Visitors to Broad Arrow Farm at 33 Benner Road in Bristol have another way to experience all the farm has to offer.
The Rooting Pig, the farm’s open-air charcuterie bar, opened earlier this summer, providing customers a better understanding of where their meat comes from while also spotlighting local growers and Maine makers.
The seeds of the idea came about in September of last year, according to Broad Arrow Farm Operations Manager Anna Hymanson, after some on-farm dinners were received well by the community.
“We really wanted to continue that in a way that was a little bit more sustainable and concrete,” Hymanson said. “We wanted a way for the community to get close to where their food comes from in a way that was consistent and could be shared with more people.”
The Broad Arrow Farm team spent the winter planning what they wanted The Rooting Pig to be and how it could fit into the farm’s mission, Hymanson said.
“We really want people to get reconnected with where their food comes from – that’s our main ethos,” Hymanson said. “I think The Rooting Pig helps complete that full circle experience. We raise animals here from birth … this gives guests the opportunity to experience what we do on the farm.”
After the arrival of the prefabricated open-air bar, the installation of bathrooms, and other necessary prep work, The Rooting Pig opened in mid-June with a full menu highlighting not only what Broad Arrow has to offer, but also items from surrounding farms.
The charcuterie boards are arguably the star of The Rooting Pig. Featuring meat from Broad Arrow as well as local cheeses, the boards are available in a two sizes in order to accommodate parties of different sizes.
“The only thing we produce here is protein, so anything that is not protein is produced from outside of (the farm),” Hymanson said. “They’re all Maine producers and people who we have a personal connection with.”
In addition to its charcuterie options, The Rooting Pig features a rotating menu of seasonal offerings and small plates. Carrots from Morning Dew Farm were recently featured in a dish with pancetta, salsa verde, white beans, arugula, and panna gratta.
“A lot of what we do is dictated by what’s on produce farms right now,” said Jeremy Hardcastle, chef and butcher. “We go to the farmers markets and see what they have, and that’s how we create the menu … We serve what we like made by people we like.”
The menu also provides guests a chance to try cuts and meats they might not normally pick up in a market, Hardcastle said. One example of this is beef carpaccio, a raw beef dish that recently appeared on The Rooting Pig’s menu.
“Because we’re a full butchery, it offers an opportunity to have cuts you wouldn’t normally see. The carpaccio is a result of us trying to utilize that beef in a way that people might not normally buy,” Hardcastle said. “You can come to the bar and try a variety.”
The community has greeted The Rooting Pig with open arms, Hardcastle and Hymanson said. They spoke about a recent weekend in which the charcuterie bar was busy, despite constant drizzle.
“This is a proof of concept idea,” Hardcastle said. “I don’t think there’s any place else in the world where you could have a ham biscuit and see a piglet nursing from its mother. This is a rare example of getting to see how the sausage is made, if you will: the really good sausage.”
The Rooting Pig at Broad Arrow Farm is open from noon to 6 p.m., Thursday through Sunday in the autumn.
The charcuterie bar will host a Pumpkinfest after-party featuring live music from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9. In addition to the bar’s regular menu, the event will include the farm’s half-smoked hot dogs and seasonal sausages with beers from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co. on tap.