Maine Agriculture_Winter in Maine 2021

Page 1




HOW FARMERS ARE HELPING TO END HUNGER IN MAINE AND... Celebrate Community Cookbooks, the Maine Agricultural Trades Show Goes Online & Much More!


A Special Advertising Section of the Bangor Daily News • Friday, Dec. 17, 2021

Morning Sentinel • Kennebec Journal • Sun Journal Times Record • Portland Press Herald • Bangor Daily News




WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021

Reflecting on 2021 and looking to 2022 As Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF), I have the pleasure of working daily with a great team of ACF colleagues, state and local officials, producers, businesses and community stakeholders, who are passionate, hardworking and determined to make Maine a better place to live and work. As I reflect on 2021 and look towards 2022, I appreciate the collaboration and dedication to supporting our farmers and others who produce the excellent agricultural products that Maine is known for, and look to the future with hope and confidence. In January of 2021, as it became clear that the trajectory of the pandemic made it not safe to hold our annual in-person Agricultural Trades Show (ATS), ACF staff and partners designed and delivered a virtual event in its place. Over 500 Mainers registered for the show's online platform, and hundreds more attended numerous panels, talks, meetings and educational events through our Facebook and YouTube broadcast streams. By all accounts, the ATS was a great success in keeping this annual agricultural meet-up tradition moving forward. In 2022, the ATS will once again be held in a virtual format, due to public health precautions and in weighing considerable feedback from vendors, speakers and regular attendees. Learn more in the pages that follow and online at Last winter, our Agriculture Resources Development Division (ARD) worked with maple producers to help sustain the annual Maine Maple Sunday®. Our commitment to this yearly tradition dates back decades, and we are happy to support this industry with an estimated production value of nearly $22 million. This year we also worked with the Maine Cheese Guild, the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine and other groups to plan summer agritourism events that helped connect consumers with producers. Our staff worked closely with the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs to help them bring summer and fall fair events safely back in person. Also, this summer, our team organized the return of the Eastern States Expo, "The Big E," in Springfield, Massachusetts, where Maine-owned businesses market their products to the event’s million or so attendees. During late summer 2021, the Mills’ Administration was pleased to announce the award of nearly $250,000 in Agriculture Development Grants (ADG) to innovative Maine businesses. Our Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources ARD Division facilitates these grants to fund research, promotion, testing, and demonstrating new technologies. The award recipients included Crystal Springs Community Farm, Maine Aqua-

culture Innovation Center, Maine Cheese Guild (Sydney), Maine Farmland Trust, Maine Grains and Thirty Acre Farm. In recent months, fourteen organic dairy producers in Maine and dozens more across New England learned that Danone North America's Horizon Organics would not be renewing their contracts next year. Since this crushing news, ACF has coordinated with statewide agriculture service providers, a New England regional dairy task force, and officials at USDA to pursue strategies to assist these farms and support New England dairy producers overall. We are committed to helping the farms with short- and long-term strategies to support the ongoing viability of Maine's dairy industry. This fall, the Mills Administration announced nearly $500,000 in grants to seven Maine organizations to invest in innovative technologies and grow new markets for Maine's specialty crops. ACF is awarding these Specialty Crop Block Grants to Blue Barn LLC, Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District, Daybreak Growers Alliance, Maine Flower Collective, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Maine Potato Board, and the University of Maine. These grant recipients are representative of the forward-thinking innovation our agricultural sector embodies. From collaborative equipment sharing initiatives to researching cultural practices to reduce the incidence and spread of potato virus Y, ACF is proud to support these producers in their efforts to grow new markets and test technologies that enhance the resilience and sustainability of our production systems. Looking ahead to 2022, we continue to monitor conditions on the ground. Last year's dry spring ended with a wet summer that allowed for a prolific potato harvest, but drought and climate change remain concerns. The Maine Agricultural Water Management Board is prioritizing educational outreach to producers, with the goal of disseminating resources about irrigation planning and best practice in 2022. Interested in existing resources? Visit the Planning for Water Needs page on our website, And we will continue to support Maine producers who want to grow their businesses and enhance their operations with educational outreach regarding licensing, food safety, nutrient management, best management practices, grant and loan support, and other areas of technical expertise. Supporting agriculture in your communities helps build a strong and vibrant local food economy. Our work does not stop at the soil or at supporting innovation. We are also committed to the health and wellbeing of Maine farmers and producers. In 2022, dedicated

Maine DACF Commissioner Amanda Beal attended the Big E Fair in West Springfield for Maine Day on Sept. 18, 2021. Commissioner Beal visited with the exhibitors in the Maine Building (pictured is Kathy Langelier of Herbal Revolution Farm and Apothecary), met with Trustees and toured the fair while on site.

funding will provide stress assistance and mental health resources for agricultural producers across the state. The funding supports the Maine Farmer and Rancher Stress Assistance Network through a collaborative program with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The grant will increase awareness and access to existing resources and find new ways to help people cope with stress and mental health challenges. Finally, we will continue supporting farming communities more than ever by enabling them to access the tools and resources they need to enhance their role in mitigating and adapting to climate change. If you have not yet read the Maine Climate Council's “Maine Won’t Wait, A Four Year Plan for Climate Action,” then I hope you will review it in 2022. It includes critical agriculturerelated strategies such as increasing by 2030 the total acreage of conserved lands in the state to 30% through voluntary, focused purchases of land and working forest or farm conservation easements and increasing the amount of food consumed in Maine from state food producers from 10% to 20% by 2025 and 30% by 2030 through local food system development. Read the full climate action plan on With so much change happening, I invite everyone reading this to join us in thinking critically about ways to support our agricultural community. What changes do you believe we, Maine's support center for our many land-based, natural resource interests, should be prioritizing? Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas. Visit us online at Thank you, and Happy New Year.

