Maine Fare celebration in downtown Belfast Sept. 7

Sep 05, 2012

Maine Farmland Trust will host an event celebrating Maine's local food traditions, farms, farmers, restaurants, chefs and happy eaters in downtown Belfast on Friday, Sept. 7, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Maine Fare will showcase the work of Maine's best food producers and artisan processors. This event will also engage participants in educational discussions about local food and farming. All members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Maine Fare 2012 will include an expanded farmer's market and midway that will showcase more than 50 local vendors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market and midway, located on sections of Main Street and High Street, is free and open to the public. Participating vendors include: Turner Farm, Maine Mead Works, Peacemeal Farm, Mainely Poultry, Appleton Creamery, Maine Meats, Dean's Sweets, Urban Farm Fermentory, Gander Gardens, Gelato Fiasco, Stone Fox Farm, Saltwater Farm, New Beat Farm, and Moonlight Maple. All vendors will be selling their products directly to the public.

At noon, a four-course "farm to table" lunch featuring fresh produce and Maine lobster will be served under a tent on High Street. The meal begins with a melon gazpacho and crostini with melon butter and lardons of local ham. The second course includes of a salad of roasted golden beets, triticale, hearty greens, local cheeses and a lemon tarragon vinaigrette. The main course will be a deconstructed lobster roll with lemon chervil aioli and kohlrabi slaw. To finish the meal, there will be a goat cheese panacotta with fresh berries and mint.

The meal will be prepared by Ladleah Dunn, a professional chef who owns Sailor's Rest Farm in Lincolnville.

"The entire concept of cooking directly from the farm is to get food when it is at its best. It also guarantees that with skill, you will be eating delicious and beautiful food. Therefore, by eating directly from farmers and producers of our region we are experiencing food in a most intimate and most healthy manner," explained Dunn.

Dunn's professional experience includes working with Swan's Way of Lincolnville, Nebo Lodge on North Haven, Saltwater Farm of Lincolnville, and as a private chef. All of her work has focused on using locally produced products, as both a chef and educator. Dunn has lectured on the "farm-to-table" approach to food preparation at PopTech and the Kneading Conference.

The afternoon program will focus on how Maine can feed itself, nutritiously, deliciously and sustainably. Beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre, MFT Executive Director John Piotti will give opening remarks pertaining to "Feeding Maine." Several panel discussions and a film screening of the film "Truck Farm" will follow. Speakers participating in the panels include Troy Haines of SPW Meat Cutting, Amber Lampke of Maine Grains, Polly Shyka of Village Farm, Bonnie Rukin of Slow Money Maine, Roger Doiron of Kitchen Gardeners International, and the widely known food writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins.

Cookies and fresh milk from Maine's Own Organic -- or "MOO Milk -- will be served during the afternoon program.

Maine Fare 2012 will wrap up with "Local Plates," the Trust's name for an evening of good eating, where several downtown restaurants will offer farm-to-table fare. Restaurants participating include: The Lost Kitchen, Chase's Daily, Darby's, Delvino's, Rolllie's and Front Street Pub. Each of these restaurants will feature one appetizer and one entrée comprised entirely of local ingredients, referred to as their "Maine Fare Local Plate." Participants are encouraged to make reservations in advance.

Maine Fare coincides with Belfast's Friday Arts Walk that evening.

"Maine Fare is a great way to visit Belfast, enjoy some fantastic food, and learn more about farming in Maine," said Piotti.

Tickets to MaineFare can be purchased at www.maine-fare.com or by calling the MFT office at 338-6575. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the event, although hopeful attendees are discouraged from waiting, as there is limited space available for both the lunch and film screening. Tickets to the panel discussions and film are $15. The price including the lunch is $30.

Find more information on Maine Fare 2012 at www.maine-fare.com, www.mainefarmlandtrust.org and on Facebook.

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