This is national Farmers Market Week, declared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s a big deal because the USDA has not always been friendly to the kind of farmer, such as us, who sells at farmers markets. But even the feds cannot ignore the more than 8,000 farmers markets in the country, perhaps 100 of them in Maine.
Take the opportunity to shop at market this week. And every week. You won’t find better food, and the prices are, as Mark Bittman reported in The New York Times on Wednesday, Aug. 6, can be surprisingly competitive. Despite the wet weather all year, veggie farmers are coming into their peak season, and we’re selling fresh Turkey the first three weekends in August. This week, we have new batches, both fresh and frozen, of all 10 sausages plus smoked kielbasa and Andouille.
Visit us at the Skowhegan Farmers Market, where our son Robbie will staff the stand this week. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Court Street, right next to the Somerset Grist Mill. Or visit us at Bath, where Bryanna Ringrose will be back after taking a week off for the Peace Fair. Bryanna is the face of our farm at Bath, where the market runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The market is in Waterfront Park on the bank of the Kennebec River. Or come see us between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Crystal Spring Farmers Market on the Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswick. Breana Doherty and Bob Neal will staff that stand. A magazine in southern New England last year called Crystal Spring the best farmers market in New England. Who’s to argue?
Wherever you choose, celebrate national Farmers Market Week by coming to see us this week and every week at the farmers market. Skowhegan and Bath run through October, Crystal Spring runs through Nov. 1.
See us for the best breakfast you can make in a hurry. Our theme this week at our three farmers markets is What’s for Breakfast?
We feature our three breakfast sausages (mild, spicy, blueberry-maple) as well as three others (Minnesota korv, Swedish korv and Portobello). The korvs contain Maine potatoes and onions, so the home fries, in a sense, are inside the sausage. Minnesota korv is flavored with caraway, Swedish korv is flavored with garlic. The Portobello sausage also has onions and garlic, so it is like getting your omelet with the sausage instead of with the eggs. If you’re more adventurous, think about chorizo to make huevos rancheros, or about feta, which contains Maine spinach and organic Maine sweet red peppers.
We’ll be sampling these breakfast treats Saturday at market. See us at Bath between 8:30 a.m. and noon. The Bath market is in Waterfront Park on Commercial Street downtown. Or see us at Brunswick, at the Crystal Spring Farmers Market between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. That market is on the Pleasant Hill Road near the Woodside Road, about a mile from downtown Brunswick. Or, see us between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Skowhegan market on Court Street, next to the Somerset Grist Mill.
We’ll have samples of all these sausages, those probably not all at the same time, at each market.
May 3 is our first day of outdoor, or summer, farmers markets. We are attempting a market hat trick this year. We will be at three markets every Saturday through October.
From 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., we sell at the Crystal Spring Farmers Market on the Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswick. Some have called it the best farmers market in the state, even in New England. It is certainly among the biggest in Maine.
Also starting at 8:30, and running until noon, we will be at the Bath Farmers Market in Waterfront Park. That is, as you might imagine, right on the Kennebec River in downtown. This is our second outdoor season at Bath and follows completion of our second successful Bath Winter Market.
Finally, we are returning to the Skowhegan Farmers Market, which is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday. Skowhegan was our first farmers market. We began there in 1981 but sold for only a couple of seasons. The Skowhegan market, which shoppers voted Maine’s best market a couple of years ago, is at the Somerset Grist Mill (the former Somerset County Jail) on Court Street downtown.
Come see us at market. Or, if you’d rather come to our farm, the farmstore continues to be open on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is also open Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 to 6 p.m. And, it is open by chance, and someone is on the farm every day so you can almost always stop for Turkey.
We are back from February break — we attended my younger sister’s 50th wedding anniversary in Florida — and back to regular hours. And, we are adding new products this week.
Our farmstore is open from 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. It is also open by chance, and we are on the farm every day, so you can almost always stop for Turkey.
We are also back at our two winter farmers markets. On Friday, we sell at the Midcoast Winter Market at the Topsham Fairgrounds. Market hours are 1 to 5 p.m. On Saturday, we sell at the Bath Winter Market in the Freight Shed at 27 Commercial St.. Bath’s hours are 9 a.m. to noon.
