Maine Open Farm Day, this year on July 23, is an annual celebration held across the state. It is an open-house-style event during which host farms extend an invite to the public, offering a way to learn more about their businesses and what they do.
Among the host farms this year will be some Real Maine dairy members. Since June is Maine Dairy month, we wanted to spotlight a few of these members and what they will be offering for Open Farm Day, and what visitors can expect when they stop by.
At Lakin’s Gorges Cheese at East Forty Farm in Waldoboro, you can:
- Hear why soil is important to making good cheese
- Go on a pasture walk and see the cows in action and what they are eating
- Stop by the creamery viewing window for a peek at the cheesemaking space
- Sample the farm’s original recipe cheeses or stock up with the farm’s whey-fed pork or beef
- Eat a picnic lunch in the pasture
At Pumpkin Vine Family Farm in Somerville, you can:
- Learn about the process of making milk products at a grass-to-table goat dairy
- Hike through farm fields, where you will see and learn about the goats’ “pasture palace,” a mobile shelter with solar-powered fencing
- Visit this year’s crop of goat kids in the barn, and watch them as they parade from 12 to 1 pm down to the brook, then to the scenic lookout
- Hear many different species of birds – the farm is a bobolink sanctuary
- Taste the farm’s yogurt smoothies, chevre, or aged cheeses, and browse the farmers’ market
A reminder that Pumpkin Vine Family Farm will be hosting its Dairy Magic event on June 18 as part of Maine Dairy Month.
Whatever farm you choose to explore on this year’s Open Farm Day, here are some tips to help make your visit memorable.
TIPS TO VISIT MAINE FARMS ON OPEN FARM DAY:
- Check listings for hours, schedules, and updates
- Follow farm rules. Stay in visitor areas, stick to established trails and roads, and avoid tailgating farm machinery. Keep pets at home.
- Bring an insulated container when you shop – keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot for quality and freshness
- Always clean fresh produce before eating and preparing
- Plan to carry out any trash and recyclables
- Help keep farms healthy — stay home if sick or not feeling well. Use good hygiene before, during, and after visit.
- Be weather wise, dress appropriately, and know your personal limits (the event is held rain or shine)
- Ask farmers how to enjoy Maine farm products year-round!
Real Maine is the state’s official agriculture and agritourism promotions program. From flowers to berries to ice cream sundaes, plan your Real Maine summer agricultural experience. Visit www.RealMaine.com to connect to farms, food, and agriculture throughout Maine.