On the mid-July Saturday, we ventured to 4 different York county farmers’ markets. We first visited the Kennebunk Farmers’ Market, which we wrote about in this post. Then we headed off to Saco, Sanford, and Newfield for the rest of our fantastic Saturday farmers’ market adventure in York County.
B and SZP are challenging themselves to visit all 31 farmers’ markets of Rockingham, Strafford, and York counties in the 31 days of July, and share their discoveries along the way. Previous entries in this series.
The Saco Farmers’ Market takes place in a plaza parking lot, off to the side in a wide expanse of an area. 15 farmers/vendors were there the day we visited, but it actually felt like more as several of those vendors had very large displays of foods and plants. There were many vendors selling gardening and house plants, crafts, and bakes goods as well as fresh picked berries. There was even fresh seafood – Alewives Brook Farm offered lobsters, steamers, and fresh vegetable.
Snell Family Farm and Harris Farm both had really attractive, large displays. Snell Family Farm filled this area with not only their great vegetables, but also really gorgeous and attractive plants. Harris Farm had so very many foods from their farm for sale! From butter, eggs, beef, and milk to wheat to onions, squash, peas, and many more vegetables, including our first fresh sweet corn of the year! Having these two vendors ably fill big displays created a really robust and bustling market, kind of like the anchor stores of a mall. Together with all of the other vegetable, meat, seafood, fruits, and prepared food vendors they provide such abundance and variety of products.
From Saco we headed over the the Sanford Farmers’ Market, which takes place in Gowan Park. The Sanford Farmers’ Market also accepts SNAP/EBT benefits, with a market match program. This means that for someone on food stamps, they can use $20 of their benefits but have $40 to spend at the market. This is (I believe) the second year of the Sanford Market accepting SNAP. I very much appreciate the efforts and energy that go into having such a program, and thank the organizers of the Sanford Farmers’ Market for believing in the value for our community!
The seven vendors there the day we shopped provide a wonderfully surprising amount of diversity in products and a great selection. McDougal Orchards had cherries and mini cider donuts, Flying Goat Farm had their astoundingly delicious goat cheeses, including their feta that made great salads when combined with cucumbers or tomatoes when it was too hot to cook. Two Toad Farm had great vegetables too numerous to try to list. We brought home a napa cabbage that we made into a delicious salad. There were several vendors selling plants and others selling more vegetables as well as baked goods.
One of the aspects of the market that made it so fun and welcoming was that the vendors were very collegial with each other. They wore matching Sanford Farmers’ Market t-shirts, helping to send the message that was apparent in the conversation: they supported each other and were working together to create a great market. As a customer, the feeling this creates is fun and comfortable and I was happy to linger, purchasing far more than I had planned the longer I stayed.
Our next stop was the Newfield Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market in Newfield, ME. The market takes place on the grounds of the Willowbrook Museum, a 19th c. village, and it’s a great combination that works well for the community. There were 13 farmers/vendors there the day we visited, including 6 vegetable vendors, 2 meat vendors, 2 selling gardening plants, one baked goods vendor, and artisans with beautiful products.
We were especially excited by the products of Frelsi Farm. They raise Icelandic lamb in Limerick, Maine. They had a wide variety of cuts of lamb for sale, and they also had dried smoked sausages – summer sausage, an Italian flavored one, and spicy chorizo. Folks that know me know how tempted I am to make the hour drive again because they were out of the chorizo the day we were there, but I’ve made do with the unbelievable summer sausage and Italian sausage. Just imagine it for a moment – summer sausage made from lamb, lactofermented and nitrate free, a soft, creaminess in texture from the fine-grained lamb fat in the sausage …. yeah, it is that good. These sausages are made from their meat at Smith’s Log Smokehouse in Monroe, Maine.
Newfield Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market
Late May to mid-December
Willowbrook Museum grounds,
70 Elm St, Newfield, ME map
Farmers’ Market Count: 19 down, 12 to go!