Markets, Festivals, & Fairs
Food Fresh from Maine Farms
In Maine as in the nation, farmers' markets are booming. Small scale farmers are benefiting from the growing interest in healthy, organic food and the increasing desire many people share to cut energy use by eating what's local and seasonal. They're also a place to find oddball or heirloom veggies and all sorts of Maine-made products not available at standard grocery stores. Producers who go on to culinary fame often start at a farmers' market, before they can afford another retail outlet. Stonewall Kitchens, for instance, began this way.View all Maine Farms, Farm Tours, Farm Stand & Farmer's Market or Agricultural Attractions.
Maine Farmer's Markets are Thriving
In Maine, the number of farmers' markets has jumped from 26 in 1990 and 54 in 2000 to at least 63 now--and that number tells only part of the success story, says Deanne Herman, marketing manager for the State Department of Agriculture and its farmers' market liaison. Not only are there more markets ``but more farmers are participating in many of them with a wider range of crops and a longer growing season, and with more attractive displays," she says. The markets have become so wide-ranging that, from June to October, patrons can do most of their food shopping here. The quality is so high that some of the state's best chefs patronize them regularly. It is Maine at its purest and freshest. For more about farmer's markets visit the State Department of Agriculture's website.
Crystal Spring Farm Farmer's Market
Some say that on a sunny day, a visit to Crystal Springs Farm farmers' market in Brunswick can seem like being at a weekly block party. Visitors to the market, held every Saturday, are often entertained by a man who plays a saw or a bagpipe. Vendors sell maple butter, alpaca yarn, heirloom tomatoes like the Black Prince and the Green Zebra, Romano beans, Pattypan squash, purple potatoes, and all sorts of herbs and flowers. There's turkey sausage and locally-raised beef, organic eggs, jams, pickles, scones, pies, goat cheese, Afghani naan and hummus, Chinese pot stickers, and much more.
Keough Family Farm
Richard Keough, of the Keough Family Farm in Hebron, sells lettuce he will pick on the spot, lopping off the tops of potted butterhead or red romaine or royal oak leaf as you watch. Breadmaker Barak Olins sells loaves he bakes in a barn in South Freeport. He made his own tools, grinds his own organic flour, and uses wood from his land to fire the brick oven.
Pick Your Own--A Maine Farm Tradition
Some farms offer opportunities to pick-your-own: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, pumpkins, flowers and some vegetables. Find participating "pick your own" farms and the produce you can pick there.
Foragers & Wild Edibles
A contingent of foragers harvests indigenous Maine specialties such as fiddlehead ferns, all sorts of seaweed, various mushrooms, herbs and more, which add a wild taste to the state's culinary offerings. The Maine Mycological Association invites newcomers to join its mushroom forays.