Amanda Beal, Commissioner Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021 03

Maine Agricultural Trades Show News After listening to concerns raised by our industry’s stakeholders and carefully assessing potential risks to public health amid a sustained surge of COVID-19, the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry (DACF) has determined that the annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show (ATS) will be held online instead of in-person the week of January 10, 2022. “While we are disappointed we will not be gathering in person as planned, we look forward to celebrating our agricultural community and its many contributions to the State of Maine virtually,” said Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources Director Nancy McBrady. DACF will share details of the online ATS on, including the anticipated schedule and information on how content will be made available to the public. DACF looks forward to promoting participants and fostering a robust online community celebrating Maine agriculture over the course of the virtual event, January 10-14, 2022.

The State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show Join Us Online – January 2022 Don’t miss these resources: · Business Directory—Dozens of businesses to help your farm at any stage, organizations to market your product, sort out funding, and find the right tools for success.

· Schedule an online meeting or phone call with a business advisor. · Webinars and presentations—certification credits, food and farming updates, live and pre-recorded.

Solar Grazing Mark Hedrich, DAFC’s Nutrient Management Program Manager, visits a solar development that grazes sheep to maintain the vegetation. This practice is called “solar grazing.” DACF has developed Best Management Practices for pasture management for farmers interested in partnering with solar companies.


WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021

Maine Community Cookbooks: Celebrating Home Cooking in the Pine Tree State Grandpa Gene’s Onion Pie

From the Forthcoming Maine Community Cookbook Volume 2...

You know community cookbooks, and you probably have at least one in your kitchen. They’re collections of homecooked recipes, put together by church groups, synagogues, grange halls, school groups, political organizations, band boosters and even biker gangs. They’re held together with stitches, comb binding, staples or string. They’re photocopied, mimeographed, handwritten and sometimes even typed out page by page. Community cookbooks offer a fascinating glimpse into kitchens and communities around the state. Existing at the intersection of technology, home economy, food safety, advertising and marketing, they bring more than 150 years of history to life. To be considered a community cookbook, a book must meet three criteria: they all must be defined by a community, have recipes collected from that community and be put together with the goal of raising money to benefit a cause within that community. The first community cookbooks were created in the wake of the Civil War, when civic organizations were raising funds for widows, orphans and hospitals. Since then, the community cookbook has evolved to illuminate countless communities, share heartfelt recipes, demonstrate creativity and grassroots publishing and support just about every kind of charitable cause imaginable. In 2020, writer Margaret Hathaway, photographer Karl Schatz and food historian and antiquarian bookseller Don Lindgren teamed up to put together the “Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook: 200 Recipes Celebrating Maine’s Culinary Past, Present, and Future,” a collection of recipes celebrating Maine’s rich traditions—old and new—that explores indigenous foodways, hearty Yankee cuisine, community cookbook classics, and favorite dishes of new Mainers. Celebrating the state’s whole community with recipes from all 16 counties, the book includes heartwarming stories and dishes from both prominent and everyday Mainers,

Courtesy of Stacy (Lizotte) Cote Sanford, York County

and is beautifully illustrated with family photos, handwritten recipe cards and historic community cookbook covers. $2 from each book sold goes to fight food insecurity in the state, and to date, more than $15,000 has been distributed to hunger relief organizations in all 16 counties. In April 2022, Hathaway, Schatz and Lindgren are collaborating again on the “Maine Community Cookbook, Volume 2: 200 More Recipes Celebrating Home Cooking in the Pine Tree State.” This second volume includes all new recipes and essays. Like the “Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook,” Volume 2 features recipes from all different kinds of Maine families and some well-known Mainers, too. In addition to the wonderful home recipes and heart-warming stories that made the “Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook” such a popular success, Volume 2 will also focus on Maine grown, raised and fished ingredients. “We are so lucky to live in a state with tremendous natural resources, and with such a rich tradition of farming, foraging and fishing,” said Hathaway. “Wonderful ingredients can be found in Maine in every season. We’re excited to connect the incredible recipes people are submitting to the producers all over the state who make each meal possible.”

My Grandpa Gene lived in Springvale all his life. He used to make onion pie every holiday. He and my Dad would enjoy every last drop because nobody else in the family had any interest in it! Grandpa passed away in 2002. I have tried to replicate his recipe, since he never wrote anyStacy Cote’s father, Al Lizotte, thing down. My Dad is alwith his Christmas onion pie. ways thrilled when I bring one over; that’s all he asks for at Christmas and his birthday. Everyone I mention it to always has a look of confusion, but many end up loving it once they try it— just don’t set it down next to an apple pie or else someone may be in for a surprise!

Ingredients 5-6 of your favorite onions (we like Vidalia) Lump of butter Sprinkle of flour Salt and pepper, to taste Pinch of sugar Pastry for double pie crust (I use frozen) Preheat oven to 350˚F. Slice your onions and cook them down with a little butter, flour, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar in a pan. Add the onions to your pie crust, place top crust on top and pinch edges to seal. Bake the pie for about 25 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned. Enjoy!

Plan a Goat Adventure!

