One day every year farms near the tiny Maine town of Bowdoinham open their barn doors to the public. This year, 9 farms participated; we ended up visiting 4. At each farm, we were able to meet the farmer(s), wander around the fields, visit the animals, and learn more about that farm’s business.
Best. Day. Ever.
I love being able to see where my food comes from, meet the people who work to grow it, and visit idyllic country sides. I once had a fantasy of owning a little hobby farm and visiting these farms always triggers some desire to do that - until I remind myself that if I lived on a farm, I wouldn’t do anything but farm.
For the past three years, I participated in a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA. Harmony Valley Farm would provide us with a box of fresh vegetables every other week from May - December. For two years, they provided us with local, organic cheeses every month from May - January. When Martin and I decided to travel the world, I knew I was going to have to give up belonging to a CSA. And, I knew that I wanted to make a concerted effort to buy my food directly from farmers. So far, I’ve picked strawberries from a field, visited farmers markets in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario and Brunswick, Maine, and now visited farms in Bowdoinham.
I love hearing each farmer’s story.
One farm had two alpacas that moved in sync with each other. It was so strange!
The same farm had some goats. They had intended for some to be meat goats, but then they just became pet goats. My kind of farm! :)
Several farms had chickens, mostly for laying eggs. This rooster looked like an '80s rocker with that blond mane.
Martin and his cousin-in-law, Andrew, attempted to solve the world's problems while gazing into a chicken coop. (This photo makes me giggle every time I look at it!)
A couple farms used hoop houses to grow their produce, one farm exclusively used them. This one was filled with tomatoes and basil. If summer had a smell, it would be this hoop house.
Maine is not a heavily populated state. It only has about 48 people per square mile, compared to Minnesota which has about 68 people per square mile (or Wisconsin with 106 people per square mile). This sparse population leaves plenty of space for beautiful farms along its rolling hills.
The entire state of Maine has an open farm day annually as well, which was on July 27. These little events are a great way to experience Maine and get to know the people who are so proud of their state.