Belfast celebrates local food and farms on Sept. 6-7
BELFAST — Maine Farmland Trust will host a celebration of Maine food and farms in downtown Belfast on Friday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The annual MaineFare event showcases some of Maine's best food producers, and engages participants in educational discussions and classes on local farming, cooking, and Maine's food system.
MaineFare 2013 will include an expanded farmers' market and midway that will host over fifty local vendors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. At noon each day, a three-course farmers' market lunch will feature seasonal local produce prepared by farmer and chef Ladleah Dunn. A farm fresh boxed lunch, prepared by Trillium Caterers and Maine Street Meats, will also be available to go.
Friday's program will feature "Farming Forums" from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Abbot Room at the Belfast Free Library from. These educational discussions will focus on timely topics regarding Maine's food system, including: Maine's Food Roots and Traditions, The Future of Livestock Farming in Maine, Maine Grains, and Artisan Cheese. Participants can also attend "Experience and Explore" classes throughout the day on Friday and Saturday. These interactive classes are a chance to learn about cooking and food preparation from some of Maine's finest chefs and artisan producers. Several downtown bookstores will also host book signings by Maine food writers on both Friday and Saturday.
Friday evening will kick off with a local oyster and beer tasting. Participating downtown restaurants will also serve up "Local Plates," featuring special locally-sourced menu items. The evening will conclude with an outdoor concert by Maine folk musician David Mallett.
Saturday's exclusive activities will include local farm tours during the day, a local wine and cheese tasting, and a finale four-course farm-to-table dinner and wine presented by Chefs Matthew Kinney and Jason Paul of The Gothic.
General admission to MaineFare is free although attendees will want to bring an appetite and money to buy the great food from participating farmers and other vendors. Some MaineFare events require the purchase of separate tickets.
Tickets to MaineFare can be purchased online or by calling the Maine Farmland Trust office at 338-6575. Tickets may also be purchased the day of the event, although hopeful attendees are discouraged from waiting, since there are limited seats available for the farmers' market lunches and farm-to-table dinner. Ticket prices can be found on the website; current Maine Farmland Trust members and Maine Public Broadcasting Network members will receive a ten percent discount.
Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide nonprofit organization working to keep farming in Maine vital through a wide variety of programs. Since its founding in 1999, the Trust has helped protect over 33,000 acres of farmland and provided services to over 375 farm families.