Ways to Purchase Maine Products
Looking to purchase fresh produce and locally crafted foods, beverages, and more? We’ve narrowed down your search to places where you can find all these Real Maine products. As you travel the state, you’re likely to find farm stores, co-ops, farmers’ markets, and other local food venues in many communities. Keep an eye out and you’ll also see locally grown and produced foods in area restaurants, markets, and specialty shops. Here are some terms that you’ll often see in relation to food shopping:
Many farms, food businesses, and others accept orders by phone for pickup or delivery. Check the business’s website for information.
Local Delivery to Home
Opportunities for home delivery vary by community, with more options appearing all the time. Some farms use a local service (like Belfast Delivers) and others may deliver certain products or during certain times of the year.
These are typically more informal, and often have no staff. Produce and other goods are displayed, and shoppers make their selections and leave payments in a lockbox on the honor system.
Each member of a farmers’ market sets up their own booth to sell products they grew or produced. Maine has summer, winter, and year-round markets.
Maine Senior FarmShare
More than 100 farms participate in MSFP, a USDA-funded program to provide eligible seniors with a $50 farm share at no charge. Seniors apply to participate with an authorized farm each spring.
Many Real Maine members have retail locations either at their venue or off site. Some offer tasting rooms, prepared foods, or cafe service.
Many Maine agricultural products can be readily found across the region and across the country. Real Maine goodness can be found in specialty stores, mass retailers, restaurants, and catalogues almost everywhere you go.
“Community Supported Agriculture” is a phrase used to describe programs that let consumers pre-buy agricultural products such as produce, meats, and flowers. This benefits the farmer’s early season cash flow, and often results in a cost savings for consumers.
Debit-Style CSA Program
Consumers purchase a set quantity of product in advance, then select what they want over the course of the season, spending down their CSA balance. (Often this style of CSA is implemented at a farmers’ market or farm stand.)
Farmer-Select CSA Program
In a farmer-select CSA program, the farmer selects the products (e.g. mixed seasonal produce, flower bouquets, cheese selections, etc.) which are included each week’s share. These programs vary widely in length, product, and season.
Online Sales for Delivery
Some producers offer online sales with mail (UPS, FedEx, etc…) delivery. There are also opportunities to order curated collections (such as the Victory Cheese Box from Local Goods Gathered).
Online Sales for Pickup
This is a relatively new model that many producers developed in 2020. Shoppers select the products they wish to purchase via a website or emailed order form, then pick the product up at the store, farm, or farmers’ market.