It may not feel exactly like summer just yet, but it’s on its way! And, with the arrival of summer comes the best of Maine – locally grown produce, freshly cut flowers and foods prepared with love and brought to your local town. One of my favorite things about Maine is the taste of our fresh food. But, even more than what we produce, there’s something special about a place that makes sure we have access to it. If you love supporting local farmers almost as much as you love eating delicious, homegrown food, check out your local farmers market. Here, from south to north, are a few options to start you off.
1. Portland Farmers' Market, Monument Square, Portland
This is such a lovely market! This bustling, happy market brings Monument Square alive with all the fruit and veggies you can imagine, along with juices, pastries, flowers and pickled foods. All the vendors are great, but don't miss my personal favorite -
Fresh Start Farms.
This vendor is a collective of immigrant and refugee farmers who are part of a farmer-training program that empowers new Americans to launch independent farm businesses. They accept credit and debit cards as well as EBT/SNAP payments.
Check out all the vendors Wednesdays 7am-1pm from April 27th to November 23rd. In the winter, you can visit the market on Saturdays 7am-1pm from December 23rd to April 22nd at 84 Cove Street.
2. Portland Farmers' Market - Weekends, Deering Oaks Park, Portland
The weekend version of the Portland Farmers' Market deserved its own listing simply because the feel is so different. While the Monument Square version certainly allows for meandering from stall to stall, the weekend market just seems to have a slower pace. Enjoy both the offerings as well as the greenery of the park. You can grab all the fixings for a picnic and set up a blanket right there and then. Visit the weekend market on Saturdays 7am - 1pm from April 30th to November 28th. They accept credit and debit cards as well as EBT/SNAP payments.
3. Brunswick Topsham Land Trust Farmers Market, Crystal Spring Farm at 277 Pleasant Hill Road, Brunswick
This stalwart market brings together two towns to create a market unlike any other. With offerings such as vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, baked goods and artisanal and prepared foods, you'll be able to spend the day not only browsing but chatting with local folks. Visit them on Saturdays 8:30am to 12:30pm from the beginning of May to the first Saturday of November. They accept EBT/SNAP and WIC payments.
4. Belfast Farmers Market, 256 High Street, Belfast
One of the best selections of organic fruits and veggies you'll find can be found in Belfast. Established in 1980, it operates as a non-profit membership organization that oversees the establishment of market guidelines, sets quality standards, promotes the market, and encourages growth of the regional food supply. You'll find seasonal foods in both the summer (Fridays, from May through October 9am-1pm) and winter (Fridays, November through March 9am-1pm). They accept credit and debit cards as well as EBT/SNAP payments.
5. Rockland Farmers' Market, Harbor Park, Rockland
This market is a great option for families. In addition to all the incredible options that come with a local farmers' market of this scale, this year they're adding a program for kids. From July 2nd to September 10th,
kids can learn to shop at the farmers’ market. This means understanding how to make decisions for purchasing and it allows them to start early with a love of fresh local foods. And, this program is completely free! Visit the Rockland Farmers' Market on Thursdays 9am - 1pm from May 14th to October 29th. And, if you're an early bird, you can check the selection beginning at 8:30am.
6. Union Farmers' Market, Union
You won't find a happier bunch of folks than at the Union Farmers' Market. Located in the Union Common, in the heart of town, you'll find locals with bread, milk, eggs, meats, cheeses, fruits and pastries. And, of course, lobster! In addition to food, there are plenty of handmade goods to take home. And, if you like your farmers' market to be entertaining, each Friday has a different theme. Check them out on Fridays 3-6pm from May 20th to October 14th.
Click here to learn more about their vendors.
7. Lincoln Farmers' and Artisans' Market, 75 Main Street, Lincoln
You'll find all the requisite fruits and veggies here, but this downtown Lincoln market truly shines with their crafts and art. From custom wood pieces to jewelry and paintings, this is a lovely place to enjoy a day. Visit them on Fridays and Saturdays 9am-1pm, from mid-May to the end of October.
8. Bangor Farmers' Market, Across from the Library, Bangor
Bringing you fresh, local produce and flowers all year long, the Bangor Farmers' Market is one of the best in the area. Visit them Sundays 11am - 2pm from May to November. They accept credit and debit cards as well as EBT/SNAP payments.
9. Orono Farmers' Market, Steam Plant Parking Lot, University of Maine, Orono
The Orono market is one of the biggest in the state. Sitting along the Stillwater River, this also just might be one of the most lovely to look at. You'll find upwards of 30 vendors selling everything you'd expect at a large Maine farmers' market. Visit them on Saturdays 9am to 12pm from May 7th to November 19th. They change locations, hours and opening days depending on the time of year, so be sure to
check their website
for accurate information.
10. Eastport Farmer's Market, 141 Water Street, Eastport
Being in Eastport means you're near some of the best farms in Maine. Lucky you. To browse the selection of what's in the area, head to this market located in the parking lot of the new Eastport Welcome Center/Eastport Port Authority at 141 Water St. Beginning in mid-June, you'll find a great variety of fresh, local produce, gourmet herbs & spices. Not enough for you? You can also grab yourself some eggs, goat cheese, garlic, fruits & berries, homemade breads and assorted baked goods. Picnic tables are available for enjoying your food at the market. They accept credit and debit cards as well as EBT/SNAP payments.
The Market is held Saturdays, 11:00am-1:00pm, from mid June to mid October.