Maine Open Farm Day organizers encourage the public to visit farms online beginning Sunday, July 26, to support Maine agriculture this summer.
“Our interactions with agriculture will be different this summer than in years past, especially as many cherished fairs and outdoor events have canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Amanda Beal, commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry. “However, because farmers are very skilled at problem-solving and adapting to changes, many farms across Maine are more accessible than ever this growing season.”
The 31st annual Open Farm Day is one way to connect with area farmers. It will be presented as an online event at bit.ly/2WjVgJv and begins the fourth week in July.
Using the platform, farmers will share behind the scenes glimpses of their operations and the work that goes into growing and producing farm products.
Open Farm Day organizers offer tips to help support Maine farms and different ways to increase awareness of Maine agriculture this summer:
-Visit farm websites—subscribe to farm blogs, newsletters, and podcasts
-Follow Maine farms on social media, offer personal testimonials, and share posts with friends.
-Help keep farms and retail areas healthy — stay home if sick
-Bring a cooler and ice to retain food quality
-Travel safe—planting and harvest season means peak road usage by farmers and the public.
-Ask farmers how to enjoy their farm products year-round
With regard to supporting agricultural businesses that are open to the public, including farm stands, stores, markets, as well as “U-pick” or “pick your own,” Mainers are advised to:
-Maintain physical distance, wear a face covering
-Use good hygiene before and after visiting
-Keep pets at home
-Follow instructions and signage
-Be prepared for pre-scheduled visits, curbside pickup, and drive by or drive-through services
-Know that on-site access may be limited due to business logistics; each farm is different
Supporting farms not typically open to the public:
-Ask farmers which consumer brands use their crops or raw materials.
-Ask farmers where one can buy their products.
-Seek brands that use or source raw materials or ingredients Maine.
-Enjoy agriculture’s working landscapes from a distance as while taking the scenic routes.
Some of the local farms participating in this program are listed below. More listings, by county, are available online at bit.ly/2On53dv.
Beau Chemin Preservation Farm, Waldoboro
Briggs Farm, Somerville
Cape Newagen Alpaca Farm, Southport
East Forty Farm and Dairy, Waldoboro
Morris Farm, Wiscasset
Odd Alewives Farm Brewery, Waldoboro
Sealyon Farm, Alna
TLC Fiber farm and Alpaca Rescue, Waldoboro