This week, we reintroduce our winter sausage, Korv. It is a traditional Swedish sausage made with Turkey, potatoes and onions. We make two varieties, one with caraway (an American variation on the original) and one with garlic (the Swedish tradition). Each is packed in a loose pack so you can make patties or in links for grilling or pan-frying. We are also introducing our Winter Stew, a hearty meal that consists or our smoked kielbasa, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions and seasonings. Finally, customers wanting to make their own soups or stews have been asking for stock, so we are now packing Turkey broth in pints and quarts.
We have all these items at market and at our farmstore. Dig in.
Our farmstore will be closed this week (Feb, 2-8). It reopens for regular hours on Feb. 12. Those hours are Wednesday and Friday fro 2 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is also open by chance, and we’re on the farm every day so you can almost always stop for Turkey. But not again until Feb. 12. We are off to Florida for a family celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary of Elizabeth and Don Neitz. We also will not be at the Topsham Farmers Market on Friday (Feb. 7) or at the Bath market on Saturday (Feb. 8). We resume both markets on Feb. 14 and 15.
See you next week.
The weather won’t be a lot better this weekend (Jan. 10-11), but it will be warmer and both farmers markets that we attend will go on as scheduled.
We are at the Midcoast market from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday in the exhibition hall of the Topsham Fairgrounds and at the Bath Winter Market from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday in the Freight Shed on Commercial Street in downtown bath (on the riverbank).
And, our farmstore will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the farm on Route 27 in New Sharon.
We’ll have all of our regular items at both markets and at the store.
The cold weather has frozen pipes in the Freight Shed, where the Bath Winter Market is held, so the market has been canceled for tomorrow, Jan. 4. We will see you next week at market, Friday (1-5 p.m.) at the Topsham Fairgrounds or Saturday (9. a.m. to noon) at Bath..
The cold weather isn’t much fun for any of us, but if you’re anywhere near New Sharon, our farmstore is open tomorrow, Jan. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as it is every Saturday. It is also open from 2 to 6 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday. And, it is open by chance, and we’re on the farm every day, so you can almost always stop for Turkey.
On Friday (Jan. 3), our farmstore on Route 27 in New Sharon reopens following our annual winter break. Store hours are 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. We are also open by chance, and someone is in the plant nearly every day. About 40 percent of our farmstore business comes outside the posted hours.
Although the store is reopening, the threat of heavy snow has prompted the Midcoast Winter Famers Market to cancel for Jan. 3. Snowfall in southern Maine is forecast to be heavier than here. As of this writing, the Bath Winter Farmers Market will be open on Saturday (Jan. 4) as usual, 9 a.m. to noon in the Freight Shed, 27 Commercial St.
Thank you for supporting us through what has been a very difficult season in which to raise Turkeys, and yet a season of extreme ups to go along with the downs. We will lay out everything in the Winter edition of The Turkey Times, which will be posted here in January.
In the meantime, we are on our annual winter break and will not market or open the farmstore during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. On Jan. 3, we return to the Topsham winter market each Friday from 1-5 p.m. at the Topsham fairgrounds and on Jan. 4, we return to the Bath winter market each Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Freight Shed, 27 Commercial St. Also, our farmstore on Jan. 3 resumes its regular hours of 2-6 p.m. Wednesday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. It is on Route 27 in New Sharon.
We will have all of our regular products at both markets and at the farmstore, and during the winter we will develop a few new items as well.
See you soon, we hope.
” Oh, the weather outside is frightful. . .”
But, yes, we are open today for you to pick up your Christmas Turkey. Our farmstore will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow (Sunday and Monday, Dec. 22 and 23).
So, if you have ordered a Christmas Turkey, we have it ready for you. If you have not ordered, we still have farm-fresh Turkeys available between 13 and 19 pounds and you may either reserve one using the form on the Our Products page of this website or you may just stop by our farmstore between 10 and 6 today or tomorrow and pick up a farm-fresh Turkey.
Be extremely careful driving as there is between a quarter and a half inch of ice over the snow that fell last week. There is very little traffic on our road, Route 27, but we have seen plow trucks working.