In the summer of 2021, Chris and Hope Hall (pictured at left) of Sunflower Farm Creamery published “Simply Good: Chèvre Recipes from Maine Chefs and Home Cooks.” The book features recipes and photos, and includes farm day trip ideas, an introduction to dairy goats and a Maine chevre map. The project was funded through a grant from the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center. The cookbooks are available at licensed chèvre producers around the state, and the proceeds benefit the producers’ local agritourism projects. Hope and Chris are continuing the project in 2022, launching a new dairy agritourism website, The site encourages visitors and locals to experience goat yoga, goat snuggling, glamping with goats and more. Do you love goats? Tag photos of your favorite goat adventure using the hashtag #goatadventureME.

Cocktails For a Winter Gathering

On a cold winter night, adding a splash of any great Maine spirit to your drink gives it a little extra warmth! Try adding spirits to coffee, hot cider or hot chocolate. For a more sophisticated drink, try one of these cocktails from Cold River or Sebago Lake Distillery.

“Feliz Navidad” Punch From Maine Distilleries, LLC

A tasty way to celebrate the season with friends and family!

Makes 8 servings 12 oz Cold River Vodka 4 oz Mezcal 8 oz Cointreau 16 oz Cranberry Juice 4 oz Lemon Juice 8 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice 4 oz Rosemary Cinnamon Simple Syrup (add to taste depending on tartness of juices) Garnish with cinnamon stick and orange slice Optional: club soda or sparkling cranberry juice

Rosemary Cinnamon simple syrup: Combine ½ cup sugar, ½ cup water, two cinnamon sticks and 3 sprigs of rosemary in a sauce pan over low heat. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. In a pitcher, mix all ingredients together well and chill.

To serve: Mix and pour over ice into glasses (top with bubbles if using) and garnish. Cheers, sip and ENJOY!

“Naughty List”

From Sebago Lake Distillery

2 oz Sebago Lake Original Rum Dash cranberry juice 3 dashes apple bitters

To serve: Shake ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled up glass with sugar/cinnamon rim.

Pumpkin Spice Mocktail 3 oz Ginger Beer 1 oz Pumpkin Puree 0.5 tbsp Pumpkin Spice

To serve:

Pour the ginger beer, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin spice into a glass over ice and stir until combined.

WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021 05

Maine-Made Products to Raise Your Spirits 06

WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021

Shop local this season with Real Maine gifts. Real Maine is our branding campaign created to inform shoppers that Maine is full of incredibly high-quality agricultural products. Maine agricultural businesses, such as farm stores and farmers’ markets, are convenient locations to find unique items making it easy to get cozy at home this winter with Real Maine agricultural products. You can also find locally made agricultural products in retail stores in your area. Here are a few items we suggest to raise anyone’s spirits during the dark days of winter:

There’s always a reason to choose

REAL MAINE Freshen up your space

By mid-December, the outdoor colors have faded and there is little color in the landscape. However, it’s easy to brighten your home with plants. Poinsettias come in a range of red, white and pink tones, and many sizes. Looks for them at greenhouses and garden centers in your area. Some garden centers and florists also offer bulbs for winter color. And for the gardener in your life, pick up some packets of seeds for winter gifts. Nothing is more encouraging than planning a future garden on a cold winter’s night!

With houses buttoned up to keep out the cold, natural products can help keep things smelling fresh and pleasant. Soaps from local producers are readily available at farm stores, shops, and even feed stores, and can be used for cleaning up or to freshen a closet, drawer, or even the car! This winter, experience the flavors Lavender is an increasingly popular crop in Maine, and of Real Maine within locally many farms offer dried lavender bouquets grown and wreaths, or in products like sachets and potpourri. Some agricultural products. Fromfarms, like Moore Manor Lavender in Stetson, make online fruits and vegetables to cheese ordering easy.

and grains, there is a wide variety

Get cozyof products always easy to

Angora and wool are considered luxaccess and ury fibers, and both are available produced in year-round. Maine. Wrap yourself upMaine on a coldwhere you Ask for Real winters’ day in warm Maine fiber shop, and learn more online at products. Wool blankets or soft socks are what you need when the snow starts to fall. Is there a crafter on your gift list? They might love some gorgeous, locally made yarns dyed in rich, natural hues.

Ask for Real Maine products to use in your favorite recipes this season.

Specialty Foods With the holiday season upon us, there’s no better way to warm hearts and bellies than by giving the gift of Real Maine specialty foods. Many items are just the right fit for care packages sent through the mail, to pair with a Maine cheese or wine, or order and ship directly from the maker!

Sip & Relax

Baking & Breakfast

A quiet winter evening at home is the perfect time to relax with a glass of your favorite Real Maine wine. With variet-

Maine’s grain economy grows yearly, and locally grown grains are now widely available. Start the day with a warm plate of traditional Acadian ployes or a bowl of oatmeal or baking loaves of bread and pastries.

There’s always a reason to choose

Real Maine


ies from traditional red, light and fruity pear or apple apertifs, or an emerging favorite like wild Maine blueberry sparkler, Maine wineries have something to pair with every meal and mood. Or try a selection of ciders to give as a gift. You can find Maine wines, ciders, and brews at grocery stores, cooperative markets, health food stores, and some liquor stores. Need to warm up? Consider selecting an aromatic tea or herbal syrup. A steaming cup of a traditional herbal tea, such as chamomile or mint, is soothing on a cold day.

This winter, experience the flavors of Real Maine with locally grown agricultural products. From fruits and vegetables to cheese and grains, there is a wide variety of products always easy to access and available year-round. Ask for Real Maine where you shop, and learn more online at

Sauce & Spice Jars of sauce to accompany your favorite pasta or seafood dish make a delicious dinner at home easier than ever. Prefer to BBQ year round or need a great marinade to prep your favorite dish? Real Maine producers have just what you’re looking for.

