Maine Open Farm Day pivots to virtual format for 2020 event
Maine Open Farm Day organizers encourage the public to visit farms online beginning Sunday, July 26 to learn how to support Maine agriculture this summer.
“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,” says Amanda Beal, commissioner Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
The 31st annual Open Farm Day is one way to connect with area farmers. It will be presented as a virtual event and kicks-off the fourth week in July. Visit Maine.Gov/DACF/openfarmday and follow Real Maine at facebook.com/GetRealMaine/ for more information.
Using the Internet, farmers continue to share behind the scenes glimpses of their operations, and the work that goes into growing and producing farm products.
The following farms welcome your website visits, social media following and correspondence. Connect directly with a farm to learn how you can support Maine agriculture:
Worcester’s Wild Blueberries of Orneville Township, wildblueberryproducts.com.
Open Farm Day organizers share the following tips to help support Maine farms and different ways to increase awareness of Maine agriculture this summer:
- Visit farm websites—subscribe to blogs, newsletters and podcasts.
- Follow Maine farms on social media, offer testimonials, and share posts with friends.
- Help keep farms and retail areas healthy — stay home if sick.
- Bring a cooler and ice to ensure food quality—no matter where you buy it.
- Travel safe—planting and harvest season means peak road usage by farmers and the public.
- Ask farmers how to enjoy their farm products year-round: special recipes, storage tips, etc.
Supporting agricultural businesses that are open to the public (farm stores, stands, markets, U-Pick/Pick-Your-Own):
- Call ahead.
- Maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering.
- Use good hygiene before and after a 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.
Supporting farms not typically open to the public:
- 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 Maine.
- Enjoy agriculture’s working landscapes from a distance as you take the scenic routes.