Farms across Maine are opening their barn doors to let neighbors and visitors in to meet their animals, learn about farming practices and get a little more in touch with the origin of their food and fiber. If you want to visit a dairy farm (because you haven’t lived until you’ve been licked by a cow) several are taking part in Open Farm Day, including Smiling Hill in Westbrook, Nezinscot Farm (home to the James Beard Award-winning café) in Turner, Conant Acres in Canton, Balfour Farms in Pittsfield, and Hart-to-Hart Farm and Misty Brook Farm in Albion. Or if your child’s classroom participated in the Adopt A Cow program and adopted Kendra, Ida, or Glow, you might want to check in on their calf at Brigeen Farms and stop in their scoop shop – Canty Cow in Turner. Open Farm Day is a free event though plan to bring pocket money so you can take home some of the farm-made goodies. Visit realmaine.com to find a farm or farms near you.
Other opportunities to visit farms this summer include weekly family programs at Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment in Freeport (wolfesneck.org) and Pineland Farms (pinelandfarms.org) in New Gloucester, where you can also simply purchase a 2-hour farm pass for a self-guided tour, or Smiling Hill’s Barnyard is a great place to meet some four-footed (hoofed?) friends.
Also farm-and-food-related, don’t miss the Maine Cheese Festival on Sunday, Sept. 10, in Pittsfield. Visit eatmainecheese.org for information and tickets.
By Jami Badershall, Communication Manager, Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council