Sweets There are few things sweeter and more distinctly flavored than golden candy made from Maine maple syrup. And for the foodies in your circle of friends, look for maple butter to jazz up scones for a Sunday brunch, or even simply a jar of the best pure maple syrup you can find. Got a chocolate lover on your holiday list? Real Maine chocolatiers have something for all ages. From elegant, hand-dipped confections from Ragged Coast Chocolates, to cute family treats from Wilbur’s of Maine, it’s easy to find locally crafted chocolates for a special celebration.

WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021 07

The Farm to School Cook-Off 2021 Despite a year of many challenges, child nutrition programs across the state continued to offer nutritious meals focusing on creativity and local ingredients. The Maine Farm to School Cook-off is a statewide culinary competition for school nutrition professionals and students to promote local foods in school meals. The Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition program hosted the final round in their Culinary Classroom, where the two student-led teams competed for the 2021 championship. This year’s challenge ingredients were parsnips from Goranson Farm and eggs from Weston’s Meat and Poultry. Teams competed in a virtual format with recorded videos showcasing the preparation of their unique, school meal pattern-credited recipes. In the end, South Portland and Whitefield (RSU 12) were the finalists. The Whitefield Wildcats stole the show with their amazing recipes, including this one for roasted parsnips.

RSU 12 Roasted Parsnips Ingredients:

12.5 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into ¼" coins ¾ cup olive oil 3 Tbsp dried oregano 3 Tbsp Kosher salt or sea salt 1 Tbsp ground black pepper ½ tsp crushed red pepper

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. Spread parsnips on sheet pan, being sure to not overcrowd. 3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. 4. Toss to evenly coat. 5. Roast until golden and easily pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through.

Does your school use the

Local Foods Fund?

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce several changes to the Local Food Fund (formerly named the Local Produce Fund) which have been implemented for this school year. LD 636, An Act to Encourage the Purchase of Local Foods for Public Schools, was signed by Governor Mills on July 8, 2021. The fund matches $1 for every $3 that a school administrative unit spends on locally grown or produced foods. Changes to the fund include the addition of value-added dairy and protein, as well as an increased reimbursement Olde Haven Farm provides their cap per district. There is now more money to support the purchasing of local schools with fresh food! more local foods for our schools! This fund is a great incentive for your school to support your local farmer. The fund helps get more local, fresh food onto our children’s menus, from ground beef and yogurt to wild Maine blueberries and carrots! If you are a grower looking to partner with a school, a school professional hoping to source locally, or a community member who would like to support this kind of work in your area, contact the DOE Farm and Sea to School Coordinator for more information at

Stonger farms Healthier employees Happier communities

Join employers across Maine in supporting local farms and rewarding employees. Through Bumper Crop, employers give their employees gift certificates to spend at local farmers' markets. Markets gain new customers, employees improve their diet habits!

Visit A program from the Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets.


WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021

Maine Meat and Poultry Inspection Program

Dr. Jennifer Eberly, State Director of the Maine Meat and Poultry Inspection program, explains that Maine Meat and Poultry Inspection (MMPI) is the regulatory agency in Maine responsible for ensuring that animals brought to state-inspected slaughterhouses and processors are handled humanely and that the products produced at state-inspected facilities are safe for consumption. Although MMPI is primarily a regulatory agency, staff also work closely to support businesses that want to learn how to participate in the inspection process. For example, during the pandemic, MMPI staff worked with both Hatch’s Custom Meat and Colvard and Company to bring them on as state-inspected facilities, making their products available to a wider audience when grocery store shelves were running low. Colvard’s started as a restaurant in Southwest Harbor which ultimately pivoted to full-time sausage production when restaurants closed down during the early days of the pandemic. Hatch’s is the first and only state-inspected facility in Aroostook County to open after many years of community desire for a more local option. MMPI is happy to work with both operations for the benefit of Maine livestock producers and consumers.

Colvard and Company

Colvard & Company is a small sausage maker in Southwest Harbor founded in 2018 by chef Carter Light and Jim Mitchell to sell sausages that were featured in their restaurant. Initially the sausages were produced by a contract manufacturer, since Colvard was not a USDA-licensed facility. In 2020, the pandemic made operating a restaurant unfeasible, so the company shifted its efforts to making and selling sausages. Colvard converted part of the restaurant to a meat processing facility and obtained the necessary licenses to begin selling to retailers. Now Colvard has a small, state-licensed facility, and offers nine different flavors of pork and chicken sausages. MMPI staff were happy to be able to work with the company to ensure that they could maintain a viable business despite the hurdles of the pandemic. Consumers appreciate the products, which are available at more than a dozen retailers. Find more at

Hatch’s Custom Meat

Hatch’s Custom Meat Cutting in Crystal, Maine is a small slaughter and processing facility located in southern Aroostook County. Originally a wild game processor, owner Brady Hatch expanded the umbrella of his operations to include custom processing of livestock animals. He built a new processing facility in 2019 to better serve the livestock producers of the region. In 2020, Hatch’s received a Grant of Inspection from Maine Meat and Poultry Inspection and can now produce meat products that can be sold by local livestock producers, some of whom previously had to drive over 100 miles to reach an inspected facility. With over 20 years of experience in meat cutting and now six years in business, Hatch’s has earned a reputation for consistent service and a clean working environment. They look forward to continuing to provide game, custom exempt and inspected processing services for Aroostook and other northern Maine producers. Hatch’s works with many local farmers to obtain and distribute locally grown meats to the area, both through private sales and at retail locations throughout the county. Individuals wishing to purchase fresh sides of beef or custom-cut pork are able to do so by contacting Brady at 207-441-4023, who will then work with farmers in the area to fill orders.

