When you visit a winter farmers’ market, you can purchase delicious, fresh foods directly from the farmer. Shopping directly from farmers is a familiar tradition in Maine, offering a chance for people to learn about farming and its importance to local economies. Many folks may be most familiar with warm weather activities that offer a hands-on or behind the scenes view of Maine’s working landscapes. The chances to meet farmers, support local agriculture, and visit farms continue throughout the year in Maine. Wintertime offers a variety of ways to meet local farmers and learn more about Maine farms and their contributions to Maine’s quality of place and space.
Visit a Winter Farmers’ Market
Take in – and take home – Maine’s winter bounty with a visit to one of the state’s winter farmers’ markets. Find fresh greens, storage vegetables (such as carrots, squash, onions, and cabbage), preserves (jams, jellies, pickles, and relishes), herb blends, cheeses, yogurt, and all manner of meats at your local farmers’ markets. The Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets posts a list of winter markets each year. Check the list to find markets in your area, or in destinations you may be visiting. Here are a few popular winter markets to consider:
The Brunswick Winter Market is held every Saturday through April in the Fort Andross Mill Complex. It features more than 40 vendors from all over the Midcoast selling everything from produce, meats, and gourmet specialty foods to handmade goods. The market is a popular place to pick up food for the weekend and a fresh cup of coffee, too.
The Portland Winter Farmers’ Market, located in the former Maine Girls’ Academy, features the goods of more than 20 Maine farmers. It is held every Saturday through mid-April. Fresh and locally made veggies, cheeses, eggs, mushrooms, dairy products and meat are just some of the things that are on offer here. The market also offers a low-income food access program (call Maine Harvest Bucks) that ensures all have access to fresh, locally grown and raised foods.
The Blue Hill Winter Market, which runs through late May, is held on Saturdays in the glass greenhouse of the Mainescape Garden Shop. There are lots of local goods to choose from:
- beautiful produce and fresh fruit
- local eggs, meat, dairy and cheese
- bread, pastries and baked goods
- coffee and chocolate
- olive oil, condiments and sauces
- prepared foods
- local artisan crafts and more
Not to be missed, the European Market in Bangor operates year-round at Sunnyside Greenhouses. It features locally grown and made foods in addition to ethnic cuisines including Greek and Mexican. Held every Saturday, it’s a great place to meet the Maine farmers, cooks, artisans, bakers, mushroom hunters, and picklers that sell their goods here and to support them with purchases.