21 Jul 2020

“Open” Farm Day is Online This Summer

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Real Maine welcomes you to visit farms online beginning Sunday, July 26, 2020 for Open Farm Day. We’ll introduce you to farmers who share behind-the-scenes glimpses of their operations, and offer insight about the important work that goes into growing and producing farm products–from food and fiber to flowers and more. Best of all, you’ll connect with Maine farmers!

The 31st annual Open Farm Day is one way to meet area farmers. This year Open Farm Day will be a virtual event, kicking off the fourth week in July. You can follow Real Maine on Facebook for more updates on featured farms, and Maine agriculture.

“Our interactions with agriculture will be different this summer than in years past, especially as many cherished fairs and outdoor events have canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, because farmers are very skilled at problem-solving and adapting to changes, many farms across Maine are more accessible than ever this growing season.”

Amanda Beal, Commissioner Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

How to connect with Maine farms on Open Farm Day

Across Maine, you can find a farm to support every season. This season, Open Farm Day 2020, offers a list of farms to ‘meet’ in all 16 counties! When you click the counties, you’ll find a list of farmer profiles, which is your connection to learn more about product offerings, farm websites, social media, and contact info. This gives you the most up-to-date connections with area farms, who are ready for you to reach out, and learn about ways to support them year-round. Be sure to take a look at our suggestions (below) for supporting Maine farms.

A Good Read: Want a head-start on your agricultural awareness for Open Farm Day? Flip through the Summer in Maine Agriculture publication for farmer profiles, trivia and recipes!

Flip through the digital publication, Summer in Maine Agriculture for recipes, tips, agricultural trivia and tips for supporting Open Farm Day.

Ways to Support Maine Farms

Want to support Maine farms and agricultural businesses year-round? Here are some tips to support a variety of farms throughout Maine:

  • Visit the websites of farms in your area and subscribe to blogs, newsletters and podcasts. 
  • Follow Maine farms on social media (even better: comment on and share posts with friends!).
  • Help keep farms and retail areas healthy — stay home if you are sick. 
  • Bring a cooler and ice to ensure food quality—no matter where you buy it. 
  • Travel safe— expect to see farm equipment on the roadways this time of year.
  • Ask farmers how to enjoy their farm products year-round: special recipes, storage tips, where to buy, etc.! 

Are you planning to visit an agricultural business that is open to the public this summer? (e.g. farm stores, stands, markets, U-Pick/Pick-Your-Own sites)? Please follow these suggestions: 

  • Call ahead. 
  • Maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering. 
  • Use good hygiene before and after visit. 
  • Keep pets at home. 
  • Follow instructions and signage. 
  • Be prepared for pre-scheduled visits, curbside pickup, and drive by or drive-through services. 
  • Know that on-site access may be limited due to business logistics; each farm is different. 

Not all farms are open to the public, but you can still connect with them, and support them. Here are some tips:

  • Ask farmers which consumer brands use their crops or raw materials. 
  • Ask farmers where you can buy their products. 
  • Seek brands that use or source raw materials or ingredients from Maine.  
  • Enjoy agriculture’s working landscapes from a distance as you take the scenic routes.  
Scenes from Maine agriculture. Join Real Maine July 26 for ways to kick of virtual Open Farm Day 2020!