Scenes from Maine Agriculture

WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021 09

(Clockwise from top left) Dr. Rick Kersbergen, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Sustainable Dairy and Forage Systems professor, with Bureau of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Resources Director Nancy McBrady at a Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Field Days at the Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport. DACF VISTA Volunteer Grace Romania visited the the Topsham Fair and got to watch some ox pulling and visit the barns. Grace is pictured with an ox named “Wind” owned by Todd Clark from Willimantic, CT. The Maine Potato Board (MPB) offers a baked potato booth at the Maine Building at the Big E fair each year. Fairgoers consumed 57,000 pounds of Maine-grown potatoes at the 2021 ESE! The potatoes were grown at Irving Farms in Caribou, trucked in by the MTB, and delivered each morning. DACF operates The Emergency Food Assistance Program out of a facility in Augusta. Pictured are Jimmy Durda (left), TEFAP Acting Director, and Patrick Madden, Emergency Food Inventory Coordinator.


WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021

Farmers'’ Markets Celebrate Maine Winter Farmers’ Markets 2021-2022

a Strong 2021

Farmers’ markets across Maine had another banner year in 2021. Markets continue to ride the “covid bump” as unprecedented numbers of shoppers and tourists flock to markets to stock up on staples and specialty food items from Maine farmers and craft food makers. According to surveys conducted by the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets (MFFM), about 1 in 3 farmers’ market shoppers in 2021 report shopping more often at farmers’ markets due to the pandemic. The Maine Harvest Bucks program, which helps people with low-incomes access healthy food from farmers’ markets, saw 50% growth this year. Market organizers around the state are hopeful that the increase in shoppers reflects new behavior change as more people realize the benefits of shopping local at farmers’ markets, including: accessing healthier food options, enjoying free music, engaging in free educational opportunities for kids and adults, and cultivating local community resilience. Nothing beats the farmers’ market for accessing the best local food in Maine. During the fall and winter holiday season, over 30 farmers’ markets stay abundant with plentiful food options. Whether you’re a locavore, an aspiring chef, shopping for gifts, or just love apples, fall and winter farmers’ markets have something for everyone!

Marr Pond Farm is a diversified farm in Sangerville, selling at farmers' markets in Orono and Waterville. Unlike farms in some parts of the country, many Maine farms are diversified in their production, meaning they bring a wide array of products to their farmers’ markets.

Enjoy these Maine Farmers’ Markets All Winter Long!




Augusta Winter Farmers’ Market

Open every Tuesday, 3pm-5pm, November-April

Bangor Winter Farmers’ Market

The Buker Center, 22 Armory St., Augusta Abbott Square, Across from the Bangor Public Library, Bangor

European Market in Bangor

117 Buck St, Bangor

Bath Farmers’ Market

27 Commercial St, Bath

Open every Saturday, 8:30am-12:30pm, year-round. Open Fridays before Christmas and New Year’s. Open every Saturday, 9am-Noon, mid-November-April. Special holiday markets on Nov. 24 and Dec. 22.

Belfast Farmers’ Market

Aubuchon Greenhouse, 231 Northport Ave, Belfast

Open every Friday, 9am-1pm, Dec-Apr

Berwick Winter Farmers’ Market

11 Sullivan St., Berwick

2nd Sunday of the month, 10am to 1:30pm, December through April

Bowdoinham Holiday Markets Bridgton Winter Farmers’ Market

13 School St., Bowdoinham

Holiday markets Nov. 20 and Dec. 18 at Bowdoinham Town Hall. 8:30am to 12pm. Check FB page for details.

4 Nulty St., Bridgton

Open every Saturday, 9am-noon, Nov-April

Brunswick Winter Market

14 Main St. (Fort Andross Open every Saturday, 9am-12:30pm, Nov-Apr Building), Brunswick

1353 Presque Isle Rd., Caribou Piscataquis County Ice Dover Cove Winter Farmers Arena, 1049 W Main St., Market Dover-Foxcroft St. Joseph’s Parish Farmington Winter Farmers’ Hall, Corner of Quebec Market and Middle Street, Farmington Greater Gorham Winter 75 South St, Gorham Farmers’ Market Greenwood Winter Farmers’ 270 Main St. (Route 26), Market Greenwood Kiwanis Civic Center, Hampden Winter Farmers’ 55 Main Road North, Market Hampden Caribou Winter Market

Open 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, Dec-Apr, 11am-1pm

Holiday market is open December 18, 9-1pm Open every other Saturday, starting 11/20, 10am to 1pm

Open every Saturday, 10am-1pm, November-April Open 1st and 3rd Saturdays, 9am-1pm, Nov-April Open every other Friday, 4pm-6pm, November-April Open every Friday, 2-5:30pm, November-May

Kittery Community Market

10 Shapleigh Rd, Kittery

Lewiston Winter Farmers’ Market

Bates Mill 5, Lewiston

Orono Winter Farmers’ Market

Asa Adams Elementary School, 6 Goodridge Dr, Orono

10am to 2pm on three Sundays: November 21, December 5, and December 19 Online preordering available for pickup at St. Mary’s Nutrition Center Every Saturday, 9am-noon in December. January-April, 2nd & 4th Saturdays, 9am-Noon. Visit

