehensions.

In fact, a recent review on the Pillar to Post website stated the following from one of their clients, a real estate agent: “Amazing doesn’t begin to cover this inspection. Remember, this is Coronavirus time. The inspectors wore their own booties and wiped down everything! They kept appropriate distance and did their job quickly and thoroughly. I am so impressed. After 21 years in this business and hundreds of inspections, I think that Pillar to Post has earned my gold star.”

Let the Lussier Team of Pillar to Post Home Inspectors earn your gold star. They are at your service now and will continue to be providing services for years to come. For more information or to schedule your next home inspection, peruse their website at or call them at 207-749-3775.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Business Spotlight: Mainely Ticks we all are protecting ourselves, our loved ones and the world from the spread of COVID-19, we
also need to remember that with children home during the day and playing in their yards, we need to protect ourselves and family members from tick bites.

That is where Mainely Ticks, an Integrated Pest Management company that has served Cumberland and York counties for 15 years, takes a community-based approach with their mission of Tick Management through Education and Science.

“We make sure people know how to protect themselves and their children from contracting Lyme and other tick-borne diseases,” stated co-owners Bob and Barb Maurais.

“Right now, while everyone is focused on the virus, we do want to remind and educate people that deer ticks are already out,” Bob said. “Seventy-five percent of all Lyme is contracted 100 feet from the home and senior citizens and children have the highest incidences of Lyme disease here in Maine.” Adult Deer Ticks as well as newly molted nymph ticks (which are about the size of a poppy seed) are active and can transmit Lyme disease along with other tick-borne illnesses.

Barb reminds us that with children now at home and encouraged to spend time outdoors, it is important for everyone to actively pursue personal protection.  “Before hiking and playing outside, make preventing tick bites part of your plans. Apply repellent to exposed skin and consider wearing protective clothing pretreated with 0.5% Permethrin.”

In 2005, when Bob and Barb began building the Mainely Ticks website, Barb wrote, “You may have Lyme disease and not even know it.” Little did she realize that she was talking about herself.  Later that year, Barb was diagnosed with Lyme disease, Bartonella and Babesia.  After treatment, they renewed the company’s mission of advocating, educating and increasing awareness about tick-borne diseases through talks and conferences throughout Southern Maine along with distributing educational materials throughout the state.

In the January 16, 2020 edition of the Portland Press Herald, Staff Writer Joe Lawlor wrote about this subject in his article, “Lyme Disease cases in Maine hit a record high last year”. He stated that there were at least 2,079 Lyme cases in 2019, eclipsing the previous high of 1,852 cases in 2017. Quoting the Maine Center for Disease Control, Lawlor wrote, “Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases are on the rise, so Mainers need to proactively protect themselves.”

Bob reiterated that personal protection is important for everyone. “Prevention is the best prescription,” he said. “Adults should do a nightly tick check on themselves and their children and pets.”

Tick Removal. If a tick is found, use fine-pointed tweezers to gently remove the tick from where it is attached.  Pull upward with steady pressure.  Do NOT aggravate the tick by trying to smother it, squeeze it, apply lotion or heat.  Upset ticks will regurgitate their stomach contents.
Tick Avoidance. Deer ticks require a damp, humid environment to survive and are most often found in wooded edges, especially in leaf litter and low ground cover. They are usually picked up on the lower leg and tend to crawl up the body looking for a place to attach and feed.  Modify your environment by cutting lawns and removing leaf litter.  Keep children’s play areas away from wooded edges and tall grass.  Deer ticks will not thrive in sunlit areas.
Protective clothing. Wearing light colored clothing whenever working or playing in tick endemic areas makes spotting ticks easier. Also, you can pretreat clothing and socks with 0.5% Permethrin spray to provide up to six weeks of protection even after repeated washings.  is a company that professionally treats clothing.  Save 20% at checkout by using promo code MAINELYTICKS1 when sending your own clothing to be treated, or promo code MAINELYTICKS2 when you purchase clothing.
Tick repellents. You can substantially increase your level of protection against ticks and mosquitoes by applying a DEET based repellent (20% to 30%), IR3535, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to your skin. Go to and take the quiz to determine which repellents are appropriate for you and your family.
Frequent tick checks. The single most important step to reduce your chances of contracting tick-borne illnesses is frequent tick checks. Be sure to check yourself, your children and pets after spending time outdoors in tick endemic areas. Use the sensitivity of your fingertips to feel for small bumps, starting with a thorough inspection of the scalp, in and around the ears, hairline and neck, arms, armpits, back, torso, belly button, groin, front and back, between all skin folds, legs, behind the knees and between your toes.

Mainely Ticks offers residential tick and mosquito spraying options in select communities in Cumberland and York counties.  For more information or to request a quote for services, visit