Chefs are fond of proclaiming their dedication to farm-to-table, but even those without culinary degrees are enjoying the bounty of the natural landscape, thanks to a proliferation of farmers’ markets. Bringing the consumer closer to the producer, these markets are more than just a nice place to take a Saturday walk—they’re a place to get answers about your food, to start a conversation about what you eat and where it came from. Of course, a great market has some other perks—live music, free samples, and cooking demonstrations, to name just a few. Rain or shine, summer or winter, these nine markets serve up fresh, local produce with a side of entertainment.
01 Portland Farmers’ Markets
Every Saturday in the summer, Deering Oaks Park fills with vendors from around the state, selling everything from fresh-cut sunflowers to hormone-free sausages to handmade jewelry. Live music completes the idyllic scene. While the park provides a fittingly green backdrop for the farm-grown goods, some may find the Wednesday market, which takes place in Monument Square from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., a little more convenient.
02 Belfast Farmers’ Market
Since 1980 this eco-aware town has been providing a fabulous open-air market that offers fresh produce, seafood, and Maine-made products, such as maple syrup and honey. If you’re not sure how to prepare your items, the market provides recipes and stages cooking demonstrations for tasty treats like the delicious-sounding Hungarian Goulash from Half Moon Farm.
03 Brunswick Winter Market
In an area thick with organic and sustainable farms, the Brunswick Winter Market stands out in part because of its location inside Fort Andross Mill. The old brick building also houses a huge antique market, and Frontier, a restaurant-cum-art space that frequently screens top-notch indie films. Even in the snowiest, coldest parts of winter, visitors will find fresh produce, locally sourced honey, fresh cut flowers, and other items reminiscent of summer.
04 Bangor’s European Market
This adorable market, located inside Sunnyside Greenhouse on the outskirts of downtown Bangor, benefits from its intimate quarters. Inside, discover large vendors selling bouquets of wildflowers sharing stalls with traditional homemakers from Greece and Hungary, who offer tastes of homemade soup, sold by the gallon or by the bowl. The market also sells luscious tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, and plenty of other garden vegetables.
05 Kennebunk Farmers’ Market
A playground of food and drink, the Kennebunk Farmers’ Market provides an educational, fun experience for families. Little ones can pet local farm animals, sample jellies and jams, and watch demonstrations from Maine-based blacksmiths. Small but bountiful, this market has grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, baskets full of bulbs fresh from the earth from Kelner’s Garlic, and compost, seedlings, herbs, annuals, and perennials from Tibbetts Family Farm.
06 Bath Farmers’ Market
The Bath Farmers’ Market offers sweeping views of the Kennebec at its summer open-air market and moves inside to the historic Freight Shed come November, where they sell artisan and gourmet goodies from around Maine, including organic microgreens, wild chicken of the woods mushrooms, and plenty more.
07 Bar Harbor’s Eden Farmers’ Market
You can skip breakfast at home—the market, which opens Sundays at 9 a.m., has 45 North coffee roasted in nearby Dear Isle, fresh baked goods from Bread Box Bakery, organic fruits and vegetables from Bahner Farm, and crunchy, unprocessed granola from Lucy’s Granola in Blue Hill. For an equally delicious, but more scenic experience, visit its sister market in Northeast Harbor on the Harbor Drive Green.
08 Cultivating Community Farmers’ Market
Cultivating Community doesn’t have a set place or time, instead visitors check their website to find out where in Portland the nonprofit will be setting up shop. The organization provides job training and healthy food to America’s newest residents, including a number of refugees. Purchasing farm-grown items from their market helps feed more than just your family—it feeds the community.
09 Stonington Farmers’ Market
Over 50 vendors flock to this small downeast town every Friday for a dog-friendly, outdoor market at the Island Community Center. While hungry shoppers will enjoy the fresh seafood, cheese, and produce, others come simply for the community feel that this artistic market engenders. Stop by to chat with local furniture craftsmen about their wares, listen to a poetry reading, or pet the abundant crop of goat kids from Sunset Acres Farm and Dairy.