Portland Winter Farmers’ Market

631 Stevens Ave., Portland

Open every Saturday, 9am-1pm, Dec-Apr

Skowhegan Winter Farmers’ Market

144 Madison Ave., Skowhegan

Open 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, 10am-1pm, Nov-Apr

South Portland Winter Farmers’ Market

496 Ocean St., South Portland

Open every Sunday, 10am-2pm, Nov-Apr

The Winter Market in Blue Hill

1157 Pleasant St., Halcyon Grange Hall, Blue Hill

Open every Saturday, 9am-11:30am as long as possible, October-TBD

United Farmers’ Market of Maine

18 Spring St, Belfast

Open every Saturday, 9am-2pm, year-round

Farmers Market at Pumpkin 217 Hewett Rd, Vine Family Farm Somerville

Pre-order only. Pick-up 2nd & 4th Tuesday of the month from 4-8pm. For info email:

WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021 11

A Sense of Normalcy for Maine Agricultural Fairs Sunny skies, spectacular shows and friendly faces returned with a renewed sense of vigor to most Maine Agricultural Fairs in the summer of 2021, following a year with no events due to the pandemic. Twenty-four fairs took place between July 3 and October 10. Fairgoers were as eager as fair coordinators to see their favorite annual traditions return and showed up to support them, some in record numbers. From the first fair of the season in Monmouth to the closing of the year at Fryeburg, attendees, exhibitors and vendors were abundant. Although the Common Ground Fair was not held in 2021, fairgoers are hopeful for that beloved fair’s return in 2022. Organizers of Maine’s newest licensed agricultural fair in Pembroke, the Washington County Fair, were blown away by the community support they received. They

hosted their largest Saturday in recent history with several hundred in attendance including elected officials, in addition to outstanding support from area businesses. Nearby in Blue Hill, organizers watched as their food vendors sold out several times, feeding hungry fairgoers at a rate they weren’t expecting. According to Fair Manager Erik Fitch, “Maine folks were ready for events that brought them a sense of normalcy during these unprecedented times. That couldn’t be more evident with the large crowds we saw on our fairgrounds. Our patrons showed their appreciation to our local vendors with many reporting record setting sales.” It wasn’t all food and games though. Agriculture took center stage in exhibit halls, barns, and educational venues. At the Northern Maine Fair, the Lil’ Farmers at the Fair (a hands-on learning experience where young fairgoers get to be a farmer for a day) was busier than usual. According to fair president Lynwood Winslow, the fair was

considering this a rebound year after their 2020 cancellation. “With an abbreviated four-day schedule hosting most of our traditional events, we found that fairgoers were able to spend more time in the exhibit halls and commercial buildings supporting local vendors, and in the livestock area without the distraction of a carnival. Participation and volunteerism were up from previous years in the hands-on activities like the Lil’ Farmers at the Fair and folks got to experience what a good old agricultural fair is about.” The same warm reception was seen in Blue Hill. “Our emphasis on agricultural events was well received. Our patrons cherished the opportunity to experience local Maine livestock and exhibits throughout the fairgrounds,” according to Fitch. Community support is nothing new, though. These longstanding traditions, dating back well over 100 years, continue to provide family friendly entertainment and experiences (Above) Agricultural Promotions Coordinator, Melissa Jordan and Assistant State Veterinarian Carolyn Hurwitz visit the 2021 Windsor Fair. Missy oversees the licensing and promotions of Maine’s 26 agricultural fairs that operate each summer. Carolyn and staff from the Division of Animal Health provide livestock inspections and assist fairs with disease mitigation and public health efforts. (Far left) A little boy enjoys a ride on the Ossippee Valey Carousel. (Left) Holstein cows at the Bluehill Fair.

you can’t find anywhere else. Their grounds are more than a home to the fair; they are year-round community hubs hosting offseason events, youth groups and renting their buildings for private parties or winter storage. They welcome their townspeople to walk, ride or play, and often serve as host to town meetings, fundraisers and other gatherings. Fair associations around the state are already hard at work planning their 2022 events and are always looking for new ideas and are in need of volunteer support. Do you have time or expertise to contribute? Find your local fair at


WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021

What’s in Your Firewood? Many people mistakenly think that firewood is dead. In truth, firewood harbors live insects and pathogens for many years after the tree has been cut into firewood. These insects and diseases can spread to our living trees, causing them to die. Firewood movement contributed to the rapid spread of the emerald ash borer, a devastating invasive insect that has killed billions of ash trees in North America. Many other invasive pests can also hide on or in firewood, including spotted lanternfly, Asian longhorned beetle, oak wilt fungus, and browntailed moth. This is why Maine has a ban on untreated, out-of-state firewood as well as restrictions on how far firewood should be moved within the state.

Four R’s to Reduce Browntail Itch Next Spring Encounters with hairs from browntail moth caterpillars can cause mild to severe rashes and respiratory issues. Browntail caterpillars overwinter in webs that may have a couple dozen to several hundred caterpillars each. Some people say they experience itching with fewer than 10 webs per tree or shrub, while others say they have no symptoms from heavier infestations around their yards. Winter is the best time to spot an infestation and take steps towards controlling the caterpillars to reduce the itch.

Webs can look like single leaves hanging onto twigs, or fistsized clumps of leaves tied together tightly with silk.

Use these four R’s to get you started: RECOGNIZE: Learn how to tell if the trees where you live and work have browntail moth. Their winter webs can look like single leaves hanging onto twigs, or fist-sized clumps of leaves tied together tightly with silk.

