AUGUSTA — The Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets has released a new map of Midcoast and Downeast farmers’ markets featuring 20 of the unique farmers’ markets that take place along the Maine coast. In addition to a detailed, full-color map, the brochure includes a description of each market, suggestions for free outdoor activities near each, and original artwork depicting the character of the various markets.
An earlier version (2015) of the Farmers’ Market Trail focused on Washington County. The expanded map features coastal markets from Lubec to Bath, highlighting the fact that wherever you travel along the coast of Maine, it’s easy to find a farmers’ market. “We hope locals and visitors alike will keep a copy of this map in their cars, and pull it out for inspiration every time they venture along the coast. There’s no better way to get to know this state than by talking to farmers and food producers, while tasting local specialities,” according to Leigh Hallett, MFFM’s Executive Director.
Tourists and summer residents are an important segment of the shopper base for all Maine markets, but particularly so for the coastal markets, which often have a shorter season than others. Kim Roos of Gardenside Dairy (member of half a dozen markets featured on the map, including Ellsworth, Milbridge, and Lubec) notes that the intense summer season is particularly important to farms like hers: “It is great to be able to have these maps for locals and visitors to our state to help everyone find seasonal, local food. This is especially crucial to our farm in way Downeast, where our selling season heavily relies on the 12 weeks tourists are around to purchase our goods!” Farms like Gardenside Dairy also produce non-food items (in their case, personal care products like hand lotions) which are sought after by visitors looking for Maine-made gifts.
Each market on the map is illustrated with an original watercolor design by Steuben artist Nicole DeBarber. A member of the Beehive Collective for 9 years, Nicole has a deep connection to coastal Maine, and was able to capture the spirit of the markets in winsome images. Many of the markets featured on the map will also be offering coloring pages based on Nicole’s work, and an exhibit is planned in Machias in late summer.
Farmers’ markets are the perfect place to meet locals while picking up fresh and prepared foods. Whether you are a tourist, a summer resident, or a Mainer on a day-trip, exploring a new farmers’ market is a great way to get to know more about Maine. Find markets throughout the state by location or day of the week on MFFM’s website, www.mainefarmersmarkets.org. Copies of the free map have been distributed to farmers’ markets and tourist information sites. Request a copy by mail by emailing email@example.com.
The Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets runs statewide programs that help sustain Maine farms, connect market farmers, strengthen farmers’ markets, and widen access to locally-grown food for all. MFFM operates the Maine Harvest Bucks nutrition incentive program for SNAP shoppers, maintains an online directory of all of Maine’s farmers’ markets, and provides resources to market farmers and managers. Learn more at www.mainefarmersmarkets.org
–Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
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