Maine may have gotten its reputation as “Vacationland” for its picturesque coastal villages and pristine outdoor recreation opportunities, but there’s another realm of natural wonder that deserves time spent exploring in Maine: local agriculture.
While farming nationally is decreasing, according to U.S. Census data, Maine agriculture is on the upswing with an increase in farmland and more young farmers establishing roots. What this means for visitors is that there is an increase in ways local food and agriculture can be incorporated into vacation plans.
With over 115 summer farmers’ markets across the state from Portland to Greenville, according to the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets, local produce and products are widely available on any given day of the week. Even winter visitors can work a trip to the farmers’ market into their stay by stopping at one of the state’s more than 30 winter markets.
While the availability of fresh produce fluctuates depending on what’s in season, generally local dairy, cheese, eggs, meat and poultry, honey and maple products are available all year. A full list of seasonal availability can be found on the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets website.
For summer visitors, from June to October there are 26 state-licensed agricultural fairs, each hosting their own take on agriculture, but featuring a range of livestock shows and local food and fun offerings. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has the full list of the fair locations and dates.
Though you may have come to Maine for the coastline or the mountains, there are ample ways to check out the local agriculture offerings along the way.