RECRUIT: Hire professional help for treatment of webs out of reach or near hazards on property you own or manage. Line up help during winter. Professional arborists can remove a limited number of webs in larger trees and shrubs. In trees where it is not practical to remove webs, Licensed Pesticide Applicators can use insecticides to manage browntail moth. REACH OUT: If you find browntail moth in your neighborhood, let your neighbors and town officials know. The more that neighbors and businesses get together to respond to the problem, the better the results. Learn more at our website: www.maine. gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/invasive_ threats/browntail_moth_info.htm.

REMOVE: With permission, use hand snips or extendable pole pruners to remove webs within reach from the ground and away from overhead hazards such as powerlines. Protect your eyes and skin from hairs that might be present from past caterpillar activity. Destroy webs by soaking or burning after removal.

Encounters with hairs from browntail moth caterpillars can lead to mild to severe rashes and respiratory issues.

WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021 13

Network Supports Farmers and Others Experiencing Stress Contributed by FRSAN-Maine members

Working with natural resources, be it of the land, sea or forest, brings joys and stresses. For the people whose livelihoods and day-to-day survival rely on the land, waters and forests, there are stressors that are challenging to their health and well-being. These stressors should not be ignored. The rewards of work in the natural resources may include autonomy, community, engagement, connectedness and more. However, these professions also present challenges, including unpredictable weather and markets, social isolation, financial difficulty, land access, interpersonal dynamics, making space for self-care and healing, unforeseen problems and more. For many who hold full- or part-time jobs off farm, there is a delicate balance of wearing multiple hats that sometimes compete for time and energy. The stressors can be magnified for farmers of color and

Indigenous farmers who face historical and current discrimination. Rewards and challenges…they happen simultaneously and year-round. Depending on the farmer and the support surrounding them, they will have different responses to the same events. Farmers are known to be resilient and creative. They know what they need and if they have the resources (social, structural, financial), will work hard to get their needs met. When there is an internal struggle, some farmers remain independent and may not seek help. Other farmers lean toward interdependence, and may seek friends and community for support if they are struggling. Even the most resilient person can experience an accumulation of stress, which can result in depression. Depression can look like: disengaging socially, becoming less chatty, not coming to market, sleeping more, sleeping less and not taking care of animals on the farm. Depression may feel like fa-

tigue, lack of motivation, loss of confidence or feeling overwhelmed. Using alcohol or drugs to ease discomfort and pain are also strategies to which some people may turn. If you are concerned about someone’s well-being, ask, “How are you?” Give the person some time if they need it and consider all that the farmer is doing for your community as you reach out to see what they might need. Those who tend to the land and waters need vacation and rest and time to reflect about what comes next in the spring. As a customer and community member, you can be supportive, and there are resources to directly support people who are stressed to find someone to speak to: FarmAid 1-800327-6243 (M-F 9a-10p), Maine Warmline 1-866-771-WARM (9276), or 711 (Maine Relay) 24/7, or Maine 211, call “211” to find local services in your area.

There is a group of farmers and people who support farmers called the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. In Maine, members form a collaboration between the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Cultivating Community, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners, Maine Farm Bureau, Somali Bantu Community Association, Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective, Healthy Communities of the Capital Area and many more. Keep an eye out for vouchers for counseling and wellness activities for farmers in early 2022!


WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021

Progress Toward Ending Hunger in Maine In 2019, Maine committed itself to end hunger by 2030. To reach that milestone, Maine needed a roadmap, and the Governor and the Legislature tasked the Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry (DACF) with drawing up that map. DACF took that responsibility seriously. The Department vetted the research and models pointing to how other communities have addressed the issue. In three phases of work, slowed only slightly by a global pandemic, DACF convened nearly 200 Maine experts who brought clear eyes and open minds to wrestle with the rampant and corrosive presence of hunger in our state. Participants included leaders from key state departments, as well as nonprofit and business leaders, educators, policy experts, and concerned Maine residents. Importantly, it included Mainers with lived and living experience of hunger who bravely shared intimate portraits of hunger as it’s faced each day and who shined an invaluable light on the solutions that can end this ongoing yet preventable emergency. “Mainers should be proud that we’ve set a national standard for ending hunger, and I hope every Maine farmer and food producer reads the plan and sees their part in reaching Maine’s hunger-free future,” says Ending Hunger by 2030 Project Lead Craig Lapine. “While ending hunger is chiefly about ensuring economic security, a robust local food

Commodity Supplemental Food Program for Seniors Senior citizens: Would you like to receive a 30-pound box of nutritious, shelf-stable food each month at no cost? The Commodity Supplemental Food Program, administered by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, works with partner agencies statewide to provide the boxes (valued at $50) to eligible seniors. Each monthly box includes shelf-stable staples such as canned fruits, vegetables, and meat/poultry/fish. Boxes also contain items such as pasta, peanut butter, juice, milk, cereals and cheese. Participating seniors pick up their boxes at a designated time and place each month. To qualify for CSFP you must be at least 60 years old, live in Maine and meet the USDA income guidelines. (Not all areas have openings, in which case you will be placed on a waiting list.) For information and to apply, please contact the local agency representing your county:

Androscoggin, Kennebec, Somerset, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc: Spectrum Generations at (207) 622-9212

Aroostook: Aroostook Agency on Aging at (207) 764-3396 Cumberland, Oxford, York: Wayside Food Programs at (207) 775-4939 Washington, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis: Eastern Area Agency on Aging at (207) 941-2865 extension 167

