18 Apr 2021

COVID-19 and Maine Farms and Foods

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The coronavirus pandemic changed much about the way Mainers live, work, and recreate. Thankfully, we can still safely enjoy Maine agriculture. Stores, farm stands, farmers’ markets, and agritourism sites adopted effective new practices. As a result, there continue to be terrific opportunities to explore, experience, discover, and connect with Real Maine foods and farms!

Follow these tips when planning agricultural experiences:

  • Always call ahead or check online to verify the details of the business or event you plan to visit.
  • Stay home when feeling any symptoms of illness.
  • Unvaccinated shoppers should wear a mask in all public spaces, and observe social distancing measures. 
  • Visit the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry’s webpage, COVID-19 Information for Agriculture and Food Businesses for extensive coronavirus-related information for farms, businesses, and consumers.
With vendors and shoppers exercising caution, we can safetly enjoy Maine agriculture at farmers' markets. A food producer wearing a protective mask poses for a picture at a Farmers' Market in Maine

Shop at the farmers’ market

Summer means peak farmers’ market season. The outdoor markets typically open in May or June, and stay open through autumn. They offer fresh and prepared foods, including fresh vegetables and baked goods. Many offer pre-order options to simplify your shopping and make it particularly fast and safe. Maine farmers’ markets and farm stands have special protocols in place to continue to ensure the safety of shoppers and vendors this year. (Hours and availability may change, so check for the latest updates before heading out.)

Plan outdoor activities

This year there will be many agricultural activities to enjoy outside. Whether you’d like to snuggle with baby animals in the spring, visit open farms during the summer, or plan an apple picking excursion come fall, there will be activities in your area. Maine’s agricultural fairs will be holding some events this year as well. There is much to look forward to! Bring a mask, and be sure to follow the precautions established at each site to ensure everyone’s safety.

Explore brews, ciders, and wines

The summer months are a good time to explore Maine’s wineries, cideries, and breweries. It’s easy to find exciting and diverse local beverages, and many offer tasting rooms and other opportunities to learn about their products and processes. Some offer home delivery, others offer easy ordering for local pickup. Many are available in your local liquor or specialty store.

Let’s support Maine’s farms and agricultural businesses in every season:

  • Make family gatherings special by purchasing fresh, local ingredients.
  • Visit farm websites—subscribe to blogs, newsletters and podcasts.
  • Follow Maine farms on social media, offer testimonials, and share posts with friends.
  • Bring a cooler and ice to ensure peak food quality—no matter where you buy it.
  • Travel safe— harvest season is means peak road usage by farmers and the public.
  • Ask farmers how to enjoy their farm products year-round: special recipes, storage tips, etc!

Visit the DACF website

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry has many resources available online. Visit the Department’s page, Covid-19 Information for Agriculture and Food Businesses.