Franklin: Western Maine Community Action (207) 645-3764 In accordance with Federal Civil Rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Civil Rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior credible activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

system has a critical role to play in making sure every Maine person has the healthful, nutritious food we all need to thrive.” One way that DACF is working toward a hunger-free future is through its Ending Hunger VISTA Program, placing volunteers at aligned agencies and organizations across the state. These VISTA members work to build essential capacity for their host organizations’ antihunger work. This VISTA project is wrapping up its first year and is one of four pilot food security VISTA projects across the country. (The other projects are in Texas, Ohio and New Hampshire.) Laura Gordon is one Ending Hunger VISTA member who is currently serving at the Good Shepherd Food Bank. She strives to increase the capacity of the food bank through recruiting, training and building resources for volunteers. “Volunteers are an invaluable asset to ending hunger in Maine because they help mobilize efforts and extend reach,” Gordon says. “I’m helping to improve procedures and develop policies to recruit, engage, and recognize Food Bank volunteers.” In addition to Good Shepherd, Ending Hunger VISTA members are currently supporting work at seven Maine nonprofits and seven State agencies.

Squash Donuts

Recipe by Esther Harvey of Island Falls, Maine

Esther Harvey has been a member of Maine Senior FarmShare at McNally Farm for the past five years. Her family used to have a garden full of corn, turnips, tomatoes, carrots, peas, greens and squash, but since moving to a senior housing facility they “can’t grow [their] own anymore.” Harvey touts the quality of McNally’s produce and is excited to cook with it each year. This recipe comes from Harvey’s mother Eleanor Woodard, which Harvey dictated out of a cookbook her daughter Cheryl — a big cook since childhood — compiled of family recipes. It is an old family recipe from Aroostook County. Harvey notes that squash or pumpkin puree will both work.

2 eggs 1¼ cups sugar (can be partially replaced with Stevia) 2 Tablespoons melted butter 1 cup strained squash puree 1½ cups sour milk, buttermilk or regular milk with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar 1½ teaspoons baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon ginger 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon cinnamon 4-5 cups flour, enough to make a soft dough Lard or vegetable oil for frying

Mix all ingredients together. The dough should be able to be rolled with a rolling pin. Chill the batter for at least an hour, which will make the dough even easier to roll. Roll the dough out, cut using a donut or biscuit cutter, and fry in a large pot with lard or vegetable oil heated on medium-high. Harvey notes that for the best result, these should be fried in lard, but she says vegetable oil or shortening can be used as well. “You could,” she says, “but they won’t come out as well.” Let them cool a bit on a cooling rack. Then, shake them in a paper bag with sugar and cinnamon. Enjoy!

WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021 15

Farms Serve Seniors Through Annual Program Farm to Food Bank Project Utilizes Donated Wild Blueberries

Karen and Kerry McNally first applied to be a Maine Senior FarmShare farm because they had an inkling that there was a need for a program like this in their community of Patten. In the first year, McNally Farm had 25 Senior FarmShare participants. For the past two years, though, they have had 250. Statewide, nearly 17,000 seniors received $50 shares of local fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey from over 100 farms. McNally said that seniors from neighboring towns tend to carpool to their farm, building community and friendships. The McNallys also appreciate building community with seniors in their area. Senior Esther Harvey has been a participant at McNally Farm for five years, since she and her husband moved to senior housing in Island Falls. The couple used to have a garden, but they “can’t grow our own anymore.” The Harveys have been really satisfied with the quality of the produce at McNally’s: “This is a wonderful service. It’s a great thing!” (Find Harvey’s recipe for Squash Donuts on page 14.)

Some farms partner with area nonprofits and agencies to reach seniors in their community. Middle Intervale Farm in Bethel partners with Local Food Connection, a Bethel-area community food council, to administer the Maine Senior FarmShare Program. Bonnie Pooley is a volunteer with Local Food Connection, which began as a loose volunteer group that used to organized events like SoupsOn, a lunch gathering at a local church for seniors. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organization redirected its efforts to delivering food to seniors across the area, many of whom felt unsafe going to stores. Recipients greatly appreciate receiving their shares at home, as many of them can’t get to a farmers’ market or a farm stand on their own. Bonnie hopes that this program is helping to encourage our elders to eat more vegetables. A common sentiment Bonnie has noticed among seniors is that they like the program because it doesn’t only benefit them, but it helps local farmers too. Registration for next season’s Maine Senior FarmShare will begin on April 1, 2022.

Healthy Acadia partnered with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s The Emergency Food Assistance Program to utilize over $19,000 in USDA grant funds for a Farm to Food Bank project. As part of the project, three local wild blueberry growers donated over 3,600 pounds of berries for distribution to food pantries across Hancock and Washington counties. Dan-a-Dew Farm in Blue Hill, Welch Farm in Roque Bluffs, and Wescogus Farm in Addison worked enthusiastically alongside Healthy Acadia Food Programs Manager Regina Grabrovac over the winter months to orchestrate and support the pilot project. Local processing and freezer facilities — W.R. Allens in Orland and Merrill’s Blueberry Farms located in Hancock, Maine — froze and stored the berries for holiday season distribution. With 34 direct food security organizations located within the two counties, there are plenty of folks who will have a chance to enjoy the berries. “We always welcome the opportunity to offer high quality, fresh produce to our patrons when it is available,” commented Nancy Lewis and Ken Warner, Co-Directors of the Machias Food Pantry located at the Center Street Congregational Church in Machias. Machias was one of three organizations that were recipients of fresh berries in five pound boxes in August as part of this program. “I am thrilled with generosity of the participating growers,” observed Grabrovac. “It required lots of logistics... The end result of seeing the gracious appreciation of pantry clients made it all a very rewarding project.”


WINTER IN MAINE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • December 17, 2021